Rule of Life

A single coal does not stay on fire on its own. It needs
the warmth and presence of the other coals to keep burning.

        - Jason Long, member of The Crossing community

The Crossing is a community of sisters and brothers offering a compassionate, progressive, creative, generous, radically welcoming expression of God’s life and love in the city of Boston. But we know we cannot live this dream alone. We need each other. We need authentic, concrete spiritual practices that form our lives in the shape of Jesus’ life. We need to make real commitments to God and to each other as we journey together closer to the heart of God and to the deepest callings on our own lives.

From those needs has grown this Rule of Life which, like the Rule of a monastic community, describes a concrete, doable set of practices; it's a way of making something extraordinary, holy and whole of our daily, ordinary (seemingly) individual lives.

Those of us who choose to take on the rule do so each year toward the end of Summer, making a commitment to follow the rule for twelve months. During those twelve months, we gather regularly to support one another, challenge one another, and walk together.


one: radical welcome

We commit ourselves to practice radical welcome in our worship, in our community fellowship and hospitality, and in our daily lives. We will embrace – with our practices and our hearts – the voices and gifts and transforming presence of all God’s people, especially groups the church has least sought, heard and honored.

This commitment matters because we know God is speaking and moving in surprising places, and Jesus was constantly taking risks and going to the margins. We want to embrace those gifts from the margins in our worship and in our lives. It matters because in embracing and listening to The Other, we consistently find our hearts broken open as we are able to more fully embrace Christ.


two: prayer and worship

We commit ourselves to deeply engage a personal spiritual practice, throughout the week; to worship on Thursday nights – either physically (attending the regular worship gathering) or virtually (reaching out to a member of the community online or by phone on a Thursday); and to take at least one retreat a year, either personally or as part of The Crossing or another Christian community.

This commitment matters because spiritual practice is just that: a practice, one that requires intention, focus and consistency. This kind of spiritual practice is crucial to growing and deepening our relationship with God and honing our ability to hear God’s calling on our lives.


three: christian community

We commit ourselves to nurture the life of God in our community by gathering with other members of The Crossing community regularly, outside of worship, in one-on-one or small group settings, for care and fellowship. When we are not able to gather physically, we will connect virtually once a week with a member of the community, or take time to pray for the worshiping community on a Thursday.

This commitment matters because care for our community is care for the body of Christ, and because our mission as healers in the world requires us to nourish each other. It matters because we are more than a worship service – we are a worshiping community. And more than a worship community, we are a Christian community, a body of unlikely pilgrims seeking to live the Way of Christ and pursue his mission together.


four: relationships

We commit ourselves to live in responsible, loving relationship with self and others. We will pay prayerful attention to our bodies, seeking a variety of ways to nurture our own emotional and physical health. As God’s beloved people, we also commit to bear the love of God in our friendships, in our dating, with our partners and spouses, with our children, and in our working lives. We particularly affirm sexuality as God’s precious gift and creation, always to be expressed with care, prayer and faithful discernment.

This commitment matters because relationships are how we learn to see and receive all – including ourselves – as Christ. We need each other’s support and challenge, in all our relationships, and need to see them as the context where we learn to listen, offer compassion, develop patience, become partners in ministry and slowly grow into the fullness of Christ.


five: justice and service

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.


six: resources

We commit ourselves to economic discipleship, giving generously (to The Crossing community and to other ministries/efforts), and spending well (by making economic choices that demonstrate compassion and awareness of global poverty and environmental impact).

This commitment matters because our relationship to money and time has everything to do with our relationship with God. We want to use our money and our time to sustain the life of the world, to sustain the life of The Crossing community, and to reflect a commitment to living as we were made to live: in interdependence and compassion, with simplicity and intention.


617.482.4826, x318

Boston, MA

138 Tremont Street

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