Monday, November 24, 2008

feels like home ...

I'm wary of phrases like "church family," because nobody wants to feel like the outsider trying to break into an intimate family gathering. But the truth is, as many of us move further from our biological families, we need to build local communities of love, accountability, support, calling and spirit, rooted in the always-open love of God. If that's a church family, I'm in! In that spirit, we're gonna be having family meals together throughout December (much like the Giving Thanks meal we shared last Thursday). We'll eat soup, break bread and share spiritual practices. The good news: just like my grandmama's house, this family -- and this meal -- is open to all.

What's Going On @ The Crossing?
NO WORSHIP ON THANKSGIVING NIGHT. INSTEAD ...

THANKSGIVING DAY @ Noon / Share Worship and a Meal
Even if you've got plans for later in the day, consider joining us here at The Cathedral on Thanksgiving Day, as we partner with our Muslim brothers and sisters to prepare and share a meal with homeless and hungry neighbors. Here are several ways to pitch in:
1) contribute food and drinks, especially desserts (can be delivered before Thanksgiving Day);
2) come at 9:30am to help with set-up;
3) take part in a brief worship service at 11am;
4) help to serve the meal at noon;
5) help with clean-up after the meal, finishing no later than 2pm.
Contact Rev. Steph at revsteph@gmail.com or 617.482.4826, x318 to find out what foods are needed or to volunteer to help out.

** NOTE: Out of town on Thanksgiving Day? St. Francis House also needs extra volunteers to serve lunch on Wed., 11/26: 9-11am (help to prep meal); 11:15am-1:15pm (serve meal). Contact Lynn Campbell at lynnmcam@aol.com or 617.654.1212

11/30 - 12/24 / Advent @ The Crossing
First off, let's join the Advent Conspiracy! It's a national campaign encouraging entire churches to resist consumerist temptations and instead seek to a) worship God fully, b) spend money with greater intention and less obsession, c) give more of ourselves, and d) love all the people we can, especially those suffering in poverty in our community and around the world. Learn more at www.adventconspiracy.org.

Second, we'll take on a special Advent community practice: Each Thursday, after worship, instead of our usual hospitality, everyone is invited to stay for Soup, Bread and Prayer. We'll share a simple meal, prayer and spiritual practice in small groups at table. It's a way of living out our new Rule of Life. It's also a way of getting set for the new small groups launching in the New Year. Mark your calendar: 6 to 9pm on Dec. 4, 11 and 18 (that's worship + meal). IF YOU'D LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TO COOK SOUP, CONTACT JASON @ jason.long.1@googlemail.com or 617.482.4826, x311.

MON., 12/8 @ 7:30pm / Peter Rollins speaks @ Harvard Divinity School
Several of our Emergent Co-hort friends are co-sponsoring Peter Rollins' visit to the Boston area in December. He's the author of the book How (Not) to Speak of God and leader for the iconoclastic Ikon community in Ireland.

SUN., 12/14 @ 10am-4pm / Advent Rule of Life Retreat (NOTE TIME/DATE CHANGE)
In order to make our Advent Rule of Life Retreat more accessible to more people, we've shifted to Sunday, December 14 and holding it for the bulk of the day (instead of overnight, Dec. 6-7). Still a focus on how each of us can say "yes" to God in all parts of our lives: spiritual, financial, communal, relational, sexual AND exploring what how we commit to the journey with Jesus as members of The Crossing community. Cost (no more than $25) and location (w/in an hour of the city) TBA; please contact Marie at mharkey@gmail.com or Andrea at revandrea@gmail.com if you'd like to take part.

Prayers for our Community
* Please pray for everyone who participated in last weekend's interviews before the Commission on Ministry (the Episcopal group that decides who can formally begin the 3-year period of education and formation that leads to ordination as a priest). Our own Lynn Campbell, Audrey O'Brien and Liane Marquis are waiting to hear if they'll be invited to enter the process.

* Please continue to pray for everyone who is seeking work in this tough economy, including those who are underemployed and hope to find more meaningful/better paid work. Please pray for all those who suffer because of social services budget cuts and job losses in Massachusetts.

Small Groups @ The Crossing
If you've got a passion for small groups, either to help organize this new ministry or to be in a group, then contact Jason: jlong@diomass.org or 617.482.4826, x311. He's got a crew of leaders doing one-to-one relational meetings, finding out the topics and passions that would truly bring people together. Groups start in the New Year.

Share the Groove -- Buy a copy of The Crossing's new CD!
The Crossing has released its first CD, Songs @ The Crossing. It's a collection of 14 favorite songs from our worship community, and you can get it for $15. For now, buy one on a Thursday or email revsteph@gmail.com. Soon: online purchasing! A great Christmas gift (think of buying one and including a prayer for the recipient -- now THAT'S a gift).

Fair Trade @ The Crossing
Want to pitch in with our effort to become a Fair Trade Ministry? The first move: changes in hospitality (fair trade/organic food, eco-friendly products, re-usable dishes that we wash after worship). To help and imagine more ways to transform life @ The Crossing, contact Bill Comer at bill.comer.jr@gmail.com or 617.818.5124.

Ongoing Justice & Healing Opportunities
We're serious about joining ministries that serve our homeless and hungry brothers and sisters. Please join us any day of the week!
** Monday Lunch Program takes place here at The Cathedral every Monday. Show up @ 10am to help with set-up, or at 11:30am-12:45pm to help serve & build community with our neighbors. Contact Rev. Steph at revsteph@gmail.com or 617.482.4826, x318.

** St. Francis House: Volunteers needed everyday to help serve meals and provide care. Boylston St, near Chinatown. Contact Lynn Campbell at lynnmcam@aol.com or 617.654.1212. Note: Help especially appreciated on Wed., 11/26 at 9-11am (meal prep) and 11:15am-1:15pm (serve meal).

** Haley House is a Catholic-worker style community in the South End. Volunteers needed for meals programs 6-10am every day AND 1:30-5pm Saturday and Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Could also use help tending an urban orchard in Mission Hill. See www.haleyhouse.org or contact Christine Evans at cevans@haleyhouse.org.

Getting Connected @ The Crossing!
If you'd like to be in touch, we'd love to connect with YOU! Look at the list and then reach out:
** Stephanie Spellers: revsteph@gmail.com / 617.482.4826, x318 (priest, communications, pastoral care)
** Jason Long: jlong@diomass.org / 617.482.4826, x311 (newcomers, small groups)
** Chris Ashley: chris.ashley@gmail.com (budget, hospitality)
** Lynn Campbell: lynnmcam@aol.com (ministries with the homeless)
** Andrea Castner-Wyatt: revandrea@gmail.com (worship arts, "the groovement")
** Marie Harkey: mharkey@gmail.com (admin, general)
** Ashley Merrell: amerrell@berklee.net (music ministry)
** Travis Stevens: tstevens@hds.harvard.edu (arts & community, Emerson College)

God's peace be with you all!
Rev. Steph

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