February 11, 2010

Dear Centenary Friends,
 I have a sense that healthy lives are bound up in practicing resurrection. Resurrection reflects moments of our lives where there is a re-birth of hope, faith, and a new connection. Resurrection is not as much about belief as it is seeing reality. The rain finally ends. The sprig sprouts. The darkness of the sky dissipates. The dimness of our souls is taken away. You know what I mean. Resurrection. I was talking recently with a young man who is facing an incredibly difficult situation. Life has been altered for him, and there is no reclaiming some of the things he once knew. Darkness is visible. To give him a quick or easy word of solution would have been incredibly insensitive. So, I said, ?I really don?t know what to say to you right now. I know you are in deep pain. The only thing I know for certain is that the way things are now for you will not last. The rain will end.? I don?t know if he heard me or not. If he did not hear me now, maybe he will hear me later. I knew one of the persons who died in the Haiti earthquake. My friend Sam was with a group of church leaders meeting about expanding aid to Haiti when the earthquake struck. Sam?s legs were pinned beneath a concrete and steel girder. Others in the group were not pinned to the floor but were entombed in an area that was 5 feet X 8 feet X 3 feet, trapped for 55 hours. That small band of people wept and contemplated their death. They wrote notes and listened as Sam groaned. They did their best to make Sam comfortable in horrific conditions. They prayed and sometimes they sang. Some of them lived and were rescued. Some of them died. Sam was one who died. Yet even in death there is hope. Hear this clearly ? There is NEVER a situation or a tragedy or a catastrophe that is bigger that the hope of which I write. ?For I am sure that neither death, nor life,? not things present, nor things to come, nor powers?. Will be able to separate us from the love of God.? And that is good enough for me. I want to live my life practicing resurrection. I want to die practicing resurrection. Either way, all shall be well. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The response to the ?Who is Jesus ? Really?? series has been incredible. Please know that you can join us at any time as the series unfolds. Here is where we have been and where we are headed: Jan. 31 ? Who is Jesus - Really? Misconceptions of Jesus Feb. 7 ? Jesus the Jew Feb. 14 ? The Politics of Jesus Feb. 21 ? The Scandal of Jesus? Message Feb. 28 ?David Dark and Buddy Green ? A theological and musical conversation at Centenary Mar. 7 ? Jesus and the Message ? Parables Mar. 14 ? Jesus and the Message ? Miracles (Beth Dunwody preaches) Mar. 21 ? Jesus and the Cross Mar. 28 ? Palm Sunday - Jesus and the Kingdom of God April 4 ? Easter ? Jesus and Resurrection April 11 ? Jesus and Doubt (Helen Willoughby preaches) April 18 ? I Love to Tell the Story ? Final sermon in the series This week I will be preaching on ?The Politics of Jesus?. I hope you will be present as Jesus stirs up a little trouble for us. Many are requesting audio copies of the services. If you want a CD, please contact Jerry Elder at jerry@centenarymacon.org +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ The Dark-Greene weekend is fast approaching. News is spreading. If you want to read more, visit our website at www.centenarymacon.org On the right hand column you will find news about the Dark-Greene weekend. If you have questions, contact Talisa at talisa@centenarymacon.org Grace and peace. Tim Bagwell Love God. Love Others. Love Yourself. Serve. www.centenarymacon.org


 February 17, 2010

Dear Centenary friends,

Dairy farmers have found that if you name, talk to, and pet a cow, the cow will give 454 more pints (or 56.75 gallons) of milk per year than an unnamed and ignored cow.  It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that animals and humans respond to love.

To teachers who feel discouraged ? What you do is incredibly important!  And even if you do not see the fruits of your labor now, just keep calling the names of the kids and let them know that you SEE them.  There will be benefits for that child down the road.

And to people who feel that their family is dysfunctional ? don?t give up.  Keep calling the names of your family.  Figure out how to appropriately reach out.  Share compliments.  Some day there may be a time when some of the hurt is healed.

And to those who are employers ? Call your employees by name and figure out a way to offer a compliment.  The wonderfully simple word ?thank you? can be an incredible blessing. 

And to those who are employed ? Call the name of someone who works with you who is struggling and feeling pressure.  Look beyond the surface.  Be an encourager.

And to those who feel beaten down by life ? God is calling your name.  Even if no one else calls your name, you can be assured that God does.    


Wednesday, February 17, 6 pm in the Centenary sanctuary ? An Ash Wednesday Service marking the beginning of Lent ? Beth Dunwody will be preaching ?Ashes, Ashes, We all fall down?.  Join me for this special service of worship.


The ?Who is Jesus ? Really?? series continues this Sunday with ?Jesus the Healer?.  We will be exploring the grace offered by Jesus.  I hope you will be present!


The Dark-Greene event is rapidly approaching ? February 27-28.  What an incredible opportunity!  Read more about this event on our website at www.centenarymacon.org   

Grace and peace.

Tim Bagwell

Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.



February 25, 2010

Dear Centenary friends,

Songwriter and harmonica virtuoso Buddy Greene will be with us at Centenary this Saturday and Sunday.  Buddy and I have been carrying on theological conversations for several years.  Buddy is a native Maconite who made it BIG on the Nashville music scene.  The most famous song he wrote is "Mary, Did You Know?", considered now to be a Christmas classic.  For those of you who do not know Buddy, I am providing a link where you can get to know him better:  www.buddygreene.com  Click at the bottom of the link where it says ?Click here to enter site.?      


And now to David Dark.  David is a highly respected theologian and his most recent book, The Sacredness of Questioning Everything , is receiving great reviews.  We have a Sunday School class that has been studying David Dark?s work. 


This is what is unfolding:  Centenary Church has arranged to bring Buddy Greene and David Dark to Macon this Saturday for a theological/musical conversation that will take place at 2 pm in the Centenary sanctuary.  There will be dialogue, reflection and you will be given an opportunity to engage these two in conversation about matters of faith.  Then, at 7:30 on Saturday, Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor will be in concert.  The Key, a fine band from Mercer, will open for Buddy with 5 or 6 songs, and our own Molly Stevens will sing a couple of songs before Buddy and Jeff appear.  We have no way to gauge the size of the crowd, but we expect it will be large.  You may want to arrive early to get a seat.  Seating will open at 7 pm.  Buddy Greene concerts in Macon draw large crowds. 


Buddy and David will lead worship at our breakfast on Sunday morning at 8 a.m.in the fellowship hall.  Buddy, David, and Jeff will then lead worship at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. 


The bottom line is that this is an incredible weekend.  I hope that you will plan to be present for some or all of these events. 


Saturday, 2 pm -   Theological/Musical Conversation between Buddy Greene and David Dark

Saturday, 7:30 pm ?  Concert with Buddy Greene and Jeff Taylor ? Opening for Buddy and Jeff will be

                                      The Key and Molly Stevens

Sunday, 8 am ?  Buddy and David will lead worship at our breakfast

Sunday, 9:45 am ?  David Dark will meet with the Inquirer?s Class. (All are invited.  Class below the


Sunday, 11 am ? Buddy, David, and Jeff will lead worship in the Centenary sanctuary.  Jesus in the

             Here and Now is the theme for worship.


I can?t think of a better time to invite some friends to experience a little of the Centenary movement.


Grace and peace.


Tim Bagwell


Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.