…So that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

Ephesians 3:17-19 

What is C.R.O.S.S.?

March 6th through 13th, 2021, saw the debut of Christian’s Reformed Orthodox Scripture Symposium, or C.R.O.S.S., hosted at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, in Prairie View, Illinois (USA). (Not to be confused with Westminster RPC in Colorado!)

C.R.O.S.S. is a week-long immersive learning program that promotes in-depth Biblical education for upper high school and college age persons, that is, those about 17-25 years of age. 

James Ritchhart (right) and Eli Jennings (left) help lead us through the Psalms each day

The mission of C.R.O.S.S. is to glorify God by training students to feed upon the Scriptures, to expand their understanding of His purpose in their lives, and to learn to confidently stand for Christ in a hostile world.

2021: Temple and Tabernacle

C.R.O.S.S. 2021’s keynote material, “Cover to Cover: Temple and Tabernacle” was presented by Jim Ritchhart, a former elder of Westminster RPC. This teaching aimed to show that the Temple of God starts in Genesis 2 and ends in Revelation 22, with the restoration of what was lost in Genesis 3. We looked at both the physical structures and the theology of the temple and tabernacle, and what it means to “tabernacle with God.” 

Jim Ritchhart, Pastor Stephen Rhoda, and Pastor Brett Mahlen answering questions submitted by the students throughout the week

C.R.O.S.S. students also dug deeper in a series of workshop lectures given by Pastor Stephen Rhoda of Terre Haute RPC, and Pastor Bret Mahlen of Covenant OPC in Orland Park, IL. (Pastor Mahlen is also currently serving as Interim Pastor at Westminster RPC.) These workshops included the Sacraments: Baptism and the Lord’s Supper, and the “Psongs” they “Psang” in the Temple and Synagogue.

Some C.R.O.S.S. students relaxed and recharged from the long week at a beach at Lake Michigan

Exploring Chicago

Even still, attending students had much free time; many a board game was played and a proper bumper-pool tournament was held!

The C.R.O.S.S. students also went on several expeditions. These included the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago, which has an extensive exhibit on ancient Middle East countries, and the Morton Arboretum (also in the Chicago area) where the students had a chance to wander the grounds and continue to marvel at God’s creation. We finished off the week of learning and fun with some swing and Latin dance lessons.

Students enjoyed an educational day out at the Oriental Institute Museum in Chicago

Please Pray

Looking ahead, we ask that you please pray for all the students who attended C.R.O.S.S., that His Word and teaching will weigh in their hearts and minds, and that it would continue to draw them close to Him. We also ask you to pray for the C.R.O.S.S. Committee at Westminster, as they plan to work towards making C.R.O.S.S. an annual event.

Kirstie Zeller is a member at Westminster Reformed Presbyterian Church, in Prairie View, IL. She is 24 and in her senior year at Rock Valley College for an AAS in Automotive Mechanics. She is a four-year alumni through RP missions for short term mission trips to Kobe, Japan (2016-2019). Kirstie plans to finish her current degree in June and is considering attending RPTS in the near future. She enjoys writing, languages, dancing, and cartography. 

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