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Friday Greetings - February 2

From Pastor Vann

The Fate of Heroes

Mark 1:29-39 depicts a typical day in the life of Jesus. He preaches the message of forgiveness of sin, heals the sick, and casts out demons. 

And he takes time apart to pray and recharge his spiritual and emotional batteries. It's a snapshot of life in the Kingdom that he came to proclaim, where those who love God invest their time and energy in loving others. And the price he paid for living that kind of life was high. This world rewards power and cunning, not lovingkindness.

Anybody who chooses to follow Jesus needs to count the cost. Is it worth it to take the less profitable, more dangerous path of love? If you want to hear more, worship with us on Sunday, in person or online. +

This symbol appears on our Sanctuary cross, the altar table, and the baptismal font in the Chapel narthex. What does it mean? IC XC NIKA means "Jesus Christ Conquers."

The IC and XC are the first and last letters in the Greek words for Jesus and Christ. NIKA is connected to the word for victory, which we know from Greek mythology and even consumerism as "Nike." This symbol was historically popular in the Eastern Orthodox tradition, appearing often on icons. Also, in traditions using wafers for communion, this symbol is sometimes stamped on the wafers. Some denominations have incorporated this symbol in their denominational imagery, and it will sometimes appear on various vestments, banners, or engravings. It is much rarer in newer artwork since few people know its significance.

Going Deeper…

First, read Romans 8.31-39 and I Corinthians 15.50-58. What does it mean here to be "more than conquerors?" Who is the conqueror? What is conquered?

Next, read Psalm 20. What kinds of "victories" do we yearn for? What victory does the Psalmist describe? How are these victories like the ones described in Romans 8? 

Finally, read I John 5.1-5. How might this influence your understanding of Christ as a conqueror?

New Member Sunday

The next New Member Sunday is coming up February 11th. If you’re interested in joining Centenary, or want to know what’s involved, contact the Church office or one of our pastors. Welcome Home!


It’s “That” Time Again: Flu, COVID, RSV, and the “Crud”

Many Centenarians (including Anne-Marie and me!!) have been sick. Hospitalizations are on the rise, as they usually are at this time of year. Many have expressed concerns about going out in public.

Centenary is NOT at this time recommending social distancing or universal mask use. This will remain the case until there is an official advisory to take stronger measures. In the meantime, there are ways to lessen the chances that you’ll get sick or infect someone else.

I recommend that you click on the link below to the University of Chicago Medical Center website. Like Duke, Chicago is one of the country’s finest universities and hospitals.

Key takeaways on things you can do now:

  • If you’re feeling ill, keep your distance from others and avoid close contact with those who may have COVID-19 or the flu.

  • Wash your hands often to prevent the spread of the virus.

  • Cover your mouth when sneezing and keep from rubbing your eyes, mouth, and nose.

Is it safe to attend worship and other church functions? If you take the precautions mentioned in the linked article, yes. Yet if you’re considered “at-risk” because of your age, a chronic health condition, or the status of your immune system, there’s no shame or guilt associated with wearing a mask or worshiping from home by tuning in to Centenary on Facebook or 97.9 FM.

Prayerfully consider what option is best for you and your family.

Be smart and stay safe this winter! 

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