Maker Fun Factory
Our Vacation Bible School has come and gone for another year, and this year's proved to be an especially fun one! We learned about five Bible truths: God made you, God is for you, God is always with you, God will always love you, and God made you for a reason! Throughout the week, our kids sang songs, decorated wooden crosses, played games, ate great snacks, and - new this year - learned what these lessons mean for their lives in our KidVid Cinema rooms. We started the week with a goal of raising $1000 to supply clean drinking water for 200 children in Peru for a year; by week's end we had surpassed $2,000 - enough to help 400 children! Our youth groups had their own lessons and games and even a mission night. The Senior High Youth raised money for the mission project by washing cars, while the Middle School Youth cleaned books at the Grottoes Library, washed tables and chairs at the Grottoes Fire Department, and did landscaping at the church. Over the course of the week, we had over 220 kids that attended with an average of over 180 each night. It was a great week filled with fun and faith! Thanks to everyone who helped make it happen!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Sunday's Sermon Snippet: Good News for Hagar
Genesis 16 tells the story of Hagar, an Egyptian slave serving as Sarah's handmaid. Sarah and Abraham, eager to see God's promise of a son fulfilled, hatch a plan to have a son and so Sarah gives Hagar to her husband. When Hagar becomes pregnant, however, things begin to fall apart and Sarah grows jealous. She demands Abraham do something, so he gives the servant back to her. Sarah mistreats her until she runs away. At a spring, Hagar encounters God's messenger who tells her to return home and gives her a promise that she will have many children - a part of the promise given to Abraham. She is to name her child Ishmael - "God hears" - because God heard of her plight, and she names God in return El Roi - "God who sees me." Three things are worth noting in this encounter: 1) the messenger calls Hagar by name, something neither Abraham nor Sarah does, 2) God hears of Hagar's plight, and 3) God sees her where she goes. This is good news for Hagar and for all those who suffer in this world. God hears our cries, sees our plight, and calls us by name. This is reinforced in Genesis 21. Hagar had returned home and Abraham loved his son Ishmael, but when Sarah has a son - Isaac - she again grows jealous and vindictive that her son's inheritance may be split with servant's son. This time, Hagar is cast out. In the wilderness, her water runs out, and she lays her child down. She walks away a short distance so she will not have to see him die. God's messenger comes again, calling Hagar by name, and expands the promise that now her son will be father of a great nation like Abraham. The messenger says God heard the cries of the boy and opens Hagar eyes to a nearby well. She takes water to her child, and they live. Again, God hears their cries, sees their plight, and calls Hagar by name. This is the God we serve - one who cares so much about those suffer that He hears them, see them, and sends a messenger to call them by name. Sometimes we are those who need to be heard or seen, but other times we are among God's messengers sent to call the poor and oppressed and remind them of God's promises and the good news for Hagar. Thanks be to God that we serve such a wonderful Creator!
Coming Up in Worship
This week, we will kick off a worship series focused on marriage and close relationships. Come ready to learn how to improve your relationship and to be of support to friends struggling in their own! In conjunction with this series, Pastor Jim is offering a book study during Sunday School for those interested in going deeper and growing their relationship. This study will kick off on July 16 and run six weeks. If you are interested, please let Pastor Jim know.
Living in Community
Thank you to everyone who our VBS such a success
through your time, energy, prayers, and financial support!
You are too many to name here, but we give thanks for you all!
Prayers of Christian sympathy for Bob, Dianna,
and their family on the passing of his mother.
This Week at Port Church
Tuesday, July 4
Office Closed - Happy Independence Day!
Thursday, July 6
9:00 - 11:45 am - Office Hours
Sunday, July 9
9:30 am - Worship with VBS Slideshow and Communion - "Finding a Helper"
11:00 am - Sunday School
3 - 6 pm - Olde Time Revival at Verona UMC - Bishop Lewis preaching
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!