October

October 5, 2011

Dear Centenary family,

Let there be lights!

Construction on the Centenary sanctuary started in 1892.  Our insurance company has been very unhappy with us because the electrical wiring is not up to code because of its age.  The "nob and tube" wiring in the attic is more than 110 years old.  The Trustees have been working on this for months and were afraid that re-wiring the sanctuary would cost between $40,000 and $50,000.  Bill Hahn, Chair of our Trustees, and Jack Castle, our Building Superintendent, have done an incredible amount of research and have found a very reputable and well-respected electrical contractor who will bring the electrical wiring up to code for a little less than $20,000.  We need your help!  Will you help us to raise as much of this $20,000 as possible?  At the same time, we need for this gift to be a "second mile" gift, over and beyond your regular budget giving. 

Some of you who receive this email are not local, but still consider yourself a part of the Centenary faith community.  You find this ministry meaningful and significant, for it is a sign of hope to you.  We need your generous help!  If you can't attend worship and bring your check for "Let there be lights!", please make your check out to Centenary UMC and mark it clearly for "Let there be lights!"  Mail the check to Centenary UMC, 1290 College Street, Macon, GA  31201 

Let there be lights!   Thank you.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

The definition of the word "manna" is "what is it?"  Manna rained down on all of us in worship last Sunday.  And we became manna for others around the world.  As we received Holy Communion, $870.27 was left at the altar to feed people around the world.  Half of the money will go to feed hungry people caught in the grip of famine in east Africa through the United Methodist Committee on Relief.  The other half will go to Bread for the World, an incredible organization that fights the root causes of starvation.  Read more about their work at www.bread.org  

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Nueva Vida UMC, a part of the Centenary community of faith, is changing their worship time from 4 pm on Sunday afternoon to 11 a.m. on Sunday morning, beginning this Sunday, October 9.  This part of Centenary's worshiping congregation will be meeting in the fellowship hall.  The Hispanic community in Macon is experiencing incredible inhospitality throughout our local culture.  David Diaz, pastor of Nueva Vida, has told us that he is regularly subjected to racial slurs when he is in public.  His children have been called "wetbacks" and told to leave the community.   Nevermind that David Diaz is an American citizen.  Here is what we hope – By moving Nueva Vida worship to 11 a.m., we pray that an even greater connection between Centenary and Nueva Vida will be fostered over time.  At some point, you may want to attend worship in the fellowship hall.  Translation equipment is available so you will understand all that is being said.  Just know that every Sunday we will have 2 services running concurrently.  You are welcome to attend either one.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ginny Hathaway continues teaching a new study on Marcus Borg's new book, Speaking Christian, this Sunday, October 9, at 9:45 in a classroom below the sanctuary.  Borg begins with this introduction: "Christian language has become a stumbling block in our time.  Much of its basic vocabulary is seriously misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike.  Big words like salvation, saved, sacrifice, redeemer, redemption, righteousness, repentance, mercy, sin, forgiveness, born again, second coming, God, Jesus, and Bible... have acquired meanings that are serious distortions of their biblical and traditional meanings."  Interested in a conversation about these words?  Come be a part of Ginny's class.  Want to know more?  Contact Ginny at ginny@centenarymacon.org

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

My sermon this week is "Rejoice!" (Philippians 4:1-8).  Make it a point to be present for worship this Sunday!

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Take risks!

Tim Bagwell

Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.

www.centenarymacon.org   

 
October 12, 2011

Dear Centenary family,

Absent Without Leave – AWOL.  Last Sunday one person who is a part of the Centenary faith community was in the hospital.  While it was not a life-threatening situation, this person was admitted and in a room at the Medical Center of Central Georgia.  Early Sunday morning, a friend who is also part of Centenary, made a visit to the patient and they decided that they really did not want to miss breakfast and the sense of community at Centenary.  So... yes... they snuck out of the hospital, thinking that their absence would not be noticed.  They came and ate breakfast, stayed and experienced 8 a.m. worship, visited with several people and then made their way back to the Medical Center.  The absence was noticed and people were looking all over MCCG trying to find the patient who went AWOL to attend church.  How rare is that?

Now... let's be clear... we are not advocating that you go AWOL from the hospital, jail, or wherever you might be admitted in order to attend church.  But, I've got to say that this story has made me smile several times this week.  There is something about this story that grabs my interest and attention because it is a commentary on what the church is called to be.

The Church of the Saviour in Washington, DC, is one of the models we have used in helping us to define who and what we are called to be as a church.  Centenary has learned from The Church of the Saviour.  Gordon Cosby founded The Church of the Saviour in the late 1940s after he returned from serving in World War II.  Here is Cosby's definition of church:  A church is a group of people collapsing into God and collapsing into one another.  I love that definition.

And... I would argue that when that happens, it makes people want to do whatever it takes to be present at church.... even to the point of going AWOL.  Now that is an incredible witness.

Join me Sunday as we collapse into God... and into each other.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Ginny Hathaway continues teaching a study on Marcus Borg's new book, Speaking Christian, this Sunday, October 16, at 9:45 in a classroom below the sanctuary.  Borg begins with this introduction: "Christian language has become a stumbling block in our time.  Much of its basic vocabulary is seriously misunderstood by Christians and non-Christians alike.  Big words like salvation, saved, sacrifice, redeemer, redemption, righteousness, repentance, mercy, sin, forgiveness, born again, second coming, God, Jesus, and Bible... have acquired meanings that are serious distortions of their biblical and traditional meanings."  Interested in a conversation about these words?  Come be a part of Ginny's class.  Want to know more?  Contact Ginny at ginny@centenarymacon.org

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We are off to a great start with "Let there be Lights".  As you may have heard, the knob and tube wiring of the sanctuary that is over 100 years old must be replaced.  We need your help.  Bring your special "over and beyond" gift to church this Sunday... or mail it to Centenary UMC, 1290 College Street, Macon, GA  31201.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

"Identifying Our Birthmark" is my sermon for Sunday.  Matthew 22:15-22.  Hope that you will be present as we worship...

Grace and peace.

Tim Bagwell

Love God.  Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.

www.centenarymacon.org    


October 27,2011

Dear Centenary family,

This Sunday I am preaching about perspective.  We will be reflecting on the story of the woman who broke a jar of perfume over the feet of Jesus.  AND in order to help us focus on perspective – the way we see things – I will be using Dutch painter Vincent Van Gogh's most famous work – The Starry Night. 

I contacted The Museum of Modern Art in NYC to see if they would let me have UPS overnight me the original of Van Gogh's The Starry Night. I told them that we would send it back Monday morning after we used it in Sunday's service of worship... and promised that we would pack it well on Monday with bunches of those styrofoam peanuts. The curators at MOMA (Museum of Modern Art) were hesitant since this is the magnum opus of Van Gogh's work. (It could be worth well over $100 million.) I called New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to see if he could prevail upon MOMA to send Van Gogh's original to Centenary.  He was very gracious in the conversation, and even spoke to the lead curator at MOMA. As I understand it, Bloomberg offered to send 250 NYC police officers to guard the painting while it was in Macon at Centenary. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal heard that Bloomberg was sending NYC police officers to Macon and became very angry. "Does he think that Macon police officers and The Georgia State Patrol are incapable of guarding The Starry Night while it is in Macon at Centenary? Is this an invasion?" (That was the quote from Governor Deal that got back to me.)  Governor Deal called NY Governor Cuomo and complained bitterly. Governor Cuomo then had to call Mayor Bloomberg and told him that he could not allow the NYC police officers to cross the state lines to transport The Starry Night to Centenary Church in Macon because he did not want to face discord with Governor Deal. So that is where we are at this point. So, sadly, I fear that though I have diligently tried, we probably will not have the original of The Starry Night in our sanctuary on Sunday morning.  It is always good to have alternative plans in place, so I have a $10 poster of The Starry Night from Amazon.com which Talisa will thumb tack to a bulletin board in the chancel area should we need it.  Plus, a copy of The Starry Night will be on your worship bulletin Sunday morning.  But you never know!  You may want to check out Centenary Church Sunday morning to see if I was able to pull off getting the original here!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Last Saturday, October 22, 3 very large, very old historic homes were moved from behind Rodeo Beach over in Mercer Village to a new setting on Oglethorpe Avenue.  How old were these homes?  Holley Long lived in one of these homes from age 5 until he was 18 years old.  These homes are incredibly old!  We appreciate Mercer seeking to save these old homes rather than tearing them down.  The route for moving the homes took the houses down Coleman to Ash and right by Centenary Church.  A crew of 60 Georgia Power employees had to unhook all of the electricity in order for the houses to pass by the church.  Our own Jack Castle arrived at the church at 6 a.m. last Saturday to hook up a generator so that we could keep the refrigerator at the church operating since it was loaded with food for the Sunday morning breakfast.  Jack spent all day at the church to make sure everything went smoothly.   We owe Jack Castle a thank you!

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A "Bring Your Questions" Class begins on Sunday, November 6, and will run for 3 Sundays.  The study will be lead by Ginny Hathaway and Stacey Harwell.  This is a discussion group for those who want to know more about Centenary or about the United Methodist Church in general.  If you have been considering what it means to sink your roots at Centenary with intentional commitment, then this is the group for you.  The "Bring Your Questions" Class begins at 9:45 on November 6 in a classroom below the sanctuary.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Let There Be Lights – We are up to $8360!  That is super!  If you have not made your gift to replace the old knob and tube electrical wiring in the sanctuary, please bring it with you Sunday or send it to Centenary Church, 1290 College Street, Macon, GA  31201

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please notice – English as a second language class – Tuesdays at 7:30.  AND a class for those who want to learn Spanish is being offered at the same time!  Contactoffice@centenarymacon.org for more info.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

I know that is a lot of info.  But isn't it good to be in community together?  See you Sunday! 

 

Grace and peace.

Tim Bagwell

 

Love God. Love Others.  Love Yourself.  Serve.

 

www.centenarymacon.org