Spirit Alive: It's Time to Crossover


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog that looks at different aspects of mission and ministry throughout the Oregon-Idaho Annual Conference and beyond.

December 4, 2018

Food for the Soul:

Sometimes You Need to Crossover In Order to Reach Your Goal

"Come with me, on a year of Crossing Over to Life, beginning with Advent, December 2, 2018."

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky

We hear about the notion of crossovers in lots of different settings in life. There are crossovers in basketball, which oftentimes end up with your opponent sprawled out on the floor as you either step back for a three point shot or drive past your defender for an easy lay-up. There is the famous "why did the chicken cross the road?" genre of jokes, which originally ended with the surprising words, "to get to the other side."

Both of these crossovers involve something unexpected...even surprising to take place. You think one thing is going to happen, but as a result of the crossover, something completely different occurs. Crossovers always have an element of adventure to them. But in the end, it turns out to be rather doable...and it cannot be prevented from occurring once the person (or even the chicken) decides to proceed.

And the Bible is filled with crossovers of all kinds as well...from the Hebrews crossing over (really through) the Red Sea to Jesus crossing over from defeat to victory as he makes the journey of Holy Week, which takes him from cross and grave to resurrection and everlasting life with God.

Beginning December 2, Bishop Stanovsky has invited all of us to participate in a year of CrossOver to Life. During this time, we are being asked to read Brian McLaren's wonderful book We Make the Road by Walking and utilize various resources to engage us all in this year long exploration of what it means to be people of faith today. Click here to learn more from Bishop Stanovsky about this important, new adventure in the life of our church.

But what does it mean to crossover as a community of faith?

Well, like all crossovers, it involves several key elements:

1. You've got to examine where you are currently positioned. Whether it is beside a road, on a basketball court...in your church...or someplace else. This first step requires some inner reflection.

2. Then you've got to have an idea about where you are going and what your goal is. This requires some contextual analysis.

3. And finally, you've got to take the first step and head on your way. This requires action, including putting on your shoes and starting the journey.

Jesus is known for telling his disciples to travel light, but I'd contend that in order to "crossover" on any journey, you'll need to take with you and use three metaphorical tools, which I've alluded to above. You'll need....a microscope to examine your life, a telescope to see clearly what's really out there, and a pair of traveling shoes so you can "make the road by walking" as Brain McLaren says.

We are all invited to participate in this year long quest, which McLaren says is about spiritual formation, reorientation, and activation.

Are you ready to make a crossover move this year?

If you do, it will require some time, effort, and a willingness to risk. But don't worry, you won't be traveling alone. Countless people from throughout the Greater NW Area will be participating in this same adventure and will be traveling alongside as well...and as is true on any trip, there will be plenty of resources available for you to discover and use as you head along your way. Check out the resources available to you as we make the crossover together in the coming year. You can find them here. See you along the way!

Let us walk in the light of God's love,


Spirit Alive is a twice a month blog and email by Rev. Lowell Greathouse, Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference. It seeks to identify where the spirit is alive in our congregations and communities. Check out past editions, or subscribe to the email list.




Lowell Greathouse
Lowell Greathouse is the Mission and Ministry Coordinator for the Oregon-Idaho Conference of the United Methodist Church. He looks for places to find where the spirit is alive and help them grow in vitality and fruitfulness. Share with him at lowell@umoi.org