On May 15 we are celebrating the Day of Pentecost...the Birthday of the Church, and Father Dick will speak to inspire us to think about what Pentecost might mean today. Holy Cross is a lay-led parish founded in 2003 that has been guided with wisdom by Fathers Dick, Ed Dunlap, Deacon Andy Atkinson, and Father Jerry. We have been richly blessed with their leadership.
Our parish has recently engaged in a program called "Renewal Works," in which we were asked t o take an online survey about our personal and church-wide spiritual practices in worship, study, and outreach.
The Renewal Works Team is close to sharing the results with the Vestry, and then with the whole parish, but two clear results are emerging about our parish : 1) we focus more successfully on outreach than on our own personal spiritual growth, and 2) we value our Sunday worship, but are eager to explore new ways to worship together.
We are happy at Holy Cross (rooted), but need to be more eager to explore (be restless) - the Renewal Works language states that we all need to be "rooted, but restless" in order to grow.
It appears that we are ready for a time of deepening our spiritual practices - as individuals and also as we worship together. And in order to grow together, your Vestry is now recommending that we begin searching for a full-time priest. This priest will build upon what our founding families and Dick, Ed, and Jerry have begun, and help us to find ways to assist all of us - families, children, youth, and adults - to continue on and deepen our spiritual journeys.
Holy Cross has been on an amazing, spirit-led journey since its beginning - with many of its parishioners providing the financing first for the church building, and then for the acquisition of the adjoining land.
The vestry, in 2015, refinanced our debt and got the church into very solid financial position to take this leap-of-faith.
We have worked closely with the Diocese to formulate a plan to call a priest-in-charge, which is a relatively new process offered by the Diocese to aid smaller parishes in a priest search. The recommendation is that we raise the money for a two-year salary commitment to a priest up front, which will be a total of $225,000.00. This seems huge, but we already have raised $50,000.00 toward this effort, and so the goal will be $175,000.00 raised over 2 years.
Your vestry and your clergy are 100% committed to this effort, and will make their pledges on Pentecost Sunday, and we hope you will consider joining us in this effort. We have some information for you to pick up on May 15, or that we can mail to you. We hope to hear from you by the end of June. When we have the total goal in hand and/or pledged, we will contact the Diocese and begin the search.
On May 15, after the 10:15 service, we will move outdoors to have a prayer and "light a fire" celebrating Pentecost and our beginning the search to find a priest. Then we will move indoors for cake and snacks and a short presentation.
This celebration will help us to respond to Christ's ultimate charge for us all: that we grow together in loving God and loving our neighbors.
Please remain after church, and let's light this fire together.