Wednesday, July 29, 2020
Weekly Framework
Moving out of the shallow end starts with feeding ourselves spiritually. But if we stop at that first step, we'll be left spiritually fat rather than spiritually fit. How do we prevent that from happening? The next step involves a spiritual workout that's unique for each of us. 
 
90 Day Bible Reading Challenge
 
"Key Themes" Bible Reading Plan
 
The 'key theme' for this week's scripture passage is ''Love.' 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
 
Reflect on the qualities that love should entail, as explained in 1 Corinthians 13, then, in your own words, pray that you may better adopt those qualities in your relationships.



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


A reflection from our bishop, Bishop Peggy A. Johnson;  originally featured on her blog.

The Power of a Letter

Long ago, an African American teenager from Troy, Alabama, wrote a letter that would help change his life forever. His name was John Robert Lewis and the letter was sent to a pastor by the name of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Young Lewis was inspired as he read about what was happening in Montgomery, prompted by the actions of a woman named Rosa Parks. It was the bus boycott led by Dr. King to protest and end racial discrimination in public transportation. Lewis sent that letter to the civil rights leader, hoping that the pivotal events occurring in Montgomery could be replicated in Troy.

Dr. King not only wrote back to this 18-year-old, but he included in the letter a roundtrip bus ticket to Montgomery and an invitation to come meet him. Lewis got on that bus, and the rest was history.

The young man would later become an influential United States Representative from the state of Georgia, often described as a moral leader within the U.S. Congress. But first he learned much from Dr. King and others-including the Rev. James Lawson, a United Methodist leader in the civil rights movement-about how to engage in that justice work through faith-based, strategic nonviolence. He dedicated the rest of his life to this endeavor.

Lewis was the first head of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, a relentless force of young people who led Freedom Rides and voter education and registration efforts across the South. Thus, he was the youngest face always seen around the table with Dr. King and other civil rights leaders in those black and white pictures of the 1960s.

He was the last living speaker from the March on Washington in 1963 that culminated with King's "I Have a Dream" address. He learned and demonstrated first-hand that when people see "something that is not right, not fair and not just, that they have a moral obligation to speak up and speak out."

Congressman John Lewis went home to be with the Lord last week. The world has gained and lost a great man in him. As a child he felt a call to the preaching ministry, and he later graduated from a Baptist seminary and Fisk University in Nashville, Tennessee. But he spent his life preaching justice and equality for all through his actions as a public servant.

His kind of preaching got him arrested over 40 times, and it got him into what he called "good trouble" for the cause of freedom for African Americans and other Americans across this nation. Civil rights for people of color has in many ways been a springboard for the cause of equality and justice for many oppressed people in this country. The benefits continue on and on, as the "arc of the moral universe bends toward justice," a prophetic phrase made famous by Dr. King.

The story of John Lewis all started with a letter and a bus ticket. Added to Dr. King's many attributes was his intentional mentoring of younger people along the way. King wisely knew that the movement he began needed the next generation to carry on the work. He took the time to work with this high school graduate from Troy, Alabama. And John Lewis, in turn, mentored countless young people in his day as well.

The work of God's love, equality, justice and empowerment-of nonviolent social action or "good trouble"-is as important now as ever. Twenty years from now things will look different, largely because of what is happening and what we are learning today. And yet, we can solidify the effectiveness of future strides and ministries as we mentor the ones coming up behind us.

Who is writing you letters? Who is curious about your ministry, your justice work and your passion for "making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world"? Who can you empower and encourage to learn from you and to continue and develop the work for generations to come?

The next John Lewis waits for you to answer their letter.

Sources:
NPR "StoryCorps" January 17, 2020
CBSnews.com August 16, 2017
Wikipedia


Make your reservation! Asbury is holding an outdoor worship service on Sunday, August 2, at 8 AM! Here's a brief rundown everything you'll need to know:

The service will feature...
A message from a pastor
A liturgist
Music, but no singing
No offering collection

What You Need to Do
Practice social distancing
Wear a mask
Bring a chair
Register to let us know you're coming at asburylv.org/outdoorworshipregistration

The service will be held on the lawn on the lower level outside of the Worship Center area. A restroom will be available if needed.

An outdoor service is obviously dependent on good weather, so make sure to check our website ( asburylv.org) the night prior to the service to make sure it's still on as planned!

Each worshiper will be required to abide by the Asbury Code of Conduct, developed as part of the Trustee Resolution Addressing COVID-19.

The outdoor service will not be streamed, but there will still be an online-only 10 AM service live-streamed from the Sanctuary.

 
 

Day 3
 
Our Virtual VBS Story today is: Jesus Chooses His Disciples (Luke 5:1-11, 27-32) 
  • Big idea:  I can follow Jesus
  • Memory Verse: "Nothing in creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 8:39)
Print Resources for this week:
For SPARK (3-4yr olds):  Parent Cue 
For BLAST (PreK - 5th grades):
  God Time devotionals 
 
Videos for this week (new for 7/26):
Upcoming Zoom for all youth- aged students with Erin, Rich & Pam  
TONIGHT, Wednesday, July 29th  from 8 PM - 8:45 PM. 
Registration is required:  https://forms.gle/BF1Z1JwTNPa5RDKRA
    
Hope you can join us!!



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.


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.

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 .



Due to changes in staffing at our hospitals, the church often can no longer reach hospital staff to find out if our Asbury members are hospitalized.
Please call the church office to let us know if you or a loved one is in the hospital, so we can provide pastoral care. Thank you!



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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