Thursday, April 30, 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?  

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

Describing Jesus' last night before the cross, John wrote the ominous words, "When Judas took the bread, he left immediately. And it was night" (John 13:30). But the darkness didn't overcome Jesus, the light of the world. With evil people plotting and Easter's light only visible by faith, Jesus told his followers that he was leaving them his peace. His peace rested on the Holy Spirit's presence with them, "not as the world gives." If they could grasp it firmly, they could find Jesus' peace even at times of great fear. 

Questions:
* The "fight or flight" response to danger seems to be hard-wired into our brains. Do you believe Jesus promised to wipe that out, or can he just give us a better way to deal with it when something triggers it? Are there places of dark fear and anxiety in your life today? How can Christ's love and care free your heart and mind to live in the peace he came to give you?
* Scholar William Barclay wrote, "The peace which the world offers us is the peace of escape, the peace which comes from the avoidance of trouble and from refusing to face things. The peace which Jesus offers us is the peace of conquest. No experience of life can ever take it from us and no sorrow, no danger, no suffering can ever make it less. It is independent of outward circumstances." 1 In what ways have you experienced the difference between the peace Jesus gives and the types of peace the world offers?

1 William Barclay, Daily Study Bible Series: The Gospel of John-Volume 2, Chapters 8-21, (Revised Edition). Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1976, p. 171.   
Lord Jesus,
thank you for offering me a peace that isn't temporary,
that nothing can take away from me.
Now please help me to live into that peace more each day. 
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)
Read Psalm 25:9

Have you ever watched a Charlie Brown cartoon on TV? In the show, the adults have these sort of "wah-wah" sounding voices. Charles Schulz, who created the Peanuts comic, wanted to focus on Charlie Brown and his friends, so he chose an instrument to replace all the adult voices in the cartoon. Can you guess the instrument he chose?

Write your answer here:

______________________________________________________________

______________________________________________________________


Did you guess a trombone? Because you can't talk to God face to face, you might think that hearing from Him is like trying to listen to Charlie Brown's teacher. But hearing from God isn't complicated. You can hear from God every time you open His word.

Learning from God requires humility. He shows those who aren't proud how to do what is right. Because God is in control of all things, we need to trust that His way is better than our way. We have to put Him first, knowing there is always something new we can discover about Him.

Ask an adult to help you find a trombone sound on the computer. As you listen, say the words "Teach me your way" as a prayer to God. Humbly ask for His help so you can do what is right.
 
Videos for this week:



ANNOUNCEMENT:  SPARK SACKS and BLAST BAGS for May will be available this weekend! Miss Pam will be at the upper entrance at Asbury on Sunday, 5/3, from 3 PM - 4 PM to hand out small activity bags which reinforce our Bible stories and themes for the month.  If you are unable to come at this time, bags will be left in bins at the upper entrance from Sunday 4 PM until Wednesday 4 PM so that you can stop by at your convenience.

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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