Welcome to Heart & Home
June 13, 2020
School's out for the Summer! Congratulations to all the graduates, students, parents and teachers for persevering through the trials of distance learning online. And with the passing of this season, we are now onto Summer. Just saying the word elicits joy. For some that means a break from school and for others it simply means being less scheduled, spending more time outdoors and hopefully, connecting with friends and family. 

This summer we invite everyone to engage in our Summer Acts of Service opportunities. Each week we will focus on Bible stories from the book of Acts and SERVE projects that make a difference locally, regionally and around the world. I encourage you to watch Church at Home on Sunday mornings, read the newsletters for updates and visit the Crossroads website for additional details.
Acts of Service
Reflection Guide
This week’s Summer Acts of Service features Mobile Hope. Mobile Hope is a Loudoun County non-profit that’s mission is to improve the lives of young people, 24 years of age or younger, who are precariously housed or homeless in Loudoun County. They create pathways for this fragile, overlooked, and often unacknowledged population to have access to housing solutions, daily essentials and life-changing support.
Their services are offered at their office in Leesburg. Their iconic bus that travels across Loudoun County is an important piece of their outreach and even more so during the COVID Crisis. Since March Mobile Hopes Listen for the Honk program has served almost 50,000 family members with over 28,000 bags of food, watch this video to see this program in action

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 2:42-45 (CEB): The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. All the believers were united and shared everything. They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them.

SERVE Project: As explained above, this week we will be serving Mobile Hope, a local nonprofit organization that assists homeless youth in Loudoun County. We are asking that you either shop your pantry or purchase non-perishable foods to donate to their cause! Or get involved in the Growing Hope project!

Reflection: As we see in the scripture from this week, the early church shared every aspect of their lives with their community. As you put together your donations for Mobile Hope this week, be thinking of the blessing that you will be offering another child of God. Take a moment to pause and give thanks to God for the shelter that you have, the food you eat, and the love that you share with everyone in your life. Here are some questions for you to reflect on:

Reflection Questions:
  • How often do I worry more about earthly material possessions than I do about the blessings that I have?
  • How can I challenge myself to be more conscious of the blessings I have received from God?

Reflection Questions for Families with Students:
  • How often do I worry about keeping up with what my friends have instead of being thankful for what I have?
  • How often do I think about families around me that might struggle with having enough food and necessities?

Reflection Questions for Families with Children:
  • How can I share God’s love with members of my family?
  • Do I have a hard time sharing with others? Why do you think it's hard?

Prayer: God, today I thank you for my neighbors. I thank you for the meals that we share. I thank you for the love that exists between us. I thank you for Your ever-present love and embrace. I pray that those who are longing to experience Your love are able to feel it radiating from us, your church. Amen.
Raid Your Pantries!
Let’s help Mobile Hope continue to make an impact in our communities! We challenge you to raid your pantries or pick up some non-perishable food items at the grocery store. Crossroads is asking families to drop off the following: cereal, granola bars, canned meat (tuna, chicken & ham), hearty soups, macaroni and cheese, apple sauce.

These simple, easy to prepare food items will help sustain needy families in the coming days and months.   All food items can be dropped off at Crossroads Entrance 1 anytime up until June 19 th at 4pm. 
Growing Hope!
Mobile Hope is also starting a new project that is exciting for all ages to participate in called Growing Hope – A partnership between Mobile Hope and Meadows Farms Nurseries. This project to promote modern-day victory gardens, which were planted wherever possible to supplement fresh food supplies during World Wars I and II. When vegetables or herbs are harvested, they ask that you share some of your bounty with someone in need, or with Mobile Hope to distribute through "Listen for the Honk". Seeds and soil can be picked up at Crossroads outside Entrance 1 anytime through June 19th.

Visit Mobile Hope’s website https://www.mobilehopeloudoun.org/ to learn more about the vital Loudoun County Resource.
For Families with Children
Crossroads Kids Bible Story
The bible story this week is from Acts 2:42-47. Watch this week s video as our young friend Adam reads the story with his sister. Discuss with your family ways you can praise God and show love to others.

This story illustrates the importance of spending time together and sharing meals as a family. And we can expand the definition of family to others, and to treat them with mutual respect and to help others in their time of need. It is important to teach our kids to show empathy. Participating in the Summer ACTS of Service activities is a good way to accomplish this task.

Here is a simple prayer to share as a family at dinner time,
"Thank you, God, for food and prayer, teach us how to love and share, Amen."
This Week's Highlighted Resources
The Color of Compromise: An Ongoing Conversation
You have an opportunity to join us for 10 weekly online sessions (Wednesdays, June 17-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 will lead 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 one for the first session on June 17th. To listen to the initial teaching done by Jim Melson, Rudy Fenner and Tony Bond, and to sign up for the ongoing conversation, click  here .
Resources for families with Students: