Tuesday, August 11, 2009

another different kind of church

(posted to the crossing community via email on aug. 4)

I've missed our community during the summer hiatus, but rest assured, I've been to church every morning the last three days here on Martha's Vineyard. And by church, I mean I've gotten up at 7am to swim and do ocean aerobics with a group of older women called the Polar Bears. They've been meeting on the beach here in Oak Bluffs for at least three decades, and you feel like you just walked into church when you walk into their midst. They're wise, funny, embracing every new person, telling you stories on the side so you know what's come before and how you can find your place. One person will break into song -- usually a spiritual like "Wade in the Water" ... or something by Tina Turner -- and everyone else joins in with raucous abandon. At the end, we make a circle and introduce ourselves, and Teacher Eleanor leads us in an affirmation. Then we dance our way through the water back to the beach to get the day going and see what God is up to.

These sisters and brothers know something about church, something about God, something about life together. I look forward to bringing a piece of their community back to Boston and back to you.

what's happening @ the crossing?
THURSDAYS @ 6-6:45pm in AUGUST / Crossing Community Prayer Gathering on Boston Common
A simple gathering for prayer, scripture reflection and a song or two, keeping connections alive during our hiatus. LOCATION: Meet on the Cathedral steps at 6pm; the group will head onto Boston Common near the State House and get started at 6:15pm. CONTACT Kieran Conroy: kconroy42@gmail.com or 845.781.3706.

THIS THURSDAY @ 8pm / Shakespeare on The Common
After the prayer gathering, let's head to the other side of the park for Shakespeare on the Common. THE PLAY: "The Comedy of Errors." THE TIME: meet on The Common at 7:15pm; play starts @ 8pm. THE COST: Free! CONTACT: Kieran at 845.781.3706 or Beth at 617.767.1969 -- if you'd like to find the group in the crowd.

SATURDAY, 8/8 and 8/15 @ 10am-3pm / Work Days at the DioMass Intern House
Help our friends in the DioMass Intern Program with preparing a house for interns moving to the area later this month. Good food, good people and good work abound! TIME: Work a shift 10-12, 1-3 or go ahead and stay 10-3. St. LOCATION: Luke's-St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Allston (5 Saint Lukes Rd; 66 bus or B Line to Packard's Corner). CONTACT: Jason at jason@diomassintern.org. Learn more about the program at www.diomassintern.org.

TUESDAYS @ 6:30-8pm in AUGUST / Centering Prayer Group
Join this open group and share the practice of centering prayer (think of it as Christian meditation). If it's your first time or you're a pro, the group will be a refreshing way into deeper life with God. LOCATION: Due to construction in the Cathedral community spaces this summer, the group will meet in nearby churches. At The Paulist Center -- a Catholic church across from Park St. T, about half-way up Park St (toward the State House; red door). NOTE: On 8/25, meet at St. John the Evangelist Church on Bowdoin Street. CONTACT: Keith Nelson,nelsonkr@gmail.com or 205.807.9037.

In two weeks, two members of The Crossing community -- Chris Ashley and Marie Harkey -- travel to forge relationships with our brothers and sisters in Maseno, Kenya. The tickets have been bought, but it was a faith leap. We still need to raise the last $800 to send Chris and Marie to Kenya. CONTACT: Chris at chris.ashley@gmail.com for info. Contact Rev. Steph via email or at 617.312.5218 if you plan to make a donation (checks made out to St. Paul's Cathedral, with "Crossing Priest Discretionary-Kenya" in the memo area -- mail to 138 Tremont St., Boston MA 02111). LEARN MORE: http://www.diomass.org/mission/AIDS_in_Africa.

community notes
Giving @ The Crossing -- An Update
We're at the halfway point in our annual giving goal of $20,000 in 2009. Please prayerfully consider making a one-time gift or start pledging (setting out an amount you'd like to give over the course of a year, and filling out a pledge card so we know we can count on your contribution). Give however you're able: cash, check or credit cards. CONTACT: Chris Ashley at chris.ashley@gmail.com.
InBetweenCrossings: groups.google.com/group/inbetweencrossings
You got stuff to share (a job, a couch, a theater gig you want people to attend …)? You need stuff (lost scarf, dog-sitter, a summer sublet …)? Log onto our new online forum to connect and share information about random community announcements -- including upcoming events, apartment sublets, job opportunities, lost-and-found, furniture exchange, help requests, etc.
ongoing justice and healing ministries
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: Cathedral every Monday, 10am to help with set-up, or 11:30am-12:45pm to help serve & build community with our neighbors. Contact Rev. Steph at revsteph@gmail.com.

** St. Francis House: Volunteers needed every day to help serve meals and provide care. Boylston St, near Chinatown. Lynn Campbell, our link to St. Francis House, is on her way to seminary. But if you'd like to help out, call (617) 542-4211 or go to www.stfrancishouse.org.

AND join Boston Faith and Justice Network to build awareness, relationships and action around fair trade and justice issues locally and globally. Go to www.bostonfaithjustice.org for more info.

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 (small groups & formation, newcomers)
** Chris Ashley: chris.ashley@gmail.com (budget, hospitality)
** Kieran Conroy: kconroy42@gmail.com (emerging church connections)
** Jamie Urquhart: jlynnu@hotmail.com (music ministry)
** Keith Nelson: nelsonkr@gmail.com (worship arts)
** Jenna Tucker: jenna.m.tucker@gmail.com (general admin)

Blessings, rest and joy in the name of Christ -- Alleluia!
Rev. Steph

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