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How to B.L.E.S.S your neighbor (during a pandemic!)

How to B.L.E.S.S your neighbor (during a pandemic!)

We did a B.L.E.S.S. series in the fall encouraging our entire community to learn what it means to B.L.E.S.S. our neighbors and begin praying for one person they could bless in their lives. In the midst of a pandemic we realized the practical application of BLESSing needed updating. So, with the help of our friends at Community Christian in Chicagoland – here’s what BLESSing can look like in the pandemic:

How to B.L.E.S.S. your neighbor during a “STAY AT HOME” order…

B- Begin with prayer

Pray for your neighbors. Refer to Blesseveryhome.com and go on a prayer walk through your neighborhood.

L- Listen

Since you can’t go out and talk to people, utilize the news and social media. Ask, “What do you need?” in Facebook groups, the Nextdoor app, etc. and listen to needs mentioned in your local news.

E-Eat

Provide food via a food delivery app. Buy extra or just a “treat” at the grocery store and drop it off. Schedule a Zoom lunch together.

S-Serve

Social distancing regulations means we can serve others in creative ways: Write a thank you note to your local grocer, first responders, etc., share toilet paper or other supplies with your neighbors, call someone who may be lonely, buy groceries for your neighbor who can’t leave, invite people to join an online gathering. Check out reunionmovement.com for more neighboring opportunities!

S-Story

Let’s commit to sharing some good news! Use #LovethisCity to share pictures and stories of acts of love and service. Email your stories to us at Stories@reunionboston.com

For more resources – check out our Neighboring Journal

Let’s be a B.L.E.S.S.ing to our City and our Neighbors in this season!

Chris Hall

Lead Pastor

RIP Medical Debt Update and Celebration!

RIP Medical Debt Update and Celebration!

Every Christmas, REUNION participates in a movement called Advent Conspiracy where we ask our community to join together to collect a large amount of money that we then give away to great organizations and causes that we believe in.  This past Christmas, we teamed up with Aletheia Church and RIP Medical Debt with the goal of canceling medical debt in the three counties that our REUNION locations are in. 

Medical debt destroys the financial stability of large segments of America’s most vulnerable communities: the sick, the elderly, the poor, and veterans. It also targets the middle class, driving many families who are barely getting along into poverty. Medical debt isn’t the result of bad decisions. It’s a debt of necessity.

“RIP Medical Debt” uses donors’ funds to wipe out medical debt from the neediest cases.  

By forgiving this debt they strive to give struggling individuals, and their families, a fresh start. They hope to give those affected the ability to seek the continued medical care they need and help them back towards financial stability. 

Once “RIP Medical Debt” has pinpointed the portfolios for those in or near the poverty level, they buy up their debt and forgive it. 

Every $10,000 raised allows RIP medical debt to purchase $1 million in medical debt.

For Advent Conspiracy, our goal was to raise $35,000 and we blew past that!  The money we raised eliminated $3.79 million dollars in medical debt! Together we eliminated almost 8 million dollars of medical debt in the Boston area. We’re happy to report that not only were we able to cancel the medical debt of people in Suffolk, Middlesex, and Norfolk counties, but we were also able to cancel the debt of surrounding counties of Bristol, Essex, Plymouth, and Worcester.  That’s right, we were able to cancel the debt of 7 counties in Massachusetts! Each person whose debt has been canceled received a letter from RIP Medical debt letting them know their debt was canceled by REUNION. At Christmas, we had no idea that a pandemic was going to cause financial upheaval where so many families have been affected. Knowing that RIP Medical Debt pinpoints those in or near the poverty level, we’re so thankful for our community for making such a big impact on people’s lives – and sharing hope with our neighbors!

I just want to thank the entire REUNION family for your generosity and it’s something we should celebrate together.  Please share it with your friends, co-workers, and families who also donated!  

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 5

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 5

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this discussion is to encourage our community to consider the ways that hurry is the enemy of healthy Christian spirituality. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

Do you feel more or less hurried now than you did before social distancing began? Why?

 

Scripture Reading

Luke 10:38-42

 

Discussion Questions

Read passage.

  1. Who do you identify with in this story? Why?
  2. What do you think of the opposite character from the one with whom you identify?
  3. What do you think motivates the actions of each of the three characters in this story?
  4. What is your visceral reaction to Jesus response in v.41-42?
  5. What do you think is the impact of hurry in your life and in your relationship with God? 
  6. How can you seek to overcome hurry in your life?

Diving Deeper: Create a Rule of Life

  1. Embracing a Rule of Life

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 4

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 4

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this discussion is to encourage our community to trust in Jesus and to trust in one another. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Check-in

How is everyone holding up?

 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 6:25-34

 

Discussion Questions

Who can summarize Sunday’s message?

Read passage.

  1. What sticks out to you as we read this passage? What is your visceral, gut reaction to what Jesus just said. 
    Leader’s Note: Jesus speaks against worry and anxiety in this passage. Anxiety is different from an anxiety disorder, and the two should not be confused in this conversation.
  2. Where do you think worry and anxiety come from? What is their root or source?
  3. In verse 30, Jesus uses the phrase, “you of little faith”. This word in Greek is often translated as “faith” or “belief” in our English bibles, but there is a growing sentiment in New Testament scholarship that a much better rendering of this word would be trust. Why do you think that Jesus pivots in verse 30 to talking about trust?
    Leader’s Note: The Greek word in question carries with it the image of being able to put weight on something. In a sense, every time you sit on a piece of furniture, for example, you are trusting that it will hold up, support you, and not collapse underneath you.
  4. How does growing in trust impact our anxiety and worry?
  5. What active steps can we take to grow in our trust of Jesus and our trust of each other?

The Reunion Team

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 5

Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 2

Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this discussion is to consider why we have such an aversion to any sense of boredom, and what that might be doing to our spiritual life. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

 

Icebreaker

1. In what circumstances do you find yourself getting bored?
2. What do you do when you are bored?

 

Scripture Reading

Matthew 3:16-4:2

 

Discussion Questions


1. Imagine you were reading the story of Jesus’ life for the first time. How would you have expected him to begin his ministry?

Read passage. Ask your group if anything sticks out to them.

  1. Often, it is easy for us to read this text and feel as though being sent into the desert seems like a sort of punishment, like a divine time-out. Clearly this was not the case, since right before going into the desert Jesus is told how pleased the Father is with Him. Why do you think that the Holy Spirit wanted Jesus to start His ministry this way?
  2. John Mark Comer said of this passage that, “Jesus was led by the Spirit into the wilderness because it was there, and only there, that Jesus was at the height of his spiritual powers. It was only after a month and a half of prayer and fasting in the quiet place that he had the capacity to take on the devil himself and walk away unscathered.”

    And Henri Nouwen said, “Without solitude it is virtually impossible to live a spiritual life… We do not take the spiritual life seriously if we do not set aside some time to be with God and listen to Him.”
    Do you agree? Why or why not?

  3.  What do you think you miss out on because of your intense allergy to boredom?

  4. How can you seek to recapture that and help others to do the same?

    Diving Deeper: Silence

    1. Watch this 15 minute guided silence video

    Helpful Resources

    For our Lent calendar text LENT to 617.415.4466
    The Reunion Team

    Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 5

    Discussion Guide: Distracted Week 1

    Welcome to another night of Community Groups! Please lean into this guide as much as you need to; use this as a tool to help facilitate fruitful conversation, but please do not let this become a script if you do not need it to be. You know your group better than I do! The goal for this discussion is to wrestle with what it is that we are beholding and how that is affecting us. If you can arrive at that destination with your group more efficiently with different questions, please feel free to simply use these as inspiration!

     

    Icebreaker

    The average person has an attention span of about 8 seconds. What is the most embarrassing time your attention span had failed you.

     

    Scripture Reading

    Psalm 27

     

    Discussion Questions

    Read passage.

    1. Describe the overall tone of this Psalm.
    2. What is the focus of the Psalmist?
      Leader’s Note: The Hebrew word in verse 4 that is translated as gaze upon or behold carries with it the idea of joyfully seeing and experiencing.
    3. Consider the following statement from Ronald Rolheiser:

      “Today, a number of historical circumstances are blindly flowing together and accidentally conspiring to produce a climate within which it is difficult not just to think about God or to pray, but simply to have an interior depth whatsoever….

      We, for every kind of reason, good and bad, are distracting ourselves into spiritual oblivion.

      It is not that we have anything against God, depth, and spirit, we would like these, it is just that we are habitually too preoccupied to have any of these show up on our radar screens. We are more busy than bad, more distracted than nonspiritual, and more interested in the movie theater, the sports stadium, and shopping malls and the fantasy life they produce in us than we are in church. Pathological busyness, distraction, and restlessness are major blocks today within our spiritual lives.”

      How distracted are you? What are your primary disctractions?

    4. We all behold something. On Sunday, we explored the idea that what you behold is what you become. Do you agree or disagree with this?

    5. What are your beholding and what is the logical conclusion of that?

    6. What might it mean for you to behold Jesus? What would that look like?

    7. What impact would that have on you, your family, and your community?
      Read passage.

      Helpful Resources

    For our Lent calendar text LENT to 617.415.4466
    The Reunion Team

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