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Spiritual Sandwich: Adding Color to Your Day

Spiritual Sandwich: Adding Color to Your Day

By Megan Walsh, SSP Executive Director

There is something nostalgic and comforting in the structure of a coloring book page. You can start anywhere you want, assigning familiar or wild colors to the spaces set in front of you. The same design can result in endless combinations of color palettes, reflecting our uniqueness as individuals who make up community together.

Whether you are an “inside” or “outside” the lines kind of artist, spending time in a coloring book page can help you gain mindfulness and take a pause from the world around you. To that end, the artists of the SSP office team have prepared a few coloring page designs for you, inspired by the SSP experience we all love!


 

Join us in adding color to our lives. Hang a completed coloring page on your wall, mail it to a friend, or snap a photo and share it moments after it is completed. While you are coloring, ask yourself or the loved ones in your life these questions:

  1. If you were a color, what color would you be? What color represents your personality?
  2. During this season, what colors best represent this time of your life?
  3. How do you use your creativity to express your faith or God’s love in your life?
  4. As you color, think about three things you are grateful for right now. Meditate for a few minutes on each. Share as you feel led.

 

Editor’s Note: We would love to see your finished creations! Use the hashtag #SSPcolors when you share to social media. If you are feeling extra creative or inspired, draw your own SSP-style coloring page design and send it to us!

Spiritual Sandwich: Finding Strength

Spiritual Sandwich: Finding Strength

By Courtney McHill, 2002-2005 Summer Staff Alumna, Board Alumna, & Adult Volunteer

During this strange time of pandemic, we all have something to add in our own unique ways. We all have gifts that may change a day from ordinary and monotonous into extraordinary. At the same time, if you are like me, you are dreaming of new and better days and fantasizing about what could be.  

We all have gifts that may change a day from ordinary and monotonous into extraordinary.

Along those lines, perhaps you dream of having some superpower to get you through. The other day, I asked my four-year-old nephew what he would be called if he were a superhero. Without hesitation, he answered, “Rocky!” with confidence. He had already planned out his expression of strength during this time. 

In the spirit of “Rocky” and finding strength within ourselves…

  • If you were a superhero, what would your name and superpower be? 
  • Why would you choose that superpower?
  • What “superpowers” or unique strengths do you already have at your disposal?
  • How might you serve others with your unique strengths during this time?

SSP allows us to serve in ways we could never imagine, helping us expand our impact as we live our daily lives. Hopefully, you can carry that spirit of opportunity into your life under lockdown as well.

We believe service leaks out into our daily lives in unique and unexpected ways, even when we can’t build in-person together. Instead, we can still creatively build up our communities with our uniquely superb gifts.

Editor’s Note: If one of your unique gifts or interests includes sewing, please consider channeling your efforts to make masks for residents of the Navajo Nation, one of the communities SSP serves with. See SSP’s Facebook for details on mask patterns and where they should be sent.

Spiritual Sandwich: Love Over Fear

Spiritual Sandwich: Love Over Fear

By Sean Neades, SSP Tsaile 2020 Site Director

It can be difficult to see or identify sources of love, provision, and comfort during times of uncertainty. Consider the ways the love and provision of God’s people is still evident in our community even now, through:

  • Doctors, nurses, and medical staff
  • Grocery store clerks, food banks, and farmers
  • Teachers, school staff, and emergency childcare workers

Who else do you see showing God’s love during this time, in your life and in our world?

 

“On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, ‘Let us go across to the other side.’ And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.

But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, ‘Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?’ He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, ‘Peace! Be still!’ Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?’

And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?’” 

– Mark 4:35-41 (NRSV)

Consider the following:

  • How do you express your fears to God? To your community?
    • How do you express your love?
  • How do you experience God or the divine during times of trouble?
    • Do you feel God is with you? Asleep?
  • What expectations of God do you have during times of trouble?
  • How can we express love and provide comfort to others using our own gifts during this season?

In times of fear, we are given ample opportunities to respond from a place of love. You may have a special skill or gift that can assist those with tangible needs. Whether you pray, meditate, connect with the divine through nature, or see God on the faces of your friends and loved ones, you can always share a kind word with someone or lift up the needs you see before you.

As you go on with your week, do not lose hope in and love for our communities. It is what drives us to a better tomorrow.

 

Editor’s Note: As we navigate unfamiliar times, SSP is working hard to live out our mission in a way that safely and creatively promotes love over fear. To keep up to date with our program decisions in light of COVID-19, sign up for our e-newsletter.

Spiritual Sandwich: Finding Comfort Through Faith

Spiritual Sandwich: Finding Comfort Through Faith

By Shelby LaRue, SSP San Diego 2020 Spiritual Life Coordinator

It is easy to feel trapped in the frenzy and hype of today’s world, and self-isolation has left many feeling lonely and overwhelmed. 

Take a minute to put all your distractions on hold. Go outside in your backyard, on your porch, or wherever you can find some nature. Close your eyes and listen to the wind in the tops of the trees. Feel the sunlight on your face. Notice your feet planted firmly in the ground. Where are your hands? Are they resting by your side, or clenched in stress, like mine often are? 

Take time to notice your body and ignore all those overwhelming thoughts. I know I sometimes forget how to find comfort in silence. 

The verse below reminds me I am not my thoughts and anxieties, but rather I am the one listening to them:

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

– Philippians 4:6-7 (NIV)

Consider the following:

  • How do you find comfort when you are stressed? What activities help you stay calm?
  • Do you have any hobbies you are curious to explore?
  • Can you think of any benefits of social distancing?
  • What are some ways you can ease anxious or unwanted thoughts?
  • How can you stay socially and spiritually active?

At Sierra Service Project, we grow our spiritual and emotional health by serving our communities. While you are in isolation, this week think of the ways you might foster a healthy lifestyle in yourself and your community. This may include strengthening your faith in new ways during social distancing, and could look like reading the Bible, practicing “breath prayers,” or reflecting on faith with family and friends over online calls.

Regardless of your preferred method to connect with the divine, we could all benefit from less “spiritual distancing” during this time. We encourage you to join the SSP family in safely cultivating spiritual connection within ourselves and our communities.

Editor’s Note: One way you are invited to join SSP in forming community and cultivating spiritual connection during this time is joining us for bedtime stories, songtime, and gathering online for fellowship. Check out our calendar of digital events for ways you can stay connected with your SSP family!

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