This week’s Summer Acts of Service features those experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC. In 2019, there were over 6,500 people experiencing homelessness. The main cause of homelessness is not drugs or alcohol; it is the lack of affordable housing. 30% of DC adults experiencing homelessness are employed. Men. Women. Families. Seniors. Veterans. The mentally ill. The face of homelessness is not what you might imagine. With DC’s low wages and soaring cost of living, one job loss or medical issue could be the difference of having shelter or not.
Crossroads has had a long history of serving those on the margins in DC. Prior to the COVID crisis, on the first and third Sunday of each month, Crossroads has served bag lunches to our brothers and sisters in Franklin Park. This simple act of love and kindness has been going on for over 16 years. Many of you have served by preparing
sandwiches, donating food items, or traveling downtown.
Crossroads volunteers are still not able to return to Franklin Park and serve our friends safely. The Downtown Day Services Center near Franklin Park has been providing food and other basic services for those experiencing homelessness. Read more information about the DC Day Service Center.
This week’s Act of Service involves donating items that will be used to make hygiene kits and distributed at the Downtown Day Services Center. A complete list of items that
can be donated are: Socks, Shampoo, Soap, Facial Wipes, Sunscreen, Toothpaste, Toothbrush, Deodorant. These are available through an Amazon wish list that has been created for your convenience or you can shop locally and drop off the items at Crossroads Entrance 1 by 4pm on Friday, July 3rd.
We are all called to help those on the margins. Let’s all continue to be the hands and feet of Jesus in the world.
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:
John 21:15-19: When they finished eating, Jesus asked Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”
Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” Jesus asked a second time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Simon replied, “Yes, Lord, you know I love you.”Jesus said to him, “Take care of my sheep.” He asked a third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter was sad that Jesus asked him a third time, “Do you love me?” He replied, “Lord, you know everything; you know I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. After saying this, Jesus said to Peter, “Follow me.”
SERVE project: This week’s Summer Acts of Service features those experiencing homelessness in Washington, DC. In 2019, there were over 6,500 people experiencing homelessness. Here at Crossroads we have had a long history of serving those on the margins in DC. Prior to the COVID crisis, we served our brothers and sisters experiencing homelessness by distributing food in Franklin Park. Since we are not able to safely return to serve our friends in person, we are donating hygiene kits to the Downtown Day Services Center who will distribute the kits.
Reflection: In this week’s scripture, we see Jesus instructing Peter to care for the followers of Jesus. All members of the body are instructed to care for others. Jesus’ instructions to Peter directly influenced Peter’s actions in the book of Acts. Peter is empowered by Jesus to “Glorify God”. When we confess that we love Jesus, we like Peter, are devoting and laying down our lives to glorify God.
General Reflection Questions:
- Do you ever think of what you do for others as an expression of your love for God?
- What might it look like for those you are serving if you did see it in that way?
- When collecting items for the homeless hygiene kits, how do you think those who receive the kits will feel? Will they feel loved and seen? How would you feel?
Reflections for Families with Students:
In this week’s scripture Jesus instructs Peter to care for the followers of Jesus. All members of the body are instructed to care for everyone else. This is how we are to express love for God.
- When serving others, are you always showing a loving heart?
- Do you think those you serve notice when you don’t?
- How can you be more intentional about showing your love of God in everyday acts of service?
Reflections for Families with Children:
- In what ways do you show love for your children? Is it with time spent together? Ask your children how they know you love them. Are your answers the same or different?
- As you gather or purchase items for the homeless for this week's act of service, remind your children of the bible story. Explain to them that with this activity, you are responding to God's request to take care of his people. Ask how that makes them feel.
Prayer: God, we thank you for Your forgiveness and redemption. We thank you for Your ever-present and everlasting love. Empower us to go out and share that love with the world. May people know that we love You by the love we show them. We thank you for Your son Jesus for showing us what your love looks like in this world. We love You. Amen.