When I was growing up in Chicago, we had Crossing Guards who helped us safely across major intersections as we walked to school.
This week, the topic of crossing guards came up at the Beyond Walls writing workshop at Kenyon College. Rabbi Brad Hirschfield reminded us that at certain points in our lives we might function as a crossing guard, helping others to cross back and forth over walls and other barriers.
I thought about the close knit group of women priests who taught me how to be a crossing guard. Pictured are (left to right): Me with Barbara Duncan, Toni Schussler, Jeanne Linderman and Kay Scobell.
In the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware, we generously gave encouragement and support and on the job training to other women we met in the ordination process. We also shared a tradition of passing along a deacon’s stole to the next woman in line who was crossing over into “holy orders.” This photo was taken on the day that Toni was ordained a transitional deacon on her way to the priesthood.
This week I experienced another crossing. At Beyond Walls, participants were serendipitously assigned leaders and small writing groups. Together we navigated our way into the world of blogging and social media and honed our skills as writers of essays, epistles, op-eds and poems. We formed a close knit community and we became one in our quest to go deeper into our calling of being spiritual writers.
After this crash course, we are now ready to become crossing guards at the intersection of spirituality and religion. More crossing guards are needed. Are you ready to apply?