Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Asbury's building is now closed indefinitely. When the time comes to re-open, rest assured we will send that communication as far in advance as possible (and very ready to celebrate gathering again!).



For the safety of all, and to keep Asbury's building virus-free, access to the building is now limited to office and custodial staff only. All other key cards have been deactivated. Should you need to gain access to the building, please contact Israel Olivieri, Business Manager, at iolivieri@asburylv.org.



A special Charge Conference is being held Friday, April 10, at 3 PM through Zoom to formally approve a vote being taken by Church Council to attempt to secure a loan through the CARES Act. Learn more at asburylv.org/specialchargeconference.

WEEKLY FRAMEWORK:
There are many products we buy, use, and put our confidence in without having all the information or fully understanding how they work. In the Gospel of John, we see a man begin to follow Jesus based on limited information. This man, who was born blind, said he only knew one main thing-and that one thing was enough to make him curious about who Jesus really was.

Wednesday's Devotional
Based on Pastor Eric's daily study guide
Read  John 9:24-25

For many of us, negativity comes all too easily. Sometimes that negativity can show itself as frustration towards - and even gossip about - other people. It's almost human nature to try to put others down in an attempt to raise ourselves.

Today's scripture focuses on an attempt to fault Jesus for taking action rather than celebrating the outcome of his actions.

Yeah, he did something good, but - let's be honest - he's still a bad guy, right?

The man whose blindness was cured didn't take the bait. Instead, the focus is on the positivity of what has been done in his life.

We don't know what the man knew about Jesus before this healing encounter; but, intentionally or not, the man leaned on one of Jesus' teachings  when he responded to the people who were confronting him: let God do the judging, but something amazing happened here.

Who are we to say whether someone is a sinner or not?

What we can say is that God has done incredible things in our lives that we can't explain.

How does looking at the positivity of what God has done in others' lives rather than focusing on their shortcomings change your outlook on who they are?

How has others focusing on the movement of God in your life rather than focusing on your shortcomings helped you to grow?


For Reflection:
In this passage, the blind man says, "Here's the one thing I know, I was blind and now I see." How does what the man said remind you of something that happened in your own life?


Previously shared study resources:
The Women Who Knew, produced by EPAUMC North District
 From U nited Methodist Clergy, Salayea District, Lofa County, Liberia

In the wake of the deadly coronavirus invasion around the world, Liberian Christian leaders in Salayea District, Lofa County [have] received [the] gift [of clergy support] from Asbury United Methodist Church in the United States of America. 
 
We appreciate your gift and pray for God's blessing upon the USA.


We invite you to send notes of support and encouragement to the mission partners whose stories we've been sharing. Simply respond to this email with your message and we'll make sure it's passed along!

Don't forget to send your pictures or videos of palms to Miss Pam!



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

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

Riding a bike
Tying your shoes
Reading aloud 
Meeting an adult
Walking into a new classroom

Do you know what all these things have in common? They're all things that 
at one time seemed scary or hard. But once you practiced a little, they're 
not so bad! The best way to get better at anything is to practice. It's the same 
with forgiveness. The more you make the choice to forgive, the easier it will become. And, the more you model forgiveness, the more likely the people around you are to forgive too. Don't you want to hang out with friends that choose to forgive? 
Ask your mom or dad to tell you about a time when they chose to forgive someone as a kid even when it was really hard. What happened? How did practicing forgiveness in that example help them become better at forgiving the next time?

Thank God for the reminder today that forgiveness takes practice! Ask God to help you choose to forgive this week so you don't miss out.

Missed this week's video lessons shared on Sunday (for week of 3/29)?
We realize that your personal financial landscape may have drastically changed in these few short weeks; but if you are able to continue to financially support the ministries of Asbury, please prayerfully consider doing so.

We strongly encourage you to give online through PushPay, our online giving portal, at asburylv.org/give, but you can also mail your weekly envelopes or a check in to the church office.

Your contributions will continue to help support the worship and ministries of Asbury. Additionally, we are retaining our commitment to compensating our staff at this time.

Thank you for your continued support!

God, sustain us in this time.
Whether our needs be great or small,
Whether our needs be physical or emotional.
We thank You for the marvelous work you have done in our lives.
Amen.



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.

If you are experiencing loneliness, or spiritual and emotional distress during these challenging days, you are not alone. Your pastors are praying for you.  Please reach out to Pastor Barbara at  blee@asburylv.org . She has been making calls for encouragement, counsel and prayer. If you are aware of someone in the congregation you are concerned about, please ask that individual's permission and then pass along your concern to Pastor Barbara.



We want to encourage you during this time to continue to stay connected with others, particularly those who might need help - not just Asbury congregants, but neighbors and homebound friends. A phone call, email, or text is always a safe way to connect! Always be aware of your own safety and the safety of those you're helping!



We know that these stressful times have and will cause hardships for some in our community. The following groups, recommended by Asbury in Mission (AIM), have resources available for assistance if you or someone you know has a need:

Kingdom Life Family Center Food Bank
4333 Lime Kiln Rd, Orefield, PA 18069
1401 Linden Street, Allentown, PA 18102

AIM also reminds us that while volunteer opportunities are few due to the current crisis, our mission partners can still be supported financially. Learn more about all of our AIM mission partners at  asburylv.org/aim.

If you are in a position to donate to the food banks, please be aware of the following information about donations:
Kingdom Life Family Center in Orefield wants people to make an appointment to drop off food on a Tuesday morning.  Call 610-398-0111
Salem United Methodist Church in Allentown, Food bank can take donations in the morning by appointment only.  Call Rev. Navin Satyarvata 610-432-2577



Our Keep in Touch team is still striving to connect with those in our congregation who are sick or hospitalized, even in the  absence of physical visits.  Members known to be hospitalized and/or sick and members who are visited monthly will be "visited" by phone. Say a special prayer of thanks for these individuals who help care for those among us who are ill!

Asbury's building is now closed indefinitely. When the time comes to re-open, rest assured we will send that communication as far in advance as possible (and very ready to celebrate gathering again!).



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).



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.



Asbury is now a drop-off site for home-sewn masks for Lehigh Valley Health Network. The collection bin is located at the doors by the upper entrance to the building. If you're able to sew masks, but not able to deliver, or if you need assistance picking up supplies, email Pastor Barbara to get connected with a helper.

Instructions:



St. Luke's is also collecting personal protective equipment (PPE). Learn more about the items they're accepting and their drop-off locations (their Care Now urgent care locations in Allentown, Whitehall, Bethlehem, and more) on their website.



Cancelled/Postponed Events
Include, but not limited to:
Children's Ministries' Easter Celebration (postponed)
Jubilation Ringers Spring Concerts (cancelled)
April Blood Drive (cancelled) - please consider giving at one of their physical locations (Allentown, Bethlehem, Easton, Reading) in this critical time of need.
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.

Connect with Us
www.asburylv.org