Tuesday, November 17, 2009

open mic, open church

Some Thursdays, a few Crossing members dart out of worship and head to Jamaica Plain for Transcriptions, an Open Mic Night that's open to everybody, especially transgendered people. This Thursday, they won't have to race out, because Transcriptions Open Mic is coming to The Crossing -- 8-10pm, right after worship! It's Transgender Awareness Week, and several of our leaders realized it just made sense to partner with Transcriptions and host a celebration of the gifts, witness and power of transgendered children of God. There'll be poetry, art, music (including regionally renowned performer Leslie-Anne Rios). It's not often that church folks and transgendered folks come together for a celebration. It's not often that church folks and transgendered folks come together at all, and that rift has caused deep pain and brokenness in too many lives. Let's change that. Let's tell a new story of an open mic, an open door and the open arms of God.

what's going on at the crossing?
THURSDAY / Transgender Awareness Week -- Worship @ 6pm and Open Mic Night @ 8-10pm
We celebrate Transgender Awareness Week with a night of celebratory worship followed by an Open Mic Night. During worship, Penny Larson reflects on John 18:33-37, while Marie Harkey leads the month's spiritual practice: dancing! MORE INFO: Head to

Transcriptions Open Mic Night at The Crossing. All are welcome to come and share poetry, music, art -- anything that celebrates hope, truth, freedom and love (sign up at the door to perform). It'll be one beautiful, queer night. Enter at 27 Temple Street (just off Tremont St., to right of church). Co-sponsored with Transcriptions, a queer Open Mic group based in Jamaica Plain. ADMISSION: $5-$10 -- proceeds go to Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition. CONTACT Penny Larson at outreach@thecrossingboston.org or 617-755-8420.

NOTE: This week, students from Emerson College return to film a documentary project they're doing on The Crossing community -- a church where ALL God's people are welcomed. If you'd like to be on camera offering your testimony, CONTACT Penny at outreach@thecrossingboston.org. If you don't want to be on film at all, no problem -- we'll have colored nametags for the film crew to know who not to film.

THURSDAYS @ 8am / Jogging for Jesus @ Charles-MGH Red Line T Stop
Join a small group of folks from The Crossing for a quick run before classes or work. There’s no program, just a chance to run with some companions. This group will meet on Thursday mornings and will convene in front of the CVS at the Charles/MGH Stop on the Red-Line. CONTACT Stephen at
jogging@thecrossingboston.org or 917.536.7848.

THURSDAYS @ BEFORE WORSHIP / Prayer OR Help with Set-up
If you've got extra time on Thursdays, consider one of these ways of plugging in:
4:45pm Set-up: Our worship arts team welcomes help with preparing the space for worship. CONTACT: Julia at worship-help@thecrossingboston.org.
5:30pm Prayer: Gather in the back pews for a small prayer circle, where we will offer up community concerns and hopes and get centered prior to worship. CONTACT: Michael at crossing-house@thecrossingboston.org.

4th SUNDAYS @ 6-8pm / “Everyone Does Theology” -- Nov. 22 @ The Cathedral
Come together for a seminar-style exploration of the great “mysteries” of our faith. This month: The Creation. Next month, The Incarnation. Practice doing theology in ways that engage and empower ALL of us. CONTACT Keith at:

  • Thanksgiving Day @ 10am-1pm at The Cathedral: Take part in a holiday worship service at 11am and stay to help to serve Thanksgiving Dinner to hungry neighbors at noon. The Cathedral community partners with our Muslim friends to provide the meal. Sign-up to bring food or volunteer to help with serving -- sign up sheets available after worship or by contacting Pam Pleasants at ppleasants@post.harvard.edu.

  • Thanksgivng Orphans Dinner @ 7pm at Rev. Steph's home in Central Square: Rev. Steph and her mother Phyllis Spellers (flying in from Kentucky!) invite you to Cambridge for an amazing Southern feast. RSVP by Monday, Nov. 23, to Rev. Steph at revsteph@thecrossingboston.org or 617.482.4826, x318 1) to say you're coming or 2) to volunteer to make/bring food or drink. All are welcome!
The Crossing happens because we all pitch in to make it happen. These ministries are looking for partners, so please join the community making community!
-- To help with set-up of the worship space, CONTACT Julia at
-- To organize justice and service gatherings or to join the group volunteering every week to share meals and community with homeless neighbors, CONTACT Justin at
-- To help with greeting or hospitality, CONTACT Travis:
-- To read, lead prayers, preach or lead a spiritual practice, CONTACT Julia at

small groups and formation
1st Sunday: No Program -- The Crossing Leadership Crew gathers to pray and plan. CONTACT Rev. Steph atrevsteph@thecrossingboston.org if you've got ideas or questions for the Crew.

2nd Sunday: “The Nouwen Readers” -- Dec. 13 @ 6-8pm at Tealuxe (108 Newbury St., Boston)
Meet downstairs at Tealuxe on Newbury St. to have tea and share conversation around the writings of Henri Nouwen -- a powerful and inspiring and utterly accessible modern spiritual writer. The Reading: Henri Nouwen’s Reaching Out -- read up to chapter 2. CONTACT Bill at

3rd Sundays: “Exploring Our Faith Through Art” -- Dec. 20 @ 6-8pm at The Cathedral
Engage artistic expressions and practices and explore the relationship between art and our faith. CONTACT Stephen atart@thecrossingboston.org.

4th Sundays: “Everyone Does Theology” -- Nov. 22 @ The Cathedral
See details under "what's going on @ the crossing?"

Covenant Group: A Discipleship Circle -- Mondays @ 6:45-8:30pm
A small group of Crossing members gather for reflection, stories, spiritual practice and intentional commitment to growing as Jesus' followers. Each of the sessions will focus on an aspect of The Crossing Rule of Life. NOTE: Group is no longer open to new participants, but contact Jason at
community-life@thecrossingboston.org to find out when the next group launches.

Contemplative Circle -- every other Wednesday @ 6-8pm (next gathering: Dec. 2)
Come at 6pm to learn about the ancient practice of contemplative, centering prayer. Come at 6:30pm if you already know and just want to get down to business. Closes with the evening Compline service. Meets every other Wednesday at the Cathedral -- come in The Side Door on Temple Street (next dates: 12/2, 12/16). CONTACT Keith at:

Jogging for Jesus -- Thursdays @ 8am
Details under "what's going on @ the crossing?"

French Conversation Group -- random Fridays in Central Square
Speak French? Wish you knew more French? Enjoy wine and cheese? Sparkling water? If so, this group’s for you! On announced Fridays, we’ll kick-back at the end of the week for some conversation, light food, and a chance to practice speaking French!
CONTACT Travis at:

justice and service opportunities
Here are just a few ways to link and serve. If you are engaged in justice and social action and want to invite others to partner with you, reply to this email and we’ll list the event or program, along with your contact info.

Monday Lunch Program at The Cathedral on 2nd and 4th Mondays: 10am to help with set-up, or 11:30am-12:45pm to help serve & build community with our homeless and hungry neighbors. CONTACT Justin at justice@thecrossingboston.org.

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

community notes
Connect with Our Ministry Leaders
We've got an amazing crew of ministry leaders making life happen here @ The Crossing. See where you might like to plug in this year:

** Rev. Steph Spellers: revsteph@thecrossingboston.org (to get pastoral support or just connect)
** Chris Ashley:
giving@thecrossingboston.org (to learn about giving and pledging)
** Marie Harkey: worship-arts@thecrossingboston.org (to get creative around worship)
** Justin Harvey: justice@thecrossingboston.org (to plug into justice work) OR newcomers@thecrossingboston.org (if you're a newcomer)
** Penny Larson: outreach@thecrossingboston.org (to suggest communities/groups we should reach out to)
** Jason Long: community-life@thecrossingboston.org (to join fall small groups or help imagine the spring)
** Keith Nelson: spiritual-formation@thecrossingboston.org (to learn about The Crossing’s Rule of Life & spiritual formation)
** Lispeth Nutt: the-web@thecrossingboston.org (to help with web ministry OR Thursday worship space set-up)
** Travis Stevens: hospitality@thecrossingboston.org (to be a greeter or help w/ post-worship hospitality)
** Jamie Urquhart: music@thecrossingboston.org (to share favorite songs or offer musical talent)
** Kirsten Wesselhoeft: the-rule@thecrossingboston.org (to learn about the Rule of Life)
** Julia Wilkinson: worship-help@thecrossingboston.org (to preach or lead spiritual practice or help with set-up)
** Michael Zahniser: crossing-house@thecrossingboston.org (to talk about starting a Crossing house or pre-worship prayer circle)

Making Music Together
Our Music Team Director, Jamie Urquhart, wants to know the songs that most stir your heart. And if you like making music -- singing, playing an instrument, writing -- let her know that, too. CONTACT: Jamie at
music@thecrossingboston.org to share favorite titles or your musical talent.

Giving @ The Crossing – An Update
We're raising the
last $4,000 toward our annual giving goal of $20,000 in 2009 AND starting to collect pledge cards for 2010 so we can plan well for the year to come. 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 giving@thecrossingboston.org.

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, an apartment sublet …)? Log onto our 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.

Blessings, peace and power!
Rev. Steph

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