Thursday, November 11, 2010

what a difference a week makes!

With Transgender Awareness Week starting this weekend AND Homeless Youth Awareness Month going throughout November, it made sense to invite our Minister for Justice and Action, Vicki Morte, to give us all some background and inspiration. Take it away, sister ...

As a community, we’ve chosen some specific ways to pray and act around injustices that threaten the lives of our friends and neighbors. We stand in solidarity as allies and members of the GLBTQ community. We're also developing partnerships to support young, homeless people in the city of Boston. This week is a huge week for action around both of these issues.

Over the last decade, the number of deaths due to transgender-based hate or prejudice has risen monthly. The numbers are likely to keep rising, as even a progressive state like Massachusetts still offers no explicit legal protection for the Transgender Community. One bright light is Transgender Awareness Week, which begins this weekend. It started with one day -- following the 1998 murder of transsexual woman Rita Hester here in Boston, the International Transgender Day of Remembrance was established to memorialize all those who lost their lives due to hatred and ignorance.

The day has expanded into an empowering week of outreach and education. From November 13–20, the city of Boston and others across the nation will have the chance to be a part of Transgender Awareness Week. The Crossing will provide welcoming and loving space as the host site for the Day of Remembrance service here in Boston, and for other events throughout the week.

At the same time, the number of homeless youth in the United States stands somewhere around 1.5 million, and it has been estimated that up to 40% of these homeless young people identify as LGBTQ. Recent reports approximate that every day 13 youth die on the streets. To address this growing epidemic, Congress declared November National Homeless Youth Awareness Month. We're taking action by partnering with Bridge Over Troubled Waters and Join the Impact, two local groups that provide support and advocacy for homeless teens and young adults. We want to step forward as loving supporters of these young people, even as we move to end youth homelessness in this country.

As these two important times intersect, we’re joining the movement in Boston to act up and out against injustice, returning hate with love to end discrimination and violence. Please support what's unfolding this November with your presence, your prayers, and your hope.

this week @ the crossing
  • TODAY: Cambridge/Somerville Neighborhood Group @ 7-9pm at Beth Graham's house
  • THU: Crossing Paths @ noon in front of Cathedral
  • THU: Worship @ 6-7:15pm
  • THU: Everyone Does Theology after worship -- topic: Jesus
  • SAT: Join the Impact action on Boston Common with homeless LGBT youth
  • SUN: Faith Transitions Group @ 6-7:30pm at Cathedral
  • SUN: Sexuality & Faith Group @ 6-7:30pm at Cathedral
  • AS NEEDED: Communion Delivery

worship: where we fall in love with God
Worship / Thursdays @ 6pm
This Thursday Kevin Vetiac offers a reflection on Luke 21:5-19, while Ben Whaley and Vicki Morte tag-team on the spiritual practice: encountering The Other as Christ.

If you joined us last week, you witnessed a moving profession of vows by Adwoa Lewis-Wilson, who became an oblate in the
Order of St. Julian of Norwich. The order is based in Wisconsin, but we're privileged to serve as the local community that supports her in this deep commitment to the Jesus Way. Click the link above to learn more about the Order.
    • 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 Cara at to volunteer regularly!
    • AFTER WORSHIP: Community Potluck Dinner -- bring a dish inspired by your ancestors (details under "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 ($5 with validation @ church -- ask a Greeter)
    • FOR MORE INFO: Head to our website --

Communion Delivery / New offering!
Got a Thursday night class or work, and it's keeping you away from The Crossing worship? Going through a rough work stretch and can't make a couple of weeks? The Worship Circle is helping to knit all of us together as a body by organizing communion delivery to your house, class ... wherever you need some Jesus! To request communion, help with delivery or just get info, CONTACT Ben at

Thanksgiving Worship and Dinner / Thu., Nov. 25 @ 6pm at Rev. Steph's house in Cambridge
Yes, we'll have our annual Thanksgiving feast for The Crossing community. Plenty of turkey (maybe some tofurkey, too). If you'd like to help cook, set-up, welcome, etc., CONTACT Rev. Steph at RSVP by Monday, Nov. 22.

community: where we grow in love for each other and ourselves

THIS Thursday,
Nov. 11 / Everyone Does Theology -- Topic: JESUS
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 all things faithful. CONTACT Keith at

Thursday, Nov. 18 / Open Mic Night with Transcriptions
For the second year in a row, during
Transgender Awareness Week we open our doors to co-host a night of creativity, music, poetry and general fierceness. Our partner is Transcriptions, an open mic night in Jamaica Plan that's especially geared to welcome the voices of transgender and other queer folks. Sign up to share a poem, a song, a reading. And plan to stay for this AMAZING night! CONTACT Penny at

Thursday, Nov. 25 / Thanksgiving Dinner
Ordinarily, 4th Thursdays equal Education for Action, a gathering hosted by the Justice and Action Team. But on Thanksgiving, everybody's welcome to Rev. Steph's house to celebrate the holiday. See details under"worship."

Thursday, Dec. 2 / Community Potluck 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

Neighborhood Groups: share prayer, food, community and service with neighbors
Cambridge/Somerville Neighborhood Group
Date + Time: THIS WEDNESDAY @ 7-9pm (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 or 617.767.1969 -- to RSVP

Brookline/Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Group
Location: Alex Froom's house -- 118 Winchester St., Brookline
Commitment: Open to newcomers,
Contact: Alex or Leigh at

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
Commitment: Open, but consistency appreciated to deepen experience for all participants
Location: Cathedral, Lawrence Room (1st floor, off reception area)
Contact: Rudy at

Faith and Sexuality
Focus: Explore the intersection of gender, sexuality, our bodies and our faith
Date + Time: Sundays @ 6-7:30pm
Commitment: Closed group
Location: Cathedral office building (5th floor conference room)

Praying Our Lives
Focus: Prayer, practice and integrating Christian commitment into the whole of our
Date + Time: Every other Tuesday @ 6-7:30pm (Nov. 16, 30; Dec. 14 -- break for Christmas, restart in January)
Commitment: Covenant group, so closed after first few gatherings
Location: Cathedral office building, 5th floor conference room
: Adwoa at or Bill at

action: where we share God's love with our community and the world
bridge over troubled waters
is an amazing organization literally around the corner from the Cathedral. They work with homeless youth and young adults, offering tutoring, shelter, meals, counseling, fun, safe space and more. Here's how we're partnering with them this Thanksgiving ...

Make Thanksgiving decorations /
Saturday @ 4:30-6:30pm in Brookline
Thanksgiving celebrations are usually pretty minimal at Bridge, but we’re helping to spruce it up.
Join us in making festive decorations. Supplies will be provided.
Bring a snack and/or a friend! LOCATION:
Vicki Morte's house in
Brookline (40 Prescott Street, near St. Mary's stop on C line or BU Central on B line).
CONTACT Fiona at

Help with decorating and serving at Bridge / Wednesday, Nov. 24
The Bridge Thanksgiving meal takes place the day before the official Turkey Day. CONTACT Fiona to help with decorating and service that day.

crossing paths
THIS WEEK: Ignatian Jenga / Thursdays at 12-1pm
Drop-in with Crossing folks as we share art and spirit with the city. This week,
NOTE: Can't make Crossing Paths? The same practice will also be featured during Open Space on Thursday nights.

transgender awareness week
Lots happening all week -- check out the full calendar at Here's what we're co-sponsoring:

SATURDAY @ noon-4pm: Join The Impact on the Common (look for the tent)
We're supporting JTI as they launch a campaign to educate and advocate for Homeless LGBTQ Youth. JTI has complied a comprehensive fact sheet with current numbers, statistics and information, along with all upcoming events related to youth homelessness and the queer community. The event will feature speakers addressing current legislation and shelter services and offering ways to be more deeply involved. CONTACT Vicki at or Dani at

THURSDAY after worship: Transcriptions/The Crossing Open Mic Night
Transcriptions is a queer-friendly Open Mic Night that usually happens in Jamaica Plain. For the 2nd year, during Trans Awareness Week, we'll welcome members of the Transcriptions community to worship and then co-host an open mic night after worship. Open Mic runs from 7:30-10:30pm in Sproat Hall (Cathedral lower level). Admission: $5-10 sliding scale -- all proceeds will benefit Bridge Over Troubled Waters. Everyone is welcome to perform! Each performance will run 3-5 minutes.

How to help? Step 1: CONTACT Penny at Then ...
-- Come ready to perform: share a poem, sing or play a song, tell a story, paint a picture in real time -- all offerings welcomed!
-- Come early to help with set-up
-- Bring items to share at the Transcriptions Bake Sale.

SATURDAY @ 6pm: Transgender Day of Remembrance Service and Vigil
Every year on November 20, the transgender community turns its attention to its family, friends and loved ones lost to violence. A tradition inspired by the Allston vigil for slain transsexual Rita Hester in 1998, this day has become the worldwide rallying point for a community long under siege. We are proud to host this year's vigil here at The Crossing. It promises to be an inspir
ing program of speakers, community speakout, and a candlelight vigil on Boston Common, plus words from our own Bishop Tom Shaw. The program begins at 6 and the candlelight march and vigil follows immediately after. CONTACT Penny at or Vicki at

ALSO: During Trans Awareness Week ...
TUESDAY, Nov. 16 @ 6-8pm / In Their Own Words: A Forum on Youth Homelessness
Youth on Fire -- a Cambridge drop-in center that serves homeless youth -- hosts this moving gathering that features personal stories of homeless young people, expert commentary and info on getting involved. CONTACT Vicki

behind the scenes
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

NOTE: We need to raise $4,500 to close the funding gap in the next two months. If you haven't contributed, please prayerfully do so NOW.

Big blessings in all your prayers, your struggles and your dreaming ..

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