Centenary's Weekly Newsletter October 22, 2016
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
I was so excited to hear about the wonderful Laity Sunday last week. I am very grateful to our excellent Lay Leader, Phyllis Stump, for all she did to plan these services and the reception. I had an opportunity to read Kevin Bruny's sermon and know that you received a blessing from his message. And for many of you, it was a great time to re-connect with a family who's meant much to Centenary in the past.
I've been thinking the last couple of weeks about the relationship of the ministry of ordained clergy and the ministry of the laity. One of the scriptures that has always guided my own understanding of ministry is from the Letter to the Ephesians. The writer, perhaps Paul or one of his students, says, in Ephesians 4:11-13, "So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ."
Those who are set apart by the church for ordained ministry have as their primary task equipping others for ministry. The true test of any minister's effectiveness, or any member of a church staff, is not how much ministry they do personally, but how many people they are able to equip for ministry and mission. That means that ordained clergy and paid staff members are meant to be co-equal partners with laity in discerning God's vision for a congregation at a particular time and place and then implementing that vision.
Throughout the history of the church, however, there have been many obstacles to that kind of relationship between clergy and laity. It is sometimes called "clericalism." People who use that term usually mean that when people are ordained for ministry or hired to serve a congregation, they are tempted to have an over-inflated sense of their own importance and begin to think that because of their place of leadership, they are to receive preferential or even deferential treatment of some kind or another. I'll let you think of your own encounters with forms of church polity and organization that play into that dynamic more than others. 
My vision for the church, however, is that we become a place where every person is seen as a child of God with some unique gift or calling, that if not expressed and exercised, diminishes our health as a church. I find myself often asking, "What would a church be like if every member understood and claimed their gifts, and then given them the freedom to use those gifts? What would a church look like that served God based on the gifts of its members?" We'd spend less time lamenting the things we think we lack, and more time thanking God for the gifts God has given us, and then putting those gifts to work for God's glory and the good of others.
A couple of years ago, in an Administrative Council planning meeting, the number one goal for ministry identified by our lay leadership was to find ways to encourage more lay involvement and participation. What would it mean for us to be a lay-driven, clergy/staff-supported congregation, rather than a clergy/staff-driven, lay-supported church?
I think we'd unleash a great force for good in downtown Richmond! It might be a bit chaotic and messy moving toward a church that responds to God's call based on our gifts, but it would certainly not be boring!
If you'd like some help thinking about your gifts, please reach out to me or our Lay Leader, Phyllis Stump. And help us as our 2020 Committee seeks your input about God's vision for our church in the next 5 years.
These are exciting times at Centenary. God has blessed us in many ways. October 30 will be a great day when we thank God for all God has done to help us complete the renovation of the kitchen and the installation of a new elevator! I hope you won't miss our one worship service at 11:00 a.m., followed by brunch that day.
The sermon I'm working on this week is from II Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18. It's a text I turn to when I get weary or discouraged because it reminds me with God's help we will complete the journey of the Christian life victoriously. My title is "Crossing the Finish Line."
I look forward to seeing you Sunday!
This Weekend at Centenary

Sunday, October 23 at 10 am:  Adult Sunday School
All adults are invited to gather together in the Fellowship Hall for the next two Sundays to continue to hear presentations from the 2020 Committee. This Centenary Strategic Planning Committee has been meeting for the last nine months and these presentations will be a summary of its work. The issues raised are critical to Centenary's future. 
Read last week's presentation here.

Sunday, October 23 at 12:30 pm: Luncheon Meeting about Syrian Refugee Family
We have been in discussion with our sister Downtown Community Ministry churches about the possibility of working together to support a Syrian Refugee family. As a next step in our process of discernment, we invite anyone interested in learning more about this opportunity for service to attend a luncheon meeting following worship on Sunday, October 23 about 12:30 pm in the Second Presbyterian Church dining room. We will hear presentations to learn the details of sponsoring a refugee family. Bring your questions and enthusiasm. Cost is $8.00.
About Sunday's Music 

Storytelling in Music - Narrator, Self-Righteous Braggart and Penitent Sinner
You probably all know the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax-Collector (the "Publican"). In Sunday's Gospel (Luke 18:9-14), the Pharisee is depicted as someone who blindly keeps all the Old Testament rules, puffs himself up because of this and looks down his nose at anyone else who doesn't. The publicans were particularly reviled because of their Mafia-like behavior. How bad were the publicans? 
Read more about them here.

Warren Martin (1916-1982), another Westminster Choir College associate, set this parable to music around 1970. The narrator (Jesus) relates the tale with music in a melodious, declamatory style which, following the plot of the parable text, surrounds that of the other two characters. The Pharisee's music perfectly captures his empty self-worth - Martin uses only a few chords and writes in a "trumpety" style to picture Mr. Blowhard. There is even a sour note when the Pharisee spits out the word "publican." I'm also using a stop on the organ in this section that sounds like a toy trumpet! In stark contrast to the Pharisee, the music for the sorrowful publican is a quiet, slow-moving chorale.
Jesus (and Mr. Martin) gets the last word however. The music builds to a wonderful climax at the words " ... but all who humble themselves will be exalted", complete with a lightning-fast ascending scale on the organ.
At the very end, the publican's music returns with an "editorial" added verse - John 4:24: "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." I think Mr. Martin got it right.
To this day and for many years prior, Warren Martin's Processional for Organ is used at every Westminster Choir College graduation ceremony as the students enter Princeton University Chapel.  

Stan Baker
Director of Music/Organist
Upcoming Events

Sunday, October 30:  Celebration of our Renovations!
We will have one Worship Service this day at 11 am with a special dedication of our kitchen renovations and new elevator. (Note that  Sunday School will still be offered at 10:00 am). At noon there will be a b runch for all prepared in the new kitchen. Please mark your calendar for this celebration, and i nvite friends and family who have prayed for and followed our progress.

Wednesday, November 2 at 6:00 pm:  Discover Downtown Eateries
Join us for dinner at Tenka Ramen Noodle Bar, located around the corner of Centenary at 110 N 5th Street. Their Japanese and soul food cuisine features their custom-made noodles.  Everyone will order from the menu and we will each pay for our own meal. Please sign up by October 30 on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen or call the church office at 804-648-8319.   Check out their menu here.

Saturday, November 5 at 8:45 am:  Stop Hunger Now
We will  gather in the Fellowship Hall to pack meals to provide for families in distressed areas of the world. This is a wonderful time for fellowship and commitment to missions. Bring family, friends and neighbors. Join in the fun! (Reminder:  Wear a hat or use a hairnet.) 

Sunday, November 6 at 10:00 am:  New Adult Sunday School Offerings Begin
Robb Stottlemyer will lead a study of the book  Advent and Christmas Wisdom from Henri J.M. Nouwen: Daily Scripture and Prayers Together with Nouwen's Own Words. The inspiring words of Henri J. M. Nouwen guide the faithful on a spiritual journey through the Advent and Christmas season in this book of waiting, hope, anticipation, and celebration. It celebrates the momentous arrival of the Christ Child and the joyous news of our salvation. It is also an ideal book for the individual seeking active participation in the season and a renewal of faith for the start of the liturgical year.

Saturday, November 12 from 10:00 am to 1 pm:  Remember and Recommit Workshop
The next workshop for the series "Remember and Recommit:  Christian Faith and the Modern Civil Rights Movement" is scheduled for Saturday, November 12 from 10 am to 1 pm at Asbury United Methodist (Church Hill), 324 N 29th Street. All are encouraged to attend, even if you haven't been to one of the previous workshops in this series.

Sunday, November 13 at 5 pm:  Movie Night
Join us for Movie Night at Centenary featuring the drama Mr. Church, which tells the story of a unique friendship that develops when a little girl and her dying mother retain the services of a talented cook - Henry Joseph Church - played by Eddie Murphy. What begins as a six month arrangement instead spans into fifteen years and creates a family bond that lasts forever. Rated PG-13.

Sunday, November 20 at 2 pm:  Theatre Outing to Assassins
A group from Centenary will be attending a Quill Theatre production of Assassins at the Firehouse Theatre (located at 1609 W Broad Street). A multiple Tony Award-winning theatrical tour-de- force, this explosive musical examines the lives of those who committed - or attempted to commit-  the ultimate crime: the assassination of an American president. Boldly cutting-edge and alarmingly funny, the show freely mixes characters from different periods in a kaleidoscopic, hallucinatory revue. With Stephen Sondheim's signature blend of beautiful music and dazzling lyrics, this show entertains while it examines the sense of entitlement and yearning for fame that motivates an unthinkable act.Tickets will be between $0 and $25, depending on the size of our group. Sign up on the bulletin board across from the kitchen. 
Outreach and Mission Opportunities

Support the Hermitage's Bazaar and Bake Sale
Plan to attend the 2016 Country Store Bazaar and Bake Sale at the Hermitage (1600 Westwood Avenue in Richmond) on  October 28 from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm and October 29 from 9:30 am to noon.

Pecan Sale
Our annual order of pecans will be shipped on October 28 so will be available on the first Sunday in November. Leah Hundley will be ordering: 
4 cases halves
1 case of large pieces (10 already reserved)
2 cases of medium pieces(10 already reserved)
2 cases milk chocolate covered
2 cases dark chocolate covered.
Leah is not ordering the clusters or cinnamon glazed as last year they did not sell as well. She will put up a sheet on the bulletin board next week or will take phone orders at 804-746-9537.
Please Remember in Prayer

Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Joe Ciucci Jr.
Nancy Cook
Ruth Anne Davis
Susan Dobyns (friend of Leah Hundley)
Rev. Katie B. Gooch, Minister at the Pace Center VCU and her husband Matt (in the death of          Matt's father)
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
Jean Jones
Lundi Martin 
Donna Mestre (Betty Brown's sister)
Troy Nelson
Barbara Pierson 
Rives Priddy
Marcus Smith (Suzanne Ray's uncle)
John Seyfarth
Kathy Talley
Kevin Watson (son of Cheryl Owen-Watson)
Ina Wilson (her sister passed away October 3)
Celebrating Birthdays in October

Ryland Bailey, Sr.
Barry Sanderlin
Elsie Jarvis
Milton Wright
Linda Ryan
William Bizzell
Andrea Dukes
Lila Irby
Kimberly Clark
Merle Brown
Jill Duncan
John Dillehay
Kerry Lambertson
Lee Cardoza
Corinne Brager
Toni Corcoran
Norm Dinwiddie
Karen Steele
Andrew Johnson
Matthew Simpson
Preston DeVader
Mary Shingleton
Pencye Bailey
Gary Levine
Mary Anne Dazey
Anne Richardson
Photo of the Week
Have you ridden in the new elevator yet?
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219