Welcome to Centenary United Methodist Church

Downtown Richmond, VA

Centenary United Methodist Church is a Reconciling Congregation, extending hospitality and encouraging full participation of all, regardless of age, race, national origin, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, educational or economic background, and physical or mental ability.

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This Week at Centenary

Worship with us Sunday, September 25 at 8:40 am (informal) and 11:00 am (traditional). Senior Pastor Matt Bates will preach "Wealth and Poverty:  Blessing or Curse?" based on Luke 16: 19 - 31. Then join us at noon for a covered dish luncheon and old-time hymn sing. 

Read our weekly newsletter here.

A Letter from our Senior Pastor, Matt Bates

Matt img 125005Dear Centenary Family and Friends,

The Gospel reading this Sunday is another text that deals with money and our relationship to it. More importantly, however, this text deals with the way money impacts our relationships with people. Luke 16:19-31 is the parable Jesus tells about the rich man and Lazarus. The title I'm working with is "Wealth and Poverty:  Blessing or Curse." This parable is full of irony because the rich man winds up in torment and the poor man winds up in heaven. The wall that separates them in eternity is a result of a wall that separated them on earth. Lazarus's earthly life in dire poverty was tragic. But I've been thinking that there is a certain tragedy in the rich man's life as well. His tragedy results from his inability to see the poor man before him as his brother and friend. It's easy to criticize the rich man for his apparent insensitivity, but I've realized that it's often the case that we don't know what we're not seeing until someone opens our eyes. I've wondered how often I've not seen a need before me because I was preoccupied with my own problems or worries. Or maybe I've intentionally looked away because I knew that if I looked someone in the eye, I would have to consider them as a fellow child of God. In God's economy, we'd both have to realize we need each other to be complete. 

The rich man's problem may have involved greed and self-centeredness and all that is wrong with humanity. But part of his problem may have been that he just never really took time to see Lazarus lying beside his driveway with dogs licking his sores as he drove home from his office with the corner view to enter his beautiful  home. Part of following Jesus is learning to see things we never saw before, to see people in ways we've never seen them before, and to see ourselves in new and different ways. 

We'll have the opportunity to consider these themes of generosity in Sunday School the next three Sundays as we continue our Defying Gravity study.  Robb Stottlemyer will lead us this Sunday. I hope you'll plan to join us for that.

And don't forget that we're having a covered luncheon following our 11:00 am worship service along with an old-fashioned hymn sing. We couldn't get Jerry Lee Lewis or Hank Williams to play - but we've got folks who will be even better lined up to lead us! We'll have a good time.

And please keep praying for our 2020 Committee. Keep dreaming and visioning about our future ministry here in downtown Richmond. What is God's will for Centenary at this time and in this place over the next 4-5 years? The last three Sundays of October during the Sunday School hour, we will be led in dreaming and visioning together by our 2020 Committee, led by Joe Speidel.

I look forward to seeing you Sunday!



Weekly Services

Our weekly services are open to all, regardless of age, race, gender, or sexual orientation. We invite you to attend any of our weekly worship services and encourage your full participation.

  • Informal Worship Service: Sunday @ 8:40am
  • Sunday School (all ages): Sunday @ 10am
  • Traditional Worship Service: Sunday @ 11am

Childcare is offered during all Sunday services.

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Upcoming Events

Learn more about all of our upcoming events and programs by viewing our calendar:


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Get Involved

We offer several programs for children, youth, and adults. Our arts programming includes the visual and performing arts, as well as instrumental and choral music. These programs are open for all to participate and enjoy. Come be a part of this exciting and lively community!

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