At the Church of the Holy Cross Youth Ministry is a church-wide ministry to inform and help our young people to embrace their interests and gifts, to grow as individuals while exploring ideas, values, and faith within a supportive church community of peers and adults.
Youth Ministry helps our young people share their talents and gifts as we watch them grow from children into adulthood. They are supported to have a positive self image, respect differences amongst themselves and in the world, support those in need, learn about and practice the sacraments, while applying what they learn to daily life.
The parish maintains a Sunday School program for Pre-School thru 6th grade. Classes use the Episcopal Church curriculum which contributes fun and supportive children’s lessons. We have a subscription to Weekly Children’s Worship Bulletins which provides lectionary based printable “booklets” each week. And we also maintain a subscription to Children’s Bible Activities, which works as a support to the EC lessons, providing crafts, story guides and recipes.
Teachers meet together during the year to discuss curriculum/class goals and concerns, plan upcoming program units, create ways to foster stewardship in our children, and planning students’ involvement in the church holidays. Discussions always include ideas to improve our class attendance. Our leaders are committed parishioners who are investing time and talent to continuing our program.
Youth Ministry supports young adults from 14-18 years old. The Confirmation curriculum that we use is “Confirm not Conform” (CnC), which explores the beliefs and questions that come from the students themselves. They discuss and debate topics that ignite their faith into something lively and real. The program guides youth to become engaged with their faith and their community.
On January 11, 2015, the students’ received the sacrament of Christian commitment at the Church of the Holy Cross Confirmation Service, conducted by Bishop William "Chip" Stokes. Congratulations to all the Confirmands from all parishioners at Holy Cross! Their dedication to their Christian goal fills us all with joy and pride. Fr. O gave all the confirmands a special name-embossed Bible and a Certificate of Reception into the church.
Youth Ministry for middle- and high-schools youths in not limited to the Confirmation program. A Youth Group has been formed to continue christian education and promote fellowship for our teen-age parishioners and their friends. The group will receive guidance from older parishioners, included our 18-25 year old members.
Special Youth Activities
The third Sunday of each month is designated as Youth Sunday. On these special Sundays, Fr. O gathers with our parish youth for the monthly Kid’s Chat. The Church School students at all grade levels participate in the 10 AM Family Eucharist Service: reading the lessons, leading the Prayers of the People, acting as ushers, handing out bulletins, and, of course, ringing the church bell. Youth Sunday keeps the students connected with the rest of the parish and helps them learn more about the special customs of our Eucharist Service.
Annual Easter Egg Hunt
Children from 1 to 13 gather on the back lawn after the 10am Easter Sunday Family Service to collect eggs that the older children have hidden. This traditional event has been going on forever at Holy Cross; parents who once participated in the hunt now bring their children to it. Families donate decorated eggs for the hunt, helping to make this a special event for the parish and the community.
On the last Sunday of the Church School year, students and teachers are honored before the congregation for their participation and dedication.
Summer Sunday School
A special Summer Sunday School takes place during July and August. Recent lessons focused on service to our church and our community. Each week, the children completed a service project and picked another one to participate in the following week. Project included: writing to our home bound parishioners, a food collection for FISH, cleaning the church grounds and putting together a special “get-well” letter box and letter for our retired rector.
In 2014, Holy Cross held its first ever Halloween Church Service/Party. It provide a safe and fun alternative to traditional trick-or-treating. All the children in the neighborhood were invited. The evening started with a service in the chapel during which the congregation processed to the Memorial Garden. After the service, a party was held in the church hall. All children were encouraged to come in costume and a fun time was had by all.
Christmas Play & Birthday for Baby Jesus
During the 4pm Children's Service on Christmas Eve, the story of the nativity is told by the children of the parish in the form of a Christmas play. The children rehearse the play during Advent and includes enthusiastic acting, narration, and singing. And there is always room for visiting children, who are dragged out of the pews to play a part. After the service, a “Birthday Party for Baby Jesus” is held with cake, drinks, and goodies (and, yes, coffee for the adults).