Great Greetings!

We are excited to add a new segment to our Guest Experiences ministry...and I suspect many of you might be interested in signing up to volunteer for this one. Why? It's easy. It's a great first time volunteer role. It only takes about 10 minutes once a month and all you have to do is be friendly and kind.

As people leave Sunday worship services, we want to send them out with a friendly word or two. That's it. We won’t even make you wear a vest!

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 Some possible examples:

"Thanks for being here."

"Have a great day."

"Enjoy the sunshine!"

"Have a great week."

"Good to see you today."

If you're ready to step into volunteering, or if you want to add another area of service, let us know. This is brand new so we will need about 20 people. It's also a great opportunity for couples or friends to serve together, even if one of you is a bit quieter or shy.

Contact me to tell me you're ready to start serving as an Exit Greeter.

Lois Flores
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com
503.890.6117

Volunteering Outside The Box

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Sometimes volunteering is answering the call when you hear about a need. But sometimes it stems from a passion you have so you find or create a way to turn that passion into acts of service. This is what Nancy Willamson has done with her gift of song-talking, what she describes as reciting Christian songs usually to background music tracks. 

Nancy's background was in theatre but when she made the decision to follow Christ she also chose to leave that world behind, due to the negative nature of plays and her environment. After hearing some of Carman's music, she ventured out to combine her love of theater with music and this new adventure began. 

While you may have seen her perform here during a special event or at the ladies Thursday Bible study, she spent several years serving God by song-talking His stories to women's shelters and even a Federal women's prison as well as serving annually at retreats and summer camps. Through this gift, she has taken God's love into the world and may never know how far that light reached.

Nancy has written out quite a wonderful testimony and I'm sure she would love to share it with you if you'd like to hear more, I simply don't have the space here. If you haven't met her, seek her out soon and say hello - she is a wonderful lady with an interesting story. Don't forget to thank her for serving God in her own personally unique way.

You may feel like your passions or gifts don't fit into the list of routine volunteer roles. I'd love to hear from you if you think you are called to volunteer differently, let's see what we can do.

Thank you Nancy for finding a path to service that wasn't already waiting for you. May you be an example for others.

Lois Flores
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com
503.890.6117

Season to Serve?

Excerpt from sciencemadesimple.com

"The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis. That means "putting together with light." A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

During winter, there is not enough light or water for photosynthesis. The trees will rest, and live off the food they stored during the summer. They begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves.

As the bright green fades away, we begin to see yellow and orange colors. Small amounts of these colors have been in the leaves all along. We just can't see them in the summer, because they are covered up by the green chlorophyll.

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The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color.

It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful fall foliage colors we enjoy each year."

Who knew? I always thought they changed colors because they were dead. Apparently there is so much more to it. So...while you're out and about the next two weeks, enjoy the fall colors but I want to challenge you to think about the process when you do. Is this a season of rest for you like the trees or is this the season for you to step into serving? There is beauty in change, maybe it's time for you to make a change and share a little of your time with your church community.

I would love to hear from you if you are ready to see how you can be a light through volunteering. We have several opportunities and I'd be happy to talk with you and see what works best for you. You can start small or with just a one-time help.

Looking forward to hearing from you at lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com or 503.890.6117

Let Me Hear From You

Can you keep a secret? Don't tell our computer guys, but I want your help breaking something this week.

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I want all of you that volunteer at Crossroads to send me an email and tell me about where you serve and what you do. There are so many of you that volunteer I know we can break our computer server, or at least overheat it if you all write to me this week. If you don't have a computer, please write it on your connection card. Oh, and I simply adore old-fashioned mail that comes with a stamp on it so feel free to do that. As a last resort you can call me but if you get my voicemail don't be surprised and go ahead and leave me all the details.

Don't forget to tell me who you are, what ministry you serve in, what you do there and how long you've been doing it. If you serve in more than one place, which a bunch of you do...don't leave any out. I want to know your story.

Lois Flores
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com
503.890.6117

New Ministry Launch Provides New Volunteer Opportunities

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I am so excited to tell you about the start of a new ministry and extend the invitation to volunteer. The experience you need to have is pretty intense though - you need to know how to make or buy meals. Now, I'm pretty sure that almost every person reading this can do one of those two things. Am I right? While a home-cooked meal is wonderful, sometimes a bucket of KFC is all a person needs!

Several people recently noticed and commented about the need to have a meal ministry and Serina Sanderson has offered to lead this ministry. Whether it is a sudden illness, a death of a close loved one, complicated pregnancies, surgeries or accidents - a little help from your church family with some meals can certainly ease the journey.

If you want to be included as a volunteer, please contact Serina. She will be putting together a group of all that are interested and let you know how that works. I know the plan is for her to send an email out when there is a need in the family and you can self-assign the best date that works with your schedule. If you are not a computer user, no worries as she will call you directly instead. We don't want anybody to miss out on the joy of serving.

"I can tell you that I have had several pregnancies and a few operations that made this ministry necessary to my family's life. The church has answered the call on multiple occasions and I love the fact that I can give back."

----Serina Sanderson

serinasanderson@ymail.com
503-347-0633

He Answered the Call

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This week, I want to introduce you to someone you may not have met yet - Christian Johnson, our new Director of Guest Experiences. Some think he blazed the path to Crossroads for Pastor Chris and Debbi Blair.  The Johnsons moved here from Powell Butte in October 2015 just 2 months prior to the Blairs.  After living in Bend for almost 20 years, they moved to Portland specifically to pursue his hospitality career - Christian, I bet you didn't realize it would be at church!

Christian and his wife Melisse both worked in hospitality/guest services. While this was Christian's first hotel job he decided he'd rather pursue a relationship with his new boss than to keep the job so he took a different job so they were free to date. They married in October 2012. Before long, their family grew and they welcomed Sam who is 4 and Henley, the newest member of the family at just 5 months old.

As if being a husband, dad to two small children and working a very busy hotel job isn't enough to keep him busy, he does enjoy hiking, exploring, cooking and anything that includes his family. I thought about testing that by inviting the family to "explore" my yard for weeds and "hike" around it mowing but I think he'd suspect something was up. I would have let him cook also!

He does have some favorite sports teams, but they aren't all local so be sure to offer grace and kindness to him. He is a huge sports nut (his words) and while his basketball team is the Blazers, he goes with San Francisco for football and baseball.

While his dream has him returning to Bend some day, the heart of serving is clearly evident. His hope is to open his own food truck but to incorporate a homeless outreach with it, feeding and spending time with the homeless.

While Christian grew up in the church and volunteered playing bass guitar on the worship team during high school, this is his first step into volunteering as an adult. My guess is that his two beautiful children have kept him hopping, but Christian, we welcome you to this season of serving.

Please stop by the Welcome Center in the lobby and say hi, welcome them to Crossroads if you haven't met yet and thank him for "Answering the Call." It takes a LOT of people to cover Guest Experiences, ask him where he needs help.

Volunteers in Action

The following note was written by Alaina Romanielllo, a volunteer at the Crossroads Food Bank and tells of a wonderful act of love, compassion and service as she witnessed it. Thank you Alaina for sharing this story of love in action.

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AMAZING ....... I think most of you know I volunteer at my church food bank. One of our men volunteers had to have a pacemaker last week. Unable to lift much, he showed up today to help where he could. His smile and sweet personality were appreciated for three hours when a homeless young man came through the door. The young man had only one shoe on and visibly needed much help. The supervisor asked us how we could get him some shoes? We’re a food bank....... no shoes....... it took a short time before Larry Whittington took off his shoes and gave them to the young man.......... Thank you to a real man, and child of God. Amazing.

Your Turn...First Responder Rest Stop

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Today I'm writing with two hats on at once - you should see me, the dog can't stop laughing! Yes, I'm the Crossroads Volunteer Coordinator and that's how you may know me from these writings. But, I'm also the ministry lead for the First Responder Rest Stop ministry. So, while you try to decide if I'm wearing a fedora and a baseball cap or if it's a sombrero and a beret...read on and see if you want to come serve with us! No hat required.

The First Responder Rest Stop ministry has some opportunities for you to ANSWER THE CALL. If you'd like to be part of the team that cares for our first responders and wants to encourage them through acts of kindness, look through the list below. If you have questions about this ministry, the contact info is at the bottom.

SPECIAL ONE-TIME PROJECT
We've been doing this for 6 1/2 years, it's time to refresh the space. We need to move furniture out of the room, paint, and move things back in. If you can help with any part of this, we really need you. Date is flexible and we can work around our volunteers. We do hope to complete this before Appreciation Week in mid-May.

Friday afternoon or early evening (Weekly)
This is a basic drink refill and takes 5-10 minutes.

Saturday morning (Weekly)
This is a basic drink refill and takes 5-10 minutes.

Sunday after church (2-3 times/month)
3rd and 4th Sundays each month and the 5th Sunday quarterly. This is a full stock refill assignment and takes approximately 30 minutes.

Wal-Mart Shoppers (1-2 times/month, on call)
We need 1-2 people to make Wal-Mart trips for us. This will vary, but will average twice a month. You would need to be able to purchase and we will issue a reimbursement check within a week.

Costco Shoppers (1-2 times/month, on call)
We need 1-2 people to make Costco trips for us. This varies, but will average twice a month and can be a full cart's worth. You can purchase and we will issue a reimbursement check within a week. Or we can purchase a gift card for you to use if necessary.

SPECIAL REQUEST: We specifically need 1 person who is willing to purchase cases of water in Vancouver, as it saves us $4 per case on bottle deposits and we buy 10-15 at a time.

Lois Flores, 503.890.6117
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com

March Madness

So there’s this big tournament about to start called March Madness…some of you may have heard of it. I gather it’s a rather big deal to college basketball fans. Me? Not so much. You? I don’t know. But this article isn’t about sports it’s about making a difference in the lives of young people who happen to love basketball.

I’m talking about Crossroads Hoopsters.  Glen Heiner has been opening the gym to the neighbor kids for over 20 years and Hoopsters was officially formed about 6 years ago. This ministry serves men averaging 16-25 years of age and their friends/families that come with them.

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The goal is to provide a safe, Christ-centered environment to play basketball and build relationships. The gospel is presented both in word and in actions. Hoopsters also provides mentoring, life skills, and leadership training. This includes GED test preparation, help with preparing job applications and resumes, and access to computers for online job applications.

There are so many ways you can help make a difference through this ministry, and you don’t even have to like basketball. If you’re friendly, like snacks, want to encourage youth, or know how to use a computer – there’s a place for you. Check out the list below for ways you can serve this young generation in our community.

  • Run the sign up list as they check in.
     
  • Buy or make a snack monthly, quarterly, or whenever it works. You can drop it off at church Sunday morning or  bring it to the gym that evening.
     
  • Visit with the girlfriends/wives and kids and just be friendly while watching the guys play.
     
  • Share a short devotional or prayer with the players and guests.
     
  • Help schedule speakers or connect Glen to relevant guest speakers.
     
  • Help with vocational mentoring and developing their computer skills.
     
  • Love basketball? Come interact with the players.
     
  • Consider adding this ministry to your regular prayer list. Let Glen know you are praying for the leaders, the participants and all others touched through this ministry. One of the most encouraging things you can do for leaders is to pray for them and let them know that.

If you have questions about this ministry or want to learn more about ways you can help out, contact Glen Heiner or Lois Flores.

If you are curious, stop by for a little while some Sunday night - 5:30 to 8:30 in the gym.

Glen Heiner, Ministry Contact
503.780.0919
grheiner@msn.com

Lois Flores, Volunteer Coordinator
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com
503.890.6117

Excuses - Fact or Fiction?

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Many people have had some of the following thoughts when it comes to being asked to volunteer. If any of these have crossed your mind, you are not alone, but are they fact or fiction?

  • I’m not skilled or gifted.
  • I’m too old.
  • There are enough people to do everything.
  • That’s what we pay the staff to do.
  • I’m too young.
  • I used to serve.
  • I’m not needed.

 

ALL FICTION.
If these are true, then why do I have a list of great ways we need your help to serve? God is calling us to do more and to give back. 

Just A Few of Our Current Openings - I have plenty more!

  • Picking up bulletins and trash from chairs in Sanctuary
  • Prayer Team; Call 4-6 people a week to remind them it’s their turn to serve on the come to church.
  • Worship ministry provides bottled water and granola bars to the team - once a month pick those up and drop them off when you come to the church. Cost reimbursed.
  • Bake goodies for the First Responder Rest Stop.
  • Straighten Bibles, Connection Cards and Giving Envelopes on the chairs.
  • Help plan and host Women’s Craft Days (no craft ability required).
  • Bring a snack for Hoopsters ministry.
  • Help at Prescott Elementary School with simple teacher support projects.
  • I will need some data entry help (online program, work from home on your own schedule).
  • Take photographs for our ministries and events.
  • The Harbor - help fix and serve a meal to the guys there and talk or play games.
  • Visit with the girlfriends and families Sunday nights at Hoopsters basketball.
  • Substitute helpers needed for the Kids Ministry.
  • Coffee Cart before services.
  • Food bank ministry.
  • Create a ministry scrapbook.
  • Stuff the bulletin.
  • Vacuum - lots of rooms to vacuum!

Lois Flores, Volunteer Coordinator
lois.flores@crossroadsportland.com
503.890.6117