To participate in any of our ministries, contact the Rector or one of the Wardens.
The Bereavement Group was formed several years ago as an outreach of the Sweep Committee. We are a group of about eight parishioners who assist bereaved families by helping in the church at the funeral service, acting as greeters, ushers and chalice bearers. To further assist the families, we help with setting up and cleaning up receptions held in Embury Hall following a funeral. Families have found this to be most helpful, as it does relieve them of these duties and allows them to interact with their guests, instead of being responsible for managing the refreshments. Members of this group find it to be a rewarding service to our church and its families.
Gathering at the Lord’s table is the center of our worship and the Altar Guild is the group that faithfully sees that the table is set so that all of us can share in the wonder and mystery of the Eucharistic celebration. Every Sunday, every wedding, every baptism, every funeral when we meet to share in the presence of the Risen Lord, it is this group of dedicated and faithful people who see to it that our worship reflects the beauty and dignity of our tradition. Appropriate altar linens and coverings need to be arranged. Seasonal vestments have to be prepared for the liturgy. The vessels that we use need to be polished. Flowers to announce life and joy are carefully arranged. It is not just for our service, but for every time the Lay Eucharistic Ministers or the Rector take Communion to one of our parishioners or to one of the nursing homes, it is the same committed group who sees that the Communion kits are prepared.
Our acolytes are a small but dedicated group. Former acolytes who have gone to college or other activites return to serve on Christmas, Easter, any other special occasions. Our acolytes participate in acolytes festivals at Trinity Cathedral in Trenton, NJ, and at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C. The acolytes have bi-weekly meetings to share stories and review the strengths, weaknesses, and pleasures of the execution of the acolyte role in our worship service. Acolytes are encouraged to think of themselves as part of a team, their performance as the teamwork of service to the needs of the priest and of the congregation. We are always looking for more acolytes to join in this greatly-rewarding aspect of stewardship to Holy Cross. Being an acolyte has given some of our young parishioners the opportunity to closely examine concepts of commitment, reliability, self-discipline, precision in action, and the joy of being a small and silent piece in a much larger, greater puzzle.
The Lectors Guild consists of people who read the lessons during our worship services. This ministry allows parishioners to take the lead in spreading the Bible teachings to the congregation.
The Intercessor Guild consists of eight people who are scheduled to lead the Prayers of the People at each worship service. This is a means by which lay persons can serve a vital parish ministry. Wouldn’t you like to do this each Sunday, or once a month?
Lay Eucharistic Visitors
In 1998 we started a new ministry at Holy Cross, but it was in 2002 that we really put it to work for us. It used to be called Lay Eucharist Ministry or LEM for short. At the General Convention a few years ago, a motion was made to change the name of the ministry and so it became “Lay Eucharistic Visitors.” People who serve in this capacity are licensed by the Bishop to administer the consecrated elements of the Eucharist. They are licensed to go from a Sunday or weekday Eucharist to share the sacrament with members of the congregation who were unable to be present at eh celebration because of illness or infirmity. This ministry is known as an “extraordinary” ministry and is not to take the place of the ministry of priests and deacons concerning the administration of the Eucharist. Lay Eucharistic Visitors undergo a period of training that includes sacramental and pastoral theology.
As with the Altar Guild, the Christian Educators, even the Acolytes, the Lay Eucharistic Visitors ministry if a “calling.” Recall the Gospel reading of the disciples casting their nets on the Sea of Galilee and Jesus calling them to follow. The most interesting thing is how utterly ordinary and mundane are the stories of calls to discipleship. Of course, there will always be the story about the blinding light, the voice from above, the bolt from the blue. But that sort of spectacular call is unusual. It’s not the Rector who calls, it is the stirring of the Spirit in our lives in the midst of our office work or housework or teaching or retirement beckoning us to greater challenges and joy in ministry.
The mission of the Pastoral Committee is to minister to our parishioners in good times and bad times. We are called to be our brother’s/sister’s keeper in all of life’s situations.
Our assignments include:
- Caring for the pastoral needs of the aged, the sick, the shut-in, the friendless and the needy.
- Identifying and helping parishioners who are celebrating life events such as weddings, funerals, baptism, confirmation, graduation, promotion, move, etc.
- Designing a format or strategy that will help the parish Rector minister more effectively to parishioners so that no one is left behind.
- Using cards, notes, visits, calls, bulletins, etc to ensure that no parishioners are left behind, overlooked, ignored, forgotten or neglected.
- Bringing to the attention of the priest parishioners who need pastoral visits, care, counseling and /or pastoral direction in their endeavors.
- Encouraging weekly attendance to services by contacting parishioners who have missed worship for up to three consecutive Sundays.
The Memorial Garden of the Church of the Holy Cross is located on the grounds just behind the chancel. The Memorial Garden is a place where human “cremains” (ashes) may be interred. Careful records are kept of each interment location, although there are no individual markers. The names of those interred are inscribed in the church’s permanent records and on one of the memorial plaques located on the wall of the cloister just outside the chapel wing door. The Memorial Garden is a serene place to sit and meditate, a place for remembering.