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.
Work on 1040 (above) and the Dining
& Caring Center (below).
Maintaining Our Spiritual Spaces
April 16, 2020
James Flack and the intrepid Sexton team have been hard at work while we are all away. Due to the lack of traffic, they've been able to get to some much-needed projects to beautify our spiritual spaces while working in shifts to maintain social distancing. So far, they've painted the kichenette and storage room off the Gathering Center; freshly waxed the floors of Wesley Hall and the lower level hallway in the elevator, main shop, and UR Well Clinic area; and have waxed the floors
as well as repaired and painted walls in the Dining and Caring Center. All of this is on top of daily deep cleans and sanitizing of all three buildings on campus! What an amazing job this crew is doing!
We are thankful for such wonderful work.
Here are a few screen grabs from the many virtual meetings we have had as a church during these isolating times.
Charles Jones works on painting the storage room off of the Gathering Center.
Rev. Mike Mullin, Paula Dugan, and Holly Temming have been delivering a few Birthday Surprises! Of course, they both have some special helpers (Aurora Mullin and a Minion) to spread joy and connection. Great job!
CHILDREN AND YOUTH MINISTRIES
What a fun night! The first official Youth Group Netflix party went off with only a slight hitch. It was great to gather together in our own homes to watch an Easter movie (Hop) and chat. To paraphrase Stephen, it was BYOP (Bring Your Own Popcorn). Happy Easter! — Summer Sattora, Asst. Director of Youth Ministry
Youth Group Netflix Party
Submissions from Laura Booth, Yvonne Colton, Patti Crawford, Karen Eastman, Kari Marsiglio, Elena Nescio, Dave Rice, Bob Schuman, Michelle Tourje, and Wayne Turnblom.
We asked you to show us “Signs of Life” to commemorate Easter and the empty tomb. Enjoy these images of the community in the celebration of life.
Submissions from Harry Bronson, Sarah Brubaker, Mary Church, Alex Hunt, Colleen Schantz, Clark Simonds, and Holly Temming.
Continued from previous page.
SIALIA (OR BLUEBIRD)
The first drops of birdsong report
from around winter's stony walls—
startling, sharp—seemingly impossible;
frost, like linen, unravelled over hard earth—
and I walk the same path each day, eyes lifted
yearning for a flutter of blue;
only once I've heard that chorus—
a dream barely illuminated
as I lie awake in the hazy twilight—
do I feel how profoundly the silence has settled.
It is all too easy to listen
to that creeping doubt—the anxieties inherited
of our past mistakes; too sudden
the cold snap that descends without warning;
too little the light obscured by roiled grey;
too often the eggs cast
from the nest.
And as I come again upon that oft-pondered way—
the skies lonely and mourning their dead—
I am sure that no melody will greet me.
Yet there—in the pale, still dawn—
where I have opened my arms
to the dark—
I find myself
by the heaviness of wings.
By Larry Gage
The work site of the new “University Chapel.”
Thirteen Asbury First members journeyed to Project Chacocente, near Managua, Nicaragua from January 29 to February 5. Our 13 were part of a larger group of 25 United Methodist “delegates” who converged in Central America from San Diego and Valencia (near Los Angeles), Fort Worth, Nashville, Rochester, and Calgary, Alberta. Because of civil unrest in Nicaragua starting in 2018, this was the first large delegation to visit Chacocente in two years.
In keeping with tradition, on our arrival at the Project, members of the eight original families that UM Missionary Cheryl Avery had helped relocate from the Managua city dump to establish Chacocente in 2003, along with their children and grandchildren, gathered us into their circle, and our guide and translator, Omar, relayed our mutual greetings. In the brilliant sunshine and delightful 90-degree air of tropical Nicaragua’s dry season, we toured the Project on foot, walking among the families’ modest block homes and through their lush groves of avocado, plantain, mango, papaya, jocote, and limón.
Everyone worked on Chacocente Christian School’s new church, its “University Chapel,” whose prominence on the campus reflects the Project’s sustaining conviction and the thoroughly Biblical and Wesleyan idea that Christian discipleship is an essential companion to a sound education.
Over five-and-a-half workdays, the construction team, Nicaraguans and Norte Americanos side-by-side, dug up and transported over 400 wheelbarrows of dirt to prepare the Church floor for fresh concrete. Also, we carried tons of additional cargo of blocks, concrete mix, gravel and hand-sifted sand to the job site. Our “steel” crew assembled dozens of segments of rebar into frames to strengthen the Church’s doors and windows. Nicaraguan friends were our exemplars and patient teachers at every turn. That has always been one of the beautiful features of Project Chacocente: our new and old friends teach us! We come to help people; we leave as people who have ourselves been helped, and transformed.
Monday morning, we were fortunate to be able to watch Chacocente Christian School’s 130 students and 24 teachers and staff open the new academic year (which runs from about February 1 to the end of November). Tuesday afternoon, we circled up to say our goodbyes to our friends, in Spanish and
in English, the customary bookend to every visiting team’s
week at Project Chacocente. We headed back to the States early Wednesday morning – on time, safe, tired and thoroughly inspired.
The “Chacocente Experience” has a way of creating permanent kinship among folks from all points of the compass. Would you like to know more? We hope so. Just ask any of this year’s travelers: Jim Carter; Cindy Connell; Arianna and Cathy Ernsthausen; Bob Featherstone; Katherine, Robyn and Larry Gage; Chuck Hanrahan; Sandra Holloway; Dave and Beth Rice; and Beth Woolever. We would love to talk with you about what we saw, and did, and yet plan to do, and to show you a few of our hundreds of photos!
Inspiration from Project Chacocente