Monday, June 1, 2020
Weekly Framework
When we think of church, why is a building the first thing that comes to mind? Is church a place full of robes and pews? Bands and banners? Or is church meant to refer to something different?

Monday's Devotional

God's promise to Abram is one of the passages of scripture that help shape my life as a Christian. God's promise to Abram includes promised blessings, but more importantly includes a promise that all people will be blessed through him. I understand my call to a life of faith in which I am called to offer myself in service to others. I am called to know, love and serve God and grow toward perfect love of God and neighbor.

God's promise to Abram does not promise any particular benefit for Abram other than the promise to be blessed. There is no promise for great wealth, wisdom or a comfortable life. My natural instinct is to wish for a few of those things for myself. However, this is not what God promises for us.

To be blessed by God is more than enough for me.

For Reflection
  • God promised Abram great blessings. What did God promise to Abram? What, if anything, is missing from the promised blessings that you might have wanted included, if you had been Abram? List the major blessings you have received in your life.
  • With the promised blessings, God gave a great responsibility. Abram and his family were to be a vehicle through which God would bless all peoples on earth. Review your list of the blessings you have received. In what ways has God been able to bless others through you?

Dear God,
it's odd, when I think about it. At times, I find myself fearing that you, who spun a vibrant, ever-changing cosmos out of nothing, meant "church" to be boring, stuffy, and outdated. Remind me that "we the people" are the church. By your Spirit, help me to live as your salt and light, your physical presence, right here in my hometown.
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 this Sunday, June 7, at 11:30 AM to share updates on Asbury. Watch for meeting details to come!



Dates have been set for the rescheduled General and Jurisdictional Conferences. The dates, with links to more info on the conferences, are as follows:



The camps in our conference have made the difficult decision to suspend or cancel their summer camps and programs. Get more information about each camp at the links below:

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)

Do you know why the Bible is important?

Maybe that's a question you've never really thought about. The Bible isn't just another book that tells us about events of the past. The Bible is God's word to us. When we read it, just like you're reading it today, it can help, teach, comfort and guide. When you have questions about God, the Bible is the best place to go for answers.

We all have questions for God. Some questions might seem silly (like "why are there mosquitoes?") and some are more serious (like "why is my grandmother sick?") Questions aren't bad! That's how we learn. Don't be afraid to ask questions, to search the Bible for answers and to talk to other people who love and follow God too. This week, if you find yourself wanting to give up, read this verse. Thank God for His word. And remember, you can keep going, even when you have questions.
 
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 submitted your things yet, please send them to Aaron Forney at aforney@asburylv.org by TOMORROW - Tuesday, June 2!



We had a great time meeting over Zoom! Thanks for joining us!  Second sessions for high school seniors and college students are being scheduled - watch for the date to be announced soon!


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.



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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