Welcome to Heart & Home
July 3, 2020
This week’s Summer Act of Service will highlight the Military Service members who protect our great nation, specifically those who visit Boulder Crest, in Bluemont, Virginia. Boulder Crest provides veterans and their families with a retreat where they can stay free of charge to rest and reconnect. The Crossroads family is being asked to provide thank you notes to veterans that visit Boulder Crest. They will be included in the Welcome Baskets they receive when they arrive.

Because Boulder Crest guests represent many different religious and faith beliefs, we are asking that the notes be non-denominational. A sample note is provided here as a guide . All notes should be mailed to or dropped off at Crossroads UMC, Boulder Crest, 43454 Crossroads Drive, Ashburn, VA 20147 by Friday, July 10th.

Acts of Service
Reflection Guide
Before you SERVE with action, begin by going through the reflection questions below. We go inward to reflect and then we go outward to serve.
Summer Acts of Service Reflections:
 Acts 11:1-18 (NLT)
Soon the news reached the apostles and other believers in Judea that the Gentiles had received the word of God. But when Peter arrived back in Jerusalem, the Jewish believers criticized him. “You entered the home of Gentiles and even ate with them!” they said. Then Peter told them exactly what had happened.   “I was in the town of Joppa,” he said, “and while I was praying, I went into a trance and saw a vision. Something like a large sheet was let down by its four corners from the sky. And it came right down to me. When I looked inside the sheet, I saw all sorts of tame and wild animals, reptiles, and birds. And I heard a voice say, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat them.’   “‘No, Lord,’ I replied. ‘I have never eaten anything that our Jewish laws have declared impure or unclean.’ “But the voice from heaven spoke again: ‘Do not call something unclean if God has made it clean.’ This happened three times before the sheet and all it contained was pulled back up to heaven. “Just then three men who had been sent from Caesarea arrived at the house where we were staying. The Holy Spirit told me to go with them and not to worry that they were Gentiles. These six brothers here accompanied me, and we soon entered the home of the man who had sent for us. He told us how an angel had appeared to him in his home and had told him, ‘Send messengers to Joppa, and summon a man named Simon Peter. He will tell you how you and everyone in your household can be saved!’   “As I began to speak,” Peter continued, “the Holy Spirit fell on them, just as he fell on us at the beginning. Then I thought of the Lord’s words when he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ And since God gave these Gentiles the same gift he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to stand in God’s way?” When the others heard this, they stopped objecting and began praising God. They said, “We can see that God has also given the Gentiles the privilege of repenting of their sins and receiving eternal life.”

SERVE: This week, in the spirit of the fourth of July, we will be partnering in serving with Boulder Crest Retreat Center in Bluemont, VA. Boulder Crest offers veterans and their families a relaxing getaway free of charge. When each family arrives, they receive welcome baskets. We will be writing thank you notes to the veterans to be included in these baskets.
Reflection: In this passage, we see that no population is excluded from God’s love or is forgotten by God. The early church learns here that the love of God and the life of Jesus is to be shared with everyone. In our world today veterans are often a forgotten population from day to day. This week by writing to them we will be reminding them of God’s love for them.
General Reflection Questions:
  • While you are serving the veterans at Boulder Crest, reflect on how your actions are sharing the love of God. What are ways can you continue to share this love?
  • Can you think of a time you felt forgotten? What can you do to extend the love of God to those who are often excluded by or forgotten about by the Church?

Reflection Questions for Families with Students:
  • Can you think of someone you know who has been excluded from the church; how can you extend God’s love to them?
  • How do your actions sometimes exclude people from God’s love; what can you do to change this?

Reflections for Families with Children:
  • This bible story tells us that the church and God's people include everyone, not just the traditional Jewish believers. How can you and your family embrace and welcome your neighbors and people outside of your traditional family?
  • Talk to your children about hypothetical examples of how they acted toward a new classmate at school. Ask how your child would feel if they attended a new school or participated in a new group activity where they did not know anyone previously. Compare the stories from both perspectives.

Prayer: God, bless my family, neighbors, and friends who are struggling. Strengthen all who are weak. Lighten those who carry heavy burdens. Amen.
For Families with Children
Crossroads Kids Bible Story
This week's bible story is from Acts 11:1-18. Watch this video of the scripture. The story tells us how change brought growth for the Church. Our children need to know to trust God in times of change. Discuss with your family how recent changes, like home schooling and social distancing, have effected you all and some of the benefits.

Here is a prayer to share as a family: God, thank you for always being with us, and help us to trust You no matter what change comes in life. Amen.
This Week's Highlighted Resources
The Color of Compromise: An Ongoing Conversation
It's not too late to join us for 10 weekly online sessions (Wednesdays through August 19 from 7:00-8:30pm) featuring large group presentation and small group conversation focused on the history and legacy of racial injustice in our nation and the church. Through listening, learning, and sharing in conversation, we will reflect on both the painful reality of racism and meaningful steps toward greater levels of justice and reconciliation.

Pastor Jim Melson leads this weekly series based on the book  The Color of Compromise  by Jamar Tisby who is an African American speaker, theologian, writer and president of The Witness: A Black Christian Collective. The book is a challenging and insightful resource to help all of us learn and grow in the call of Jesus to racial justice and reconciliation.  If you can't attend each week, you can watch a recording of the teaching at your convenience.  Please read chapter five for the next session on July 8th. To listen to past teachings and to sign up for the ongoing conversation, click  here .
Resources for families with Students:
(No Intersect due to the holiday weekend.)