Monday, May 11, 2020
Weekly Framework
Loneliness is the feeling of isolation we feel at times, the feeling that we have no real companions with whom to share our life. It's not the same as solitude. We all need alone time, but though we need alone time, we are also wired as human beings for companionship, for someone to share our lives with, to talk to, to listen to, someone who cares about us and enjoys being with us. How can we meet our need for companionship?

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

Jesus loved people, yet he regularly sought solitude as a way to refocus and cultivate his walk with God. For some of us, a fear of being alone can grow so strong that we nearly panic if we find ourselves alone. We may almost fixatedly seek to be with others, perhaps even in settings or situations that do not match our stated values. It's a useful spiritual practice to learn to value solitude, intentional or unintentional, and grow stronger through it. 

For Reflection:
* "The experience of solitude varies widely from taking advantage of the little solitudes in our days to setting aside planned times of retreat to step out of our daily patterns in order to enter into the silence of God.... Solitude is more a state of mind and heart than it is a place." * Where, both in daily routines and in more deliberate ways, are you able to experience solitude? Do you fear those times, live through them passively, or value the opportunity for spiritual growth they give you?
* The gospel passages often associated prayer with Jesus' times of solitude. Of course, he also prayed when around people (e.g. John 11:41-42). But we see that he often found solitude conducive to prayer. In what ways do you find prayer different when you are alone than when you are with others? What strengths can you see in each kind of prayer setting?

* Quoted from https://renovare.org/about/ideas/spiritual-disciplines, a service of the Renovare Institute, founded by Richard Foster, the author of the classic book Celebration of Discipline.

Lord Jesus,
help me not to shun times of solitude,
or to waste them in wishing I were not alone.
Teach me how to use those moments,
whether minutes or days,
into times to draw closer to you.
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

Today is the final day to pick up SPARK SACKS & BLAST BAGS.
These grab bags are available to ANY child aged 3-4yrs (SPARK), PreK-5th grades (BLAST).  We are hopeful that our online resources are reaching family members at Asbury, as well as extended family members, and friends in the community.  These bags are an extension of those online resources and are intended for all.  They are available in bins located at the upper entrance of Asbury Church and can be picked up at your convenience.



For SPARK (3-4yr olds)

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

When Paul wrote the words "I can do all things" was he thinking maybe he could . . . walk through walls or make a gazillion dollars?

Not so fast, friends. When it comes to following God, we have to remember that God has a plan and a purpose for each one of us. So when Paul said, "I can do ALL things," he meant all the things that line up with God's will for him. In other words, God won't ask something of you that He won't help you actually do.

Instead of thinking of this verse in superhero, super-human terms, think about the things God asks of you that are hard to do-like being kind, sharing what you have, or telling the truth. God will give you what you need, when you need it to follow His will for you. Because God gives you what you need to keep going.

Thank God for the promise that He will help you do ALL the things He's asked of you.
 

Videos for this week (new for 5/10):

Don & Adele Bush celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary on May 24!
You can help them celebrate by sending a card to:

Don & Adele Bush
4031 Coffeetown Road
Coplay, PA 18037-2131

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:
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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