Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Life @ The Crossing: We Are Family

The Crossing's leaders-- we call ourselves "The Crew" -- met for our monthly scrum on Sunday. We hashed out all kinds of behind-the-scenes details, but the part I'll remember is how we started. Ben asked what we really value about The Crossing, something that's only become clear recently. And the thing that came to me was that we're family. Not like a tight-knit, we've-got-something-you-don't family. But a radical everybody-get-to-the-table-and-get-some-love-and-invite-all-your-friends-and-even-the-hungry-guy-on-the-street kind of family. A family with real commitment and a sense of common call and common cause, but one that knows how to expand, to welcome, to love and heal and hold its new members.

If you're reading this, then welcome to the family. As you check out the happenings below, and even the gospel readings for the coming month, think of it as all the stuff we do to get closer to God and closer to each other, just like a real family should ...

What's Going On @ The Crossing
EVERY THURSDAY (exc. Thanksgiving) / Spiritual practice & worship: Come at 6pm, when Hal Carter leads the month's spiritual practice. We worship at 6:30pm, with music, prayer & communion to neosouls grooves, plus Chris Ashley offering reflections on the Gospel of Luke and the end of days (yes, this is one dramatic season in the Bible). Our new music director Ashley Merrell steps up the first Thursday in November. Welcome, sistah!

11/12 and 11/26 @ 6:30pm / Harvard Square Scripture Chat: Join 2nd and 4th Mondays -- this month, that's November 12 and 26 -- at 6:30 pm at Grendel's Den for our Harvard Square Scripture Chat, a relaxed Bible study for the rest of us. No need to be a Bible scholar, just be curious about how our stories connect with the ancient story and with God's story. Bonus: Grendel's half-price menu = dinner and a drink for under $10. Getting to Grendel's: JFK St. at Winthrop, toward the river, same strip as Peet's Coffee, just before Staples; we're usually sitting at the back). Contact Chris Ashley at chris.ashley@gmail.com or 312.451.5124 to get connected, or if you're lost.

12/6 and 12/7 / Finding Our Way Conference featuring heavy-hitters Brian McLaren, Diana Butler Bass and Marcus Borg. A conference on the future of the progressive church, inc. things emergent. Thursday evening opening panel; Friday is packed with presentations and discussions. Free, but you have to register at (http://www.hds.harvard.edu/oms/findingourwayconference). Location: First Church in Cambridge, 11 Garden Street.

St. Francis House Day Shelter: Contact Lynn Campbell @
lynnmcam@aol.com or 617.718.2055. (daily)
Monday Lunch Program, cook and share a meal with hungry brothers and sisters: Contact Rev. Steph @
sspellers@diomass.org or 617.482.4826, 318. (Mondays, serving @ 11:30am-12:30pm)

PLUGGING INTO MINISTRY @ THE CROSSING / There's room for everybody's gifts, questions and hopes @ The Crossing (okay, esp. if you've got some web savvy/see above!). Use this contact list to get plugged into ministry and life in our community:

And here are the month's readings -- if you'd like to pass along some wisdom to the month's reflection leader, Chris Ashley, simply email him at


November 1: Luke 6:20-31
Jesus looked up at his disciples and said: "Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.
"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who are laughing now, for you will mourn and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.
"But I say to you that listen, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from anyone who takes away your coat do not withhold even your shirt. Give to everyone who begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again. Do to others as you would have them do to you."

November 8: Luke 20:27-38
Some Sadducees, those who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and asked him a question, "Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man's brother dies, leaving a wife but no children, the man shall marry the widow and raise up children for his brother. Now there were seven brothers; the first married, and died childless; then the second and the third married her, and so in the same way all seven died childless. Finally the woman also died. In the resurrection, therefore, whose wife will the woman be? For the seven had married her."
Jesus said to them, "Those who belong to this age marry and are given in marriage; but those who are considered worthy of a place in that age and in the resurrection from the dead neither marry nor are given in marriage. Indeed they cannot die anymore, because they are like angels and are children of God, being children of the resurrection. And the fact that the dead are raised Moses himself showed, in the story about the bush, where he speaks of the Lord as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Now he is God not of the dead, but of the living; for to him all of them are alive.

November 15: Luke 21:5-19
When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, Jesus said, "As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down."
They asked him, "Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?" And he said, "Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, `I am he!' and, `The time is near!' Do not go after them.
"When you hear of wars and insurrections, do not be terrified; for these things must take place first, but the end will not follow immediately." Then he said to them, "Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and plagues; and there will be dreadful portents and great signs from heaven.
"But before all this occurs, they will arrest you and persecute you; they will hand you over to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors because of my name. This will give you an opportunity to testify. So make up your minds not to prepare your defense in advance; for I will give you words and a wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to withstand or contradict. You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, by relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. You will be hated by all because of my name. But not a hair of your head will perish. By your endurance you will gain your souls."

November 29: Luke 23:33-43 (Christ the King; transferred from Nov. 25)
When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing." And they cast lots to divide his clothing. The people stood by, watching Jesus on the cross; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!" The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" There was also an inscription over him, "This is the King of the Jews."
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!" But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong." Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

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