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?
When I think about Dorcas, I think about all the women in my life who have used their hands in service to bless others. My grandmother made sure that my mother and her sisters developed skills they could use to care for people in their lives. I have quilts made for me by Mother, Aunt and Grandmother that I can wrap myself in and feel the love that was stitched into every piece of their work. Growing up my mom, Brenda, made it a priority to try to teach me the domestic skills, that her mother had taught her, so I could use the skills to serve others.
I remember growing up having to sit on a specific stool in my mom's kitchen while she would cook. I remember asking her why I had to sit and watch her prepare the meals, and my mom responded that I needed to learn to cook so I could care for my future family and the people in my life that I love.
From baking brownies for every tennis match of mine in high school, to sewing quilts for children in foster care, to crocheting hundreds of potholders to donate to the annual church bazaar to help raise money for missions, Brenda (like Dorcas) uses her domestic skills as her way of serving the Lord.
I think one powerful part missing from these short eight verses of Dorcas' story (which I totally would have included in this chapter in Acts if I had been in charge of editing) is Dorcas' reaction once she was resurrected. Stop and think of how she must have felt opening her eyes and being surrounded by those she had cared for, all holding the tangible and intangible representations of her life's work of love and service. Think of all the potholders that would be held up for Brenda! Think of all the items that others would hold up for you.
What can we do to put love into every effort we make? A simple crocheted potholder can be an act of service when love is sewn into every stitch. I use the skills my mom taught me in her kitchen to bless others by delivering a hot cooked meal to a family going through a tough time, surprising someone who needs a smile with a baked pastry and coffee, or sharing a charcuterie board (that could make Martha Stewart herself jealous) with friends.
So I encourage you to look at the life skills God has given you. Find the unique ways that you can use these to serve others! My Mom would tell you that she does all the things that she does for others because she feels genuine joy using her skills serving. God needs your work in this world, but also wants you to feel the joy that comes with serving others!
There are many ways of serving others. There's no record of a church building in the city of Joppa, but the church was there. Exhibit A was a marvelous seamstress named Tabitha (Dorcas-meaning "gazelle"--in Greek). There's no evidence that she ever preached a sermon, but God equipped her to sew, and gave her a heart for the poor. The "show and tell" time in verse 39 is a deeply touching scene. Tabitha lived her faith in such beautiful ways that God used Peter as a channel to allow her to keep living it longer.
- Tabitha loved people, lived out her love through her gift of sewing, and changed a whole city. What are you able to do that God can use to bless others? To what extent do you think behavior like Tabitha's is a matter of natural inclination, and to what extent do you believe it reflects intentional moral choices? God used both Peter, the apostle, preacher and healer and Tabitha, the seamstress with a compassionate heart, to lead many to believe in Jesus. What role(s) has God equipped you to play in serving others? How committed are you to doing your part in helping others to "put their faith in the Lord"?
help me never to think, "All I can do is ____________, and that doesn't matter." Make my life, and whatever abilities I have, count as much for you as Tabitha's lovely life of service.
A note from Pastor Hari and Richal Ghimire, Batulechour Church, Pokhara-16, Kaski, Nepal
The COVID19's patients are increasing day by day in Nepal. Because of COVID19 pandemic all people locked inside the house. Millions people have lost their jobs. People are struggling for food every day. We never thought we would lock ourselves inside the house.
We church families are praying for the neediest among the needy. We are trying to provide food to them in this hard situation. We are focusing on vulnerable people. Most have lost their daily wages because of lock down.
We distributed food items at 12 places and for about 187 families. Most of them are daily workers and poor families. We expended about Rs. 525,000.00 (USD 4,412) by now for the food distribution in the village and town. Still, there are many families who are in need. We are trying to help them in this difficult situation.
We are thankful to our respected friends and their families who trust us and sent support to help those needy people. People are blessed. Still, we are supporting to poor and needy. God bless them.
Pastor Hari and Richal Ghimire
Batulechour Church, Pokhara-16, Kaski
Church Council will be hosting a meeting via Zoom this Sunday, June 7, at 11:30 AM to share updates on Asbury.
REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.
to register now. Following registration, you'll receive an email with information on how to join the webinar.
Join us for virtual coffee hours on Zoom beginning next Sunday, June 14, following worship! No registration required. Meeting information is as follows:
Meeting ID: 815 1712 6618
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A reminder that while we continue to be a Church, Asbury's building is closed. Please join us for the Church Council update meeting this Sunday for information on Asbury's plan as we move into the "yellow" and "green" phases (meeting details above).
For SPARK (3-4yr olds)
For BLAST (PreK- 5th grades)
Do you know what the word "distraction" means? A distraction is something that takes your focus off the task in front of you. What are some things that distract you or keep you from finishing your homework? Write your answers below.
It's easy to get distracted and let other things get in the way when we're trying to get something done. When we stay focused, not looking to the right or to the left, we have a better chance of limiting the distractions around us.
What are some things that keep you from doing what God wants you to do? What are some things that often distract you or get you off track?
When it comes to determination, focus is super important. When you look ahead and keep going, not looking to the right or to the left, it's much easier to finish what you start. As you pray today, ask God to help you stay focused so that can finish with determination. He will help you be strong and brave as you follow Him.
Videos for this week (new for 5/31):
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 dates to be announced soon!
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.
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
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.
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 (
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.
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
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!
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.
Salem United Methodist Church in Allentown, Food bank can take donations in the morning by appointment only.
Call Rev. Navin Satyarvata 610-432-2577