Wednesday, February 10, 2010

we're in this together -- small groups @ the crossing

Last week, I made a bold prediction: that our two days with visiting small groups' leader Rebecca Hall would have a lasting impact on The Crossing community. Already, the fruits are apparent. Rebecca helped us to name the kind of Christian community so many of us have hoped to be. She also gave us concrete tools to become a transformative, relational and fearless community ...
  • one that is powerfully focused on our mutual transformation into the likeness of Christ
  • one where each gathering is shot through with the marks of a small group: 1) prayer and worship, 2) formation and scripture, 3) hospitality and evangelism, 4) service and action, and 5) community and pastoral care
  • one where we make serious commitments to God and to each other, including encouraging commitment to a regular formation or small group gathering
Yes, amazing transformation can happen in the context of liturgy and fellowship. As a "sacramental" Christian, I absolutely believe we encounter and are transformed by Christ as we gather, share the good news, break bread and receive the blessing of the Holy One. I cannot imagine living as a Christian without meeting Jesus and being called out by community in worship. But there is so much more to Christian life, and small groups are often where that "more" happens powerfully.

So consider this proposal: Lent begins on Wednesday, February 17. During this season -- when Christians everywhere share the intention to live simply and prayerfully, to walk with Jesus to the cross and beyond -- join a small group or regular formation gathering at The Crossing. Follow the link to read about the Small Groups and Formation offerings for this spring. Pray over it. Then be part of a circle.

You may take on any number of other Lenten disciplines -- fasting a day a week, daily prayer, Sabbath meals with family or friends, journaling, confession and more. But if each of us commits to participate in a small group, I know all the other disciplines, all our yearning for community and communion, will suddenly be enriched. That's the way Christian life works. It happens in community. It happens in and beyond worship. And it happens with intention.

Will you share this intention with me? Can we hold each other in it? Can we ask for God's grace to follow this way together? I pray you will say yes, and that you will hear this invitation not as obligation (God save us from obligations!), but as Jesus reaching out and drawing you onto the path you have longed for all along.

coming up @ the crossing
THURSDAY @ 6pm // Worship and Community
Rev. Steph reflects on the enlightening story of the Transfiguration (Luke 9:28-36), while Lispeth Nutt continues to engage us in holy imagination with photography and creation.
  • BEFORE WORSHIP: Come at 4:45pm to help with worship set-up or 5:30pm to join the prayer circle.
  • AFTER WORSHIP: Stay for light snacks and stay even longer for a cheap meal with the community.
  • BY SUBWAY: 138 Tremont St -- across from Park St T stop (Red or Green Line); near Downtown Crossing T (Orange)
  • PARKING: Boston Common Garage, Charles Street between Boston Common and Public Garden
  • FOR MORE INFO: Head to our website --
SIGN UP NOW // Catechesis: Intro to the Episcopal Church
Rev. Steph and Julia Wilkinson will lead this creative, informative, prayerful, story-filled introduction to the history, theology and traditions of the Episcopal Church -- the big family that includes The Crossing. Come to learn more. Also, come if you're considering preparing for Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows at the Soulful Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 3. MEETING DATES: Sundays @ 3-4:30pm at The Cathedral, Feb. 21-Mar. 28, but please sign up ASAP and plan to attend all dates. CONTACT: Rev. Steph at

NEXT TUE., 2/16 @ 7pm // Small Groups Kick-off w/ Covenant Group Info Meeting
Covenant Groups are the core of our Small Groups Ministry. These life-changing gatherings of 4 to 6 people pray, reflect, share stories, share wisdom and hold each other throughout the Christian journey. Groups stay together through the spring. If you'd like to join a group, attend this informational meeting next Tuesday at The Cathedral. CONTACT Laura at

Please click here for info on Small Groups at The Crossing. Most begin next week, with the start of Lent. CONTACT Jason at for info on the whole Small Groups and Formation Ministry.

NEXT TUE., 2/16 @ 5:30pm // Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper and Lent Decoration
The Cathedral congregation invites us to its annual pancake supper. Bonus: after pancakes, decorate the church for Lent. CONTACT Bob Greiner at

NEXT TUE., 2/16 @ 6pm // Community Dinner on the Episcopal Div School Campus in Harvard Square
Live in Cambridge? Want a yummy meal and great community? Interested in exploring the creation of a Crossing Intentional Community House? Whatever your reasons, join this open circle of Crossing folks who share dinner and prayer at Episcopal Divinity School. All are welcome! CONTACT TJ at or Michael at

NEXT WED., 2/17 @ 6pm // Ash Wednesday Evening Prayer with the Imposition of Ashes
The Crossing hosts this special evening service, the ancient ritual marking the beginning of the journey through the holy season of Lent. All are also welcome to attend Cathedral services at 7am and noon.

NEXT THU., 2/18 after WORSHIP // Hope in Action @ The Crossing Kick-off
Ready to turn your passion around queer justice, homelessness and youth/education into action? Then please join the Justice and Outreach Team for light dinner and strategizing after worship next Thursday. Our work is part of the Hope in Action Campaign, a young adult justice effort led by Relational Evangelists at eight ministries throughout the Boston area -- and we're one of them! By April 10, we will have engaged 40 people in and around The Crossing community to commit to making real change. But the work begins now. CONTACT Natalie Finstad -- coordinator for Hope in Action @ The Crossing -- at

SUN., 2/26 @ 7:30-9:30pm // Singing for Haiti: A Benefit Concert @ The Crossing
Together with friends from Boston Faith and Justice Network, Reunion Church, local campus ministries and Haitian churches, The Crossing is hosting a benefit concert for the people of Haiti. Featuring Aaron Strumpel (Christian artist visiting Boston) and Tracy Howe (student at Harvard Div School, talented and faithful musician, AND friend of The Crossing) and Haitian artists. Bring friends! Let's sing our way into solidarity. CONTACT: Justin at And check out our Help Haiti page on The Crossing website for ways to help right now.

ongoing crossing community info
InBetweenCrossings: Log on and view or share all kinds of random community notices: furniture, apartment sublets, concerts, lost and found, play dates. If you want to share it with our community, start here.

Giving @ The Crossing: follow the link to learn about sharing your money or your prayers with The Crossing -- it's a spiritual practice that we're grateful to invite people into. We raise a huge chunk of the money for this ministry among our own members (the rest comes from grants we apply for and from generous support from our Cathedral and Bishops). To make an ongoing pledge, fill out a card at worship or CONTACT Chris at

Justice and Service @ The Crossing: Follow the link for info on particular volunteer opportunities and organizations that are close to our community's heart.

Meet Our Crew: The Crossing is led by a team of amazing, creative and faithful young adults. Follow the link to meet them and see who you might contact to more deeply engage our community.

Praying for you and hoping with you,
Rev. Steph

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