Friday, June 5, 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?

Friday's Devotional

On a recent trip to the grocery store I met a man in the dairy section puzzling over packages of butter. "My wife is baking cookies and sent me to the store to buy butter, but I don't know if I should buy salted or unsalted?" I love to bake and shared that most baking recipes call for unsalted or sweet butter, while salted is preferred for spreading on toast or vegetables. The amount of salt in salted butter is very small; about 1/3 teaspoon on average for a tablespoon of butter. But that small amount is all that's needed to greatly impact the flavor of the butter, making your breakfast or side dish all the more flavorful.

Just as a tiny amount of salt makes all the difference in the taste of a tablespoon of butter, today's Scripture reminds us that small acts of kindness hold the potential for a large impact, especially when done together in the church as the body of Christ. Maybe you filled a bag with soup, boxed dinners and cereal. Another member brought in a bag with pasta and sauce and peanut butter. Someone else purchased tuna, rice and canned vegetables. Alone one of these bags might provide a couple of meals for a family. But when many provide just a few items we end up with enough food to fill the shelves of several area food pantries, providing a variety of healthy options for families in need, just through one food drive.

Working in [Church of the Resurrection's] Local Impact Ministries I have the privilege of hearing about many ways people use their particular gifts to provide opportunities and hope for others in the community. Over the past few days volunteers have worked behind the scenes fixing cars so moms fleeing domestic abuse have safe, reliable transportation. Volunteer teams have refurbished computers to provide to re-entry programs that work with men leaving incarceration, giving them a second chance and reducing recidivism. Several women spent Saturday morning teaching basic cooking skills to older foster care youth, empowering them to create healthy meals for themselves when on their own. A team of men enjoyed coffee and breakfast pastries and took the time to pray for the students who would received the bags of weekend food they were delivering that day. These are just a few examples of the many, many ways that members serve to bring salt and light to others within the church and our community.

You are God's plan for restoring His kingdom. Use your gift and be salt and light to those who need compassion, hope and encouragement.

For Reflection

This was the keynote of Jesus' call to citizens of "the kingdom of God." He didn't specify that those who follow him should "go" to a certain place. He called them to live in a certain way for God. In Pennsylvania, the Tri-County Church gave their members T-shirts. On the front, they read, "I don't go to church," and on the back, they said, "I AM the church." That reflected Jesus' message. As we let God's light shine through us, we truly ARE the church.
  • Have you ever flown over a city at night? Or driven along a highway from the dark countryside into the light of a city? Think about what it felt like to go from darkness to light. What are the dark corners of your neighborhood, city, and world that need to experience God's light? What can you do to help shine God's light into these dark corners?
  • In Jesus' day, with no refrigerators, people used salt to preserve food as well as to flavor it. Jesus called his followers to be "the salt of the earth," living in ways that add flavor to our world and "preserve" life's God-intended goodness. As one teacher put it, Jesus did not say, "You are the vinegar of the earth"! In what ways are you living out your faith in ways that flavor life positively, and preserve its goodness?

Lord God,
if I forget, 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.

REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED.

Please visit
asburylv.org/ChurchCouncilUpdate
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:

Zoom Meeting
https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81517126618?pwd=eHR1Rnk3QjJFRjgyUGxxNUI3QTJOQT09
Meeting ID: 815 1712 6618
Password: 654634
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Meeting ID: 815 1712 6618
Password: 654634
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/keHWo4pVEp




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).



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.

Print Resources from this week:
For SPARK (3-4yr olds):  Parent Cue
For BLAST (PreK - 5th grades): 
God Time devotionals

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!


This week,  Pastor Eric begins a 4-week series titled "Jonah." God works miracles through those who obey, though often times our nature rebels against Him. Regardless of which path we choose-obedience or rebellion- God is the God of second chances. Few stories illustrate this principle more clearly than the story of Jonah. Join us as we delve into the story of one man and his journey towards surrender.

Worship will be streaming live at 10 AM at live.asburylv.org and will feature a variety of musical styles.


Update: Thanks for your generous donation of plastic bags! We have as many as are needed right now!

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.



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  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.


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 smile.amazon.com/ch/23-1352369, or login to your account at smile.amazon.com 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  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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