Wednesday, October 20, 2010

reason to believe

(ALMOST caught up -- sent this out to The Crossing community last Wednesday)

I grew up in Kentucky, land of coal mines, black lung disease and cave-ins. So the story of the trapped Chilean miners hit close to home. Over the last 65 days, I'd check in every week or so, surprised that they were still there, wondering what it would take to free them, scared to hear the inevitable news of lives lost. Then I saw the first images yesterday. And I heard the voices of the men and their families. Talk about faith in action. Here are just a few excerpts from CNN.com. (Click to watch
CNN footage)

"They emerged looking healthier than many had expected and even clean-shaven, and at least one, Mario Sepulveda, the second to taste freedom, bounded out and thrust a fist upward like a prizefighter. 'I think I had extraordinary luck,' he said. 'I was with God and with the devil. And I reached out for God.' "

Lillian Ramirez is the wife of Mario Gomez, second to emerge from the mine. She told reporters, "To say there were 33 trapped in the mine is wrong. There were 33 men -- and God." Amen, my sister.

Did God trap these men in that mine to teach them a lesson? No. Did God look down from heaven and single-handedly rescue them? No. But God was there, with them, in the mine. Singing in them, praying in them. And I believe when they say they could not have survived without that faith, without the active presence of the 34th one in the mine: God. Thanks be to God who shows up, redeems us and sustains us through everything. And thank you, hermanos y hermanas en Chile, for your witness.

this week @ the crossing
  • WED: Cambridge/Somerville Neighborhood Group @ 7-9pm at Beth Graham's house
  • THU: Crossing Paths @ noon in front of The Cathedral
  • THU: Worship: Thursdays @ 6pm at The Cathedral
  • THU: Everyone Does Theology -- topic: God: Thursday @ 7:30pm at The Cathedral
  • SAT: Brookline/Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Group @ 6:30-8pm at Alex Froom's house
  • SUN: New to The Crossing Brunch @ 1-3pm at Rev. Steph's house
  • NEXT TUE: Praying Our Lives @ 6-8pm at The Cathedral

worship
Worship / Thursday @ 6pm
Rev. Steph takes up the gospel of Luke (18:1-8 -- passage below) and Isaac Everett shares a spiritual practice that's close to his heart: the Psalms (he loves them so much, he wrote a book about them: The Emergent Psalter).
  • WAY BEFORE WORSHIP: Come anytime between noon and 1pm for Crossing Paths. Crossing folks reach out and share art and spiritual practices with the city. (details under "action")
  • BEFORE WORSHIP: Creative juices flow! Help set-up for worship at 4:45pm. CONTACT Isaac at isaac@thecrossingboston.org to volunteer regularly!
  • AFTER WORSHIP: Simple snacks, community and clean-up. Then Everyone Does Theology (details under "after worship")
  • 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 ($5 with validation @ church -- ask a Greeter)
  • FOR MORE INFO: Head to our website -- www.thecrossingboston.org

newcomers
Sunday, Oct. 17 @ 1-3pm / Welcome to The Crossing Brunch @ Rev. Steph's house in Cambridge
There's a lot happening in this small but vibrant community, so we host these periodic brunches to help new(ish) people get their bearings. Eat a really yummy Southern brunch and learn about the dreams, commitments and practices that shape the core of our life at The Crossing, plus some history, some intro to our leadership and some info about the traditions (Anglican + emergent + more) that ground us. And, of course, share some about yourself and hear from other new folks! RSVP by Fri., Oct. 15 and CONTACT Jason at jason@thecrossingboston.org or Jack at jack@thecrossingboston.org.

small groups
Neighborhood Groups: share prayer, food, community and service with neighbors
Cambridge/Somerville Neighborhood Group
Date + Time: THIS WEDNESDAY @ 7-9pm (likely every other week)
Location: Beth Graham's house in Porter Square: 38 Berkeley St, Apt. 5, Somerville
Commitment: Open to newcomers, but all who join should commit to attend regularly
Contact: Beth at ElizabethLGraham@gmail.com or 617.767.1969 -- to RSVP or to say you're interested but can't make Wednesdays

Brookline/Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Group
Date + Time: THIS SATURDAY @ 6:30-8pm
Location: Alex Froom's house -- 118 Winchester St., Brookline
Commitment: Open to newcomers,
but all who join should commit to attend regularly
Contact: Alex alexfroom@gmail.com or Leigh at lsfoster83@gmail.com
-- to RSVP or to say you're interested but can't make Saturdays

Journey Groups: share around common hopes and struggles on the faith journey
Faith Transitions
Focus: Dealing with big shifts in the way we understand God, Jesus, church, theology and more
Date + Time: Sundays @ 6-7:30pm (Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28; Dec. 5, 12)
Commitment: Open, but consistency appreciated to deepen experience for all participants
Location: Cathedral, Lawrence Room (1st floor, off reception area)
Contact: Rudy at rpreyes2@gmail.com or Rev. Steph at revsteph@thecrossingboston.org.

Faith and Sexuality
Focus: Explore the intersection of gender, sexuality, our bodies and our faith
Date + Time: Sundays @ 6-7:30pm (Oct. 10, 17, 24, 31; Nov. 7, 14, 21, 28; Dec. 5, 12).
Commitment: Closed after first two sessions
Location: Cathedral office building, 5th floor conference room (exit elevator, go left to very end of long hall)

Praying Our Lives
Focus: Prayer, practice and integrating Christian commitment into the whole of our lives
Date + Time: Every other Tuesday @ 6-7:30pm (next meeting Oct. 19, then Nov. 2, 16, 30; Dec. 14 -- break for Christmas, restart in January)
Commitment: Closed after Oct. 19 gathering
Location: Cathedral office building, 5th floor conference room
(exit elevator, go left to very end of long hall)
Contact: Jana at jana.yeaton@gmail.com or Adwoa at adwoalw1@gmail.com


after worship on thursdays
THIS Thursday / Everyone Does Theology -- Topic: GOD
Second Thursdays, we settle in to learn and kick around deep thoughts on the big religious questions Christians have wrestled with for millennia. The series that will guide our exploration:Embracing an Adult Faith, featuring progressive theologian Marcus Borg and a host of regular folks talking about God. CONTACT Keith at keith@thecrossingboston.org.

Thursday, Oct. 21 / Episco-Disco
Third Thursdays, we turn off the brain and turn on the music. All are welcome to eat and drink at Fajitas n Ritas and then head to Estate, a nearby dance club that's free if you arrive at 10pm. 21 & up. CONTACT Travis at travisastevens@gmail.com.

Thursday, Oct. 28 / Education for Action
Fourth Thursdays, our Justice & Action Team organizes an open gathering where we share our stories, grow our passion for justice and prepare for action in the world. CONTACT Vicki at vicki@thecrossingboston.org.

Thursday, Nov. 4 / Community Dinner
Every first Thursday, we share a good, old-fashioned church potluck! Bring a dish, drink or dessert AND bring a friend. Done by 9pm @ the latest. Got questions or want to help with set-up/clean-up? CONTACT our resident chef, Stephen Gire at stephengire@mac.com.


action
Crossing Paths / Thursdays at 12-1pm
Drop-in with Crossing folks as we share art and spirit with the city. Might be a sidewalk chalk labyrinth with icons and stations. This week, it's Liturgical Jenga. The point is to welcome people to a new way of interacting with God and each other and creating beauty together, right out in the open. CONTACT Vicki at vicki@thecrossingboston.org.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters / Making connections now
Bridge is an amazing organization literally around the corner from the Cathedral. They work with homeless youth and young adults, offering everything from tutoring to shelter, breakfast and lunch to big TVs and safe space. We're starting to partner with Bridge as part of our commitment to standing with young, homeless people in Boston. If you want to be part of the link, CONTACT Vicki at -- you guessed it --
vicki@thecrossingboston.org.


behind the scenes
Worship help
Life at The Crossing is a community effort. We'd sure appreciate your help:
  • Set-up/Clean-up: If you'd like to offer your artistic gifts (or just like moving furniture around), please come at 4:45pm any Thursday and dive in. Homemade art welcome! Or, if you can be part of a team that does clean-up periodically, that's a one-way ticket to heaven. CONTACT Isaac at isaac@thecrossingboston.org.
  • Advertising: If you've got talent at graphic design and want to help with flyers + advertising, CONTACT Rev. Steph at revsteph@thecrossingboston.org.
  • Worship sheets: If you have an hour a week to help draft and print worship sheets, CONTACT Isaac at isaac@thecrossingboston.org.

giving @ the crossing
We gather in a big, rich-feeling Cathedral, and we're located at the seat of the Diocese of Massachusetts. But when it comes to finances, we're actually a tiny operation doing God's work on the cheap: about $100K funds EVERYTHING we do (salaries, programs, admin, music team, outreach). Simple fact is, giving from our community makes The Crossing possible. It's also a spiritual practice that can change your life. To learn about regular giving, CONTACT Lura at lsteele120@gmail.com OR grab a pledge card during worship.

this week's scripture: Luke 18:1-8

Jesus told his disciples a parable about their need to pray always and not to lose heart. He said, "In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor had respect for people. In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, `Grant me justice against my opponent.' For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, `Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, so that she may not wear me out by continually coming.'" And the Lord said, "Listen to what the unjust judge says. And will not God grant justice to his chosen ones who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long in helping them? I tell you, he will quickly grant justice to them. And yet, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?"


Blessings as we share the word and share life,

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