Wednesday, September 08, 2010

what will you say on 9/11?

I cannot explain how heart-breaking the last week and a half have been. I returned last week from a visit to a small town in England, where billboards along the highway wished everyone "Ramadan Mubarak" (or "Blessed Ramadan," honoring the Muslim month of fasting and prayer). Back home in America -- land of the free, home of the brave -- I heard escalating animosity against Muslims, resistance not only to building an Islamic Cultural Center at Ground Zero but also widespread protests against the construction of mosques in other cities. And today, a friend shared the news of a Qur'an-burning bonfire set for September 11 ... hosted by a Christian church.

Where have we gone so horribly wrong? It feels all the more important that reconciling voices speak out and reclaim the best of American and Christian values. I hope you will join me. You could do it by signing the statement affirming religious diversity, penned by a broad sweep of Massachusetts religious leaders. You could do it by joining our Crossing crew at the September 11 Day of Service and Remembrance this Saturday at 9am-1pm. We will send a group to West Newbury for a river clean-up (details below; contact Vicki to sign up and/or get a ride). In some small way, on 9/11, we'll participate in healing instead of hatred.

Whatever way you can find, please stand up. The world is watching our witness. This is no time for silence.

So Ramadan Mubarak to our Muslim brothers and sisters, and a glorious Eid ul-Fitr celebration on Thursday (the celebratory breaking of the Ramadan fast). Shana tova to our Jewish brothers and sisters as they mark Rosh Hashanah -- the Jewish New Year -- with special acts of repentance and remembrance beginning at sunset Wednesday. And may God bless us all whenever we participate in the healing, humility and reconciliation that are at the heart of all our faiths. Amen.

what’s happening @ the crossing
WORSHIP & COMMUNITY / Thursday @ 6pm at The Cathedral
Christy Waybright breaks open the gospel with a reflection on Luke 15:1-10 (see text below) , and Sue Spilecki and Isaac Everett co-lead the month's spiritual practice: community singing.
  • 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-1pm
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 Here are the quick details:
  • Children, friends and sig. others welcome!
  • Bring some waterproof boots, work gloves and a water bottle, if you have them.
  • Snacks provided, but you should bring your own lunch.
  • Depart from The Cathedral (or other arranged spots) at 8am. Get started in West Newbury at 9am.
  • To join our group, get a ride, get more info, CONTACT Vicki Morte, our new Minister for Justice and Action (she’s the Relational Evangelist serving with us via Life Together): or 508.333.6458.
COMMUNITY LIFE @ THE CROSSING: The Crossing is a community where we share the journey, and an amazing team is helping to give shape to that journey this year. If you'd like to offer input, learn more or offer your gifts in some way, please let us know:
Click the link to learn about sharing your money and your gifts at The Crossing -- it's a spiritual practice that we're grateful to invite people into. We've set a goal of raising $23,000 from our own members this year -- a large chunk of the $97,000 budget that pays for our two half-time ministers, the awesome music ministry, interns, small groups, justice and outreach, programs, hospitality, advertising, parking and so much more -- and right now we're at the half-way point. To make an ongoing pledge, fill out a form at worship or CONTACT Lura at


All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them."

So he told them this parable: "Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, `Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.' Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Or what woman having ten silver coins, if she loses one of them, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it? When she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, `Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.' Just so, I tell you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents."

Praying for power and for peace,
Rev. Steph

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