Adventuring with Jesus

Above: Hanging out with youth in Travertine Falls, lower Grand Canyon

I’m thankful for the time that I’ve had in July and August to rest and rejuvenate and engage in a huge passion of mine for the outdoors. I spent time in Arizona with family and working as a riverguide with Grand Canyon Youth.


It’s been an adventurous summer – and indeed for each of us living every day with Jesus is truly an adventure.

In his book “Love Does,” Bob Goff says “Every day God invites us on the same kind of adventure. It’s not a trap where He sends us a rigid itinerary, He simply invites us. God asks what it is He’s made us to love, what it is that captures our attention, what feeds that deep indescribable need of our souls to experience the richness of the world He made. And then, leaning over us, He whispers, “Let’s go do that together.”

Similarly, through prayer and reflection, this summer I felt God asking me a question, “Kelly, what do you want?”

While there are many things in life that I want, at the deepest part of my soul, I always come back to one answer: I want to see the Church be the fully united, reconciled bride of Christ.

As God’s people, we are to be a sign of God’s kingdom which has come. Through Christ, God came to reconcile us with Himself, and as bearers of this message, we are the physical body of Christ here on earth.

Today’s world can be characterized by hatred and division, but the Church, like no other institution, can embody the reality of a dynamic reconciling love.

So, what do I want? Simply that all people who call on Jesus as the Lord and Savior would be one.

That is my greatest passion and my heartbeat. Despite trials and hardship, I can’t get away from it. It’s what drives me during the day, and it’s what keeps me up at night. Thus, I’m beginning to see that my life is a prayer with Jesus, yearning that we would be one, so that the world will more fully recognize Him as the Son of God (John 17:23).

There are small signs of this kingdom coming here in Boston. There was an article this month about UniteBoston posted on the Paulist Fathers “Koinonia” newsletter, which is super cool!

Also this month, there was an article about Boston from a nationally recognized ministry stating that “Many of Boston’s denominational and church leaders are passionate about unity and are sharing life and discipleship across Orthodox, Pentecostal, Catholic and Evangelical congregations. In fact, many churches blend the best from various church traditions. This is a trend that is taking traction in other cities, and Boston will surely provide fascinating models for unity.”

UniteBoston is just a small part of the unity that God is bringing forth here in Boston – and we’re so grateful to have you be a part of things!  The best is yet to come ~

Boston Globe Article – “Ways of the Cross”

Hi everyone! A “Stations of the Cross” performance that I was in last Friday was featured in the Boston Globe, right on the second page! It’s great to see Jesus getting some press!

I’ve copied it here to keep it archived; check out the article on the Boston Globe site here.

In Copley Square, the Stations of the Cross

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By J.D. Capelouto, GLOBE CORRESPONDENT MARCH 26, 2016

A Duck Boat tour zooms down Boylston Street, tourists craning their necks to gather a glimpse of the scene unfolding before them.

There, in the midst of Copley Square, a figure lies on a cross, looking up in agony. Nearby, three women weep, huddled in sorrow.
On this Good Friday, the Stations of the Cross had come to the heart of the city, with members of Trinity Church in the City of Boston offering an artistic interpretation of the religious devotion.

Six performers, two musicians, and a cleric led a group around the square, acting out the stations at points around the sprawling lawn.

The Stations of the Cross, which outline Jesus’ path to crucifixion, is central to Good Friday services around the world. Trinity incorporated musical and artistic elements, performed amid the bustle of the city and framed by New England’s tallest building.

At each stage, the actors, dressed in black, struck a pose and went into a formation that fit the story for that station. They remained frozen for minutes on end. Using minimal props, the actors relied on their faces and bodies to emote and tell the story. A violinist and drummer played music while 150 spectators said prayers and sang hymns.

The dreary sky and light rain provided an appropriately somber backdrop.
Because Trinity Church sits at the center of Copley Square, the city and its modernity were omnipresent throughout the telling of the story.

As Jesus met his afflicted mother on the side of the square, a Route 9 MBTA bus bound for Broadway disgorged passengers. Jesus met the women of Jerusalem in front of the booth for discounted arts tickets at Bolyston and Dartmouth streets. Onlookers took videos with GoPros. Tourists snapped pictures on their iPhones.

Perhaps the most powerful moment was when Jesus fell for the third time, the ninth station. The actress portraying him sprawled out on the Boston Marathon medallion affixed to the pavement. That medallion maps the Marathon course. She pressed her face to the cold, wet pavement while a violin played a melancholy tune.

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The image evoked the pain the city experienced during the 2013 Marathon bombings, explained the Rev. Rita Powell, the Trinity cleric who led the procession.

“That’s such an important event for Trinity and Old South [Church], and obviously for Boston and beyond,” she said afterward. “It seemed like we just had to honor what was there.”

Powell said her inspiration for the especially stark depiction of the Stations of the Cross came from the deaths of Tamir Rice and Michael Brown, two black teens shot by white police officers.

“Their bodies were just left in the street,” she said, fighting back tears. “I thought, ‘What would it look like if it really was a body on the ground, and we all kind of viscerally know that’s wrong in a deep way?’ ”

When Jesus was crucified almost 2,000 years ago in Jerusalem, a large festival was going on around him, similar to the way in which Boston was humming around Trinity’s procession through Copley Square.

“It was among the people at the time, and here we are again doing it among the people,” said Anne Elvins, 79, who has been a member of the church since she was a teenager. “I just kind of soaked it up, the whole thing.”

“Living Stations of the Cross” Event Featured Today in the Boston Globe!

Hey y’all!

I participated in an outdoors Living Stations of the Cross event on Good Friday with Trinity Church. I served in the role of Jesus for the first four scenes… This year, I am seeing Holy Week in a whole new way. It’s difficult to describe in words how this experience has impacted my faith personally.

The Boston Globe came and wrote an article about our performance! In the article, there is an intense photo of me with a crown of thorns on my head and holding the cross:

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Photo Credit: John Tlumacki, Globe Staff

Check out the article here: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/03/25/ways-cross/PWRDp7nPmFJ0h3IY2QnZTN/story.html

I will write more later… but for now, be encouraged by how God is making visible His love to our city! To God be the glory!

 

Testimonies from 10 Days Boston

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God has already done so much through these 10 Days of Prayer!

UniteBoston seeks to be an answer to Jesus’ prayer in John 17 “that we would be one.” We believe that our part in this “oneness” is to nurture relational connections throughout the diversity of Boston’s Christian community.

At the center of Christian unity is the agape love that God has for us and that we have for one another. As each of us step outside our comfort zones to become more aware of the various cultures and Christian traditions in our city, we develop stronger relational connections, cultivating mutual respect and honor for the incredible diversity within the people of God in Boston.

Check out these testimonies to see all that God is doing to bring together His church in the city:

Day 1: Healing Miracle in Prayer Room

Night 3: Experiencing the Orthodox Faith – Changed Perspectives!

Night 4: Worship with our Deaf Brothers and Sisters

Day 5: Answered Prayer: Testimony from Prayer Room

Night 6: Changing Perspectives from 10 Days Catholic Gathering

 

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Night 8: Taize Prayer in MIT Chapelphoto 1-2

Night 8: Food and Fellowship with the MIT Lutheran/Episcopal Ministry
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Night 9: Passionate Worship with Symphony and City Churchphoto 3-2

Night 10: Embracing our Common Identity in Christ

At this gathering, we each placed our name tags with our individual identities at the foot of the cross, so that we were better able to embrace one another as brothers and sisters in Christ:

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Reflection – Aaron’s Story

Aaron shares how listening to a sermon by an Episcopal priest reshaped his perspective of the Christian church

For He himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility… His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. (Ephesians 2:14-16)

Praise God for the inseverable and eternal peace that is revealed as we all gaze at Christ’s sacrificial work on the cross!

Update: Missionary Support Account Change

Hello!

God is doing amazing things through Journey Church and UniteBoston, and it’s because of you that I’m able to do what I do every day! (By the way, have you checked out our awesome new website www.uniteboston.com?)

We are in an exciting season with UniteBoston. Due to God’s grace and your partnership, we’ve grown more than ever before! Now that we’ve received our tax-exempt status as a 501c3 organization, I’m now able to receive the funds that constitute my salary through UniteBoston, rather than through Elim Fellowship.

We have a skilled finance volunteer with us to help process our finances, which means that more of the money that you give will go directly towards our work in the city, rather than the overhead processing fees that were charged through Elim Fellowship.

This is good news! I would be honored if you would consider joining the team of people that is supporting God’s work in Boston through this ministry!

To do this, simply go to uniteboston.com/give and click on “Staff Support” in the drop down menu. Recurring donations can be made for your convenience.

If you prefer to give by check, include “Kelly Steinhaus” in the memo line and mail it to:
UniteBoston
P.O. Box 961162
Boston, MA 02196

Thank you for your partnership in this ministry. I know there are many places you could give, so I don’t take for granted that you choose to invest in God’s kingdom through UniteBoston! I’m deeply grateful to be here in Boston and living out the things that God has called me to, and I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. So, from the bottom of my heart, seriously… THANK YOU!!

Be assured of this promise: “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)

Much love in Christ,
Kelly

Sabrina’s Story

Hi everyone!

I’ve been super bad at posting on here lately, but I wanted to share a cool story from Sabrina who has been attending Journey Church recently and has an amazing story!

Sabrina’s Story…Learning to Forgive

My life before Christ wasn’t awful, but I wasn’t the best person I knew I could be. I would hold terrible grudges and forgiving others was non-existent for me. I also lost all faith in myself and my abilities as a person. I felt like I would never reach any of my goals that I have set for myself and almost completely gave up. I felt as if no one else cared about me then I shouldn’t care about myself either. What led me back to Christ were the Tuesday Bible discussions with Pastor Kent before we started work. He was someone that listened and taught me how to pray. He had so much patience and continued to encourage me, even though sometimes I didn’t have faith in myself. I felt that if someone who hasn’t even known me that long could believe in me then I could believe in myself.

I truly believe that God wanted me to meet Kent and he was meant to help me rebuild a relationship with Christ. It took a lot for me to get to where I am now from where I was last year. Currently, I pray almost every day. Whether it’s praying for others or just for some strength and encouragement for my upcoming day, prayer has become a normal part of my day. I have a more positive outlook and no longer feel bad about myself. I have also begun to let go of the unforgiveness that was holding me captive. When I want to hold a grudge, I immediately pray and forgive. It makes me feel better but it also makes it easier to go to them and share openly and candidly about it so we can move forward.

I know I don’t come to church as often as I should but I do know that Journey Church has played a big part in who I am today. When I do attend the services, I always feel like God is speaking just to me to help me understand or solve a situation that I’m going through. It’s a great feeling coming into a place where people are quick to greet you with a smile and welcome you so sincerely. I know they are happy to see my face. My words of advice would be if in doubt, feeling bad or sad, or just having a wonderful day always pray about it.

Journey Church has taught me a lot about praying and how it not only heals the mind but the soul as well. Thank you Journey Church, and especially Pastor Kent, for always just being there for me. You mean so much more than you know.