Thursday, July 30, 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.

 
This Week's Readings
Monday  Psalm 136
Tuesday John 15
Wednesday 1 Corinthians 13
Thursday 1 John 2
Friday  1 John 3

 
In you own words, pray for God's enlightenment as you seek to know God's truth.



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


A reflection from our District Superintendent, Rev. Steve Morton; adapted from the North District 7/22 ENews.


"How long will you go limping with two different opinions?
If the Lord is God, follow him!"
(I Kings 18:21)

Ezra Klein in Why We're Polarized (2020) makes a compelling case that many Americans these days choose their religion (and their local church, as it were) based on their politics - often despite the concurrent, antithetical cry that "Politics don't belong in church!"

I'd like to believe that it wasn't always that way. A case in point is one of the great patriots of the American Revolution, Patrick Henry, who swam against the tide of his political contemporaries by challenging the established Anglican Church of eighteen century Virginia in concert with the low-church Christians (Presbyterians!) in Hanover County - largely because of the way their evangelical theology (and his) addressed the reality of slavery. Writing to a Quaker friend in 1773, Henry said: "It is not a little surprising that Christianity, whose chief excellence consists of softening the human heart, in cherishing and improving its inner feelings, should encourage a practice so repugnant to the first impression of right and wrong. What adds to the wonder is that this abominable practice has been introduced in the most enlightened ages." (Patrick Henry, by Thomas Kidd, p. 79).

Some of the strongest voices in the ongoing civil rights movement in twentieth and twenty-first America have been leaders driven first by theology, not by politics. The Rev. Martin Luther King is an obvious example. The death of Congressman John Lewis of Georgia [two weeks ago] reminds us of another: as a teenager, called to preach the gospel...even studied in a Christian seminary...before a long career of public service in the federal government... 'Enlightened by religion, then practiced in politics.

The re-emergence of the dialogue on racial equality in America (a conversation which never should have gone away) challenges us to think and act theologically first, and politically next.

Frankly it's difficult (but apparently not impossible) to read the holy scriptures any other way: this marvelous, sacred Book dominated in the Hebrew scriptures by God's action on behalf of the Israeli people in the exodus from Egypt and exile in Babylon...and in the New Testament, God's promised liberation of the church from the oppression of Rome.

Take a moment to consider how the recent protests on behalf of racial equality in this nation have been reflected in your own witness and ministry.


UPDATED INFORMATION ON RAMOS SUPPLY COLLECTION

As you know, teachers at our partner school, Ramos Elementary, have requested supplies including Clorox wipes, paper towels, tissues, hand sanitizer, hand soap to help keep their classrooms and students safe this fall.  It has been recently announced that Allentown School District classrooms won't be opening in September, but we're still collecting and Ramos will store the supplies for the teachers to be prepared when the classrooms do open.  We'll hold a drop-off for the items you've collected on Friday August 21 st  from 4:00 PM to 6:00 PM and Saturday August 22 nd  from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  Thank you, Asbury, for helping keep Ramos teachers and students safe.

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.


GodTime Reflection


Put a smiley face besides the things that make you really happy. You can put two smiley faces besides the ones that make you the most happy.

PUPPIES
MOVIES
CANDY
ROLLER COASTERS
BOOKS
MUSIC
FRIENDS
VIDEO GAMES
DANCING
FAMILY


Believe it or not, following Jesus can give you more joy than all these things combined. That may be hard to imagine, because we're only experiencing Jesus on this side of heaven. But one day, when we are with Him forever, all these things will pale in comparison to being with Jesus!

Ask God to give you a taste of the joy to come in heaven.


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):

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.



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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