Monday, July 13, 2020
Weekly Framework
No one strives to be shallow. But how do we grow deeper? The journey starts with a step that each of us can only take for ourselves.  Feeding ourselves spiritually isn't intended to be another thing on our "to-do" lists. The reason we feed ourselves isn't just because of what we find there, but who we find there. It's a way we encounter more of Jesus. It's a step we take to lead ourselves into a growing relationship with Jesus that's marked by closeness. As a way to pick up your fork and feed yourself, I invite you to join our "90 Day Bible Reading Challenge."

90 Day Bible Reading Challenge
 
"Key Themes" Bible Reading Plan
 
The 'key theme' for this week's scripture passage is 'Grace.' Read the applicable scripture passage for each day below using the 'SOAP' method of reading scripture.
 
S cripture - First read the scripture passage.
O bservation - Think about what you just read and find one thing you think God wanted you to   hear that's relevant to your life and write it down.
A pplication - Think about what you need to do differently as a result of what you just read and write it down.
P ray-   Pray about what you just read.

Today's Passage

Father God,
Thank You for "destining us for adoption as Your children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of Your will." Thank You for Your grace, redemption, and forgiveness.
Amen.



If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.

This article is by Rev. Candy LaBar, Pastor of Wesley UMC, and was originally featured on the EPAUMC website.

'Love one another'...enough to wear a mask

Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 2:4-5, NRSV)

I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another. (John 13:34-35, NRSV)

"And now, for my daily reminders," Dr. Rachel Levine, Pennsylvania's Secretary of Health, said each day during her COVID daily briefings. If, like our family, you've watched those daily COVID press conferences on PCN, you're probably able to recite her daily reminders by heart. But they're worth repeating:

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds... or the time it takes to sing "Happy Birthday" twice.
  • Use hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover any coughs or sneezes with your elbows and not with your hands.
  • Try not to touch your face, especially after touching surfaces.
  • Clean surfaces frequently.
  • If you are going out for life-sustaining activities, please wear a mask.
And as always, she would add: "Remember... my mask protects you, and your mask protects me."

When we wear our face masks, our primary aim is not to protect ourselves. Our primary aim is to protect others. It is an act of protection, care, and concern for others. And at this moment, in this strange season, it seems like the simplest, most practical, most tangible way to live out the words of Paul and the words of Jesus in our scriptures for today. "Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others," Paul writes (Philippians 2:3, NRSV). "Love one another," Jesus says, "just as I have loved you" (John 13:34, NRSV).

Love one another, friends. Love one another enough to wear a mask. Friends, I invite you to repeat those words every time you don a mask. Love one another enough to wear a mask. I invite you to repeat those words, that you may remember: what you are doing is holy. What you are doing is good. What you are doing... is just what Jesus told you to do.
NEW OPPORTUNITIES

Ever heard of  PLARN????

Wanted: people interested in making plastic sleeping mats for the homeless to insulate them from the cold dampness of the ground

Skills needed: cutting with scissors and single crochet (or team up with someone to share these two jobs)

Tools needed: scissors, a bigger-sized crochet hook (size "P" is recommended), a yardstick or measuring tape

Raw materials: clean used plastic shopping and grocery bags with soft seams - these are turned into a plastic yarn, called... plarn!

Guidance: Wendy Arbushites can teach you how to do the entire process. It's very easy!

Supply source: We currently have plenty of bags which have been "quarantined" for at least a week to avoid any Coronavirus issues. Please email Wendy if you are interested in helping at warb@rcn.com

Click here to view a slideshow with steps to make a mat.


PREVIOUSLY COMMUNICATED OPPORTUNITIES

Teachers at our partner school, Ramos Elementary, have requested supplies to help keep their classrooms and students safe this fall.  Please start gathering, Clorox wipes, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, hand soap for classroom use.  We'll have a collection day at Asbury in August to gather these items for delivery to Ramos.  If you have questions, contact Dick McCreight (dickmcc@ptd.net).



The Allentown Area Ecumenical Food Bank needs volunteers noon to 2-2:30 pm Monday, Thursday and Friday and an occasional Tuesday to pack groceries for clients.  Everyone must wear mask.  Contact Vanessa by calling 610-821-1332 or emailing aaefb1978@gmail.com.

GodTime Reflection

Read Acts 1:8

When Jesus gave the command to His disciples to share the good news that He had come to save the world, He started out first by reminding them that they would have the power of the Holy Spirit inside them. Then He moved on to challenge them to share in their own city, then to the next region, and then to one even further out, and so on, until the entire world has heard the good news.


What is the closest part of your world-maybe there are people in your house who you can help to get to know Jesus? Or your neighborhood or school? Make your own version of Jesus' challenge to the disciples:


Ask God to help you share the great news about Jesus with others.

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 7/12):




Asbury will hold "BOLT" virtual VBS on July 27th - 29th. 
During BOLT, your family will see Bible story videos, participate in fun games and complete crafts that illustrate what it means to listen to, focus on, and follow Jesus. Each day's experience will last about 30-45 minutes and can be done in the morning, afternoon or evening - whenever best fits your schedule! While all are invited to participate, the activities are geared towards children 3yrs & older.
If you have any questions, please contact Pam Unrath at punrath@asburylv.org

Please use the following link to register by July 19th: 
https://forms.gle/Tuf4qfXACPEdY2Kc6

HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS: join us Friday nights at 8 PM to catch up via Zoom!  If it's your first time joining us, registration is required!
Register now at  asburylv.org/HSSeniorZooms. 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!


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.



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.


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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