Thursday, May 28, 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.

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

The apostle Paul wrote 2 Corinthians after a painful time, when many Christians in Corinth, biased by a set of false teachers, had turned against him. Later in the letter, he cataloged the many challenges he had faced in carrying out God's mission (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:23-28). Yet Paul did not let any of that destroy him. In verse 10, he tied his struggles to Jesus' death, which seemed the worst defeat of all and yet became a victory when he rose from the dead three days later. 

For reflection:
* When did you last feel confused, harassed or knocked down? What resources helped you avoid being crushed, depressed or knocked out? Have you ever seen, in yourself or anyone you know, the truth of "even if our bodies are breaking down on the outside, the person that we are on the inside is being renewed every day"?
* We often tend to feel shame about the realities of illness or aging. We see them as a sign of weakness or failure. Paul faced those realities, but saw them differently. Are there disciplines (e.g. Bible memorization, meditation, prayer) that help you access God's strength to keep your inner self moving toward victory even when your outer self is breaking down? How has the Bible's teaching that our eternal life starts now shaped your view of your limitations?

Lord Jesus,
on the days when life feels dark, when nothing seems to go right, help me not to be crushed or destroyed. Remind me always that "the worst thing is never the last thing."
Amen.



If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.
Dates have been set for the rescheduled General and Jurisdictional Conferences. The dates, with links to more info on the conferences, are as follows:
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)

According to todays' verse, who can make you strong?

God is the one who can give you the strength you need to keep going. His power is unlimited. Remember, He's the one who created the entire world. He's the one who sent His only Son so that you could have a relationship with Him, forever.

You can depend on God-put all your trust and confidence in Him-because He loves you. There isn't anything you will face tomorrow or the next day or twenty years from now that is too big or too hard for God.

How many chairs are there around the table at your house? Grab that many index cards or scraps of paper. Write out the words of today's verse on each one, then tape them to the back of each chair. Every
time you or a family member sits in one of those chairs this week,
talk about how you can depend on God's mighty power just like
you trust that chair to hold you up. Spend some time thanking
God for His mighty power that helps you keep going
with determination!
 
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
TOMORROW, 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
Connect with us online