Saturday, May 2, 2020


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.

Learn more about the series and catch up on previous messages at asburylv.org/unafraid.

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.

Resources for Tomorrow's Worship Service
Children's Bulletins:  Ages 3+ |  Ages 7+
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?  

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

Early Christians faced hostility, ostracism and often persecution. They might be beaten, imprisoned or even executed. Peter wrote a stirring call to those people. As they lived in conditions guaranteed to make people anxious, he urged them to bring all their anxieties to God in trusting prayer. Peter and those early Christians looked beyond the boundaries of this life. They trusted that all earthly struggles are only "for a little while," while God's restoration of us to the kind of life humans are meant to live is an eternal reality. 

Questions:
* What does it mean for you to cast all your anxiety on God? In what ways have you learned to trust that God cares for you? In what parts of life, if any, is it still hard for you to trust that? Read John 21:15-19 to see why Peter could say with such confidence that God will restore you, and make you steadfast, strong and firm. Are there failures from which you want God to restore you? Are there areas in which you wish to be more steadfast or strong? Ask God in prayer to work with you to make restoration and strength a reality for you during this time.
Lord Jesus,
keep me clear-headed, keep me alert. Let me use those qualities to let you carry my anxieties, rather than trying to carry them myself.
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

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.



Today's Devotional


Choose something specific you are going to do to put someone else first.  Ask God to help you do that.

Our memory verse for the month (Philippians 2:3) makes for a great prayer:
Dear God, help me not to do anything only to get ahead.
Help me to value others (insert a name or 2 here) more than myself.
Thank you, Jesus for your example of humility.
Amen


Print Resources for this week:
For SPARK (3-4yr olds): Parent Cue
For BLAST (PreK - 5th grades): 
God Time devotionals

Videos for this week:

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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