Reverse Advent Calendar

CROSSROADS FOOD PANTRY

 

We are now experiencing the surge of this second wave of Covid.   More & more people will be looking for help in feeding their families.

So, during this holiday time of “GIVING”, we are asking you to help us in making sure our shelves are stocked.

The REVERSE Advent Calendar is a fun way of doing this!!

It encourages us to “give” something (as opposed to “get” something) each day as a way to help those in need. 

Add one non-perishable food item to a box every day in December. 

After 24 days, you should have a box full of food just in time for Christmas. 

Then, on Christmas Eve, simply drop the box off at CROSSROADS Food Pantry. 

GIVING BACK TO JESUS HAS NEVER BEEN SO EASY AND SATISFYING!!

(Just click the image to enlarge!!)

Give Thanks: His Name Is Near!

A woman was obviously afraid of her flight to St. Paul.  As she sat waiting for takeoff, she looked across the aisle out the window at a beautiful sunset.  Then she turned her head to the left and looked out the window next to her seat, only to see a depressing scene of paramedics helping a baggage worker who had lost consciousness.

 

Just like our journey through life, there are scenes of sunshine as well as depressing scenes of challenge all around.  The destination doesn’t depend upon which scene we look at.  Our journey will still end with the joy of eternal life with Jesus.  But along the way we can either dwell on the gloomy picture.  Or we can focus on the things that bring joy and sunshine to our lives.

 

Especially in our relationships – such as within the family and the church – we can become either grateful or resentful, depending on our point of focus.  We all have annoying habits and faults.  And at the same time there is so much positive brought into our lives by these same persons.  Why not appreciate and dwell on the benefits instead of looking for the faults?

 

From our perspective there are storms and sunshine, good and bad times, happy and sad situations in each of our lives.  But from God’s perspective He has a loving plan being worked through it all for us.  We have reason to be grateful all the time!  Because of His undeserved love for us – His amazing grace seen in the saving work of Jesus – there is healing in the midst of sickness, forgiveness to light the burden of guilt, provision when finances seem at their worst, eternal life even when surrounded by death.  That’s why Paul, with the crucified and risen Christ as the center of his troubled and turbulent life, was empowered to say, “We know that all things work together for good to those that love Him.” (Romans 8:28)

 

During this time of Thanksgiving, with the continuing challenge of Covid, whatever the situation in our lives, we live our gratitude to God!  “We give thanks because His name is near!”  He has sent His Son to Bethlehem, the cross and through the grave in resurrection for each of us!  He is now so near to us in Baptism that He has become one in relationship with our lives.  He’s in control!  May we reflect our thanks for Him by carrying His strength and peace into our lives of relationship with each other and those around us in our worlds!  May we tell of His wondrous deeds!  A blessed Thanksgiving to you and yours!  Pastor Craig

Crossroads Update

So many things have changed over the last 6 months since the beginning of the COVID19 pandemic…………in our personal lives, in our church, and in our Food Pantry!!

·        Families experiencing “food insecurity” and are in need of the help of our Food Pantry have DOUBLED!

·        The amount of  food availability from the Food Bank of NJ has decreased tremendously.

·        CROSSROADS purchased a Chest Freezer, and most recently, a stand -alone Refrigerator to be able to store FRESH & FROZEN foods……in bulk……WHEN they are available.

·        Due to our new “additions” (above), the layout of the Food Pantry has changed.

In order to keep both our Volunteers and our Clients safe during this time……….

·        A COVID19 Food Pantry Policy was developed, utilizing a lot of the same restrictions needed as when you enter church.

·        A MAXIMUM of 4 Volunteers are allowed in the Food Pantry area at one time……….1 in each designated room in order to Social Distance.

·        PREPACKED BOXES of food are distributed,……….

·        A CONTACT FREE PICK-UP is now utilized.  Clients stay in their vehicle and the groceries are placed directly into their trunk.  No One is allowed into the church building.

But, despite our challenges, WE HAVE BEEN BLESSED!

·        Monetary Donations received from the church and the community over the past Holiday season have kept us worry-free in providing for those in need.

·        Crossroads Food Pantry received a Grant of $2500 from ACME Supermarkets.

·        HELP A NEIGHBOR donated $200 worth of fresh meat products from Sussex Meat Packing.

·        WEST MILFORD SHOPRITE (and Alison) is holding Food Pantry Food Drives every Saturday this month of November……………CROSSROADS is one of the receipients !  Thank you, Alison!

And so…our MISSION goes on!                      Dot Flar

Election Day

Dear Saints in Christ, I have had our nation, this election and our participation in it in my prayers these past few days.  I’m sure you have done the same as well!  I know we all are experiencing a bit of anxiety as the big day has drawn ever closer.  Well, tomorrow is the day.  I wanted to send a quick word of encouragement and hope!

 

Some days, it may feel like America has reached its breaking point.  We face a deeply divided nation.  And there are two very different potential paths ahead of us depending on who is elected tomorrow.  But no matter what happens, remember that we have great reason to be hopeful no matter what.  In Psalm 20:7, we’re reminded that our trust isn’t in chariots or horses—the things of this world.   Our faith isn’t in political parties.  Our confidence is not in presidents, but in a God who’s in control and loves each and every one of us!  And He knows exactly what is going to happen in the coming days, months, and years.  He has a loving plan and future carved out for each and every one of us.  And God is faithful!  No matter what the outcome, we have His Son and a loving message of forgiveness and hope in Jesus for everyone!

 

So make sure you vote your heart if you haven’t already!  But know in that same heart that God is lovingly in control and means for us not to judge others, but to love Him and our fellowman no matter what!  Together in His care, Pastor Craig

A Christian Pumpkin Poem

 

I am a Jack O’ Lantern
My lights will shine so bright
For I’m a Christian pumpkin
My symbols tell what’s right

My nose is like the cross
On which our Savior died
To set us free from sin
We need no longer hide

My mouth is like a fish
The whole wide world to show
That Christians live in this house
And love their Savior so!

The story starts at Christmas
My eyes are like the star
That shone on Baby Jesus
And wise men saw from far

My color, it is orange
Just like the big bright sun
That rose on Easter Day
Along with God’s own Son

And so on Halloween
Let’s set our pumpkins out
And tell the trick or treaters
What God’s love is all about!

 

Table of Hope

Members of CROSSROADS FOOD PANTRY volunteered at TABLE OF HOPE’s Food Distribution at Swan Lake Park off Rt. 15 in Jefferson last week.  Table of Hope, with groceries from the Community Bank of NJ, stations themselves at various locations in Morris County and delivers, in contact-free fashion, canned goods, fresh produce, dairy & meat to those  who are food insecure.  We worked alongside other Jefferson Food Pantry members, and helped pack and deliver bags & boxes of food, to a long drive-up line of cars. How rewarding for all of us to be working for the same cause!  AND, we came away with donations of surplus for our OWN Food Pantry!!

 

 

Did You Miss Me?

After 16 years of the sun, snow, wind & rain beating down on me,  I looked so washed out & tired!

It was time to get a “facelift”!

So, I took a little trip back up to the outskirts of Albany, NY (did a little leaf-peeping on the way).  It was only right that I should return to my original birthplace at MONTAUK SIGNS.   Kevin, the woodcarver who made me, was so happy to see me.  He set out immediately to get me spruced up (cleaned the mold & lichen from my back side) and bright again (repainted and reapplied the 24K goldleaf)….….getting me back to my initial brilliance, and, a week later, I was on the road back .  I couldn’t wait! Once I was able to get back on my new “legs”,  I let out a sigh of relief!  I was finally home on Paradise………    Thank you, Kevin, for your expertise in taking such good care of me!  (And thank you Dot and Brian for making it all happen!)

Christ’s Eyes

 

   In a world that’s lost in sin, and filled with deceit and lies,
   To see its beauty deep within, We need to use Christ’s eyes…
   If earths temptations charm us, and we don’t see where danger lies,
   We can truly rely on God’s grace, to show us through Christ’s eyes…
   If someone makes us angry, or their thoughtless actions make us cry,
   To find forgiveness in our hearts, we have to use Christ’s eyes…
   When we think that we won’t make it, and we we’ll never win the prize,
   We can find hope and encouragement, Where? Deep within Christ’s eyes…
   Sometimes those we meet are different,
but we should not fear them or despise,
   But look at them with acceptance, and the love we find in Christ’s eyes!
   When we ourselves are feeling guilty, Or perhaps alone, inadequate or shy,
   We just need to look and see ourselves, through the love in Christ’s eyes!!!
   As we study the precious word of God, just let the Holy Spirit be your guide
   For we always see things more clearly, If we learn to read with Christs Eyes.
   Eyes that are full of mercy and grace, that reflect His forgiveness, and Love,
   Eyes that help to us keep our hearts and minds
focused on only God above!!
   When or hearts are heavy,
weighed down by the pain of loss, or deep despair,
   Just look into your Saviors eyes and all your hurt and pain will be repaired.
   Then on the day He calls you home, and your life here comes to an end,
   Just look up, your heart rejoicing as you are greeted by His smiling face, 
   and the Love deep within Christ Eyes♥️♥️♥️✝️ 
 
 By Barbara Janis…By God’s Grace

Time to Remember

How’s your memory?  I sure don’t want her to keep score for me!  There aren’t numbers enough to record my lost golf balls!

 

Joking aside, on Friday, September 11, our memories will kick in as we remember that awful day in 2001 when our nation was terrorized by evil.  Some tragedies of the past are so impactful we remember where we were when we first found out.  I remember sitting at the kitchen table 57 years ago with dad’s arm around me as he shared the assassination of JFK.   I needed the comfort of his embrace!  How raw the emotion of 911 only 19 years ago and 45 miles away as we found out the terrible reality of the world’s deadliest terrorist attack!  But we have to remember and honor the lives of some 2977 heroes who died, the many injured who still live with their challenges, and our God who brings good despite humankind’s evil!

 

Our tradition at Holy Faith is to call the community to remembrance on Patriot’s Day.   On September 11 each year we ring the bell for two minutes at 8:46 a.m. – the time American Airlines Flight 11 struck the north tower of the WTC.  We ring again at 9:03 a.m. – when United Airlines Flight 175 struck the south tower.  We ring a third time at 9:37 a.m. – the time AA Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon.  And a final time at 10:03 a.m.- when UA Flight 93 was brought to the ground by valiant heroes, stopping deadly impact at the White House or the Capitol.  As we remember, we honor and thank God for these heroes and we receive comfort and strength from Him to know His presence and care in Jesus, no matter what.

 

With this email, I would like to call all of us to remembrance and prayer this Friday.  It is an opportunity for our heavenly Father to wrap His loving arms around us!  Find a small bell to ring in your presence as I ring the Holy Faith bell at these times.  Share with your Lord a time of prayer!  Yes, feel the sadness and pain of loss; yet also receive by faith the grace and peace of Jesus, who always remembers us in our weakness and is with us always.  Let Him make real for us the words of Psalm 91:1-2, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust!’”        

Pastor Craig      

 

Pile-O-Mulch

I wanted to share the wonderful news!  Pile-o-mulch has been moved!!  Woohoo!  Thank you to all who helped, dropping by and pitching in.  The grounds of Holy Faith are looking good as people walk by and see us worshiping out in front of the building.  It is a reflection of our love for Jesus!  Yes, a little time spent using God’s gift of health in labor for Him is also part of Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians that remind us that we are the Body of Christ and each of us individual, gifted members of it!  Thanks to Paul Onder, Donna Gedra, the Gould’s, the Rivera’s, John Janis, Marge Bikel, Fumiko and anyone else that stopped by to help!   “Many hands make light the work!”  Take a look!

Love in Jesus, Pastor Craig