Welcome to Heart & Home
July 18, 2020
The Covid-19 pandemic is global. While we may be feeling some discomfort and stress from lock down guidelines, they are nothing compared to those experienced in a developing nation. The precious people of Guatemala have been enduring this pandemic on a scale we can only imagine. While home construction has been stopped for the time being, Porch de Salomon has found many other ways to serve their communities. One way is by providing free meals and food supplies to those in and around Panajachel.

This week’s Summer Act of Service involves Crossroads families providing food for those in and around Panajachel during this crisis. By donating just $5, you can help ensure a family receives the food they need to simply get to the next day. You can make a donation online, or by mail, and designate your gift for Guatemala.  It will take everyone to take care of everyone during this pandemic. Let’s all do our part.
Summer
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.
Acts 20:35  (NIV)
Scripture: In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: "It is more blessed to give than to receive."
 
SERVE:
This week’s Summer Act of Service involves Crossroads families providing food for
those in and around Panajachel, Guatemala during this crisis. By donating just $5, you can help ensure a family receives the food they need to simply get to the next day.  You can make a donation online, or by mail, and designate your gift for Guatemala. It will take everyone to take care of everyone during this pandemic. Let’s all do our part.

Reflection:
In this week’s scripture Paul is speaking to the people in Ephesus, reminding them of all they have learned. The church of Ephesus was learning the importance of serving others, just as we have learned through the book of Acts this summer. This week we will continue to serve those around us by our giving. When you are giving to people, try to think about what you receive by your giving. 
 
General Reflection Questions:
 
  • In what ways have you received from others when the original intent was that you were there to serve them?
  • What have you learned about yourself, others, and God during your serve experiences?
  • How will you continue to serve God’s creation around you?
 
Reflection Questions for Families with Students:
 
  • What can you do to raise money to donate to the people of Guatemala? Is there a way you can serve your neighbors while raising the money?
  • When you offer help to someone in need, how does that make you feel? Why do you think it makes you feel that way?
 
Reflections for Families with Children:

  • As a family, discuss examples of times you have served others (writing cards for someone, bagging food for the homeless, donating clothing and toys for people without them). How did that make you feel?
  • Ask your children to compare the luxuries they have (video games, TV, comfortable place to live and sleep, and enough food to eat) with children in Guatemala. Encourage your children to earn money to donate towards food for the families in Guatemala by performing extra chores around the house.

Prayer: God, we thank you for all that we have and all that we are. We recognize Your heart to serve Your people that You have given to us. We thank you for Jesus’ example of unconditional love and service and pray that we can live into a life led by that. We recognize that when we serve others, we are serving You.  Amen.
For Families with Children
Crossroads Kids Bible Story
This week's bible story is from Acts 20:35. It reminds us of Jesus' teaching that it is more blessed to give than to receive. Watch this video of a children's story about Giving is Better (Than Receiving). I am sure that even our young children can relate to the happy feelings they get when making or using their own money to buy a gift for a family member or friend. The same feelings of joy and pride come when giving to charity or serving the community, and asking for nothing in return.

Here is a prayer to share as a family: Dear God, please help us to be generous so we can refresh others. It is so easy to want things for myself, but help me to think of others instead. Show my family and me how we can help those who have less that live in our community. 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 seven for the next session on July 22nd. To listen to past teachings and to sign up for the ongoing conversation, click  here .