Wednesday, April 01, 2009

back to the present ...

It's hard to believe Holy Week is next week, but it is. And that means an extraordinary range of worship opportunities will soon open up -- starting this Thursday with our Healing Worship Gathering, continuing with Tenebrae next Wednesday, an Agape Meal with the whole Cathedral family on Thursday, and our Soulful Easter Vigil on Saturday night.

But it's not Holy Week yet. So let's settle into the present moment, and into our ongoing reflection on The Crossing's Rule for Real Life. This week, we turn our attention to the Fifth Commitment in our Rule for Real Life: the commitment to justice and service. Please take some time to pray with this promise, and see how God is begging you to offer your time, your heart, your life for the sake of the greater world-healing Jesus came to make real (view the entire Rule here)

Rule for Real Life ~ Fifth Commitment: Justice and Service
“What does God require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

We commit ourselves to discern and live out the core Christian values of peace and justice. In particular, we commit to participate regularly in one ministry/program of justice, healing and reconciliation. In general, we will discern how our actions and choices reinforce structures of injustice and oppression, and then learn and commit to use our power and gifts to name and heal injustice locally and globally.

This commitment matters because we seek to walk in the way of Jesus, spreading God’s mission of healing, justice and transformation. Even as we engage in this mission, we know we will find ourselves healed and transformed, and more capable of seeking and serving Christ in all people.

what's going on @ the crossing?
RIGHT NOW / Give big thanks!
First, we should all thank God for all the folks who collaborated to make our learning event with Phyllis Tickle such a rousing success. In partnership with our friends in the Massachusetts Episcopal Clergy Association and Episcopal Divinity School, we welcomed 150 people to hear Phyllis' talks and discuss what's emerging and how we can nurture this creative, Spirit-led movement all over the place. Big ups to Marie Harkey (organizer extraordinaire) and a fantastic team of volunteers. Let's keep talking, dreaming and spreading the good news together! (click here to see the day's schedule and Phyllis' great handouts)

THURS. @ 6-7:30pm / Healing Worship
Kieran Conroy and Tim Rogers have organized a beautiful healing worship gathering for this Thursday, as we prepare our hearts for Holy Week and the journey with Jesus to the cross and beyond. Spiritual practices will focus on healing: healing prayers, healing hands, healing words. Plan to stay after worship for our Soup and Bread community gathering -- every Thursday in Lent! Getting here: St. Paul's Cathedral, 138 Tremont St. Subway: Park St. T, across from fountain OR Downtown Crossing T, up Winter St. and left on Tremont. Driving: Park @ Boston Common Garage, Charles St., b/t Common and Public Gardens. More info:

lenten practice and holy week @ the crossing (4/5-4/12)
The season of Lent is a time for deeper intention, deeper prayer and deeper engagement with Christ's journey to the cross and beyond. Here are some opportunities to make the journey together @ The Crossing, including Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) -- if you'd like to help serve in any of the worship services, please contact the designated person:

** Lenten Practice: Living The Rule of Life: Throughout Lent, we will focus on each of the six sections of our Rule for Real Life (a "rule" is a set of commitments you take on as part of a community living the way of Christ in the world; click here to download ours). On April 16 -- the Thursday after Easter -- worship will include a ritual of commitment to living The Rule together. We'll be literally blessed that evening by Br. Curtis Almquist, the superior of the Society of St. John the Evangelist (the Episcopal order of monks based at the monastery on the Charles River in Harvard Square --

** Tenebrae / Wed., 4/8 @ 6pm: A solemn, candlelit service of reflection on Christ's suffering and the suffering of the world ... and our hope for resurrection. Contact: Marie at

** Maundy Thursday Agape Meal / Thurs., 4/9 @ 6pm: A gathering of the whole Cathedral community, including an Agape Meal and ritual footwashing (both of which Jesus shared with his friends the night before his death). Contact: Jason at

** Rise Up! A Soulful Easter Vigil / Sat., 4/11 @ 7-9pm: Experience the ancient ritual, infused with the blues, spirituals, chant, poetry, reggae and hip hop. Free validated parking at Boston Common Garage. Please pray for members of our community who will be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church that day. Contact: Travis at

** We’ll also join our Cathedral family for services on Good Friday at noon (a service of deep devotion on the cross, Jesus’ final words and his passion) and Easter Sunday at 10am (a festive eucharist for the whole family – so get up on a Sunday morning for a change!).

small groups and formation
** Episcopal Church 101: A Catechesis Group / Thursday @ 5pm: Final session of our class on the history and practices of the Episcopal Church, and how The Crossing fits into the big picture. NOTE: Everybody's invited, but this is also perfect preparation for the Rite of Confirmation or Reception into the Episcopal Church (see below, under Lenten Practice). Dates: Runs Thursdays during Lent (2/26 - 4/2) at 5-5:45pm at The Cathedral. Contact: Rev. Steph at or Jason at

** Covenant Groups: A Discipleship Circle: Crossing members gather in small groups to share reflection, stories, spiritual practice and intentional commitment to growing as Jesus' followers. These two groups are continuing but not open, but new ones will form soon. Contact: Jason at if you’d like to be part of a new circle.

** Unlikely Heroes in Unlikely Places: A Cambridge Pub(lic) Bible Study: Everybody is welcome to join our every-other-week, community Bible Study on stories you don't usually hear from the pulpit ... but should. Next Date: TBA @ 7-8:30pm. Location: The Field Pub, 20 Prospect St., Central Square, Cambridge. Contact: Travis @ or Jason @ or 617.519.1538.

ongoing community notes
Giving @ The Crossing: If you'd like to make a contribution to support the ministries of The Crossing -- and yes, this ministry depends on all of our giving, to meet our goal of raising $20,000 in 2009 -- we've got pledge cards available at worship. You can make a one-time gift, or prayerfully consider pledging (setting out an amount you'd like to give over the course of a year). Give however you're able: cash, check or credit cards. Contact Chris Ashley at to learn more.

Share the Groove -- Buy a copy of The Crossing CD: The Crossing has released its first CD, Songs @ The Crossing. It's a collection of 14 favorite songs from our worship community, and you can get it for $15. Reply to this email or buy one on a Thursday.

Fair Trade @ The Crossing: Want to pitch in with our ongoing efforts to become a Fair Trade Ministry? The first move: changes in hospitality (fair trade/organic food, eco-friendly products, re-usable dishes that we wash after worship). To help and imagine more ways to transform life @ The Crossing, contact Bill Comer at or 617.818.5124.

Ongoing Justice & Healing Opportunities: We're serious about joining ministries that serve our homeless and hungry brothers and sisters. Please join us any day of the week!
** Monday Lunch Program takes place here at The Cathedral every Monday. Show up @ 10am to help with set-up, or at 11:30am-12:45pm to help serve & build community with our neighbors. Contact Jeremy at
** St. Francis House: Volunteers needed everyday to help serve meals and provide care. Boylston St, near Chinatown. Contact Lynn Campbell at or 617.654.1212.
** Haley House is a Catholic-worker style community in the South End. Volunteers needed for meals programs 6-10am every day AND 1:30-5pm Saturday and Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday. Could also use help tending an urban orchard in Mission Hill. Go to:

getting connected @ the crossing
If you'd like to be in touch, we'd love to connect with YOU! Look at the list and then reach out:
** Stephanie Spellers: / 617.482.4826, x318 (priest, communications, pastoral care)
** Jason Long: / 617.617.519.1538 (newcomers, small groups)
** Chris Ashley: (budget, hospitality)
** Lynn Campbell: with the homeless, pastoral care)
** Andrea Castner-Wyatt: (worship arts, "the groovement")
** Kieran Conroy: (emergent cohort)
** Marie Harkey: (admin, general)
** Ashley Merrell: (music ministry)
** Travis Stevens: (arts & community, Emerson College)

Blessings in the groove,
Rev. Steph

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