Wednesday, May 27, 2020
Weekly Framework
Getting sick, growing old, and facing death are the three things most people fear most.  Many people fear growing old and becoming obsolete or irrelevant. Many, of course, fret about their health and fear getting sick, and the current pandemic has only exacerbated those fears. What all people fear most is what may happen to them when they face death. In this message, we will explore how to reduce our anxieties around coping with illness and growing old, and how ultimately, Christ has destroyed death itself so we can face even our earthly death without fear.

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

We usually read this story at Christmas. But it also carried a generational message. Here were Mary (probably in her early teens) and Joseph, bringing an infant to the Temple to dedicate to God. Who greeted them? Simeon, so old that as soon as he'd seen Jesus he said to God,  "Now let your servant go in peace." Anna, an 84-year-old widow. The young couple didn't brush the elderly off as out-of-date annoyances, nor did Simeon and Anna scorn the young parents as clearly too young to parent the Messiah.

For reflection:
* Simeon hadn't let himself become a "cranky old man." Luke said he "eagerly anticipated the restoration of Israel," even though the mighty Roman army firmly controlled Judea, and Israel's religious leaders often quarreled and were at times corrupt. How can you nurture a hopeful sense of "eager anticipation" about what God is doing today, through people of many ages and styles?
* We don't know exactly, but Anna had probably been constantly in the temple for sixty or more years. It might seem a stretch to "worship night and day" (verse 37). How can your time spent worshipping God, praying and studying the Bible shape what you do with the rest of your time? How can you let your worship fill you with the same confidence and eager anticipation that it gave Simeon and Anna?

O God,
one of your names in the Bible was "Ancient of Days." I'm thankful you are the Lord of all my days, from birth through old age. Keep me aware of your presence with me.
Amen. 



If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.
Church Council will be hosting a meeting via Zoom on Sunday, June 7, at 11:30 AM to share updates on Asbury. Watch for meeting details in the daily email update this week!

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 this Friday, 5/29 and from 10 am - noon this 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.



Did you know your  plastic grocery bags can be turned into plastic mats for the homeless ? Asbury's Wendy Arbushites can take your unneeded bag (any color will do!), turn it into plastic yarn, and create a mat that will be distributed to the less fortunate among us. You can drop off your plastic bags in the bin labeled "Plastic grocery bag collection bin" at Asbury's upper entrance.

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

When someone helps you, do you remember to say, "Thank You!"
Saying thank you is important. 

One of the keys to determination-to sticking with something to the end-is thankfulness. Why? Because God has already done the most amazing thing ever by sending His only Son Jesus. Following God isn't just about doing the right thing so we can be seen as "good." Following God and obeying Him is a big way we show Him that we love and trust Him. When we live the way God wants us to live, we are showing gratitude for all He's done for us by sending Jesus.

So let's practice! Think of one way you can thank God (besides just saying "Thank you"). You could write God a song or poem. You could thank God by choosing to do one thing tomorrow that He's asked you to do that's really hard for you. Let's thank God for the determination He gives us to keep going!
 
We are excited to recognize the accomplishments and pray over the future plans of our high school seniors on June 7! If you're a high school senior (or a parent of one) and haven't received an email from us on how to submit your information for this celebration, please contact Aaron Forney at aforney@asburylv.org.



Join Aaron, Rich, Erin, and Beth for these chances to share your joys, your challenges, and anything else that's on your mind during these crazy times.
Links to the meetings will be emailed in the days leading up to the meeting to those who are registered.

YOUTH-AGED STUDENTS
Friday, May 29
8 PM - 9 PM

(Second sessions for high school seniors and college students are being scheduled - watch for the date to be announced soon!)

Registration is required - visit  asburyym.org/zoomin to sign up.

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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