t is hard to believe that it has been so long now - almost seven years since our two oldest boys were came to live with us as foster children. One year and three days later, on December 17 (which happens to have been my parents' anniversary), the adoption was finalized as the judge signed off on it, and we became forever family. Each year, we celebrate God bringing us together as a family.
For a while before meeting our boys, Courtney and I had felt called to adopt from foster care to give a home to a child in need. Feeling this calling and yet wary that we might back out of it if we had biological children of our own first, we decided that we would not give ourselves that option - we would adopt first. As we went through the process and learned more about the fate of so many young folks in our state who enter foster care, we decided to adopt a sibling group so that the children would not be broken up into separate families. What a ride it has been for us all! There have been challenging days and even more challenging days - sure - but there have been days of awe and wonder at what God has wrought in our lives. It has been a blessing to our forever family
I share this with you as November marks National Adoption Month. There are around 1,500 kids in Virginia awaiting a forever family of their own. If you have ever considered adoption/foster care or feel that God may be calling you now to become forever family for a child who is waiting, I would be glad to talk with you and to share more about our experiences.
May God bless all of us who have been adopted into Christ's family that we may forever be family to those who are most vulnerable and most in need of love and grace!
Blessings on the journey, Jim
Worship This Week
Sermon Snippet: This past Sunday, Ralph Groves shared with us that God is drawn to our weakness. We all have moments of weakness - of doubt, of confusion, of self-doubt, of temptation - but God does not abandon us in those moments. It is in those very moments that God draws near to us and takes care of us, just as God cared for Adam and Eve in the midst of their sin and fed Elijah in the wilderness when he fled in despair and fear for his life. When we are at our weakest and do not even know what to pray for, such is God's care for us that the Spirit is already stepping in on our behalf.
Looking Ahead: This Sunday, we kick off Thanksgiving by thanking God for the Scriptures that sustain us. Bring your favorite Scripture, and share with us why it is your favorite! We will also thank God for our ministries and our leaders. We will close with a time of giving thanks for God's abiding presence and asking for God's blessing in the challenges we face. Join us this Sunday as we give thanks to the Lord!
Christmas at the Port
The holiday season is upon us, and we have a lot of exciting opportunities to worship God, to spend time together, and to serve our community. Here is a preview of what we are working on for the holiday season.
Why are there so many translations of the Bible, and which one should I use? How do I find things in the Bible? How do I read the Bible to help me grow in faith? These are just a few of the questions we will explore in Bible Basics, a class Pastor Jim will lead during Sunday School from November 29 to December 20. Join the Adult Class in the sanctuary to be ready to start the new year with renewed commitment to reading the Bible.
The Widow's Mite: Small Ways of Helping
There are so many small ways of supporting God's work in our community. Did you know that Box Tops for Education found on many of the products we buy everyday provide thousands of dollars to our local schools? If you do not have kids at home collecting them for their own school, clip the Box Tops, bring them to church, and we will deliver them to South River Elementary in support of their work with the children of our community! How easy it is to make a difference!
Living in Community
This Week at Port Church
Wednesday, November 18
9:30 am - 2 pm - Office Hours
Thursday, November 19
9:30 am - 12 pm - Office Hours
10:00 - Sunshine Seniors
Sunday, November 22
9:30 am - Worship: "Anointed"
Bring your favorite Scripture to share!
11 am - Sunday School
11:30 am - Turkey Egg Hunt for Preschool & Elementary School Children
News and Updates
Find out what is going on at Port Republic UMC this week and in weeks to come!