A publication of Centenary United Methodist Church

C-Mail for March 12, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          Tuesday evening, the leadership of Centenary, lay, staff, and clergy, met together to pray and to discuss the steps we need to take to protect the health, safety and well-being of our congregation and community.

 

          As a result, we are suspending all in-person ministries until March 31 with the exception of take-out meals on Wednesday nights.

 

          This decision is in compliance with the recommendation of the CDC (Center for Disease Control) and state, and local health authorities, of not being in groups of more than 10 people. After the next two weeks, we will reassess and make future decisions at that time. 

 

          Church services will be live-streamed and I encourage you to log on to the Centenary website at www.centenarynow.org. Put your cursor over the word ‘Worship’ and click on ‘Sermons’ when the drop down menu appears to watch the streaming services live at 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, March 22 and March 29. You can also be able to view the service at a later time on the website using the same procedure.

 

          More information about how we will continue to be Centenary United Methodist Church during this time tomorrow.

 

          I close, for now, with a ‘Prayer for a Pandemic’ written by my good friend, the Rev. Amy Shanholtzer:

Gracious God, as we face tomorrow, let us do so unafraid. Remind us that you are the one who holds tomorrow. There is not a second of that day that we can count on today. It is all a gift.

          In these uncertain times, O God, make us into the disciples that you want us to be. As we follow the guidelines from the healers among us, help us find new ways, creative ways, powerful ways to love your children. For a short time, O God, we will cease from gathering as large groups to worship. We remember the scripture, "I was glad when they said to me, 'Let us go to the house of the Lord.;"  And, on that day, when we gather together again, we will sing your praises with great joy.

          Until then, we will love your people and all of creation. 

          We will love them with our prayers for caregivers and physicians and nurses and the frightened and the disbelieving.

          We will love them with our presence on the phone, in an email, with a card or a note. 

          We will love them with our gifts - our financial gifts that sustain the ministry of our local church and your worldwide church that is even now seeking to alleviate suffering.

          We will love them with our service - lending a hand in need, dropping off groceries, listening to fears and anxieties and checking on the frail and fragile.

          And we will love them with our witness - our witness that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. It is in this powerful name that we pray, Amen.

 

 

          May the only thing people catch from us is hope…     

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for March 12, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          How many significant events can occur in one week?

 

          Much attention is being given, appropriately, to the Coronavirus-COVID19, with many events being postponed or cancelled in an attempt to slow the spread. While understandable, the pace of the cancellations and postponements can lead to a sense of chaos and panic. Hopefully, this weekend, you will be able to take a deep breath and worship, as part of putting all of this into ultimate perspective.

 

          This weekend Pastor Barry is preaching ‘Hearing God’ and addressing some significant questions: Can a person be sure that God has not spoken to them?  What events in your past life could have been messages from God?  What does it say about someone’s view of God that he or she would use the term personal relationship but there are no specific communications? Everything considered, would you really like to be spoken to by God? In this season of uncertainty, I hope that each of us answer ‘yes’ to the last question…

 

          In light of the current situation, please note the following in relation to worship:

          - We are going to encourage elbow bumps or waves as the preferred way to greet folks

          - Instead of passing the offering plates, we will have them on the back table so your offerings and connect cards can be placed in them after worship

          - If you are unable to attend worship, Bob Williamson has been working very hard to get our livestream capability up and running. Until a link is posted on the website, please use this link to watch the 8:45 worship service: http://www.christianworldmedia.com/livechannel/CentenaryNOW.

 

          Now that spring weather is here, two significant repairs to the sanctuary building are taking place:

          - Two workers from Willet Hauser are on site to work on the stained glass windows, including replacing the exterior protective covering the large windows, and installing proper venting between the protective cover and the windows. Willet Hauser utilizes Lead Safe Practices, not to be confused with Lead Abatement which is not required. Lead Safe Practices prevents exposing the preschool to any lead-based contamination. Plastic barriers will be used in the main building to contain any lead-based contaminants, and cleanup will be done after the work is done per government requirements. Most of the window restoration will be done from the outside with minimal work inside.

The cost of this project will be about $85,000. If you are able to help support this project, please put ‘stained glass’ on the memo of your check. Thank you for doing your part in ensuring this significant part of Centenary’s legacy.

          - Roof repairs are being made on and around the tower, at the southwest corner of the building (corner of Bellevue and Ellis). After this is finished, we can proceed with the interior repairs resulting from water damage.

          ‘Stay tuned’ for a couple of more upgrades involving the church building and sanctuary...   

 

          Centenary Preschool invites all congregation members to join us in Hawaii for the 2nd Annual Ohana Luau on Friday, March 20 at 6:00 pm in the Family Life Center. How can you help?  We need members of the congregation!  Please join us on March 20 to see the great work our kids and teachers have been doing, enjoy dinner and a show, silent auction and help us reach our goal of expansion. Proceeds from this event will support our expansion goals through new fixtures, updated curriculum, and new materials. Tickets are $25 for families and available for purchase at the Preschool office.  If you cannot make it, consider donating to the silent auction or a contribution made payable to Centenary United Methodist Church and specify preschool use.  This allows you to see your contribution on your contribution statement.  Thank you for your support!

 

          SE District Lenten Services begin at 6 pm followed by refreshments 

          March 15-Advance UMC

          March 22-Maple UMC (Cape)

          March 29 -New Salem UMC (Daisy)

          April 5-Grace UMC (Cape)

          Offerings will be received to support the Southeast District Mission Team as they purchase materials for their mission work at "Henderson Settlement" in Frakes, KY. 

 

          Lisa and I enjoyed meeting the Rev. Jennifer Long, husband Chris, and Matthew and Jacob Monday evening, and getting to know them. One interesting Centenary connection: in his work at a St. Louis area retirement home, Chris knows ‘Tootie’ Hecht, whose husband Marty grew up in the house that is now the parsonage, where the Long family will live. It’s a small world…

 

          I hope you will join me in praying for health care workers, medical researchers and all who are affected by the Coronavirus – COVID-19.

          As I conclude this C-Mail, two quotes come to mind, which might help us through the next weeks and months. The first is from John Wooden, legendary UCLA basketball coach, who taught his players to ‘Be quick but don’t hurry.’ We need to be prepared, individually and as Centenary Church, to be quick to respond to what is happening, and to do so thoughtfully, without hurrying or reacting.

The second quote is from Ralph Maxton, who passed this on: “Make sure to wash your hands and pray, because germs and God are everywhere!”

 

          See you this weekend, in person or on line, at the place where we celebrate God’s presence.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for March 12, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          Bishop Robert Farr has announced that he intends to appoint the Rev. Jennifer Long as Senior Pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church, effective June 23, 2020. Rev. Long (no relation to a previous Centenary pastor) is currently Associate Pastor at Morning Star United Methodist Church in O’Fallon, Missouri.

          Jennifer and her husband, Chris, have been serving at Morning Star Church since they helped launch the new church in 1999. During this time, Morning Star has become one of the one hundred fastest growing churches, of any denomination, in the United States, and is one of the three largest United Methodist churches in Missouri. 

          A former elementary teacher, Jennifer stayed home to raise their four children, Emilee (22), Grant (20), Matthew (17) and Jacob (14) while serving in various leadership roles throughout the church. She answered the call to ministry and began seminary at Asbury Theological Seminary, graduating in 2014.  She joined the staff of Morning Star in 2013 and became Pastor of Mission and Outreach where she developed and led ministries that have connected the church to the needs of the community. She has been instrumental in growing partnerships with the school district and other local agencies that have been transformative for the church and community.

          Having experienced malaria during her pregnancy with Jacob, she lived out her passion to end deaths from malaria by sharing her story in churches throughout the state as the Missouri Conference co-Coordinator for Imagine No Malaria, helping raise over $1.3 million.  Ordained in 2016, Jennifer has also been part of the preaching staff at Morning Star and serves the Missouri Annual Conference as Chair of the Mission, Service and Justice Team, a member of the Mission Council, and is a memberr of the Bishop’s Pathways II team.

          Pastor Jennifer is excited to share life with the people of Centenary and looks forward to working together to share the love of Jesus in Cape Girardeau.

          On Monday, March 9, Rev. Long, Chris, Matthew and Jacob met with District Superintendent Bruce Baxter, Pastor Dave and Lisa, and Centenary’s Pastor Parish Team to continue the work of transition. During this time, let us continue to pray and work so that, in everything, God will be glorified through Jesus Christ.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for March 6, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          How many moons are circling the planet Earth? If your answer is ‘one,’ you are wrong, at least for the next couple of months…

 

          Jesus and Jazz Sunday is coming this March 8, at 8:45 a.m. for our annual Jesus and Jazz Sunday worship featuring the Jerry Ford Orchestra. Jerry asked me my favorite hymn to include in my last Jazz Sunday at Centenary, so that will be a part of the lineup. All the music on this Sunday is great. Invite a friend…

 

          This weekend our exploration of David continues with King. From David’s first public appearance, the people sensed that he was capable of great things. Through his personality, and the strategic and ruthless acquisition and use of power, and the deeply hidden providence of the Lord, David quickly ascends from warrior to commander to king of Judah and Israel. This ascent came at great cost. How do we, to paraphrase Jesus, gain in the world without losing our soul?     

 

          Wednesday night’s Ash Wednesday Service was very powerful, as usual. We had a couple of guests from our Wednesday community meal. Lisa sat with one, and it was good to see some of the people from the Wednesday portion of our church experience more of the church.

 

          SE District Lenten Services begin at 6 pm followed by refreshments 

          March 8-Wesley UMC (Fruitland)

          March 15-Advance UMC

          March 22-Maple UMC (Cape)

          March 29 -New Salem UMC (Daisy)

          April 5-Grace UMC (Cape)

          Offerings will be received to support the Southeast District Mission Team as they purchase materials for their mission work at "Henderson Settlement" in Frakes, KY. 

 

          Southeast District Open House Celebration, Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Southeast District

          Tuesday, March 10, from Noon to 2 at the District Office, 6 North Clark

          Finger foods, cake, punch will be served

 

          Three United Methodist Church buildings were damaged in this week’s tornadoes that struck in and around Nashville. This link will take you to the story and pictures: https://www.umnews.org/en/news/tennessee-tornadoes-take-lives-damage-churches

 

          On February 15, two astronomers discovered a Near_Earth Object (NEO) has been captured by the Earth’s gravity and has, therefore, become a second moon. This one is called 2020 CD3 and appears to be about the size of a large washing machine, or small car. Here is a link to the story: https://www.universetoday.com/145157/astronomers-discover-a-tiny-new-temporary-moon-for-the-earth-welcome-to-the-family-2020-cd3/

 

          I like the last paragraph: “The newly-discovered 2020 CD3 won’t be sticking around for long. In April of this year, it will depart, leaving us to wonder what might have been, what poetry may have been written in its name, and what the heck this means for astrologers, who will no doubt re-calibrate all their horoscopes and offer refunds to their customers.”

 

          See you this weekend at the place where we celebrate the gracious nature, and ‘gravitational force,’ of God’s love in Jesus Christ—a force strong enough to capture us and hold us in orbit forever.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for February 28, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          If you’re like me, you could use an extra 24 hours to try and get caught up. The good news is that, according to the calendar, we have an extra day this Saturday, February 29. The bad news? Campaign season is also one day longer…

 

          The month of March, and the season of Lent, brings us the Old Testament character named David. We know more about David than any other human character in the Bible: growing up as a youngest child, his good fortune and ruthless ambition that propelled him to be the first king of both Judah and Israel, his sins and willingness to submit to a prophet speaking for God, his triumphs and tragedies, both personally and professionally, that reverberated for generations.

          This weekend we begin with David, Youngest. For all his accomplishments, we first meet David as the youngest child in his family, doing the least attractive task of tending sheep. Ed Friedman wrote, “The position we occupy in our families of origin is the only thing we can never share or give to another while we are alive. It is the source of our uniqueness and hence, the source of our emotional potential as well as out difficulties.” How did his family position help and hinder David, and how can we work to help our family position help us?

 

          Jesus and Jazz Sunday is coming! Join us Sunday, March 8, at 8:45 a.m. for our annual Jesus and Jazz Sunday worship featuring the Jerry Ford Orchestra.

 

          Wednesday night’s Ash Wednesday Service was very powerful, as usual. We had a couple of guests from our Wednesday community meal. Lisa sat with one, and it was good to see some of the people from the Wednesday portion of our church experience more of the church.

 

          SE District Lenten Services begin at 6 pm followed by refreshments 

          March 1-Crossroads UMC

          March 8-Wesley UMC (Fruitland)

          March 15-Advance UMC

          March 22-Maple UMC (Cape)

          March 29 -New Salem UMC (Daisy)

          April 5-Grace UMC (Cape)

          Offerings will be received to support the Southeast District Mission Team as they purchase materials for their mission work at "Henderson Settlement" in Frakes, KY. 

 

          Southeast District Open House Celebration, Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Southeast District

          Tuesday, March 10, from Noon to 2 at the District Office, 6 North Clark

          Finger foods, cake, punch will be served

 

          From Lynn Williamson: In mid-January Lise Nzogne returned to Brazzaville, Congo to be with her husband Dietrich. She is working there and has in mind to start an Association for Students with Disabilities “to help them be emancipated.” Lise was a part of Centenary for six years while attending SEMO. It is good to hear that she continues to serve the Lord, and to reflect on how our ministry with international students, literally, changes the world.

 

 

          A word about the season of Lent. Lent is not 40 days of pretending that Jesus is dead, and then pretending to be surprised on Easter Sunday. Lent is 40 days of considering the implications of Jesus' death and resurrection for us. May each of the days of Lent lead us closer to Jesus Christ.

 

          See you this weekend at the place where there is never enough time to sing God’s praises.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for February 21, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

 

          Sign, sign, everywhere a sign

          Blockin' out the scenery, breakin' my mind

          Do this, don't do that, can't you read the sign?

                    - Five Man Electrical Band (1971)

 

          Thursday morning, at Bible study, Ed Thompson said that our updated church sign was being installed at the corner of Broadway and Ellis. I stood in the cold and watched two of Ed’s employees, James Bailey and JC Hunt, putting up the first panels. Next time you go down Broadway toward the river, please take a look…

 

          This weekend is the last Sunday before Ash Wednesday and the season of Lent. We turn to Jesus on the mount of Transfiguration and ask the question, why do we turn to Mount Calvary instead of this mountain for the hope of salvation?

         

          Ash Wednesday Service on February 26, 2020 in the Sanctuary at 6:30pm. Community Meal Starts at 5:30pm. Service will include Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion.

 

          SE District Lenten Services begin at 6 pm followed by refreshments 

          March 1-Crossroads UMC

          March 8-Wesley UMC (Fruitland)

          March 15-Advance UMC

          March 22-Maple UMC (Cape)

          March 29 -New Salem UMC (Daisy)

          April 5-Grace UMC (Cape)

          Offerings will be received to support the Southeast District Mission Team as they purchase materials for their mission work at "Henderson Settlement" in Frakes, KY. 

 

          Southeast District Open House Celebration, Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Southeast District

          Tuesday, March 10, from Noon to 2 at the District Office, 6 North Clark

          Finger foods, cake, punch will be served

 

          The Rev. Brent Mustoe, who served as Associate Pastor at Centenary and then, many years later, as District Superintendent in this area, passed away recently in Kansas City. Funeral services were held February 11 at Grace United Methodist Church in Lee’s Summit.

 

          Mark your calendars!  Vacation Bible School will be held June 8-11.  More information to follow.

 

          The song ‘Signs,’ which I remember playing on the radio in my disc jockey days in the 1970’s, describes the negative experience of signs, designed to restrict and keep out. At the end of the song, the theme changes:

And the sign said, "Everybody welcome. Come in, kneel down and pray"

But when they passed around the plate at the end of it all

I didn't have a penny to pay

So I got me a pen and a paper and I made up my own little sign

I said, "Thank you, Lord, for thinkin' 'bout me. I'm alive and doin' fine"

 

          My hope is that the Centenary sign at the corner of Broadway and Ellis (and all the other Centenary signs, whether literal or metaphorical) reflect this theme of welcoming everyone to the Lord’s house of prayer. See you this weekend at the place where we thank the Lord for ‘thinkin’ about us…’

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for February 14, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         It is Friday, February 14, and time to celebrate St. Valentine’s Day. The origin of the day—Valentinus was a name derived from the Latin word for worthy, strong or powerful—is said to be a priest who was beheaded by Claudius II for helping young couples to marry. Because the name was common, there are several other St. Valentines on the calendar of the saints. If you forget St. Valentine’s Day today, there are other ones to celebrate on January 7, July 6, 25, 30, and November 3. I would recommend sticking to February 14…

 

          February questions continue with ‘Religion and Science: Evolution?’ How does the understanding that all of life (including human life) evolved over an incredibly long time period change, and also open the possibility of deepening and enriching our understanding of God our Creator? It is a very difficult and, therefore, important question to ask.

         

          Ash Wednesday Service on February 26, 2020 in the Sanctuary at 6:30pm. Community Meal Starts at 5:30pm. Service will include Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion.

 

          SE District Lenten Services begin at 6 pm followed by refreshments 

          March 1-Crossroads UMC

          March 8-Wesley UMC (Fruitland)

          March 15-Advance UMC

          March 22-Maple UMC (Cape)

          March 29 -New Salem UMC (Daisy)

          April 5-Grace UMC (Cape)

          Offerings will be received to support the Southeast District Mission Team as they purchase materials for their mission work at "Henderson Settlement" in Frakes, KY. 

 

          Jazz Sunday, usually held on the Sunday before Ash Wednesday, has been rescheduled for Sunday, March 8.

 

          Subscribe to General Conference Updates If you'd like to receive updates specific to General Conference 2020, sign-up for the GC2020 email list. The Conference Office  will be sending updates during May regarding  the work of the delegates to General Conference.   http://missouri-email.brtapp.com/subscribe

 

          Regardless of the date, worshiping God, in the name of Jesus Christ, empowered by the Holy Spirit is always in season. See you this weekend at the worship place.  

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for February 7, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          A couple of weeks ago, when I arrived for my Wednesday Chateau Bible study, I found a 15 pound weight on top of a small piece of paper with my name on it, on the table in front of my seat. I racked my brain, trying to remember someone telling me they were giving me this weight, or some other reason it was there. I decided to take it and the note with me and try to figure it out.

          That evening, when Lisa got home from work, she asked about the weight. I showed her the note with my name on it and told her I didn’t know why it had been given to me. After a few moments, she noticed that the paper was folded in half, opened it, and found a note written to me. The weight was not being given to me. It was holding the note in place so I would see it…

 

          This week, our month of questions continues as we move from football to baseball, from Kansas City’s first Super Bowl victory in 50 years to pitchers and catchers reporting next week to the only mention of baseball in the Bible: Genesis 1.1: In the big inning (or is it beginning?), God created the heavens and the earth… This week’s message, Religion and Science: A Big Bang?' asks how can we work with what is written in the book of nature (a beginning 14.3 billion years ago, give or take a few hundred million years) and what is written in the book of Scripture (the familiar 7 day narrative of creation)?

         

          All children are invited to a Valentine Party on Sunday, February 9 at 10:00 am on the Landing.

 

          JAMS will meet on Wednesday, February 12th. Please let Rosetta Whitten, our Director of Children’s Ministries, know if you will be attending!

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          Ash Wednesday Service on February 26, 2020 in the Sanctuary at 6:30pm. Community Meal Starts at 5:30pm. Service will include Imposition of Ashes & Holy Communion.

 

          My mistake in thinking the weight was being given to me is an example of what I call ‘living on the wrong side of because.’ We (in this case I) make assumptions about why something is and live as if our answer (the wrong side of because) is correct.

          I wonder how many of us are carrying around weights that are the result of assumptions about ourselves, or other persons, or even about God. I wonder how our lives will be better (and lighter) when we stop making unwarranted assumptions.

 

          See you this weekend at the place where we can set down the weights that do not belong to us and instead “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11.28-30)

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 30, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          Center Junction: (Jay Wolz, Southeast Missourian, Summer 2019) Jackson business owners generally agree the interchange at the junction of US 61 and Interstate 55 between Cape Girardeau and Jackson needs to be upgraded. They also overwhelmingly say any construction at the interchange must be done without disrupting traffic, or at least with as little disruption as possible... 

          Isn’t that how many (all?) of us view change? We want the benefit of the change, without the disruption…

 

          Last summer, I invited several members of Centenary Church to be part of a pilot project for our district, co-led by District Superintendent Bruce Baxter and myself. We named ourselves the Leadership Strategy Team and met August-November for six hours once a month on Sunday afternoon. Members are Amy and Sherry Brookover, Toni Dement, Frances Gould, Cherie Henson, Kristi Howard, Scott McClanahan, Rosetta Whitten, and Bob Williamson. I am so thankful for these folks who said yes to this significant investment of time and energy on behalf of Christ and Centenary.

          During this time of transition to a new senior pastor, they have been working to create a comprehensive list of every activity that occurs at Centenary on a weekly and/or occasional basis, and a list and roster of every committee and team at the church. We will meet on February 9 to review this information and get started on the next project. I will keep you posted on the progress we are making.   

 

          We will ask several questions in February worship, beginning with "The Gospel According to the Super Bowl?" What can be learned from a culture that focuses on winning at almost any cost for the Gospel that emphasizing the loss of our sins (among other things)?  

 

          Special Note: Centenary at the Chateau worship for February 1 has been cancelled because of sickness.

 

          The Senior Adult Leadership Team will meet in the church office conference room on Thursday, February 6, 2019 at 9:30am.

 

          All children are invited to a Valentine Party on Sunday, February 9 at 10:00 am on the Landing.

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          In honor of the Super Bowl, please consider a donation to the FISH Food Pantry in Cape Girardeau.  For several years Centenary has hosted a “Souper Bowl Challenge” to bring in can goods and money to support FISH.  The late Rev. Jim Sanderson spent countless hours serving the food pantry and was a big influence in encouraging our congregation to support FISH.  If you would like to make a donation please put “FISH” on your envelope or memo line.  Checks can be made out to Centenary UMC.  All money collected will be delivered to the food pantry.

 

     As you may know, the contract has been let to repair the Center Junction interchange which will take a couple of years, and some significant changes, including a diverging diamond interchange, which will require most of us to learn some new skills, and do some things that are very different, including driving on the left side of the road. And, Centenary Church is also entering a new chapter which will also require new and different skills, and a tolerance for disruption. I am convinced that we are all up to the challenges that these changes will require, in no small part because we seek to follow a God who promises to make all things new.

 

     See you this weekend at the making all things new place.

 

 

Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 24, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          I hope you took time on Monday to honor the only Christian pastor who has a federal holiday in his honor…

 

          This weekend, Pastor Barry has the honors. “Disciples Make Disciples…Make” is rooted in Matthew 28.16-20, which describes the pattern of healthy churches and disciples.         

 

          Summit Worship: “When Christians Get it Wrong.” When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians. Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City. Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.” This Sunday: When Bad Things Happen.

 

          Family Paint Night - Heart Art! This Sunday January 26th @ 3pm In the FLC. All Supplies Provided Please pre-register with Rosetta @ 573-380-8464.

 

          All children are invited to a Valentine Party on Sunday, February 9 at 10:00 am on the Landing.

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          See you at the place where, every weekend, we honor the Risen One.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 17, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          This weekend is set aside to emphasize Human Relations for the people called Methodist. It is a time to reassert a central part of our theology—that each human being is created in the image of God from the dust of the earth. It is a sign of our time that so many continue to resist this teaching and the implications. “A Drum Major for Justice” ranges from Jesus’ first sermon to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Junior’s last sermon, and the implications for us today.         

 

          Summit Worship: “When Christians Get it Wrong.” When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians. Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City. Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.” This Sunday: Speaking of Other Religions.

 

          The Centenary Church office will be closed Monday, January 20, 2020 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Normal office hours (9-3pm Monday thru Thursday) resume Tuesday, January 21.

 

          Family Paint Night - Heart Art! January 26th @ 3pm In the FLC. All Supplies Provided Please pre-register with Rosetta @ 573-380-8464

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          See you this weekend at the place where we seek to relate to all as human, and to Jesus as Lord and Savior.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 10, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         I hope you took time on Monday to honor the only Christian pastor who has a federal holiday in his honor…

 

          This weekend, Pastor Barry has the honors. “Disciples Make Disciples…Make” is rooted in Matthew 28.16-20, which describes the pattern of healthy churches and disciples.         

 

          Summit Worship: “When Christians Get it Wrong.” When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians. Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City. Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.” This Sunday: When Bad Things Happen.

 

         Family Paint Night - Heart Art! This Sunday January 26th @ 3pm In the FLC. All Supplies Provided Please pre-register with Rosetta @ 573-380-8464.

 

         All children are invited to a Valentine Party on Sunday, February 9 at 10:00 am on the Landing.

 

         The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the FLC Lobby now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

         See you at the place where, every weekend, we honor the Risen One.

 

         Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 10, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          This weekend, we move from Jesus’ birth, the arrival of the Magi, and the Holy Family’s time as refugees in Egypt to his baptism at age 30. Baptism of the Lord (with appropriate weather forecast) features “One, Wild, and Precious Life,” from Mary Oliver’s poem and, more importantly, Jesus’ baptism, temptation, and first sermon in Mark 1.

 

          Summit Worship: “When Christians Get it Wrong.” When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians. Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City. Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.” This Sunday: Christians, Science, and Politics.

 

          Several folks have asked about the proposal for a separation of the United Methodist Church which was released last weekend. Here is Bishop Robert Farr’s statement about the subject: https://www.moumethodist.org/newsdetail/missouri-statement-on-protocol-of-separation-13135201

 

          Please keep our sisters and brothers of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico, and all residents of that island, in your prayers. They have been experiencing earthquakes for several days including a 6.4 magnitude earthquake Tuesday, January 7. About two-thirds of the islands are without power and large parts without water. Leaders of the Methodist Church of Puerto Rico (IMPR) and REHACE (Rebuilding Communities with Hope) are already responding to this crisis.

 

          JAMS will be held on Wednesday, January 15th 3:30-5pm. Snacks will be served. Come join us in serving Jesus through Art, Music and Service!

 

          Family Paint Night - Heart Art! January 26th @ 3pm In the FLC. All Supplies Provided Please pre-register with Rosetta @ 573-380-8464

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          See you this weekend at the place where, with God’s help, we are keeping our heads above water…except, of course, the waters of baptism.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for January 7, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          After much consideration, Lisa and I have decided that I will retire at the end of this conference year, June 30, 2020.

Our District Superintendent, the Rev. Dr. Bruce Baxter, has known of this decision since 2018, and our Bishop, the Rev. Robert Farr, and the Appointive Cabinet, have known since last year. They have been thinking and praying about this transition, and the next senior pastor for Centenary, for quite some time. I invite you to join them in prayer during this time.

          Since this decision was made in 2018, it is not related to the recent proposal about the future of the United Methodist Church. Regardless of what path is chosen—or paths for that matter—I am confident that Centenary, and Methodism, will continue to focus on making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

          It has been a pleasure to serve Christ through the United Methodist Church, in a variety of roles, as a lay member, Deacon, and Elder, and in a variety of churches, including student pastor at North Cross in North Kansas City, and as senior pastor of Hobbs Chapel and Wesley United in Cape County (1989 to 1993), Wesley in Jefferson City (1993-2003), and Wentzville (2003-2012).

Since 2012, it has been a singular honor to serve as the pastor of Centenary United Methodist Church, less than four blocks from where I grew up. Every pastor should have the opportunity to serve such a church: rich in history, and yet willing to turn in a new direction in these challenging times.

          Superintendent Baxter, Bishop Farr, and the Appointive Cabinet, in consultation with our Pastor Parish Relations Committee, have begun the process of selecting the next senior pastor of Centenary. The new pastor will be announced in the coming months.    

          Lisa and I have purchased a house north of Jackson which will become our home in retirement. She will continue to work in the Southeast District Office.

          In the days to come, I will speak more as to why this is a good time for me personally, and for Centenary Church, for this transition to happen. Over the next six months, our lay leadership, staff and I will work to ensure that the transition to a new senior pastor is a smooth one.

          See you this weekend, if not sooner, at the place where we seek to serve Jesus Christ first, last, and always.

         

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

Heading 1

C-Mail for January 3, 2020

 

Dear Friends:

         

          On the 10th day of Christmas, my pastor sent to me…C-Mail!

 

          This weekend, our celebration of Christmas ends as we turn to Epiphany, and the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. ‘Home by Another Way’ examines this narrative in the context of a new year, and asks the question, ‘Which is the better way to enter 2020: by canoe or rowboat?’

 

          Something new for Summit Worship: “When Christians Get it Wrong.” When young adults talk about the problems they have with Christianity and the church, they often name certain attitudes and behaviors they believe are practiced too often by Christians. Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Senior Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City. Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.” This Sunday: When Christians are Unchristian.

 

          The Casserole Cooking Team will resume Tuesday, January 7, 2020 at 9am. Community Meals will resume on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. Lisa and I invited one of our friends, Mike Mowrer, an active lay member of First UMC in Kennett, to attend the December 18 community meal. He was impressed: “The community meal is one of those events with a feel of both John Wesley and Jesus. That warms this mature Methodist's heart.” Thanks to those who make this important ministry happen on a weekly basis.

 

          The 2020 Flower Calendar is in the Narthex now. Please fill out any dates you would like to sponsor Altar flowers. Submit your dedications to the church office prior to your chosen date(s).

 

          May the 12 days of Christmas prepare us for 12 months of living as followers of Jesus.

 

          Thanks for reading.

 

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for December 27, 2019

 

Dear Friends:

         

          On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

 

          As I write this C-Mail Thursday afternoon, I am reading about “after-Christmas” sales and thinking to myself, is it already January 6?

 

          Thanks to all who worked so hard—mostly ‘behind the scenes’—to make the Fourth Sunday in Advent and Christmas Eve so worshipful.

 

          This weekend, Christmas Weekend, features Lessons and Carols. There is something profoundly powerful about hearing the entire Christmas story read in one sitting, plus singing the familiar (and some new to us) carols.

          Saturday, December 28 3:00 pm Centenary at the Chateau

          Sunday, December 29 9 am Centenary sanctuary (one service only this day—no chapel or Summit services.)

 

          Prayers for Brodrick Twiggs and his family on the death of his grandmother, Leola Twiggs. Visitation will be Saturday from noon to 1:00 pm, with the funeral service at 1:00 pm, both at Cape Bible Chapel.

 

          If you have not yet completed your pledge, you can do so in worship this weekend, by mail, or dropping by the office on Monday or Tuesday. Checks, cash or stock donations must be received before the offices close at noon on December 31, or, if mailed, be postmarked by December 31, in order to be deductible on your 2019 taxes (this is an IRS requirement).

Again, thank you for your faithfulness in giving. Your generosity makes Centenary’s mission and ministry possible.

 

          Coming to Summit Worship in January: “When Christians Get it Wrong.”  Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Sr. Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City.  Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.”

 

          One of the gifts of being in pastoral ministry is some flexibility in schedule. Therefore, I have not scheduled anything, other than worship, between now and January 5, the 12 days of Christmas. Much more than a song, this is a time to reflect on the significance of the gift of Christ, and to begin to make the changes necessary to receive this gift more deeply and more permanently. I hope that each of you will use whatever flexibility you have in your schedules to enjoy and reflect and receive during the season of Christmas. (This means, of course, that ‘after-Christmas’ sales, according to the church year, would begin on January 6, 2020, Epiphany.)

 

          See you this weekend at the Christmas-season place.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for December 20, 2019

 

Dear Friends:

         

          It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

 

          This is the Fourth Weekend in Advent, and Jesus’ Family Tree concludes with ‘Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood.’ Most of us have spent some time in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, personally, or through our children and grandchildren, with renewed attention as the result of the new movie starring Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers. What are the implications when God moves into our neighborhood?           

 

          Christmas Eve…

          5:00 pm 30 minute Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the Summit Praise Band, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          7:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the choir, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          Christmas Weekend: Lessons and Carols

          Saturday, December 28 3:00 pm Centenary at the Chateau

          Sunday, December 29 9 am Centenary sanctuary (one service only this day.)

 

          Coming to Summit Worship in January: “When Christians Get it Wrong.”  Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Sr. Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City.  Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.”

 

          See you this weekend as we celebrate the most wonderful time, when God moved into our neighborhood and invites us to be neighbors...

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for December 13, 2019

 

Dear Friends:

         

          “The Light of Christmas!”—the annual Christmas Cantata—will be presented by the combined choirs of Centenary Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church at 8:45 am in the sanctuary this Sunday, December 15. The children of Centenary will sing as part of the opening and closing songs.

          At 3 pm, an added presentation of the cantata will take place in an effort to reach out to the community to those unable to attend the morning service with additional holiday music not presented in the 8:45 am service.

          There will be no 11 am Summit Worship on Sunday, December 15.

 

          I will be preaching “Jesus’ Family Tree…and John the Baptizer at the 3 pm Chateau service on Saturday, December 14.

 

          Christmas Eve…

          5:00 pm 30 minute Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the Summit Praise Band, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          7:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the choir, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          Christmas Weekend: Lessons and Carols

          Saturday, December 28 3:00 pm Centenary at the Chateau

          Sunday, December 29 9 am Centenary sanctuary (one service only this day.)

 

          Please bring your Safe House Giving Tree gift with you to worship on Sunday, December 15.

 

          Coming to Summit Worship in January: “When Christians Get it Wrong.”  Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Sr. Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City.  Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.”

 

          The Community Connections Team is holding a gently used paperback book drive to benefit the inmates of the local jails in Cape Girardeau County. There are very few books in the jail libraries, and reading will benefit the inmates in many ways. Only non-erotica paperback books will be accepted for adults at this time. There is a donation box in the entry of the FLC, in the Narthex and in the church office to collect the books and a monthly donation will be taken to the jail. We appreciate all your help!

 

          Volunteers are needed… To drive worshipers from Saxony to Chateau 1 Saturday/month. Pick up bus at 2pm & round trip back at 4:15pm. Please contact Jerry McDowell at 210-601-6034.

 

          See you this weekend as we continue to celebrate the birth of Christ.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley

C-Mail for December 6, 2019

 

Dear Friends:

         

          Jolly old St. Nicholas, lean your ear this way…

 

          Today, December 6th, is St. Nicholas Day, set aside to celebrate the early bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey—not because he is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students—but because his reputation for giving gifts in secret helped lead to the story of Santa Claus. Our children (and now grandchild) receive gifts on St. Nicholas Day as a way to connect the story of Santa to a Christian saint, and to move Santa away from December 25, where the gifts are from family and friends…

         

          Speaking of family…Jesus’ Family Tree continues with a visit to Regent Park, and Charles Dickens, who wrote ‘A Christmas Carol’ solely to make a profit. However, the process of writing the book changed his life, and ours. The biblical focus is on the part of Jesus’ family tree which contains the prophets, who also challenge us to change.     

         

          The Safe House Giving Tree will be in the Narthex and FLC lobby on December 8th.  Please consider taking a gift tag then bringing the wrapped gift to the church office for the Safe House by December 15th. (Gary Brookover estimates that Centenary has given about $50,000 to the Safe House, through the Giving Tree, during the past 15 years.)

 

          Christmas Road Trip Pastor Barry and the Senior Adult Leadership Team invite all Senior Adults to join us for lunch at “Flying Blue Jays” Restaurant in Oak Ridge at 11:30 a.m. and then Village Designs at Grandma’s Christmas House and Gift Shop in Daisy, Missouri. Pastor Barry will be the chaperone and bus driver for the day. The Church Bus will leave from Centenary at 11:00 a.m.

Sign up via the bulletin insert on Sunday, December 8, or call Pastor Barry at 573-891-9064 or the church office at 573-334-2869.

 

          On December 15, the combined choirs of Centenary and Westminster Presbyterian will present “The Light of Christmas!” at 8:45 am in the sanctuary. In addition to the choirs, the cantata will feature outstanding area instrumentalists, a children’s choir and soloists, Casie Janet Mills, Trudy Lee, Gary Gilhaus, Eric Scott and Stephen Schott.

          At 3 pm, an added presentation of the cantata will take place in an effort to reach out to the community to those unable to attend the morning service with additional holiday music not presented in the 8:45 am service.

 

          Christmas Eve…

          5:00 pm 30 minute Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the Summit Praise Band, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          7:00 pm Traditional Christmas Eve service in the sanctuary, led by the choir, featuring singing, reading the Christmas Gospel, Holy Communion, lighting candles (electric versions also available) and singing Silent Night.

 

          Christmas Weekend: Lessons and Carols

          Saturday, December 28 3:00 pm Centenary at the Chateau

          Sunday, December 29 9 am Centenary sanctuary (one service only this day.)

 

          Coming to Summit Worship in January: “When Christians Get it Wrong.”  Join us each week in January for this video series by Adam Hamilton, Sr. Pastor at Church of the Resurrection UMC in Kansas City.  Hamilton will examine why so many young people have opted out of the church and what Christians can do to “Get it Right.”

 

          The Community Connections Team is holding a gently used paperback book drive to benefit the inmates of the local jails in Cape Girardeau County. There are very few books in the jail libraries, and reading will benefit the inmates in many ways. Only non-erotica paperback books will be accepted for adults at this time. There is a donation box in the entry of the FLC, in the Narthex and in the church office to collect the books and a monthly donation will be taken to the jail. We appreciate all your help!

 

          Volunteers are needed… To drive worshipers from Saxony to Chateau 1 Saturday/month. Pick up bus at 2pm & round trip back at 4:15pm. Please contact Jerry McDowell at 210-601-6034.

 

          Speaking, again, of family and friends…December, and especially Christmas Eve, are times when people are more open to invitations to attend worship with you than any other time of the year. It’s a great gift to give them…Jesus (and St. Nicholas) will be pleased.

          See you this weekend at the giving place.

 

          Thanks for reading.

         

Blessings,

Dave Conley