Saturday, May 9, 2020

Tomorrow,  Pastor Eric continues the "Unafraid" sermon series  with the message  "Friendless and Alone."  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. In this message, we will look at how to deal with feelings of loneliness.

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


We are offering 2 streaming services tomorrow, live at 10 AM (blended) and at 5 PM (Open Door) at live.asburylv.orgThe 10 AM service will feature a variety of musical styles, including some live music from the Sanctuary, and Pastor Eric will be preaching live. The 5 PM service will feature new recordings from the Open Door Band and a replay of Pastor Eric's message from the morning.

Resources for Tomorrow's Worship Service
Children's Bulletins:  Ages 3+ |  Ages 7+
Weekly Framework
As humans, we tend to fear those who are different from ourselves. 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.  So how can we overcome the fear of others and see people as God sees them. 

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

At the foundation of all Christian faith is the trust that God loves us, that God created human beings out of love and for love. This was (and is) quite extraordinary. Egyptians, Canaanites, Greeks or Romans-none of them believed their gods loved them. But Christians believe Jesus embodied that belief, and showed us how it shapes life for the better. And that belief makes a real difference in how we relate to all other people, those who are close to us and those who are
"other." Paul told the Galatians that in Jesus ethnic, economic/social and gender distinctions all lost their power to divide us and cause fear and separation.

For Reflection:
* Why would perfect love drive out fear? Have you ever experienced a situation in which as love developed for another person, fear of that person decreased and disappeared? 1 John 4:20 got blunt, and may make us uncomfortable: "If anyone says, I love God, and hates a brother or sister, he is a liar." To what extent do you agree that hate for human beings rules out genuine love for God? Why would that be the case? Can you think of practical steps that move you in the direction of caring about "others," about people that you may see as dangerous enemies, as deserving of fear and distrust rather than of love? 

Lord Jesus,
sometimes I find your ways appealing.
Sometimes I find them hard.
I need your grace to guide and energize me to more and more see everyone as a person you love, even the ones who frustrate or scare me.
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

UPDATED ANNOUNCEMENT:  The deadline to pick up SPARK SACKS & BLAST BAGS has been extended to Monday, May 11th.  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 from now through May 11th.



Today's Devotional:

Have you ever started something big and gotten so overwhelmed you wanted to quit?

Take a minute and think about it. It might have been cleaning your room, a five-mile hike, learning a new instrument or sport. Big tasks like that can seem like they take forever! But here's the awesome thing-if God calls you to do something or gives you a deep love for learning something, He can give you the power to finish what you start. He can help you keep going, even when the job feels like it is too big and takes too long. What's something you're in the middle of right now that feels too overwhelming to finish? Talk about it with someone in your family. Then pray together, that God will give you the power to take a few more steps toward the finish line this week.
 
Print Resources for this week:
For SPARK (3-4yr olds):  Parent Cue
For BLAST (PreK - 5th grades): 
God Time devotionals

Videos for this week:
 
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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