The snow beautifully blankets the ground and the trees. Your coats keep you cozy, and your cheeks are the perfect shade of rosy. There are twinkle lights, and great food. It’s amazing if you forget about the cold part. We are friendly to strangers. We are concerned about those who don’t have enough, we love our families and friends, we take time to honor traditions. We wave at neighbors, and hold doors open for people, we push cars out of being stuck, we help each other shovel and scrape, and dust off cars, sidewalks and porches, and the world just seems smaller.
It’s also the time of year when Crossroads kicks off our annual mug sales. We sell gorgeous, handmade mugs made right here in St. Paul! Each year, we use the profits of these sales of support one of our Mission Partners. Last year, it was World Vision. This year, the money is going to support International Justice Mission! We are excited to announce a new partnership with an IJM office in Uganda! The money from these mugs will help the IJM staff in Uganda provide a year of after care support of widows, and orphans affected by property grabbing as well as train 150 police officers to strengthen the already existing government in Uganda. To read more about our new partnership and the mugs, click here.
We are so excited for you to see these mugs. They are gorgeous, and they’ll make a great gift for someone you love….or for yourself. The money supports a local, family owned company andsupports the amazing work of the staff of IJM who seek justice for the world’s most vulnerable people. To read more about International Justice Mission, click here.
We are excited to kick of the Christmas season with with you with the first sermon in our new series, A Reel Christmas! It’s going to be a great series! Can’t wait to see you this weekend.
Director of Missions and Care
This week I had the pleasure of meeting with some of the local mission pastors and leaders in Woodbury and Cottage Grove. I love this group! It’s diverse and cuts across denominations. It’s made up of people who are a lot like me as we all have this passion to see the church change the world. From our neighborhoods to the ends of the earth. We each have different ideas and dreams on how it gets done, but we all know that none of it gets done without Jesus. And you.
Each of us can be a part of Jesus’ plan to change the world. As we begin to prepare for the holiday season, many of us think about serving others. Most serving opportunities for Thanksgiving Day are already filled. So if you, like me, are just starting to think about how to serve this holiday season, here are some ways that you can serve right where you are.
- Consider inviting someone to your Thanksgiving Dinner. Maybe there’s someone at work who just went through a divorce and will be alone on Thanksgiving. Maybe you know a college student who won’t be able to go home for Thanksgiving. Maybe you have a neighbor who has been widowed and alone and would love to sit with a family and enjoy a dinner.
- Consider being extra kind and generous. There are a lot of stores that are going to be open on Thanksgiving this year. Tipping your barista double what you normally do or offering to fill a strangers tank with gas are ways of expressing gratitude and kindness in tangible ways. Compliment a stranger. Let someone go ahead of you in line. Pay for the last minute whipped cream and rosemary for the person in front of you in line.
- Consider being extra thankful to the One who gave us our lives. Get up 30 minutes earlier than you think you should and take that time to pray and read the Bible. Start your thanksgiving with a heart of gratitude which is sure to carry you throughout your day. Make a list of things that you are thankful for and thank God for each and every one.
Imagine what a difference it would make in our world if every Christian did these things on Thanksgiving (or any other day for that matter). Imagine a flood of prayer, thanksgiving, kindness, generosity and hospitality! What a day that would be.
May this Thanksgiving be one where your cup of gratitude overflows and may we each open a floodgate,
Director of Missions and Care
I just want to take a minute to thank you all for the amazing Missions Weekend we had last weekend, it was a huge success and we could not have done it without you!
Thank you for being brave! We have heard so many great stories of people getting connected, saying yes, and stepping out to do the next thing Jesus is calling them to do. It’s so encouraging to hear about the new ways people are GO-ing in to their communities to love people well!
Thank you, Crossroads, for your hospitality. We have heard so many great things from our ministry partners about how welcoming and warm our community is here. Here is a snip-it of what’s being said:
“I was so overwhelmed by the kindness, love and compassion that I experienced…. Words could never express the hope ignited in me that God’s people are interested in serving and being an answer to prayer!!”
“The prayers, love, and support of churches like Crossroads are what enables our resident’s transformation into self-sufficient, abuse-free, God-centered women. Thanks for being with us, in this, and making a difference! ”
Thank you for making our visitors feel welcome, for investing in their missions, and for allowing them a place to share with your their passion for God’s people.
Thank you for your help. Missions Weekend is something we plan all year for, and pulling it off is no small task. We couldn’t do with without the help of our amazing volunteers. You show up and do whatever needs to be done. I love working with you! Thank you for all you’ve done to make this weekend a success! We love and appreciate our volunteers so much!
I’m feeling especially grateful to be a part of this movement of Jesus-like people doing Jesus like stuff.
Director of Missions and Care
There are a lot of words that you could use to describe me, and I’m sure if you asked my family and friends they’d give you a laundry list of descriptors, among them surely would include things like “sassy” and “funny.” I doubt, though, that “brave” would make the top 10. I don’t think I’m what you would think of as “traditionally brave.”
I think the bravest thing I’ve ever done is say “yes” to Jesus. Saying yes to a life that might look different that anything I would have expected. Saying yes to the messy of the world. Saying yes to deeply rooted relationships. Saying yes to be part of something so much bigger than me. It has changed in me in ways I’m still discovering.
Everyone’s brave is different, but no less important. Some yeses have led people across the world to serve people who speak a completely different language. Others, have made space in their home and heart through adoption. Still others reach out in their community, building deep relationships with the people down the block.
I’ve realized that bravery is: being open and willing to let your life be changed through God. Saying yes to what’s God’s asking. Saying yes to love people when it’s hard, when it’s messy and when it’s inconvenient.
This weekend at Crossroads Woodbury and Cottage Grove we have over 30 Non-profits and organization who will be in the auditorium willing to help you say your next yes. Come and meet the people and places that are making positive differences in lives both locally and across the world. Come and ask questions, get inspired and be brave enough to say “YES” to something. Don’t forget to grab a Missions Catalog as well, for even more opportunities to serve.
Crossroads is excited to have these organizations with us this weekend. We believe in the work their doing, we love how they are saying yeses in hard places and we are all invited along on their adventures.
I can’t wait to hear about all the ways you’ve said yes to being brave and how it’s changed you and the world for the better.
Excited to blaze these trails with you!