Saturday, April 11, 2020
Following Jesus' crucifixion, his followers expected what anyone expects after someone dies: that they would remain that way. But one of Jesus's followers, John, gave an eyewitness account that summarized the main event surrounding Christianity: Jesus rose from the dead. In this seventh and final sign that John documents, he makes the case that Jesus is exactly who he claimed to be.

Join us as we  celebrate Christ's resurrection tomorrow! We'll have 2 live services, streaming at 8 AM and 10 AM at live.asburylv.org, featuring an Easter message - "Invitation to Believe" from Pastor Eric - and recorded music from some of our music groups! The 10 AM service will also feature a greeting from our District Superintendent, Rev. Steve Morton.
Resources for Worship
Children's Bulletins: Ages 3+ // Ages 7+

Saturday's Devotional
by Aaron Forney, Director of Communications

Last night following our Good Friday stream, I stared at my computer. A minute later, I peered up over the top of the monitor, out of the window where the shadow of the neighbor's tree was bending back and forth in the blue-black hue of the darkening evening, helplessly responding to the wind blowing it about. I watched for a moment, then looked back down at the glow of the monitor, illuminating a corner of the darkened room. Other than the soft hum of a fan from the computer tower, the room was silent.
Typically after a Good Friday service, the congregation is encouraged to leave in silence, reflecting on the weighty idea we'd spent the last hour or so wrestling with through song, scripture, and sermon. But even attempting to leave silently and introspectively doesn't always go as planned: Someone has a quick question. You want to bid a friend farewell, maybe before they head out of town for the holiday. You have to apologize to the person you accidentally bumped arms with while grabbing your jacket from the coat rack. A few minor interruptions are inevitable.
But last night, there was no Sanctuary to vacate, no din of hushed conversation, no echo of feet bouncing in the caverns of the stairwell. There was truly silence.
The silence on Saturday of Holy Week has always fascinated me. Other than hole up and hide out, what did the disciples do? What were they feeling? What was the conversation among them like?
Were they just sitting in a room - eleven of them together - in pure silence... alone... separated from the hope that they believed they had prior to yesterday?
It's hard for me to fathom how heavy the weight of the moment was on them. It wasn't but 36 hours before they were sharing a meal with Jesus. It wasn't but 5 days before that people had lauded Jesus as he entered Jerusalem. Now he was gone.
Were they trying to make sense of what happened? Poring over what Jesus had taught them to try and see if they should have seen it coming? Planning for their escape so they wouldn't be executed next? Or just purely mourning, the rending of their souls proving too much to do anything else?
The time between Jesus' death and their discovery of his resurrection - from early afternoon on Friday until early morning on Sunday - had to have been some of the longest hours of their lives, filled with fear, doubt, and pain.
Typically we like to wrap up stories with a happy ending - and one is surely coming that we'll celebrate tomorrow - but for today, let's sit in the silence of the moment. As you go about a Saturday that's very out-of-the-norm for you as well, take some time to reflect on the weight Jesus' followers were feeling. Do their emotions have any reflection on what you're feeling in this moment? Where do you need a resurrection?
For Reflection:
From Pastor Eric's daily study guide
God not only exists in the midst of a world that has evil and suffering-he chose to engage with it. God didn't eliminate the evil; he placed it on Jesus so we would not perish but have eternal life. 
Lord, be with us in the silent moments.
Help us feel reassurance in our doubts.
Grant us mercy for our questioning.
Give us strength through our pain.
We thank Your goodness, kindness, and abundant love.
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.

Asbury will be applying for a loan through the CARES Act following Church Council's vote of approval at Friday's Special Charge Conference. Thanks to all who attended yesterday's meeting.

The Story of Easter (Jesus' Sacrifice)
The Story of Easter (Jesus' Sacrifice)


PREVIOUSLY SHARED RESOURCES FOR THIS WEEK:

Missed the video lessons shared on Sunday (for week of 4/5)?

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.



Asbury will be helping Salem UMC by delivering needed food items to their Food Bank on April 18. Donations are being collected from 4:00 - 6:00 PM on Thursday and Friday April 16 & 17.  Please drop off your non-perishable donations at the upper level entrance at Asbury. Volunteers will be practicing proper social distancing during the collection period. Please help our center city friends by generously giving!



Summer Camping registration is underway! Camps realize that the future is full of uncertainties and are considering alternative plans, including some offering full refunds if camps are cancelled. Visit the individual camp sites to learn more about their camps and their policies related to COVID-19:
Gretna Glen: Main Site | COVID-19 Response  
Pocono Plateau: Main Site | COVID-19 Response
Camp Innabah: Main Site | COVID-19 Response



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 them,  email Pastor Barbara to get connected with a helper. We do not have supplies available to offer; but could help coordinate a pickup for an order you place at a local fabric or craft store that's offering curbside pickup.

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:
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
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.
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!
Connect with us online
www.asburylv.org