Wednesday, May 13, 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?

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

News reports, and mission partners in various parts of Africa, have showed us the plight of more than 100 million orphans and vulnerable children due to the AIDS epidemic. Genesis 2 stated a human truth: it isn't good for us to be all alone. And Jesus, in a land where poor health and Roman violence left many children orphaned, used that image to promise his followers that, whatever befell their human connections, he would never leave them as orphans. Through the Holy Spirit, he would always be with them. 

For Reflection:
* Sometimes seen as bitter and cynical, the wisdom teacher of Ecclesiastes warmly valued human friendship. "Two are better than one," he wrote. They "can help each other, can keep each other warm and safe." * Then he added that "a three-ply cord doesn't easily snap," which "may imply that three companions are even better than two." * In what ways have you found value in doing things with another person or two, rather than all alone?
* In John 14, Jesus gave his followers a glimpse into the mysteries of God. He preceded the verses we read today by promising to send "another Companion" (Greek paraclete, which meant companion, helper, advocate and comforter, and referred to the Holy Spirit). Then he said, "I will come to you"-in other words, the Spirit's presence was his presence. When have you sensed Jesus' comfort, protection or uplift without a visible presence giving it to you?

* Brent A. Strawn, study notes on Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 in The CEB Study Bible. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2013, p. 1061 OT.

Lord Jesus,
thank you for keeping your promise not to leave me as an orphan. Teach me how to claim you as my Companion and Comforter, even when my circumstances seem the hardest.
Amen. 



If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.
Asbury will be assisting the Sixth Street Shelter by collecting needed supplies for the Shelter. Donations are being collected from
4:00 - 6:00 PM on Friday, 5/29 and from 10 am - noon on Saturday, 5/30 in the church's upper parking lot. For the safety of all,
social distancing with be practiced during this time.

Items currently most in need of are:
Paper towels
Laundry detergents (no perfume or dyes if possible)
Mops (prefer Libman Wonder twist mops, they last us a lot longer)
Brooms
Hand soap
Baby wipes (sensitive skin if possible)
all-purpose cleaners
dish washing liquid
Windex glass cleaners
Stove top cleaner for electric range
Oven cleaners
Diapers (sizes 2,4, 5 & 6)

A full list of needed items can be found at The Sixth Street Shelter website or you can shop their wish list at Amazon.
Items listed may be out of stock. Substitutions are welcome and are gladly accepting donations shipped directly to the shelter location.

Any questions, please contact Debbie Holt at 610-392-4802 or Jenn Springer at 610-395-7812.
Rather have all of this week's BLAST devotionals at once? Get them here

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

Has someone ever let you down? Maybe the friend you thought was your "best friend" decided she didn't want to be friends anymore. Maybe someone said something about you that wasn't true or blamed you for something you didn't do to avoid getting trouble.

People let us down all the time because people aren't perfect. Everyone, including you, messes up. And sometimes people hurt us on accident or on purpose.

But God isn't like us. He is perfect, righteous, holy and completely good. We can put all our trust in Him. We can keep doing the right thing when we remember that God is with us and that He will give us what we need to keep going.

Set a timer for two minutes.
Jog in place as you repeat today's verse.
Can you repeat the verse as you jog without giving up?

Ask God to help you keep doing the right thing, no matter what others are doing because He is with 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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