eBulletin for December 25

A Letter From Pastor Jonathan

Dear Church Family,


Merry Christmas! In the midst of this COVID season, and reflecting on the trials and challenges 2020 has presented, I hope and pray that you and your family have a Christmas filled with joy, comfort, and peace while we all cling to our faith and look for better days ahead.


Christmas is a special season. It is the time to remember and consider God’s love and His greatest gift – His plan of salvation revealed to us at Christmas time through the birth of Jesus. While we should celebrate and count that as our greatest blessing, it is a season to take stock of all the many blessings God has given to us and our church.


As I reflect this Christmas on the many ways God continues to bless Asbury, I want to share just a couple of them with you.  First, I thank God for your generosity. In a difficult year with COVID and many transitions, you have continued to faithfully support our church family and our ministries. One example is that your willingness to continue to support Asbury has allowed us to continue to make a difference in the lives of our church family and our community, and we should finish in the black for 2020. 


Another example is our annual “Christmas Is Not Your Birthday” campaign. Our goal is $78,000.00 and before our Christmas Eve Worship you had already given about two-thirds of that at almost $52,000. Thank you for your continued generosity in giving above your annual gifts and pledges to the church budget as we strive to make a difference for Hearts and Hands for Haiti, Rise Against Hunger, and our ministry to Lynn Road Elementary. Through these ministries we are seeking to do our part to help end hunger for children and families, locally and globally. May God continue to bless our efforts so we can continue to make this difference in His Kingdom work. I thank God in this season for the efforts of everyone involved with our community garden this year where we were able to donate over 7,500 lbs of fresh produce to a local food ministry in Raleigh. 


I thank God for our in-person and online worship experiences this fall and look forward to our Sunday Services in the New Year – our outdoor service (8:30am) will continue beginning January 3, and our contemporary (9:30am) and traditional (11:00am) services will continue on January 17 for those who are comfortable in this season. I thank God for our online services that have helped many to continue to worship as they feel comfortable, or while they have been out of town, or when we have been affected by the intensity of COVID. Our online services include our contemporary livestream at 9:30am and our traditional service which is recorded and downloaded usually within 30 minutes of the conclusion of the 11:00am service – and we continue to explore the ability to LiveStream that service as well.


I thank God for many new families and visitors that He is bringing to Asbury in this season. We will hold our first Discovering Asbury forum by zoom on January 12 at 6:30p.m. and hope that all visitors and new families will join us and meet our staff and see how Asbury is making a difference in people’s lives here and around the world. As we get back to worshiping together safely on January 17, through social distancing and wearing masks, we will begin a new preaching series entitled “Come and See” which encourages us to share the good news of Christmas through invitation. We look forward to seeing you in the New Year!


As Christmas in 2020 is different for all of us, I want to invite you to join us for our Christmas Day zoom at 1:00 pm for a devotion and singing on a couple of carols. This is a time to celebrate the Reason for the Season and connect with others in our church as we may experience separation from family, friends and loved ones in this season. 


While this year has been different and challenging, and has affected our worship and ministries, the Savior of the world has not changed. He is still Wonderful Counselor, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace, and King of Kings. He is our promised Messiah and our Emmanuel.  Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift. May the peace, hope, love, and joy of the Christ child dwell in your hearts today and each day. 


Merry Christmas! 


Pastor Jonathan

Highlights This Week + Schedule

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    Highlights This Week:

  • Christmas Is Not Your Birthday is still accepting donations through the end of 2020.
  • Steve Barnett is retiring from his position with our LiveStream - help us celebrate him!
  • Kids Ministry on Sunday mornings is on pause - We will return as parents' comfort levels return in the months to come
  • New here? Come to Discovering Asbury on Zoom - January 12th at 6:30pm

 


At A Glance:

  • Friday 12/25 - Christmas Day Prayer and Devotional With Pastor Jonathan at 1pm
  • Sunday 12/27 - LiveStream at 9:30am on Facebook Live and 11am on YouTube
  • Sunday 1/3 - Epiphany Worship and Communion- Outdoors at 8:30, Online worship at 9:30 and 11
  • Sunday 1/10 - Baptism of Our Lord Sunday - Outdoors at 8:30, Online worship at 9:30 and 11
  • Tuesday 1/12 - Discovering Asbury on Zoom at 6:30pm

We're 66%  there!

Asbury Church challenges our families to give a gift to God's Kingdom that matches what we spend on gifts for our families this Christmas. These donations help to fund various missions around the world. Are you ready to be a part? We already have $52,000 of our $78,000 goal!

Celebrate the Ministry of Steve Barnett

We are sad to share that Steve Barnett has chosen to retire from his role with our LiveStream at the end of 2020. He has been vital to helping us establish our LiveStream - something that became the true core and heartbeat of our church in 2020. Please help us celebrate Steve by sending or dropping off cards or gifts to the church office and tuning in to the 6pm Christmas Eve LiveStream as we celebrate him during his last official service with us.


Poinsettia Dedications

Poinsettia Reservations are now live! If you'd like to make a donation to have one in Honor or in Memory of a loved one, fill in the form at asburyraleigh.org/poinsettia

Gift of Thanks to the Staff

Thank you for faithfully supporting the ministries and staff of Asbury. Your church leaders would like to recognize our staff, who live out our mission every day. We would like to celebrate their ministry and bless our staff during the Christmas holiday. To contribute, use “staff gift” in the memo of your check and place in the offering box or give online at https://ppay.co/7w0NrkJWzE0. We also hope you will consider sending a note of appreciation to our staff. Thank you from the Staff Parish Relations Committee.