A publication of Centenary United Methodist Church

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

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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