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

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,

turn the page

[posted to crossing community on 2/2/10]

Every year, we make a huge turn in our life @ The Crossing. It's a bit like clockwork. It's certainly the movement of the Holy Spirit.

We're turning right now.

Throughout the last 12 months, people have been praying and murmuring and planning around how The Crossing might become even more deeply connected and grounded as a Christian community. I believe we're going to look back on this coming Thursday night and say, "That's when we got it. That's when we caught a vision for becoming a whole different kind of community."

Rebecca Hall will lead a big community conversation on Small Groups @ The Crossing. She organizes Formation and Small Groups Ministries at St. David's Episcopal Church in Austin, Texas(closest thing to a mega-church you'll find in the Episcopal Church). She's coming to learn a little from us and to share a lot with us about relationships, transformation, becoming disciples, growing into leaders, being church ... and how all those things flourish in small groups.

Whether you're a newcomer or you've been around for years, please stay after worship for our conversation with Rebecca and with each other. Even if you can't make worship, come by 7:30pm for this amazing opportunity to learn, to explore, to grow and to help The Crossing to make a huge turn in our life with each other and with God.

coming up @ the crossing

THIS THURSDAY @ 6pm // Worship and Community

Kirsten Wesselhoeft kicks off the month's gospel reflections with Luke 5:1-11, while Lispeth Nutt shares the spiritual practice.
  • BEFORE WORSHIP: Help set-up at 4:45pm or join the pre-worship prayer circle at 5:30pm
  • AFTER WORSHIP: Small Groups @ The Crossing (conversation w/ Rebecca Hall -- w/ pizza!)
  • GETTING TO THE CROSSING: 138 Tremont St., across from Park St. T
  • PARKING: $5 parking coupons for Boston Common Garage on Charles St (b/t Common and Public Garden)
  • LOTS MORE INFO: Head to
THIS THURSDAY after WORSHIP // Small Groups @ The Crossing -- Part II
Please stay for dinner AND an incredible learning/sharing opportunity. Rebecca Hall, who does big things with small groups in Austin, Texas, will help our whole community to explore the impact and significance of small groups for building an authentic, connected, passionate and engaged community of disciples (and yes, that's what we hope to become!). CONTACT Jason at

THIS SATURDAY @ 9am-1pm // Small Groups & Transformative Communities -- Part III (location: Episcopal Div School in Harvard Sq.)
Rebecca Hall continues to deepen our learning about small groups -- how we lead them, how we grow them, how we grow IN them. This time, we widen the circle and welcome friends from The Cathedral, St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Natick and St. James Episcopal Church in Groveland to this training/workshop/kick-off.

CONTACT Jason at to attend and get skills to lead small groups or any other kind of group!

THIS SUNDAY @ 3-4pm // Lent Worship Planning Circle @ Rev. Steph's House in Central Square
Bring your creative spirit, music, poetry, art -- anything that says "Lent" to you. The Worship Ministry Team invites you to help plan worship in the coming season of deep reflection and mystery. We'll meet at Rev. Steph's house: 65 Magazine St. in Central Square -- Central Sq T; no permit necessary to park on Sundays; call for directions: 617.312.5218. CONTACT Marie Harkey

FRI., 2/26 @ 7:30pm / Singing for Haiti: A Benefit Concert @ The Crossing

Together with friends from Boston Faith and Justice Network, area campus ministries and Haitian church leaders, we're co-sponsoring a benefit concert for the stricken people of Haiti. FeaturingAaron Strumpel (Christian artist visiting Boston), Tracy Howe (Christian artist who also happens to be a student at Harvard Div and friend of The Crossing), and many more. CONTACT: Justin at

In the meantime, keep sending prayers and support to our brothers and sisters in Haiti:

** The Society of St. Margaret, 17 Highland Park Street, Boston, MA 02119. For updates and more information about the sisters’ work in Haiti, go to and click on the “Haiti” page link.

** Episcopal Relief and Development: Donate online at or call 800-334-7626, ext. 5129.

small groups, formation + community
Our new season of small groups begins on February 15, and everyone is welcome to take part. CONTACT: Jason at Here's the calendar so far:

Sundays @ The Crossing
* Every Sunday @ 3-4:30pm // Catechesis: An Intro to the Episcopal Church
* 1st Sundays @ 5-7:30pm // Scrum: The Crossing Leadership Crew Meeting
* 1st Sundays @ ~ 5-7:30pm // Artistic Expressions
* 2nd Sundays @ ~ 5-7:30pm // Bible Study
* 3rd Sundays @ 5-7:30pm // Crossing Community Dinners
* 4th Sundays @ ~ 5-7:30pm // Bible Study

Small Groups & Formation during the Week
Mon.-Wed. evenings:
* Neighborhood Action/Reflection Circles in Brookline and Cambridge
* Covenant Groups: Discipleship Circles
Thursdays after Worship:
* Dancing with Jesus (1x/month)
* Everybody Does Theology (1x/month)

And if you'd like to make a connection with the broader Crossing community, don't forget our online forum, InBetweenCrossings: Here's where we connect and share random community announcements and info -- including upcoming events, apartment sublets, job opportunities, lost-and-found, furniture exchange, help requests, etc. 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)? Want some company for a concert or a movie? Pass along the word ...

giving @ the crossing
Alleluia! We met our fundraising goal of $20,000 for 2009, and now we've raised the bar to $23,000 for 2010. That extra money will allow us to 1) move Rev. Steph from 1/2-time [where she's been for the last year and a half] to 3/4-time starting this January, and 2) allow us to bump our Minister for Community Life from 1/4-time right now to 1/2-time starting in July.

If you'd like to make a commitment to sustain The Crossing community's life, 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 2010 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

get connected
We've got an amazing crew of leaders making life happen here @ The Crossing. Click to Meet The Crossing Leadership Crew and see who you might talk with to plug into anything -- lead a spiritual practice, have a newcomer coffee, link with justice work, join a small group, help with the web, pitch in with hospitality, start giving regularly, or just get some support and hope for the journey we share.

Sending blessings and peace and keeping the faith,
Rev. Steph

Labels: , , , , , , , , , ,