Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Today is the final day to add your voice! Asbury's leadership has developed a survey to gather congregational input as they consider the next steps in "re-opening" Asbury's facility in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. If you have not received the link to the survey, please respond to this email and let us know.
Weekly Framework
The United States of America is a nation of laws. But laws don't inspire greatness, excellence, or virtue. In fact, when we confuse what is legal with what is moral, everyone looks for a loophole to serve his or her own interests. The rich rule the poor, women become commodities, and children become victims. The law causes us to look down. It takes something else to inspire us to look up.

Tuesday's Reflection
From Pastor Eric's Daily Study Guide

The apostle Paul says that we are to live our lives as a living sacrifice to God.  As Christians, we are not just accountable to the laws of our nation, we are accountable to live a life that honors God. John Adams once said "Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." He is saying that if there is no moral consensus and sense of divine accountability, this grand experiment of personal freedom will fail. Do you agree or disagree? Why or why not?

In your own words, pray for guidance to live in a way that is God-honoring.

If you have a prayer request, send it to the prayer team at prayer@asburylv.org.
From Kevin and Kathy Bruce, Ecuador

The heavy rains of the annual Rainy Season have left our road a bit of a mess! Just past our house, between us and Palmira, the road bed gave way and is taking some work to get back in order. Still, we are thankful for many sunny mornings to get outside and get our exercise, work in the garden and yard, and soak in some Vitamin D. At this point, the rains come every afternoon, keeping our world bright and green.

Recently we were considering restarting the Sunday services when a new wave of sickness hit our area. We'd appreciate your prayers as we help the sick and encourage the fearful and anxious. Some believe the sickness that is passing around comes because of witchcraft; reassuring the believers that God is with us and that His power is not diminished even in the face of tough times has been vital in these days. Many days here at the Outpost we have become something akin to Grand Central Station as many are not wanting to go to Lita or to the city for their errands. We are happy to help the people as much as we are able, through the internet or other resources. On any given day we may be the local gas station, Internet cafe and copy & technology center, hair salon, small engine repair shop, garden center, clinic, or elementary school...even the local news station. :-) Grandma D. comes every few days to ask: "Is the big sickness getting lost yet?"

The local kids are encouraged to get online to do their schoolwork, and one worried mother asked us to please start a school. With more or less 500 schoolkids up and down our valley, we aren't sure how to provide all with help, especially without congregating in large groups. How we appreciate your prayers for strength and stamina, patience, and joy in serving the people here. May each one who comes up our driveway, a precious soul for whom Christ died, experience our Savior's love through us.

In HIS grip,
Kevin & Kathy

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 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:

GodTime Reflection

Take this reflection and find a seat at your favorite spot in your house. Maybe it's "your" chair or the corner of the couch.

The writer of Hebrews talks about a very special chair that belongs to God-His throne of grace. We don't know if it's a literal throne or just the idea of one, but it's cool to picture a massive throne that represents all the love, grace, and mercy God has toward us. In ancient times, it was against the law to approach a king sitting on his throne, unless he had invited you first.  How amazing that the King of the universe has invited ALL of us to approach His throne whenever we want!

Ask God to help you boldly approach His throne and ask for what you need.

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 7/5):

Upcoming Zoom for all youth- aged students with Erin, Rich & Pam Wednesday, July 8th from 8 PM - 8:45 PM.

We want to check in and see how everyone is doing.

Registration is required: https://forms.gle/5jDCV2vR8PEtsbbVA

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.


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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