Monday, April 27, 2020
Weekly Framework
All of us have fears and worries in life. Our body's capacity to experience fear, and our ability to respond to perceived threats is a gift from God. But too often, this gift from God goes off when it's not supposed to.  There are times when we imagine the threats that are not real. So how can we take seriously what's happening in the world without being afraid?  

Monday's Devotional
From United Methodist Church of the Resurrection's GPS Guide for the Unafraid series

In 1933 a deep economic depression gripped the United States. In his inaugural address, new President Franklin Roosevelt said,

"Let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself-nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance."1

President Roosevelt was, knowingly or not, following a Biblical tradition. Psalm 56's expression of deep trust in God was repeated in Psalm 118, sung at the end of Passover seders, and quoted in Hebrews 13:5-8. Trusting in God's unfailing love, the psalmist, Jesus and the early Christians all asked, "What can anyone do to me?"

Questions:
* Scholar J. Clinton McCann wrote, "The refrain ["What can anyone do to me?"] means that the concept of trust runs throughout the psalm, communicating the reality that trust is everywhere in the life of the psalmist." 2 In what ways can you plant trust everywhere in your faith life?How does the psalmist's question speak to any fears you are carrying in your heart?
* When we read the question, "What can anyone do to me?" our first (frightening) thought may be, "People could do plenty to me." Only as we look below life's surface does the psalmist's question make more sense. What bad, perhaps even malicious, obstacles has God's presence helped you survive, or even turned to a good purpose? How does that affect your ability to trust God moving forward?

Sources:
1 Speech transcript and sound clip found at http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5057.
2 J. Clinton McCann, study note on Psalm 56:11 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 901 OT.
Lord God,
I want to learn to live with the same kind of trust the psalmist expressed.
Teach me each day how to put my trust in you whenever I am afraid. Amen.



If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.
Rather have all of this week's BLAST devotionals at once? Get them here

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

What is the very first word of today's verse? _______________________

King David, who wrote these words, isn't asking God to teach him some fun facts or information. He's asking God to teach him to be obedient, to do what God wants, instead of going his own way. David faced a lot of tough stuff in his life. In this Psalm to God David humbly asks God for help in following Him so that he can avoid making big mistakes.

When we disobey God and go our own way, we face some not so awesome consequences. David knew that God's way was better. Just like David, when we discover how God wants us to live and we follow His way in obedience, we'll be on the smoothest path for sure.

The next time you're riding in the car and you hit a bump in the road, remember this verse. Ask God to teach you to do His will knowing that He will lead you on level path, even through the bumps of life.



If you would like a print copy of the May/June issue of The Upper Room devotional, please let us know by completing this form. We'll mail it to you free of charge while our supplies last.

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.



In the midst of a challenging time, we still have much to celebrate! Thanks to your amazing generosity, we have reached our goal for the Capital Campaign of $350,000 as of April 19, 2020! Praise God!! Thank you to all who supported this important initiative; and continue to watch for updates on project progress in the coming months.

Get information about and past updates on the Capital Campaign at asburylv.org/capitalcampaign.



For those wishing to support COVID-19 relief, we encourage you to consider giving to UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) Advance. 100% of donations to the Advance go to COVID-19 relief, as UMCOR's administrative costs are paid through connectional 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)
AIM Yard Sale (cancelled)
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.


I f you are experiencing loneliness, or spiritual and emotional distress during these challenging days, or if there's someone you're concerned about, please reach out to Pastor Barbara at  blee@asburylv.org .



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
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