Wednesday, April 21, 2010

hospitality -- plain 'n simple

The Dominican Republic is an extraordinary nation, and it's where I spent the last 10 days. Most people live in abject poverty, only a rung or two above their neighbors in Haiti. The boys hope they'll be good enough at baseball to get to the Major Leagues in the U.S. And if that doesn't work, there's tourism, though far too many scrape by with only $250 a month cleaning and serving at the country's posh resorts.

As I traveled and talked to the people in my broken Spanish, I started off sad, thinking how unfortunate it is that they have to pretend to be excited about welcoming Europeans and North Americans with money to burn. But after meeting and talking and worshiping and serving with the Dominican people, I got it: hospitality is in their bones. I don't know enough of the history to get why it's apparently in this nation's DNA, but it is. Hospitality is effortless. They are constantly looking around to see who just walked in the door, who needs a little more food, who needs healing and encouragement, who is alone. It reminds me of growing up down South, reminds me of the black communities that are a precious part of my own identity. But it might be deeper still. It's as if they give more out of their poverty, not less. As if they are more compassionate because they're at bottom. If that's not holy, I don't know what is.

I cannot explain it, but I can tell you I'm inspired by it. And it makes me wonder how communities like ours can practice effortless, simple, radical hospitality, too. Not because "those" people are at the door and we'll get something out of it. But because our hearts -- like the heart of God -- yearn to welcome The Other. What a way to live ...

coming up @ the crossing
THURSDAYS @ 6pm // Worship and Community
Christy Waybright takes us deeper into the season of Easter with a reflection on John 10:22-30 (Jesus as shepherd, gathering his flock). Bill Comer leads our spiritual practice: sitting in the presence of Jesus.
  • BEFORE WORSHIP: Come at 4:45pm to help with worship set-up or 5:30pm to join the prayer circle.
  • AFTER WORSHIP: Stay for cheap food at Fajitas n Ritas
  • 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 -- www.thecrossingboston.org

EPISCO-DISCO // Next Thurs., 4/29, after Worship
Like to dance? Like to pray? We're sure to do both at Episco-Disco, our monthly outing to a local club for dancing and community after worship. The venue will be close by and have a modest cover, and our focus is on dancing and opening to the Spirit. CONTACT Travis at hospitality@thecrossingboston.org.

GREETERS'/NEWCOMERS TEAM BRUNCH // Sunday, May 2 @ 11am-12:30pm at Justin Harvey's house in Roslindale
If you've got a heart for hospitality, come to enjoy brunch and brainstorming at the home of our Minister for Justice and Outreach, Justin Harvey, next Sunday in Roslindale (close to the J.P. border). Open to all who would like 1) to greet, 2) to help welcome newcomers, 3) to help with after-worship food, 4) to offer feedback and insights on your own experience of welcome at The Crossing. Let's practice what we preach! RSVP by FRIDAY, 4/30, to Justin at justice@thecrossingboston.org.

CROSSING YEAR-END COMMUNITY THANKSGIVING // Thurs., 5/13 after Worship
As a community, we've grown a lot, learned a lot, offered a lot and received even more this year. On Thursday, May 13, we'll take time to celebrate what God has made possible among us. Plan to stay after worship as we mark milestones and lessons learned AND say good-byes and thank yous to folks who are heading out for the summer AND look ahead as a community. CONTACT Julia at worship-help@thecrossingboston.org to help with planning.

SUMMER HELP @ THE CROSSING // Contact Rev. Steph NOW
We're a year-round church, but lots of our leaders live on a student schedule. That means May-July are big turnover months! Starting next month, we'll need help with prepping worship sheets, setting up worship space and offering hospitality. If you'll have time or know someone with a field education or volunteer requirement to fulfill this summer, please CONTACT Rev. Steph atrevsteph@thecrossingboston.org or 617.482.4826, x318.

community life @ the crossing
SPEAKING OF FAITH SMALL GROUPS AT THE CROSSING // Sun., 5/2 @ 5-7pm at the Cathedral, running 5 weeks
Speaking of Faith is one of the most popular programs on public radio, and one of the most engaging religious conversations going on today. Partnering with the Episcopal Church, they’ve created a new curriculum for small groups that combines audio clips, small group formation and fascinating questions on life and faith today. The Crossing will serve as one of only a few pilot sites nationwide, and all are welcome to join. TOPIC: 5 sessions on “Einstein’s God: Science and Faith.” CONTACT Jason at community-life@thecrossingboston.org or 617.519.1538 to join the group.

NOTE: Krista Tippett, host of Speaking of Faith, speaks at Harvard this Saturday. Registration ended today, but click here for details.

TUESDAYS @

6pm at Episcopal Divinity School // Community Dinner + Prayer (generally weekly)

Join this relaxed, weekly gathering of Crossing folks and EDS students. Come if you're hungry. Come if you're curious about starting an intentional community. Come if you're in the neighborhood. Just come!

CONTACT TJ at TTetzlaff@eds.edu or Michael at michael@zahniser.net to confirm it's happening and get location.

SATURDAYS and WEDNESDAYS // Covenant Groups (weekly)
Our Covenant Groups are no longer open to new participants, but stay tuned for more opportunities to gather with Crossing members to share stories, wisdom and the Christian journey. CONTACT Jason at

EVERY OTHER MONDAY @ 6:30-8pm // Neighborhood Action+Reflection Circles (every other week, thru 5/17)
These new small groups are dedicated to building community, sinking roots into our neighborhoods and engaging in justice and service to bless the communities where we live. Meet every other week, alternating between sharing stories and community in one gathering, and heading into action the next time. CONTACT Justin at justice@thecrossingboston.org to learn more.

Follow this link to learn all about our Small Groups and Formation Offerings or contact our Minister for Community Life, Jason Long, at community-life@thecrossingboston.org.

ongoing crossing community info
InBetweenCrossings: groups.google.com/group/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 giving@thecrossingboston.org.

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 to welcome like Jesus ...

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