Welcome to Hope in Action
July 22, 2020
A Note From Kathy MacKrell
Last week’s Summer Acts of Service had us supporting our brothers and sisters in Uganda. Crossroads collected $945 toward expanding a poultry project. By growing this project, nutritious eggs can be produced and provided to local families to supplement their diet, that would normally not be able to afford them. Well done, Crossroads!!
Summer Acts of Service
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. Watch  this video  for ways you can help.

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.

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.
Social Justice
Last Friday, two bold courageous men, who spent a lifetime fighting for racial justice in this country, passed away. It is impossible to measure the impact CT Vivian and John Lewis had on this nation. Their leadership and participation in peaceful protests for equal rights was an witness to the very embodiment of Jesus on Earth. 

Jim Melson is leading an online weekly conversation, hosted by Crossroads, around the book The Color of Compromise . He leads a non-profit called the Cornelius Corps and has led worship at Crossroads many times over the years. 

Jim writes a weekly devotion and I invite you to read this week’s post. It is titled “What To Do With Their Witness?” Jim reflects on both men’s lives and reminds us of the words John Lewis said, “get into trouble, good trouble, necessary trouble”, when seeking justice for those on the margins.  
           
There is a song at the end of the devotion called Sing Out, March On that is both a prayer and a call to action. Read and watch here .
Complete The 2020 Census
The numbers collected in this census will help direct federal funds to local communities for schools, healthcare and other public services that support all of us. It also determines where new schools, clinics and more services for families, older adults, and children are most needed. Fill it out here .

Make Your Vote Count
Voting allows registered citizens to cast their choice for the political leader that they believe can accurately make the choices that will better the country. Register to vote here .
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”.  

If you don’t have a mask, Crossroads has cloth masks available. Stop by Crossroads Entrance 1 and pick one up  weekdays from 10:30am-1:30pm. 
The Color of Compromise: An Ongoing Conversation
Join us for 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.   
 
To listen to the previous weekly sessions and to sign up for the ongoing conversation, click  here .
Taking Care of the Community
Let's Go To The Birds!
Linda Colucci, a longtime Crossroads' member and a lifetime lover of all things nature has written a Northern VA Backyard Bird Identification Guide and Checklist. Linda says she created the online Bird Guide and Checklist “to provide a meaningful activity for kids and adults of all ages to do right in their yard or while out on a walk in nature (ex: wooded trail, park). Use your observation skills to look and listen for birds, refer to this Bird Guide to identify them, and record your findings on the Bird Checklist. Think of it as a living matching game.” 

To download the Bird Identification Guide and Checklist, click here .
Masks Available at Crossroads
A limited number of masks are now 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. Masks are also available outside Crossroads’ Entrance 1, weekdays from 10:30am-1:30pm. 
Crossroads Native Plant Garden
Each week we are featuring a native plant in bloom in our native garden. The garden is flourishing and contains many pollinator plants that provide vital nutrients that keep insects alive and sustain them throughout the year. They also provide a safe habitat that is free from chemicals to help support the pollinator populations. If you live in the area, you are encouraged to check it out on your next nature walk or drive by. Click  here  for more information on native plants for Northern Virginia. You can also contact Crossroads' Native Plant Specialist, BJ Lecrone . Native plants can be purchased online at  Watermark Nursery  in Hamilton, Virginia.

For information on planting a vegetable garden and why pollinator gardens are important check out the following links:


Featured plant for this week

Community Resources
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.
Feed our neighbors
Loudoun County Public Schools (LCPS), in participation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Summer Food Service Program, is planning to continue to support families during the current COVID-19 pandemic by providing breakfast and lunch to all children 18 years of age and under through the month of August.
 
Meal service will be provided at 28 current walk-up sites and bus stops. (For a list of the bus stops, click  here .) Pick-up meal service is available between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. weekdays at 28 locations. Click here for the complete list of locations.  
Additional Loudoun County resources are available for anyone in need of food. 
Please take advantage of the following organizations:
 
Unemployment and Employment Resources
Loudoun Workforce Resource Center provides i nformation 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
  • 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