Friday, June 12, 2020
Weekly Framework
What do you do when that still small voice of God calls you to do something you don't want to do?  Like Jonah, many of us run in the opposite direction.   But just because you run, doesn't mean God is through with you. 

Friday's Devotional
Read Jonah 1:7-17

Dr. N. Bruce Henoch, 76, Topeka, KS, passed away Friday, January 3, 2003, at his home. His wife, J. June Henoch, 83, passed away Sunday, January 5, 2003, at The Kelly House, Topeka. Survivors include their daughter, Donna Karlen...

That was a hard week. In the more than 16 years since my parents passed away, I have thought about them every day. Memories of my mom come flooding back when I see flowering crab trees in full bloom, taste really good bread, hear a church choir. Cheering passionately for my Jayhawks, signing up for yet another opportunity to learn something, messing up a punch line - my dad is in all those things.

Most days the memories bring a smile to my heart. Other days I just reeeally miss them, and the tears will still come even though 6,099 days have gone by since their funeral.

You know what? I am so very blessed by how much I miss them. Because missing them means they were amazing parents. I know not everyone thinks fondly of their father like I do, such as when I see a shelf of Westerns at the book store, or cherishes their mother's dishes (even though I never would have picked out that pattern) because the plates and bowls represent the many holiday dinners she lovingly prepared and we enjoyed at the "fancy" dining room table (which also resides in my home and is the place we gather now for holiday meals with my kids).

Sound like a Norman Rockwell painting? Hardly. We had our share of disagreements, misunderstandings ("misunderheards") and squabbles. Sometimes I challenged their authority and disobeyed them. Which reminds me of my dad's notepads. He was a public school administrator, and I remember the notepads on his desk printed with "Character is not determined by the single act, but by the repeated act." Jesus repeatedly showed us how to live the fifth commandment in the ways he honored and obeyed his heavenly father and looked after his mother - even as he suffered hanging on a cross.

Rev. Billy Graham wrote that the fifth commandment is a beacon which "ultimately points us to our Savior who is the obedient Son in whom God holds out grace to all who believe. May God help us and make us fifth commandment people, make us a fifth commandment church, marked and characterized by honor and respect among ourselves that we may show a world of disrespect and dishonor and cynicism what the Gospel does, renovating and transforming hearts and lives and homes to the glory and praise of our Savior."

As Christians we strive to be like Jesus. As humans, we miss the mark in our repeated acts of disobedience and behaviors that do not honor him. God's ultimate promise to us - fulfilled in our Savior Jesus - is never-ending, unceasing grace. Repeated grace. Grace upon grace upon grace...

For Reflection
  • What Jonah's disobedience did not just affect him, it affects everyone around him. How can the con-sequences of our disobedience affect others?
  • Think about a time when you disobeyed God. Who was affected by your disobedience?

God of the wanderer,
Help my discontent soul to realize that my acts of disobedience go far deeper than my own life. Allow me to seek ways to honor you through all that I do.

If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at

For SPARK (3-4yr olds)

For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)

Determination Prayer:  Oh Lord, thank You for being the creator of motivation and determination. So Father, I pray that although things can seem hard at times, I will remember that nothing is impossible with You.  Therefore, I choose not to give up. I choose to not be shaken by what I see or feel in the moment. So Lord, I thank You for motivation, determination and compassion, Amen.

Videos for this week (new for 6/7):

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: join us tonight (Friday) at 8 PM (and ongoing on that day and time for the time being) for another Zoom session! Registration is required!
Register now at Meeting information will be emailed to you after completing registration.

A second session for college students is being scheduled - watch for the date to be announced soon!

This week,  Pastor Eric teaches in the second week of the  "Jonah" series. Do you regularly communicate with God or does it take hitting rock bottom to reach out to God? Join us as we examine Jonah's prayer from the belly of the whale and see what it means for us.

Worship will be streaming live at 10 AM at and will feature a variety of musical styles, both live and recorded.

If you would like a print copy of the July/August 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.

Join us for virtual coffee hours on Zoom beginning next Sunday, June 14, following worship! No registration required. Meeting information is as follows:

Zoom Meeting
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Password: 654634
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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

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:

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

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.


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.

Did you know that your Amazon purchases can help Asbury? While doing your Father's Day shopping, or getting a few needed items for home, visit, or login to your account at and choose "Asbury Allentown United Methodist Church" as your charity. Asbury will receive 0.5% of the price of your purchase!

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 .

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

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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