Centenary's Weekly Newsletter September 2, 2016
A Message from Centenary
Dear Centenary Family,
Pastor Matt Bates

First and foremost this week, I want to thank all of you who were here Sunday and all of you who stayed for the birthday party surreptitiously planned by my scheming family. I am truly grateful for the time we shared together and for the wonderful cards I received Sunday which I will treasure.

I was reminded of how much our church family enjoys being together. Our fellowship with one another is not peripheral to our life as a church, but central to it. We draw strength and encouragement from one another for the journey of life and faith by simply sharing the ups and downs of our lives with each other.

I came away from Sunday thinking that we need more parties, more celebrations, and more times for fellowship. And then I realized that we do in fact have some exciting things ahead of us. This Sunday, September 4, during Sunday School, we'll participate in a prayer walk around downtown Richmond and gather in front of the church at 10:40 am to pray for  the people in our community. September 11, following our 11:00 am service, is our church picnic outside on Grace Street. That's always a great time. September 25 is a covered dish luncheon and old-fashioned hymn sing. October 30 we celebrate Heritage Sunday with one service at 11:00 am, the dedication of our new kitchen and elevator followed by a meal together. I look forward to these times for us to gather as a church family. These are also great opportunities to invite someone to experience the warmth and hospitality of Centenary.

The Gospel reading for Sunday is from Luke 14:25-33. It's another one of Jesus' challenging statements about the cost of following him from Luke's gospel. This text closes with some of Jesus' most challenging words in the New Testament, ". . . none of  you who are unwilling to give up all of your possessions can be my disciple."  I recoiled from those words initially, thinking the cost of following Jesus is just too high. But I've been looking at it from a different perspective this week, wondering what is on the other side of the experience of letting go of everything important to us to put Jesus first in our lives. Could it be that Jesus is inviting us to take up a path that truly leads us to joy and fulfillment? The title for this week's sermon is "The Other Side of Surrender."

I look forward to seeing you this Sunday and in the weeks to come. And again, thank you for your kindness to me this past Sunday. I consider myself more fortunate than you know to be part of this church family.


This Week at Centenary

Prayer Walk
Join us this Sunday morning at 10:00 for a prayer walk around the church neighborhood. We will meet in the Fellowship Hall before the walk. Those who prefer not to walk may stay in the Fellowship Hall to pray. Then at 10:40 am we will all meet on the sidewalk in front of the church to create a long chain of people and we will join together in prayer for the city. Let's try to have our chain reach from 4th Street to 5th Street! 
Upcoming Events

Sunday School Teachers and Assistant Teachers Needed
Please, please consider volunteering this school year to teach or assist in our children or youth Sunday School classes for just one Sunday morning a month. The classes meet from 10:00 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Please see Ann Davis for more information.

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR)
The Outreach Committee wants you to be aware of an opportunity to help the struggling people in Louisiana as they overcome destruction from the floods. If you make a check out to Centenary UMC and write UMCOR #901670 on the bottom of the check, it will be sent to help with Louisiana's recovery. If you want your contribution to go to help with buying clean-up buckets for the effort, write UMCOR #901440 on your check. At this time UMCOR doesn't have numbers for the earthquake in Italy or the fires in California. We will keep you updated as we receive this information.

Items for School Kits
With all of the back-to-school sales, this is the ideal time to pick up items for the school kits we will be assembling for the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) this year. The items we really need to complete kits are:  pads of wide ruled paper (spiral or top bound pads 150 sheets or less, can also be packages of loose leaf paper 150 sheets or less), pencil sharpeners (handheld - must be at least 1 inch long!), blunt children's scissors (rounded tip only, not ones with plastic blades), 24-count boxes of crayons. We have plenty of pencils, erasers, and rulers left from last year's collection. We also need the cloth bags to put the items in:  14x16 inch cloth bag (homemade or purchased bags are both acceptable) made of heavy-duty fabric only, such as denim, corduroy, or drapery fabric. No advertisements, religious, patriotic, military, or camouflage symbols. Closures are optional but must be buttons, snaps, or Velcro sewn in middle of opening.

Tuesday, September 6 at 6:30 pm:  Centenary Bowling League Meeting
Yes, we still have a bowling league that had its origins around 1938! We are small, but we have a wonderful time. It is a handicapped league so you do not have to be a great  bowler to participate. Our purpose is to enjoy some time with friends and our church family.  We bowl at Shrader Lanes, near Parham and Broad, on Tuesdays at 7 pm.  The organizational meeting will be held at Shrader Lanes on Tuesday, September 6, at 6:30.  The meeting will be followed by free practice bowling. League bowling will begin on the following Tuesday, September 13. Our season runs 27 weeks with Tuesdays off during the Christmas season. If you cannot commit to the season, we would love to include you on our list of substitutes.  If you are interested in more information, please contact Mary or Les Dobbs, mftdobbs@aol.com , lcdobbs@aol.com , or 804-262-5801. 

Sunday, September 11 at 12 noon:  Church Picnic
Mark your calendars for a picnic following the 11:00 am Worship Service. Grace Street will be closed in front of the church and tables will be set up on the street and sidewalk. Hot dogs and beverages will be provided by the Congregational Care Committee. Please bring a large covered dish or dessert to share. Bring your families, friends, and neighbors!   

Thursday, September 15 at 6 pm:  Discover Downtown Eateries
Join us for dinner at Wong Gonzalez located on Grace Street right across from Centenary. Wong Gonzalez isn't quite like any place you have been before. A concept born in the hawker stalls of Malaysia's bustling town centers where all the wonderful and dynamic flavors of South East Asia are found and then raised in the kitchens of small Mexican towns full of rustic culture and mouthwatering aromas. Wong Gonzalez is a rousing and exciting blending of Asian and Latin cuisines. The best of both worlds brought together but never forgetting the sanctity of either. Not just Chinese... not just Mexican. They like to call it Mexinese! Everyone will order from the menu and we will each pay for our own meal. Please sign up by September 11 on the bulletin board outside of the kitchen or call the church office at 804-648-8319.  

Saturday, September 17 at 10:30 am:  Service of Celebration
The Committee on Episcopacy of the Virginia Conference United Methodist Church invites you to attend a Service of Celebration on the assignment of Sharma D. Lewis as Resident Bishop. The service will be held at Reveille United Methodist Church, 4200 Cary Street Road in Richmond. A reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall. Read more about the election and assignment of Bishop Lewis.

Sunday, September 25 at 12 noon:  Covered Dish Lunch and Old Time Hymn Sing
Mark your calendars! Following the 11'o'clock service that day, we will share a covered dish lunch and then enjoy singing the old hymns of years past.  Some of you are saying, "But I can't sing."  Then come and clap your hands and pat your feet to the lively rhythms of the "oldies."  
Please Remember in Prayer

I want to thank Centenary's "prayer warriors" for all the prayers, thoughts, and good wishes on behalf of my uncle, Marcus Smith.  He continues to receive cancer treatments at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  He feels he is in good hands,  and is grateful for the on-going support he has gotten from family and friends. God bless, Suzanne Ray

Joe Ciucci Jr.
Ruth Anne Davis
Susan Dobyns (friend of Leah Hundley)
Grace Hinchman 
Jack & Lois Hinerman
Judy Holland          
Jean Jones
Donna Mestre (Betty Brown's sister)
Troy Nelson
Marcus Smith (Suzanne Ray's uncle)
John Seyfarth
Kevin Watson (son of Cheryl Owen-Watson who is hospitalized at VCU following surgery)
Celebrating Birthdays in September

Barbara Boone
Valerie Knorr
Julia Parks
Patricia Emory
Juliana Steele
James Swinford
Cathy Armistead
Eric Meyer
Brenda Pega
Lisa Ashe
Chris Gregory
Carolyn Dinwiddie
John Cook
Karen Junker
Alison Nuckols
Earl Siddons
James Hardy
James Durst
Rachel Simpson
Bette Dillehay
Nita McCall
John Cole
Todd Muse
Dan Corcoran
Elaine Ryan
Morgan Pritchett
Teddy Ryan
Libby Rhame
Wilbur Cheatham
Mary Hazelgrove
Ginger Armstrong
Shelley Armstrong
Photo of the Week
The restocking of the kitchen has started this week. David Pippin volunteered to put knives away!
Centenary United Methodist Church | (804) 648-8319 | www.centumc.org 
Visit Us: 411 E. Grace St., Richmond, VA 23219