Crossroads Church: Where the imperfect meet the divine
Aspen Times Weekly
Christmas is not just about tinsel and trinkets at Crossroads Church in Aspen.
Called the First Baptist Church for more than 20 years, since 2005 the building on West Francis near the S-Curves has been home to a nondenominational Christian community, a place where many “born again” worshippers gather in a parish of more than 300 people.
“It was Christ’s mission to die on the cross for our sins,” said Dan Bosko, a pastor at Crossroads. The church derives its name from the point where a person is ready to meet God, Bosko said, is a place for reconciliation between the “unforgiven, imperfect person with a perfect, forgiving God.”
Years spent scrambling for money and temporal satisfactions left Bosko wanting at the age of 27, he said.
“Christ bridged that chasm,” Bosko said, now 45. A native of Troy, N.Y., and a former Siena College basketball star ” he stands a lofty 6 foot 6 inches ” Bosko was a traveling minister with other basketball players in a group called Athletes in Action before studying divinity and landing in Aspen.
Crossroads Church, he said, is about “just the basics” of Christian faith.
“We totally celebrate Christmas; we think it’s great,” Bosko said, and there will be three services Dec. 25. But this year there will also be a series of discussions on the “Christmas Conspiracy” and how so many people are bogged down in materialism at this time of year.
“We’re missing out on the fuller experience of Christmas,” Bosko said. The gift-giving aspect of the holiday consumes people to the point of road rage and fights at the mall.
Bosko said that while there is no historic evidence that Christ was born Dec. 25, the holiday is a chance to celebrate “Emmanuel” or “God among us” in the birth of the Christian Savior. He added that “Easter is probably the more profound holiday.”
And while he respects other faiths ” the non-attachment of the Buddhist, the idea of sacrifice in Judaism, or the devotion to prayer and practice of every “good Muslim,” for example ” Bosko believes “Christianity just wraps it all together.”
Sunday services at Crossroads do not follow any traditional liturgy, Bosko said, but focus on “finding a relationship with a transforming God.”
A “worship team” of singers, preachers and a band comprised of drums, bass, acoustic guitar and mandolin leads the congregation, and the words to songs are projected on a screen above the altar. The service is videotaped and played on a website later; Bosko said technology is just another gift from God to help people connect. He invites the congregation to partake of bread and wine or come to the altar and pray as they wish. Some parishioners stick around to chat.
“We try to be out in the community,” Bosko said, and that doesn’t mean knocking on doors, but helping people in need. Church members volunteer at the winter homeless shelter at St. Mary Catholic Church, carry a “meals ministry” to local families in need, and collect coats for people in the town of Juarez, Mexico. Those are just a few of the “stealth things” parishioners do, Bosko said.
“God can change lives,” Bosko said, something he learned from his own experience, and something he hopes to pass on to others. “I think down deep, every human soul has the same needs and desires.”
And the human desire for “love, acceptance, significance and security” cannot be met where most people seek them, Bosko said. Money, success and power just don’t do it.
“In the end, we’ll realize there has to be something more,” Bosko said. “Our hope and prayer is that they’ll find it in God.”
But Bosko does not espouse a life of poverty. In fact, he stressed, “God wants us to enjoy what we have,” including everything from Christmas gifts to powder days.
“The greatest enjoyment of the temporal things is that there’s a God behind it all,” Bosko said. “We worship the creator behind the powder day.”
Bosko said everyone faces “crossroads” in our life.
“God wants to meet people,” Bosko said. “We believe God wants to seek us at those times.”
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