E-Newsletter of Asbury First
A church is more than the building, and the members
of Asbury First are proving this time and again. We aim to keep connected with a weekly e-newsletter that will highlight the unique stories
of our amazing community.
By Rev. Kathy Thiel Minister of Congregational Care
We Gather Together
April 22, 2020
A true gift. A reminder that nothing separates us from the love of God: not physical distance, not virus, not masks. We are joined by our hearts, to one another, now and always. And we are eternally grateful: for each other, for the technology that keeps us connected, and for love that reminds us of who we are.
Sometime last summer, I joined one of the volunteer teams at the Dining & Caring Center. I was privileged to be asked to be part of the Friday morning team, made up of Patrick Fulford, Bob Newman, and Glenn Peck. Together we served breakfast to our guests, offering and receiving a warm “Good Morning!” We served grits, a variety of cold cereals, fruit, the best coffee in Rochester, and a hearty and delicious plate of hot eggs, potatoes and meat.
Volunteering together has been an opportunity for us to get to know each other, and while there are many (many!) silly jokes and songs to share, there are also conversations about the serious aspects of life. Working side-by-side, chatting and sharing was a bonding experience for us. During this time of social distancing and isolation, our team is scattered. But only geographically. Last Friday morning we gathered at 8 am (upwards of two hours later than some gather to begin the Friday morning shift!). We used the technological magic of Zoom to see each other’s faces and hear each other’s voices. To chat and laugh and share.
Here are a few screen grabs from the many virtual meetings we have had as a church during these isolating times.
Patrick Fulford, Rev. Kathy Thiel, Bob Newman, and Lynn and Glenn Peck on Zoom.
Acts of Kindness
Last week Carole Lamica hosted the second Youth Choir Zoom meeting! Although coordinating our singing to happen at the same time is a little tricky, the youth are continuing to rehearse new music and enjoy the fellowship together.
You can join them on Wednesdays from 7:15–8:15 pm.
Youth Choir Zoom!
CHILDREN AND YOUTH MINISTRIES
Rev. Mike Mullin surprised the Asbury First staff with a pre-staff meeting science class last week. Caleb and Aurora were on hand to help with the experiment.
My mother-in-law is in her mid-eighties and lives alone in Pennsylvania. She’s in the high-risk group and her local supermarket offers grocery curb side pick up service. She told us that she’s able to get most of her usual items but not disinfectant wipes. I had planned to send her a care package for Easter. I heard Costco gets some wipe shipments at times and I started calling the administrative office since I planned to shop there after two weeks of shelter-in-place. Unfortunately, Costco didn’t have a shipment in the week before Easter. I also had no luck with BJ’s, Wegmans and Tops.
Out of desperation, I reached out to a fellow parent volunteer, John W., who works at Target, and asked him if his store had any inventory. He texted me with an inventory photo and asked me which one I’d like to get. He then offered to pick it up and drop it off at our porch after work! John dropped off cleaning wipes, small hand sanitizers, and Cold-Eeze/Zicam (heard they are great for shortening colds!). Because of John’s generosity, I was able to send a care package to my mother-in-law with disinfectant wipes he helped provide. Thank you, John, for your kind act. The Shaffer family is extremely grateful!
We are also grateful for my mom and community neighbors who are sewing homemade masks to share with families and friends!
— Annie Shaffer, church member
If you have any acts of kindness, please share with us! We are all in this together, but it is good to have a reminder of the love and hope in our community. Send your stories to Sarah Brubaker at email@example.com.
The amazing team at the Dining & Caring Center continue our mission to “Feed the Hungry.” We started out with about 20-25 guests, and are up to about 50 guests daily. We are using the resources we have the best we can, and are grateful for our continued support from volunteers and Foodlink.
— Michele Cooly, Director of the Dining & Caring Center
Above: The kitchen crew—Charles, Dan, Sylvester, and Terry—get food ready for our guests while utilizing masks
Left: Socially distancing at the Dining & Caring Center.
Right: Onyx with his Spider Man mask and meal.
Feeding the Hungry