Hope in Action- How We Serve
November 12, 2020
Monthly SERVE Focus – Food Insecurity
November’s SERVE focus is on food insecurity. The USDA defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.  There have always been a large number of people across this country who have faced food insecurity at one time or another. An important thing to know about those not having enough food to feed their family is that for most, it is a temporary condition lasting only a few months at a time. With many families living on or near the poverty line, an illness, job loss or decrease in hours, or an unplanned expense can force people to choose between food or having a safe roof over their heads. This leaves many Americans feeling very stressed and worried about how they will provide for their themselves and their families. COVID-19 has only increased the stress. A Feeding America report states that more than 50 million Americans may experience food insecurity in 2020 including potentially 17 million children.  

Because so many people are vulnerable to food insecurity, the faces of those going without food look like very much like you and me. They can be anyone without a job or the working poor. They are the elderly on a limited budget and people who live in rural areas. They may also be minorities in your community. We are all vulnerable.   

Recommended Resources for this Week:

Additional Recommended Resources:
November’s SERVE Opportunity is Crossroads' Thanksgiving Baskets Mission 
This year the baskets will be distributed to the families of Payne Elementary in DC, and families throughout Loudoun County. A complete list of items needed for the basket can be found here along with the sign-up genius. If you would like to make a monetary donation, click here. A $35 donation will purchase approximately one basket. 

Laundry baskets can be picked up anytime at Entrance 1 at Crossroads. Due to the perishable items included in the baskets, please plan to return your basket to Crossroads on Sunday, November 22nd between 6pm-8pm or Monday morning, November 23rd between 8am-9am. If you have any questions contact Kathy MacKrell.

Before you serve with action, begin by going through the reflection questions that can be found here. We go inward to reflect and then we go outward to serve.
Warming the Homeless – Coats & Boots Mission 2020 THANK YOU!
This past week, 271 coats and boots were delivered to our homeless friends in Loudoun County and Washington, DC. We were able to deliver 60 coats, 60 boots and 25 sweatshirts and sweatpants to the Loudoun County Homeless Shelter. They were so grateful for this donation and stated they now have enough coats and boots to get through the winter. What a blessing! We were also able to take 91 coats and 60 boots to the DC Downtown Day Services Center. These items will be distributed throughout the next few weeks to those experiencing homelessness around Franklin Park.  
 
None of this could have been possible without the generous outpouring of coats, boots, and monetary donations from our Crossroads Family. Leading up to distribution, 12 volunteers prepared the coats and boots for distribution. Jesus led by example. By serving the least of these, we serve Jesus. This past week, Crossroads servants were the hands and feet of Jesus extending unconditional love and the unlimited welcome that leads to transformation for both those who serve and those being served.  
Social Justice & Advocacy
Why Can't Other People See Things As Clearly As We Do? 
If you are finding it difficult to talk to people with whom you disagree, the podcast Communicating and Bias with Brian McLaren may give you some guidance. Brian McLaren, the author of Naked Spirituality, is the featured guest on Compass, the United Methodist Rethink Church podcast. McLaren addresses 13 biases that are present in everybody and gives practical insight into how these biases keep us and others from hearing new information.  
Want To Be A Peacemaker?  
Rethink Church, a UMC website, shares an interesting piece on ways we can become peacemakers in the world.  
Praying for Change: Daily Prayers for Anti-Racism
The United Methodist Discipleship Ministry is providing daily prayers to help keep us centered on becoming anti-racist individuals and churches. To sign up for the daily prayers click here.
Annual Thanksgiving Day Run is Virtual!
Keep your tradition streak alive and run with us on Thanksgiving Day or sometime throughout the holiday weekend! You can do so from wherever you will be spending Thanksgiving!

Choose to join us at the traditional time and day - Thanksgiving Day, November 26 at 8:15 AM from your own front door and use our RaceJoy technology to "run together" with friends, and family! Or take advantage of the ability to sleep in on Thanksgiving, and choose to run anytime through the holiday weekend. November 26 - November 29!

We know you struggle every year deciding if you should do the 10k, the 5k or the 2k, well this year, you can do them all! Choose to run our virtual Thanksgiving Feast challenge which offers ALL the distances! This challenge will have you working off your second (and third) helping in no time!

Register here.
Taking Care of the Community
Wearing Masks - A Social Justice Issue
As we have said many times before, taking care of our neighbor is the most important thing we can do as Christians. Right now, one of the easiest ways we can do that is by wearing a mask. It is simple. According to the CDC wearing a mask and social distancing are our best defenses against contracting and spreading Covid-19.  

To me wearing a mask says, “I see you, you are important to me and we are in this together”.  
A limited number of masks are available for pick up at Crossroads. Please email
Kathy MacKrell and we will get a mask to you for free or a small donation for those who are able.
Community Resources
Loudoun County Public Schools Meal Service
  • Walk Up Meal Service - 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
  • Daily Bus Delivery of Breakfast and Lunch Meals throughout Loudoun County
  • 2 Runs: 11:30 am – 12:30 pm and 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
  • For delivery: Please visit the interactive map to identify the nearest bus stop and associated time for mobile service.
  • Daily breakfast and lunch meal service at 93 sites
  • Children and teens aged 18 and younger eat FREE of charge
  • Breakfast & lunch meals distributed simultaneously at both walk up sites and bus stops
  • Parent meal pick up available
  • Meal service available for childcare participants and students in attendance
Salvation Army Food Distribution at Crossroads
The Salvation Army will have a truck in the Crossroads parking lot to distribute food. Distribution is Wednesday, December 2nd at 3pm the parking lot.
 
You will receive a FREE box of food that should feed a family of 4 for a week. We have 30 boxes to hand out so please come and get one. Please contact Kathy MacKrell if you would like to reserve a box.
Some food pantries and other services available in Loudoun County are:
Loudoun County Health & Human Services has provided a comprehensive list of resources available to those in need. The link is here.

Contact the Loudoun County Information and Referral (I&R) program to get connected to vital health and human services information and resources in Loudoun County. The link is here.

Some vital resources are highlighted below.
COVID-19 Limited Rent Assistance
Loudoun County government has established a limited rent assistance program for Loudoun County households economically impacted by COVID-19. Check this link for details.

Loudoun Cares
Through their Information & Referral Helpline, Loudoun Cares connects residents in need with local nonprofits and agencies that can assist with a variety of health and human services that include rent/utility assistance, food, clothing, medical/dental, housing, job services and more. If you are in need of assistance, call the helpline at 703-669-4636 or click here for their website.

Unemployment and Employment Resources
Loudoun Workforce Resource Center provides information about unemployment benefits or other work-related topics. Click here for their website.

Crossroads Jobs is a non profit experienced in advising candidates who have challenges in securing employment. Counseling is available in English and Spanish. They will also assist those who need help filing for unemployment. All services are free. Click here for their website. 
Additional resources:
  • Sunday message: Watch here or on the GOTGo app
  • GOTGo App - Download from your app store by searching Crossroads GOTGo
  • Daily Texts - Text crossroads to 41411 to receive inspirational texts each day 
  • Daily Scripture, Prayer and Morning Focus - Sign up here
  • Online giving: Sign up or submit giving here
  • Spiritual Practices: Find them here
  • Prayer Requests: Submit them here
  • Imagine Well Being - Find online groups here
  • Small Groups: Find online groups here
  • Facebook - facebook.com/crossroadsnova
  • Instagram - instagram.com/crossroadsnova
  • Website - crossroadsnova.org