Step into the Future
As you are most likely aware, the back steps into the church near the office have been in deteriorating condition for several years now. Our Trustees have been working on a plan to repair them for the last couple of years and shared that vision with us on Sunday. Their recommendation is to repair by installing freestanding metal stairs in the place of the concrete ones. This has several benefits for us as a congregation. The metal stairs will not require chemicals for snow removal or have water buildup during rainstorms. The grating of the stairs will be ADA compliant so as to not create problems for those wearing heels. This setup will also allow us remove the bottom landing such that there will be a gentle ADA compliant ramp leading to the fellowship hall. This is one of the things we are most excited about - making it easier for our older members and those who have trouble walking to participate in our fellowship events. We hope to complete this work this fall.
The total cost is a not-to-exceed bid of approximately $32,000. In the last year, we have received a generous gift in addition to the faithful pledges of many who have given to the Building and Window Fund each month. We currently have about $25,000 available in hand to begin the project. Although the total cost will hopefully come in below this maximum bid, another $6000-$7000 would ensure our ability to fully fund this much-needed repair, while any excess would provide the seed for future projects needed to maintain our beautiful church. I hope you will consider making a gift toward this exciting step into the future for our congregation!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Responding to Hurricane Harvey
This week, we have seen the pictures and stories of devastation as Hurricane Harvey has flooded so much of Texas and Louisiana. As is so often the case, our United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is one of the first on the scene offering relief and will likely be one of the last to leave following the years of recovery to come. You can check out updates on our work at umcor.org. UMCOR is currently taking donations for the relief and recovery efforts. You can donate online, or you can drop a check designate for Hurricane Relief in the offering plate this Sunday. We will also be collecting supplies for cleaning buckets in the coming week. The buckets will go to UMCOR's supply depot where they can be sent where needed. One of our larger depots is nearby in Louisiana and already had buckets ready to go before the storm hit, but more are needed at this time. Sign up to bring in items at church on Sunday. Please continue to pray for all those affected by the storm and especially for brothers and sisters on the ground working tirelessly on our behalf to bring relief in a devastating situation.
Sunday's Sermon Snippet
A Life-Changing Gift: A Lasting Legacy (2 Cor. 8:1-7)
It is a blessing to receive a gift so well-suited and well-timed that it changes the very direction of our lives from that point forward. We can all name at least a few of those gifts we have been given - a book, toy, or hobby that spurred us into a career, a wedding ring, the birth of a child. Many of these life-changing gifts come from God, of course. God gave such a gift almost 2,000 years ago to a group of people living in Macedonia and in Corinth. The gift came by way of the Apostle Paul. Paul met with the leaders of the church in Jerusalem, and, in an effort to build unity between Jewish and Gentile Christians, he invited the churches he had founded in Asia Minor and Greece to raise a collection for the poor of Jerusalem. This is the topic of discussion that Paul addresses midway in his second letter to the Corinthians. He reminds them of the collection that they had begun a year earlier and tells them of the faithfulness he has seen in their brothers and sisters in Macedonia who begged for the opportunity to give to this cause and gave well beyond their means. On the surface, we may think that Paul is guilting the Corinthians by bragging on the Macedonians. This way of looking at it, however, misses the point at the root of the issue for Paul - that the opportunity to give is itself a gift - a life-changing gift - from God. We do not often view it this way in church when we focus on meeting the budget and asking if we are ahead or behind on our obligations. In our personal lives, we know the truth of this. So often, we get so much more fulfillment from giving the perfect gift than in receiving it. Both are good, but we know the deep satisfaction that comes from giving. That's what giving should be for us, because giving to God allows us to be a part of something far greater than ourselves. Yet there is more to it than just that - when we give to God and are a part of God's greater work in the world, God also gives us the life-changing gift of a lasting legacy. Think about those Macedonians - so many barely able to give yet their faithfulness exceeded their ability to give. They were not famous, powerful, or rich - just common folks like us - and yet here we are almost 2,000 years later still hearing about the legacy of their generosity. That is indeed a gift! What legacy is God wanting to give us? What generosity is God calling us to? In a hundred years, will people in our community say, "Our kids are safe, well-fed, nurtured, and loved, and that's because of what started at that church in Port Republic"? That is the legacy I see God inviting us to claim, and it's the one I hope we will work towards!
Living in Community
Thanks to the Trustees - Lauren, Keith, Jennifer, Randy, Bob, Perry, Dave, Davida, and Kerry -
for all the work they have done planning for the repair of the back steps of the church!
Please be in prayer for this work as we move forward.
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, August 29
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Thursday, August 31
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, September 3
9:30 am - Worship - "A Life-changing Gift: Overflowing Poverty"
11:00 am - Sunday School
Wednesday at the Port, Bible Study on John, and financial classes
will begin in September.
Contact Pastor Jim for more information on these opportunities!
Youth contact Dinah about a special learning opportunity for them!
Wednesday at the Port resumes September 13!
Paint Night on Friday, September 22nd - Enjoy fellowship and fun painting a fall scene!
See Lee for more details. Cost of $25 is due by 9/13.
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!