Hope in Action - How We Serve
July 28, 2021
A Note from Kathy MacKrell
Want to get your hands dirty? Crossroads will be taking part in a Boulder Crest Group Volunteer Day on September 29th from 10am-2pm. Volunteers will travel to the Virginia retreat in Bluemont and assist with grounds maintenance projects such as weeding, mulching, staining fences, etc. Volunteers must be 18 years or older. No experience is required. There is a 25 person limit. Sign up here while spots are still available!

One of my favorite John Wesley quotes is “prayer is where the action is”. Let’s be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world!
SERVE Opportunities
Summer Acts of Service
For the months of June, July and August, Crossroads is bringing back Summer Acts of Service! Each month will have a different SERVE focus with many ways you, individually or as a family, can serve your community.  

July’s Summer Act of Service highlights Military Service members who protect our great nation, specifically those who visit Boulder Crest, in Bluemont, Virginia. Boulder Crest provides veterans, first responders, and their families, with programs that facilitate healing and transformation after experiencing trauma. Their retreat space is where families can stay free of charge to rest and reconnect.
 
In addition to the volunteer day described above, the Crossroads family is being asked to serve Boulder Crest in several ways.

*Purchase items from Boulder Crest’s Amazon wish list. Items on this list help with operations and also assist with their Rest and Reconnection stays for combat veterans' families.

*Provide thank you notes to veterans that visit Boulder Crest. They will be included in the Welcome Baskets they receive upon arrival. 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 Sunday, August 1st.

*Boulder Crest has individual volunteer opportunities each month. Check them out here.

*You can learn more about Boulder Crest at their website.

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.
Round Hill Food Pantry
Crossroads continues to assist the Round Hill United Methodist Church stock their food pantry. The Round Hill Food Pantry has been serving their Round Hill/Western Loudoun neighbors for 10 years. As many as 31 families (over 100 individuals) visit the Pantry each month.

Items being collected are changed periodically. Currently, we are collecting corn flour, canola oil, and children's cereal (Fruit Loops, Frosted Flakes, Cocoa Puffs, etc). You may drop your donations in the bin outside Crossroads Entrance 1 any time. For ease there is an Amazon Wish List provided here. Purchase online and have the items delivered directly to Crossroads. More information can be found here.
Social Justice & Advocacy
The Crossroads’ SERVE Team provides a Crossroads’ Microloan Ministry called SPARK! SPARK stands for: *Start *Propel *Access *Reach *Kindle

These loans are intended to be the SPARK to make a life change or help pursue a dream or purpose. The microloan may be used for but not limited to:
  • Purchase equipment or initial startup costs for a small business
  • Purchase a computer to work to take coursework from home
  • Security deposit for an apartment
  • Start an educational training program

For more information about the SPARK Microloan Program, visit our webpage to download an application or contact Kathy MacKrell for next steps.  

Interested in supporting the ministry? The SERVE team is looking for volunteers to be Peer Coaches, please contact Kathy MacKrell.
UMC Resources for Anti-Racism
“Expanding the Table,” a new video podcast series from the General Commission on Religion and Race focuses on how individual Christians and church-based entities can and should engage the work of racial justice-making and anti-racism. Read the press release here.

Here are some additional resources from the United Methodist Church regarding racism:
Take Action: Support Free and Fair Elections
As United Methodists, we “hold governments responsible for the protection of the rights of the people to free and fair elections” believing that “the form and the leaders of all governments should be determined by exercise of the right to vote guaranteed to all adult citizens.” (2016 Book of Discipline,¶164A)

Thirst Quenchers - As states impose restrictions on how to vote, we must evaluate this decision through the lens of God’s love. Read about it here.
Support a Pathway to Citizenship
After decades of organizing and advocacy by immigrants, activists, people of faith, and most importantly the tireless work of Black and Latino organizers, faith leaders, and allies, we have an opportunity to transform this fear into hope. Read more here.
Taking Care of the Community
COVID-19 Updates
Anyone age 12 and older is eligible to receive a vaccine. If you have health concerns regarding the vaccine, please discuss them with your doctor and make the safest decision for you and your family. A link to schedule your vaccine is here.

The Mission Opportunity of COVID-19 Vaccines
Conversations about COVID-19 vaccines are opportunities for mission, United Methodist Global Ministries' leaders say, adding that United Methodists can love their neighbors by participating in the discussions. Read about it here.
Native Plant Garden
As we have done in the past, we are featuring native plants in bloom in our native garden. The garden has been prepped for summer and is alive and well. If you live in the area, you are encouraged to check it out on your next nature walk or drive by.  

Native plants can be purchased online at Watermark Nursery in Hamilton, Virginia. You can also contact Crossroads' Native Plant Specialist, BJ Lecrone
Featured plant for this week:

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.
Plant NOVA Natives is an excellent resource for gardeners of all skill levels. You are encouraged to check out their website for upcoming online programs. Their monthly newsletter can be found here

The newsletter features an article on planting for bees called Planting For Picky Eaters
Community Resources
Loudoun County Public Schools Meal Service
School Nutrition Services will continue to provide meals to LCPS families during the summer months. For school walk up service and bus delivery schedules click here.
Some food pantries and other services available in Loudoun County are:
Assistance Available for Loudoun Residents Impacted by COVID-19
Loudoun County, Virginia, is urging residents to take advantage of programs set up to help with the economic impact of the coronavirus.

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.

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 Text - Text crossroads to 81411 to receive an inspirational text each evening 
  • 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
  • Yoga and Wellness - Find online groups here
  • Small Groups: Find online groups here
  • Facebook - facebook.com/crossroadsnova
  • Instagram - instagram.com/crossroadsnova
  • Website - crossroadsnova.org