Wednesday, September 01, 2010

ain't no stopping us - worship THIS thursday @ 6pm!

If today’s any indication, tomorrow will be a hot night in the city. But there ain’t no stopping us! It’s September, and that means we’ll be back to worship in The Cathedral, stirring the Spirit (maybe waving some old-fashioned church-lady fans if I can get my mom to Fed-Ex a batch from her baptist church in Millville, Kentucky ...)

You know God has been busy among us this summer & during our August Sabbath. So come listen to stories, share love, look at wedding pictures (shout out to the Morello-Longs!), say “hi” to new folks and “what’s up?” to the ones you know. And be warned: I’ve just spent the last 8 days in England for the Greenbelt Festival, where nearly 20,000 people camp out every year and share worship, arts, food, deep wisdom, energy, hope, community and the radical love and vision of Jesus. If I wasn’t a Jesus hippie before – and, no, I don’t suppose I was – I am now.

I couldn’t possibly sum up here what I saw and discovered at Greenbelt. So instead, I hope you'll check this link for "while we were here", a newspaper that captured the Greenbelt experience. Or cruise the fabulous Greenbelt site and look for podcasts + videos on the Moot Community, Grace-London, Iona Community, Visions-UK, Cole Moreton, Bev Knight, the London Community Gospel Choir, Tom Sine, Ian Mobsby, the L'Arche Community, Lawrence Freeman, Eliacin Rosario Cruz, Karen Ward, the Beat Eucharist, Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Richard Rohr, Stanley Hauerwas, David Runcorn and Peter Tatchell. Wow, and those were just my highlights!

Pray for a sistah as I try to wring a 5-minute gospel reflection for tomorrow night out of the most spiritually alive summer I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to spread the love and see what God’s been up to in you since we last shared the body of Christ with each other.

what’s happening @ the crossing
WORSHIP & COMMUNITY / Thursday @ 6pm at The Cathedral
We're back! Rev. Steph offers the opening reflection on Luke 14:25-33 (see below) , and Sue Spilecki leads the month's spiritual practice: community singing. And fabulous sister Bishop Gayle Harris will come to share community and a big ol' episco-blessing either this week or next!
  • BEFORE WORSHIP: Set-up for worship at 4:45pm. Prayer circle at 5:30pm.
  • AFTER WORSHIP: Simple snacks and community, followed by a ritual procession to Fajitas n Ritas for cheap Brazilian/Mexican food. We'll subsidize your first visit!
  • 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)
  • FOR MORE INFO: Head to our website --
PRAY * SERVE * REFLECT -- SEPTEMBER 11th DAY OF SERVICE // Saturday, Sept. 11 @ 9am-4pm
The Crossing joins with our friends in Life Together -- the Diocese of Massachusetts Young Adult Intern Program -- for the 2nd annual Day of Service and Remembrance to commemorate the tragedy of September 11. The Crossing crew is headed 45 minutes north of Boston to West Newbury to do environmental cleanup with the Society of St. John the Evangelist (the monastic community runs a retreat center in West Newbury). Read more about the Day of Service at

Children welcome! To join our group, get a ride, get more info, CONTACT Vicki Morte, our new Minister for Action (she’s the Relational Evangelist serving with us via Life Together): or 508.333.6458.

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 sizable 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 Lura at

THIS WEEK'S GOSPEL: Luke 14:25-33
Now large crowds were traveling with Jesus; and he turned and said to them, "Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, saying, `This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' Or what king, going out to wage war against another king, will not sit down first and consider whether he is able with ten thousand to oppose the one who comes against him with twenty thousand? If he cannot, then, while the other is still far away, he sends a delegation and asks for the terms of peace. So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions."

Keep the faith ...

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beginnings (from 8/19/10)

and here's the word from august 19:
This will be a fast post, but full of heart and full of news! Yesterday was Day One for Isaac Everett, our brand-new, half-time Minister for Liturgical Arts and Outreach at The Crossing. He and I walked around downtown a bit, had coffee, did some dreaming, started connecting with The Crossing community (don't be surprised if he calls you soon). If you're wondering who this guy is, give a look -- and a listen -- to his website:; or the blog for transmission, the community he co-founded in New York City: FYI: We're sharing him with New York -- they get him Saturday night through Tuesday, we get him Wednesday through Saturday morning. If that's not an example of Christ's reconciling power in action, I don't know what is
Speaking of reconciliation, that's what we're up to at The Crossing House Church tonight @ 7-9pm: A group will head to Waltham House, the group home for homeless LGBT teens. Our Justice + Outreach Team has been building this relationship for a while, as part of the Hope in Action Campaign, and it's extraordinary! Tonight, we're having a bake-off -- The Crossing vs. Waltham House. And while this is ministry, I'm showing no mercy. If they think they can beat my triple-chocolate cupcakes, I'd like to see them try. If you want to join, CALL Jack at 803.507.1297 by 1pm and we'll get you lined up with a ride.
Afterward, you're welcome to join a crew going to hear Crossing Music Director Jamie Hart and her band at Tommy Doyle's in Harvard Square. Show starts tonight at 9:30pm. CALL 617.312.5218 if you're looking for us.

THIS WEEK'S GOSPEL: Luke 13:10-17: Now Jesus was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, "Woman, you are set free from your ailment." When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, "There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day." But the Lord answered him and said, "You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?" When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.

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taking worship to the streets (8/11/10)

and here's the second catch-up blog entry, this time from august 11:

Today is Day 1 back from vacation for me. I'm trying to figure out how to bring to ordinary life that refreshing vacation rhythm of praying, good eating, sleeping and making time for people I love. Anybody got a clue? One thing I know: whenever I've simply asked God, "Help me to keep this practice -- it feels good for me and good for my relationship with You" ... whenever I've made that simple request for grace and support, the discipline (or some form of it) has fallen into place almost effortlessly.

For instance, two years ago I started journaling every night, and it's still going, whether I'm sick or tired or both -- and, honey, that is bonafide proof of divine intervention! Now I'm adding an adapted form of Compline to my nights, and a brief Morning Prayer to begin my days (thanks to Chris Ashley for leading the July spiritual practice and getting me into this lovely habit). Please pray for me as I step into this new practice. I'll be praying that all of us move into fresh spiritual and life disciplines during the Summer Sabbath, and that we carry them into the rest of our year and the rest of our lives. That's kinda the point ...

Oh, and about this week's title: tomorrow at 6pm we worship on Boston Common before the Shakespeare in the Park production of "Othello." Yes, we'll be taking worship to the streets, and you should join!

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house church (7/29/10)

oh, i did that thing again. that thing where i go for a few months sending the weekly emails out to the community but not posting on the blog. my bad! here i am, dutifully catching up. somehow, it seems important to have this log. don't ask me why :)

first up, an entry from july 29, at the start of our summer sabbath:

Blessed Summer Sabbath! Every summer at The Crossing, we take a breather to get out of the hot Cathedral sanctuary and find God in smaller places. And so, for the next five weeks, at 6pm on Thursdays, instead of our usual worship, we're doing House Church: gathering in local homes to share some evening prayer, some food and community and (hopefully) some air-conditioning. Tonight, you're welcome to Beth Graham's house in Somerville (details below). It's a wonderful opportunity to grow relationships and get to know others' stories -- if we really rock this, imagine the community we'll return to when we return to the Cathedral on September 2 for our fall kick-off!

Speaking of September ... I need to offer up huge thanks and blessings for all those to whom we said goodbye at last week's worship gathering, and prayers for all those who are gonna miss them so much. It was an extraordinarily tender night -- yes, stuff got real -- with plenty of tears and ear-to-ear grins. It was especially poignant for me after my two-week trip to Italy. Every time I think my heart couldn't get more full with love for this circle of brothers and sisters, something like last week happens and I realize there's yet more room and more love. I thank God for this whole, beautiful body of Christ, and I pray God's grace over every one of us as the summer and our lives continue to unfold.

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