vol.1 issue 4
a newsletter from crossroads
PASTOR’S MESSAGE Like the old song says, Christmas can be “the most wonderful time of the year”. A time that beckons us to journey back to the magical holidays of seasons past. A time when we were children and life was candy canes and sparkling lights. A time when the biggest pressure we felt was the gloriously agonizing wait for the promise of Santa Claus. But Christmas isn't always “the most wonderful time” for everyone. Christmas can be a time of great anxiety as we relive family meltdowns and breakups. Or the loss of loved ones without whom the holidays seem like an empty exercise. Or the financial
A WORD FROM PASTOR GENE
pressure of just trying to survive, to pay the bills, to keep food in the house, and the tension wanting so much to make Christmas meaningful for your own children, but knowing that this year will be just like last year, and it isn't going to happen. When we read in the Bible about the birth of Christ, the baby Jesus born in a manger, we read about big ideas like hope, and goodwill toward men, and peace on earth. Yet, if we're being honest, regardless of our finances or how tight our family is, we can all say that the holiday season can bring a level of stress to our lives like no other time of the year. Jesus said, “I am leaving you with a gift – peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don't be troubled or afraid”. Join us each Sunday in December as we learn what it means to unwrap the gift that Jesus left for us, the gift of peace on earth.
Justice in December -By Veronica Tolas Generous people plan to do what is generous, and then stand firm in their generosity. -Isaiah 32:8 There are a number of opportunities to give back to the community in the coming weeks, and as much joy as giving can bring, it can also be slightly overwhelming as we try to recall exactly what we are doing to help where and who is it we are helping. What is certain is that with any and all acts of “justice” and “generosity”, we are responding to a call to serve our neighbor.
Share the Warmth will take place December 2nd, and Crossroads members are asked to bring coats, sweaters, gloves, hats and blankets of all kinds to church on Sunday for delivery to Love in Action Ministries in Dothan. Love in Action’s mission is to “proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ through acts of compassion.” The organization travels to inner cities with an aim to reach out to “the lost and the hurting”, believing that the community may have forgotten about them but God hasn’t. We have each been called to reach these neighbors by ministering to their basic needs such as food and clothing, as well as through acts of compassion. Some other programs offered by the ministry include Celebrate Recovery Inside, Wednesday night dinner and bible
study, Samaritan Clinic (a free health makes sense that instead of wasting and eye clinic for the homeless and away in landfills, these items be put to those without medical insurance), use by those who truly need them. Lighthouse Café (a free coffee house Soles4Souls was founded in 2006, and for the homeless and needy offering has delivered over 19 million pairs of coffee, pastries, music and fellowship), shoes to those in need in over 125 L a u n d r y a n d S h o w e r m i n i s t r y, countries. We can contribute to this Saturday lunch for the homeless, and great cause by doing something as Harbor Church which holds simple as donating a pair of shoes. worship services and dinner Last year 160 stocking were on Saturday nights. Huge delivered to children in our things are happening for community, and as a church this ministry in the Generous we hope we can do the same u p c o m i n g y e a r, a n d Justice t h i s y e a r with our Crossroads has been given this opportunity to Stockings for Kids contribute to this incredible program. Kids were signed up organization and see how God Thanksgiving Day, and as Pastor is working through them to better the Gene explained, for some this stocking community. could be “the only thing they get this On December 9th, bring new or year”. See the list below for ideas on slightly worn shoes, boots, and things to include in stocking, and bring sandals of all kinds to church on stockings to church no later than S u n d a y f o r d e l i v e r y t o December 16th to brighten the holiday for our neighborhood children. Soles4Souls World Outreach. Share the Warmth, Soles4Souls, and The mission of the organization is this; Stockings for Kids are all opportunities “Souls4Souls collects new shoes to for Crossroads to work within the give relief to the victims of abject suffering and collects used shoes to community and actively love and serve support micro-business efforts to others during this holiday season eradicate poverty”. According to their t h r o u g h a c t s o f k i n d n e s s a n d website, the idea arose as a result of generosity, “The kind of generosity that the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami that c o m e s f r o m u n d e r s t a n d i n g t h e hit Southeast Asia, and later Hurricane significance of what God did for each Katrina, when three friends felt of us” compelled to do something. With an -Pastor Gene estimated 1 billion children living in poverty, 300 million lack a pair of shoes. Americans throw away approximately 790,000 tons of shoes and apparel in a single year. With these staggering statistics, it only
Want to Give Online? Online giving is designed to provide a simple, secure way for you to give to God's work at Crossroads. It makes it easy to keep up with your giving when you miss a service, or go on vacation. Using this feature, you can make a single online donation, set up weekly, twice-monthly, or monthly automatic drafts using your bank account or debit card, or help build Crossroads' permanent home by giving to our Building Fund.
Visit www.crossroadsenterprise.org/Giving for more information.
Christmas celebration, this is a great place to start! Many Crossroads families let each of their children take a stocking and shop for the candy and gifts themselves. It's a great way to get kids focused on others. Participating is easy: *Pick up at stocking on Sunday at the festive table in the Lobby. *Fill the stocking, using the list inside as a guide.Costs about $20 to fill *Return the stocking to Crossroads by Sunday, December 16th.
-By Leslie Oden Each month in this section of The Collective we'll feature a post from Leslie Oden's blog, ChickFood. You can read more of her inspiring thoughts at leslieoden.com .
Stockings for Kids
Please note a couple of strict guidelines: If you take a stocking, PLEASE bring it back full. Last year, Crossroads spent almost $250 to fill stockings that were not returned by those who took them. Don't be that guy! Also, please don't fill a stocking too cheaply. In the past we've received stockings that had almost nothing in them, where obviously only a few dollars were spent. Please be generous! If you can't afford $20, join with someone else to fill a stocking. The other extreme is just as problematic: people buying large or expensive items that don't fit in the stocking. ALL items must fit INSIDE the stocking. Often, children from the same family receive stockings that came from several different people. If one child gets a bunch of extra gifts with his stocking and his sister gets a half empty one, we have sad faces instead of the smiles we're trying to bring. Not skimpy. Not overflowing. Just right :o)
The Christmas season is getting underway as I write this, and I'm enjoying every minute of it, aren't you? I love the carols, Christmas parades, sparkling decorations, and Starbucks' Peppermint Mocha. Ok, the Skinny Peppermint Mocha. But let's not get so caught up in the festivities that we fail to notice those around us who don't seem to be celebrating. For the person who has lost a job or a loved one, for the single mom who can't afford presents for her kids, for the person who will spend yet another Christmas alone, the revelry of this season only magnifies their despair. At Crossroads, one of the ways we help the families of our city is by giving away Christmas Stockings For Kids filled with candy and small toys. It's a little gift that brings big smiles! So far this year, we've received the names of 164 children from families in need, and we need your help to share the joy of the season with them. If you're looking for ways to keep Christ at the center of your family's Anyone who has dropped their children off at Kid’s Crossing has at some point encountered Jennifer and Chad Phillips, always greeted by a smile and welcoming hello. As a parent, it’s wonderful to know that from the moment I walk through the door, toddler and baby in tote, my children are safe and secure for their time spent in Kid’s Crossing. I know this because obviously as an inquisitive parent I ask, but also because whenever our car travels in the remote direction of College Cinema, my two year old energetically claps his tiny hands and squeals in anticipation to “see my friends”, always heartbroken when we continue past the plaza.
Thanks in advance for sharing God's love with our community, and making a child's Christmas merrier. Together we are reaching our city for Christ! If you have any questions, please call Leslie at (334) 470-7203.
MEMBER SPOTLIGHT Pre-school. As small groups had played an integral part in their previous church experiences, they were also drawn to the idea of small groups at Crossroads, immediately joining and having since hosted in their home for two years.
“ We h a v e e n j o y e d Crossroads as it has expanded our view of how God loves us, loves others and wants us to love Him, others and serve the world. We are humbled and excited that God is using us as the Children's pastors”. When asked where they see Crossroads and Kid’s Crossing in the future, they hope for relationships strengthened, with the children, parents and the community. Here at Crossroads, we are thankful for our new Children’s Pastors Chad and Jennifer Phillips.
The Phillips family began attending Crossroads after they had seen a promotional sign in the movie theatre. Attending another community church but knowing it was not the place for their family, after several services at Crossroads Jennifer, Chad and five children were convinced this church community was something they wanted to be a part of. With their own children involved in Kid’s Crossing, Jennifer and Chad felt called to serve in the Children’s ministry, Chad in Elementary and Jennifer in
Thanksgiving in America is usually regarded as a time for family. For many at Crossroads this year, Thanksgiving was a time for loving neighbors. Crossroads attenders, and even some outside volunteers, showed an amazing amount of selflessness that made Crossroads Community Thanksgiving possible. Below are just a few of the great things that happened this Thanksgiving:
✤Cooks went above and beyond, baking 4 extra pans of each recipe. ✤Face painting and a moon bounce helped entertain the kids while making parents feel welcome to stay for a while. ✤Cups, utensils, & ice were donated by McDonalds, Tea was donated by Coffee County Family Services, and a family even donated a turkey meant for their family meal!
✤Generous donations of cash and food. ✤Plenty of volunteers throughout the process who cooked, served, set up, tore down, and more!
✤The event gave Crossroads attenders a chance to get to know each other outside of Sunday mornings.
✤A delicious meal of turkey, gravy, mashed potatoes, rolls, corn, cranberry sauce, green bean casserole, sweet potato casserole, macaroni & cheese, stuffing, and dessert was served.
✤Volunteers of all ages participated! ✤Food was prepared for over 700 meals, and there were no leftovers. Over 200 meals were distributed in local neighborhoods.
✤164 children were signed up for Stockings for Kids
Thank you all for making Crossroads Community Thanksgiving a Huge Success!
FORT RUCKER CONNECTION
GRADUATIONS & FAREWELLS
WO1 Dusty Hodges
WO1 Anthony Impastato
Graduated From Flight School OH-58â€™s 11/14/2012
Graduated From Flight School OH-60â€™s 11/14/2012
As a church that is built upon the gateway city to Army Aviation, we would like to take a moment to identify Fort Rucker related events occurring within the church community. Here at Crossroads, we want to spotlight the monthly accomplishments of ALL our US Soldiers at Fort Rucker and abroad. If we have missed, or if you or a family member, has an upcoming graduation or deployment, please contact email@example.com and we can recognize this great feat. Thank you for your service and congratulations.
Please take a moment and pray for Crossroads members who are now deployed. NAME
Afghanistan (soon to be deployed)
Operation Love Reunited Great Opportunity for those who are deploying, returning from a deployment, or in the midst of one! If this is you, please contact Natasha Chalker Photography for a complimentary session and prints as a THANK YOU to our military community for their sacrifice and service. Chalker is a member of Operation Love Reunited for 5 years. www.oplove.org. www.natashachalker.com
BEYOND THE BATTLEFIELD -By Veronica Tolas
Holiday Soldier Care Packages If any spouse, friend or family member has had a family member called to service during the holiday season, they will agree that the care packages always become innovative and imaginative. I know this firsthand as I have sent several, but here were a few holiday package ideas loved ones have shared with me through the years: “I tried the theme thing. I probably enjoyed making the 25 days of Christmas package more than Colin enjoyed getting it. I put 25 small gifts, like cotton balls for snow, a candy cane, twinkle lights, a pine tree air freshener, and told him to open one present each day leading up until Christmas.”
“I stopped with the themed packages, except the Thanksgiving box. Out of our 14 years married, thanks to deployments, missions, overtime, we’ve managed to spend a total of 6 together like a normal family. It’s probably why the package is by far his favorite. And it’s the same thing every time, turkey jerky, a box of stove top stuffing, a can of cranberry sauce, holiday boxer shorts, pumpkin seeds, instant mashed potatoes, candy corn, and those paper turkeys made by the kids” “I started something with the girls on his first deployment that sort of stuck. Starting the first holiday he leaves and every one after, and I mean literally every opportunity for celebration, we take time to cut strips of colored construction paper. The kids write a note to dad like “I miss you”, “you’re my hero”, and special messages for the holidays, and then we link them all together. When he came home from his first deployment there was a chain wrapped around the basement with over 100 messages.”
“My girls love to take a family picture each holiday, including all their birthdays and the dog’s birthday and the fish’s birthday and you get the idea. They write a little note on the back, and then cut it into puzzle pieces. Each package has a piece of the picture. Those -“Beyond the Battlefield” girls are more creative than I’ll ever be.”
What is important is that we remember our “Around the holidays I sent a cookie loved ones during the holidays and throughout package. I baked all his favorite cookies and the year, always thankful for their sacrifice and brownies and packaged them in a metal tin service. with a piece of bread to take care of the moisture and help keep them from breaking. I am always sure to send enough extra so that he can share.”
CONNECTIONS & COMMENTS November Attendance 814 First Time Attenders 22
Comments "Crossroads has helped bring our family closer to God again. We feel so welcome and we are so blessed to have found "our" church." "Love, Love, Love The Collective! Glad to have Pastor Gene and Leslie back." "I received such a blessing from worship today!" "Great job, Carlos! Cool to see musicians playing new instruments. Wonderful, powerful message." "I truly enjoyed the service. I definitely felt the presence of the Lord." “Worship absolutely ROCKED!!!” “Awesome message!”
Youth Ministry Rummage Sale Do you have a garage, attic, closet, or shed full of stuff that you don't need? A lot of us do. Why not put that stuff to good use by donating it to Crossroad's Rummage Sale? Clean out your junk room and bring it all to the church. We will be receiving your items to be sold every day, from 10am to 2pm Thursday, November 29th until Friday, December 7th. There will also be a late drop-off time from 4 to 6pm on Friday, December 7th. Then, join us in the church parking lot on Saturday December 8th at 8am for the Rummage Sale! You can make this event an awesome and effective fundraiser for Crossroads' Student Ministry by donating your stuff and your time!
“Just what I needed to hearthank you!” "First church I've woke up and looked forward to coming to every Sunday. All 5 of my brothers and sisters are here today along with my sister's boyfriend and my dad. Maybe I can get my mom to go next :)!" "I can't begin to tell you how much I enjoyed serving on Thanksgiving. I am 43 and that's the best Thanksgiving I have ever had. ~Scott" "Loved "Hallelujah"! Great job band. Veronica, you always do a g r e a t j o b ! To u c h e d b y t h e message. Communion was beautiful."
Have an idea for The Collective? Something you want to know more about? Perhaps you'd like to contribute an article, photograph or essay. Please email your request to firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, November 29th-Friday, December 7th Rummage Sale Donation Drop Off-10:00am - 2:00pm @ Kid’s Crossing (Late Drop Off Day- Friday, December 7th from 4:00-6:00pm)
Sunday, December 2nd Peace on Earth Week 1-10:30am @ College Cinema Share the Warmth Drop Off Day Truth Project Week 9 - 6:00pm @ Kid’s Crossing
Saturday, December 8th
Congratulations Crossroads November Engagements -Pastor Gene & Leslie Oden are pleased to announce the engagement of their daughter, Caitlin Elizabeth, to Cameron Griffin of Enterprise. A January wedding is planned in Dothan, AL. Congratulations, Caitlin & Cameron! *If we have missed a celebration, or if you and your family are celebrating a birth or wedding in the upcoming month, please contact email@example.com so we can rejoice together as a church.
Youth Ministry Rummage Sale - 8:00am-3:00pm @ College Plaza
Sunday, December 9th Peace on Earth Week 2-10:30am @ College Cinema Soles4Souls Drop Off Day Truth Project Week 10 - 6:00pm @ Kid’s Crossing
Sunday, December 16th Peace on Earth Week 3-10:30am @ College Cinema Stockings for Kids Drop Off Day Truth Project Week 11 - 6:00pm @ Kid’s Crossing
Wednesday, December 19th Stockings for Kids Distribution Day - 10:00am - 2:00pm @ Kids Crossing
Sunday, December 23rd Crossroads Christmas Extravaganza-10:30am @ College Cinema
Monday, December 24th Christmas Eve Service-6:00pm @ Henderson Park
Sunday, December 30th What Happened in 2012-10:30am @ College Cinema Truth Project Week 12 - 6:00pm @ Kid’s Crossing
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