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The Crossing: Reimagined

The Crossing will be undergoing some changes. We will now be meeting on Thursday nights and mixing things up a bit starting in September. The new format will allow us to cover more types of gatherings. The new format will be as follows:

1st and 3rd Thursdays of the month: The Crossing contemplative/meditative service. This is an interactive environment where the music and themes can be anything that is relevant to the topic. It is not so much “religious” as it is spiritual. We also do spiritual practices in this service such as meditation, lectio divina, centering prayer, Taize, etc.

2nd Thursday: Book Study which focuses on bringing the theological discussions that have been happening for millennia in academia to the lay level. The idea is to show folks that there are many other theological options than those that we were taught in the traditional setting.

4th Thursday: Theology pub. It is just what it sounds like. We go to the local pub and have a beer (or whatever your drink of choice) and talk theology. There are topics provided as a conversation starter, but anything is open for discussion. This is a safe place for folks to discuss the theological issues that they have pondered or that bother them such as: Why do bad things happen to good people? Was Jesus really divine? Do we really need to be “saved” from sin in a sacrificial way? etc. The only rules are that there are no right answers (I am only a facilitator and not a teacher) and there is no proselytizing.

I hope that you will join us and pick and choose what interests you! We will also be having potluck dinners before our gatherings (except Theology Pub where all are welcome to order food at the pub) starting at 6:15 pm followed by the service/discussion at 7 pm.

A Conversation for the Rest of Us

For conservative Christians, there are many radio stations and TV shows that they can listen to and watch.  For progressives, there are not as many choices.  Many people ask me where progressives can hear discussions on theology, the church, and more.  So, here are some resources that I regularly use and enjoy.  Most of these have podcasts available.  I hope you enjoy them, too!

On Being This is a program hosted by Krista Tippett on NPR.  Krista has her Master of Divinity from Yale and interviews astrophysicists, poets, neurologists, authors, theologians, and many more in engaging and interesting discussions.

Homebrewed Christianity This is an internet radio show/podcast hosted by two emergents, Tripp and Bo.  They interview many of the top theologians and thinkers in the progressive and emergent church.  Conversations are extremely fun while intellectually stimulating.  As you might have guessed from the title, they brew their own microbrews and have kind of a theology pub approach.

God Complex Radio This is a blog/internet radio show that talks about many facets of theology and spirituality from a more progressive perspective.

Emergent Village Voice This is a site that has numerous blogs, channels, and resources on spirituality, church, theology, society, and more.  It is a part of Emergent Village, a group of emergent cohorts started by Brian McLaren.

The Christian Century This is a progressive magazine with articles and stories from pastors and theologians.  There are many thought-provoke and insightful articles from a mostly progressive mainline protestant perspective.  There are also weekly reflections on the lectionary for preaching helps for pastors.

The Crossing Resumes

Starting on Sunday 3/9 The Crossing will resume services!  We will have a potluck at 12 noon and the service will start at 1 pm.  Bring something healthy to share!  If you are artistically inclined in any way, please let me know as we would love to have original music, art, and writings to work into our service.  The Crossing is a contemplative/meditative/progressive gathering that is joining aspects of the ancient and emerging traditions to create a place where we can seek the sacred amidst the mundane together.

We will mee EVERY OTHER week in the beginning and the off weeks will be for our Theology for the Masses discussion group (see previous post).  See you soon!

Theology for the Masses

Theology for the Masses.  GodTalk.  Something like that.  At the lay level there are very few options when it comes to theology.  Either we believe that Jesus was one thing in relationship to God and we believe that God is one thing in relationship to humankind or we are considered atheists.  Is this really all we have for options?  At the academic level, theologians have been discussing numerous other theologies and possibilities, but somehow this conversation never seems to get down to the mainstream level.  Do they not think that the average person is intelligent enough to engage?  Do they not have life experiences and experiences of the divine that are applicable to the discussion?  I think they do.  That is why during Lent we will be starting a dialogue among students from the area colleges and universities in addition to those in the community around Christ Church of Chicago to see what can happen when the discussion is really open to everyone.  Stay tuned for dates and times!

Getting out in the community

The Crossing is pleased to announce that we have started a new theology pub in West Rogers Park.  We are meeting Sept. 10th at 6:30 at Emerald Isle on Peterson.  You can find the Meetup link here.  This is a safe place for theological conversation on topics that interest us or that we would like to learn more about without fear of being judged or proselytized.  Come and join us for good conversation and good brew!

We also started a Meetup called Doers of the Way.  Yes, it’s a cheezy title, but we’ll get a better one.  This group is to start the discussion, get moving, and start DOING our faith.  We would like to show the world what it looks like when you put your theological differences aside and actually start DOING what Jesus taught and did.  Ever wonder how much we can do in our community if we tried?  Come and find out!  You can find the link here.

Beyond Belief

Many churches post on their websites what they believe.  Is this faith or belief?  Is there a difference?  In his book Underground Church, Robin Meyers argues that faith and belief are not the same.  When it is said that one has a strong faith, it generally means that he or she adheres completely to the traditional doctrines of the conservative church.  At the Crossing, we understand that it is not only impossible, but unhealthy to have an entire congregation believing the same thing on all tenets of theology.  People can and should think for themselves and there is a healthy place for doubt and skepticism.  The more important thing is what we do with what we believe.  Therefore, the Crossing welcomes people from all faith backgrounds, all theologies, and even those without a specific faith background.

Healing Service

Today we had a healing and anointing service. We sang old gospel songs and heard about the demoniac at Gerasene who was healed – but not cured. We talked about the difference between curing and healing and how we can rarely be cured, but can always be healed. As always, we are trying to relate spirituality to everyday life so that we might live more fulfilled and meaningful lives. Join us next time!