Tuesday, March 17, 2020

I know that there is a lot of anxiety and fear in our world today. But I want to remind you that over 100 times the Bible tells us, "Don't be afraid."
In Psalm 27:1 David tells us why:

"The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
he Lord is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?"

Again, in Psalm 56:3-4, David tells of his strategy for combatting fear,

"When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
in God I trust; I am not afraid."

Above all, remember this is temporary. Our church continues to serve our congregation and community despite the pandemic. Please continue your financial support of the work of the church.

Many of you have set up your tithes and offerings to be automatically given. If you haven't, you can give your tithes and offering online, or you can mail a check to the church.

This Sunday we will be worshiping online at 10:00. As a community, let's worship together and as we put our trust in God we, too, will find we are not afraid.

See you online,

Just outside of Jerusalem, Jesus performed a miracle that changed a man's life forever. For 38 years, this man was unable to walk. But when Jesus said, "Get up," the man was healed. However, it's what Jesus said next that made this miracle a clear sign of who Jesus really was.

Tuesday's Devotional
Based on Pastor Eric's daily study guide
Read John 5:1-6

Times of crisis can reveal someone's true nature. We've seen stories in the news over the past few days of people who have attempted to monetarily capitalize on others' needs: people reselling individual roles of toilet paper from the back of their car at $5 each. A man with a storage locker holding 17,000 bottles of sanitizer because his plan to upsell the bottles for up to $70 each online was foiled. The motivation isn't to make resources available to those who need them; it's to take advantage of others.

In today's passage, we read of a man, sick for 38 years, who was approached by Jesus and asked "do you want to get well?".

Why this man?

He didn't seek Jesus out.

He wasn't the only person in need sitting by this pool.
John describes "a crowd of people who were sick, blind, lame, and paralyzed".

So why, of all people, would Jesus choose this man to approach and ask this question?

Perhaps Jesus had an inkling about the motivations of this man - either that he was really motivated to get well, or, maybe, that he hadn't ever seriously considered what it would feel like to be well...  that if Jesus was going to do this for the man, the man wouldn't exploit or take for granted his ability to walk again. In other words, when faced with a different set of circumstances, how would this man respond?

We're all in a different set of circumstances than we were even just a week ago. Examine the surroundings of the new set of circumstances that you find yourself in. How can you - even in the midst of crisis - make the most out of what Jesus offers to you; not to take advantage of others, but to display the grace and love offered by our Savior?

For Reflection:
Before healing him, Jesus asks the man, "Do you want to get well?"
Why do you think Jesus asked him that?

Bishop Peggy Johnson shared the following video today, with an inspirational message: "Our God, Our Help in Ages Past"

'Our God, Our Help in Ages Past'

Below are a few health tips from Asbury's Health Ministry,
shared by Doris Farrar, RN
  • Stay focused on being grateful for the positive moments that surround you each day.
  • Continue to follow the basic guidelines of washing hands, avoiding touching your face, having minimal contacts in large groups, and sharing goodwill with others nearby.
  • Try to get outside and enjoy moments of walking and accomplish a task each day that you don't normally find time to do in your busy schedule.
  • Drink fluid/water frequently during the day. A wise and healthy tip is to gargle with warm or salt water when doing dental hygiene twice a day. This keeps our GI tract in healthy condition to minimize germs and bacteria entering the system.
  • Keep the faith, as this too will pass!  "Don't worry, don't hurry, and don't forget to smell the flowers". It's always good to stay connected to church and appreciate our faith in the Almighty One that is there for us 24x7. Call "1-800-GOD" anytime you wish.

Previously shared study resources:
The Women Who Knew, produced by EPAUMC North District

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)
Download this week's Parent Cue

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)


Match the OPPOSITES in the box above by drawing a line between the two answers.

When someone hurts you, what do you immediately want to do?

Do the same thing to them that they've done to you, right?

God has a better way of course. He knows that instead of thinking
about how to pay someone back, we should think about how we can
win someone back. Because fixing our relationships or friendships
is always more important than getting even. So when someone
hurts you, instead of trying to get them back, do the opposite!

Choose to heal instead of hurt, to forgive instead of getting even.

When you find yourself getting angry when you've been
 hurt, bow your head and ask God to help you do the exact opposite of what you feel like  doing. Instead of paying back to get even, ask God to help you take the first step to forgive.

Missed the video lessons shared yesterday?

The Lord God declares, "If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and will heal their land." (II Chronicles 7:14)

People of God, I call on you to lift this COVID-19 crisis in prayer. Pray that God will heal our land and all the countries of the world. It is the first thing we should do. It is the most important thing we can do. It is the thing we should do at all times, as the Apostle Paul reminds us in I Thessalonians 5:17 to "pray without ceasing."

A note on prayers: to respect confidentiality, we will not be sharing specific prayer requests via email; however our prayer team is still actively praying for every request that they receive. If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.

We have striven to keep the congregation up-to-date on the UMC General Conference scheduled for May 2020, and share the following updates:

* There are considerations being made on whether General Conference will be held as planned. As developments unfold, we will share them with you. One development is that the Executive Committee of the UMC's Council of Bishops has asked for the postponement of the 2020 General Conference, set to begin in six weeks, because of the new Coronavirus COVID-19 Pandemic. Learn more in an article posted on the EPA Conference website.

* We previously communicated on 4 "listening sessions" to be held around the Conference in the coming weeks. As you can imagine, those sessions will not be held in-person; however the sessions will be held online on March 25 and April 2, 4, and 20. Learn how to join these sessions, held on Zoom, on the EPA Conference's GC2020 webpage.

Precautions related to the coronavirus will have an impact on our activities and gatherings. We recognize that they may also have a negative impact on our giving. Please continue to give and support our ministries as you are able. You can visit asburylv.org/give to give a one-time or recurring gift on PushPay, our online giving portal; or you can mail a check to the church.

Rev. Steve Morton, our District Superintendent, reminds us that "[we as] Christians GIVE not because of the church's need to receive... but because of OUR need to say "Thank You" to an amazingly-generous God - and in the midst of national crisis, that good news has not changed!"

Although our activities may be curtailed for a time, our fixed expenses for our ministries and building operations continue. Also, we value our staff, who will continue to be here to support you; and they will continue to be compensated in full. 

Thank you for your continued support!

Catch up on past announcements, devotionals, and resources at  asburylv.org/coronavirus .

All updates regarding Asbury's response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will also be shared at that page; as well as via email blast and on our social media feeds ( Facebook and Twitter).

Asbury's building is officially closed and has been deep cleaned. We are asking that no one enter the building until it reopens (at this point the target date is Sunday, March 29).

Please know that during the time that the office is closed, all calls to Asbury are being received by our answering service, as there is no one available in the office to take your call. Any messages you leave with the answering service are forwarded to us and we will relay your message to the appropriate staff member to respond to you as soon as possible.

Cancelled/Postponed Events
Include, but not limited to:
UMW Communion Breakfast
Children's Ministries' Communion Workshop
Alcoholics Anonymous Meetings
Men's Group Tour to Mack Museum
Reschedule dates (if applicable) will be communicated when available.
No physical meetings are being held at Asbury or off-site; but please check with your group/Circle leader to see if there are plans for your group to connect online.

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