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?
We surely understand peace, don't we? The apostle Paul's statement that God's peace "exceeds all understanding" may make more sense when we realize that he sent this letter from a dank, dreary Roman prison cell (cf.
). Even there, he had God's peace. And he shared a key he'd found for living in God's peace: to take anything that might worry him and give it to God in prayer.
Paul advised, "Don't be anxious about anything." Almost as if he heard us saying, "How?" he added, "rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks" (verse 6). What are some things that trigger ugly, anxiety-producing thoughts in you? How can you incorporate Paul's wisdom about taking those things to God in prayer more fully into your daily life?
* Paul, at peace even in prison, did not say, "I sure was lucky to be born with a peaceful temperament." Instead, in
, he said, "I
how to be content in any circumstance." Under what conditions, good or bad, do you find it a struggle to remain in God's peace? What experiences or examples have helped you learn to make choices or take actions that lead you toward accepting God's gift of peace?
Lord Jesus, I want to turn my worries into prayers.
I lay before you all the things that worry me today,
and I open my heart to your gifts of peace and contentment.
|Rather have all of this week's BLAST devotionals at once? Get them here
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.
Putting others first isn't easy, especially right now when we are with the same people all the time. We can be frustrated, irritable and critical of one another. In times like this it helps us see that Jesus gave us the perfect example of how to get along with others and put their needs first. And through His power, we can put others first, even on the days we feel grouchy and irritated and just want to look out for ourselves. Take a few minutes and share with each other the things that can help you put others first (consider their feelings or perspective, how would you want to be treated, etc). Then pray for each other, that God will give you the power to live with true humility. Remember to put others first, because Jesus put you first.
Print Resources for this week:
Videos for this week:
Pastor Eric continues the "Unafraid" sermon series
with the message
"Fear of the Other."
As humans, we tend to fear those who are different from ourselves. Those differences include race, ethnicity, differences in socio-economic status, politics, religion, a person's sexual orientation and so many more. The differences can make us a bit uncomfortable, and that discomfort fueled by our imagination, our perception of the world, our culture and upbringing, the media, religious leaders and politicians, can lead us to be afraid. In this message, we will look at how to overcome our fear of the other and see people God sees them.
During this unique time when we cannot celebrate Holy Communion as a congregation, we recall that Jesus celebrated many meals with his followers and disciples as well as people at the margins of the culture.
This Sunday we invite the congregation to gather for a "Love Feast." As we worship, bring a plate of pancakes, coffee cake, eggs or another comfort food, along with something to drink-coffee, juice, water or whatever you may have. Together, we will participate in a liturgy to draw on the Holy Spirit for comfort and express our gratitude to God.
There will be
2 white roses on the altar in memory of Asbury members Louann Cline and Andre Ehly-Young who recently passed into eternal glory.
Worship will be streaming live at 10 AM at live.asburylv.org
and will feature a variety of musical styles.
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
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:
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 (
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
Salem United Methodist Church in Allentown, Food bank can take donations in the morning by appointment only.
Call Rev. Navin Satyarvata 610-432-2577