Wednesday, July 15, 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

God,
Nudge me with reminders to grow deeper with You; and to help others to do the same.
Amen.



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

A reflection from Bonnie Lynn Seiber, Retired Licensed Local Pastor, St. Mark UMC, Tennessee Valley District, originally shared on the Holston Daily Devotional.


Psalm 119:105 has always been one of my favorite Bible verses. When I read, "Thy word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path", I see a mental picture of a lighthouse. Growing up on the shores of Lake Erie in Cleveland, Ohio, I became fascinated with lighthouses. Cleveland is a major shipping port. Lake Erie is a moody, unpredictable body of water that can go from dead calm to a violent storm in an instant. In the Spring and Fall, thick fog is also a major factor in the weather pattern. To protect our large ships, Cleveland has both a Coast Guard Station and a small lighthouse five miles off our shoreline. We also have a lighthouse to the west at Marblehead, Ohio, and another to the east at Fairport Harbor, Ohio. These automated lighthouses over the last one hundred years have provided safe passage for ships and have saved an untold number of lives.

We are living in troubled times. The world we know today does not look like the world we knew in January. Sudden and unforeseen storms have sprung up and "sorrows like sea billows roll"* We are forced to question every decision we make. Unlike the past, we are concerned for our safety and our relationships with all humankind. Still, in the chaos, we do not have to wander blindly. God's word still stands out as a beacon to guide us. God has not deserted us. His word, written thousands of years ago, can show us the way and give us comfort. It is your choice. Do you want to drift aimlessly, or will you follow the light to safety?

*From the Hymn "It Is Well With My Soul."

GodTime Reflection

Read  Mark 16:15

Reading these words from Jesus may be a little intimidating. ALL the world? You may be thinking,
"I'm just a kid. How can I go into all the world?"

The good news is that there are some people who are already out there sharing God's love and the good news about Jesus. We can be a part of what they're doing by praying for them, talking to others about the work they're doing, and donating money and supplies to help them. 

With a parent's permission, do some internet research to find a missionary or organization serving in a part of the world that interests you. (Compassion International is a great one!) Find out what some of their needs are, and write them down so you can pray for them. And consider donating money or your time to help further their cause of helping others know Jesus.

Ask God how you can be a part of what He's doing in the world.

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!


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.




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.

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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