To the Parishioners and Newcomers of Holy Cross Episcopal Church
Some of us have become increasingly aware in recent years of the need for a booklet like the one now in your hands – a concise statement about who we are at Holy Cross Episcopal Church, what we do, and how to find your place among us. We hope that you will find it interesting and helpful.
Visitors and newcomers to Holy Cross, whether from out of town or from Pensacola, frequently have questions about the services and activities of the parish and how to take part in them, and then – perhaps later on – how to become a member. This booklet tries to answer some of those basic questions.
The information may also be useful for persons who have been a part of the parish for some time but are still unaware of some aspects of our corporate life, and of the welcome awaiting those who choose to participate.
Yours in Christ,
The Vestry and Clergy
Holy Cross Episcopal Church
Clergy and Staff Directory
|Clergy||The Rt. Rev. Russell Kendrick, Bishop
|The Rev. Rob Dixon, Rector
Email address: email@example.com
|Parish Administrator||Rachel Iversen
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email address: email@example.com
|Music Director||Nancy Collins
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Childcare Attendant||Jordan Snell
Parish Office Hours
Monday – Thursday 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Lunch 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Friday 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
|Cecil Lanier, Senior Warden||Britt Landrum, Junior Warden|
|Art Harrison||Brenda Brown|
|Greer Mims||Howard Johnson|
|Hunter Walker||Laurie White|
|Nancy Gibbons||Ron Edwards|
|Sarah Tarkus||Sylvia Clark|
|Nancy Gibbons, Treasurer||Jo Spencer, Clerk|
8:00 am Holy Eucharist Rite II (Without Music)
9:00 am Christian Formation
Adults – Chapel
10:00 am Holy Eucharist Rite II (Full Choir)
Children’s Chapel & Choir (Ages 4 – 10 years) the During sequence hymn, children process with the leader to the Chapel for a lesson and singing; they return at The Peace.
9:00 am Holy Eucharist Rite II – Summer Schedule*
*Summer Schedule may vary, please check the Calendar or call the Parish Office if you have questions.
Christian Formation Opportunities During the Summer may include (please check the church calendar or call the office if you are interested in any of these opportunities):
11:30 am Deacon’s Forum
– Holy Cross Room after the 10:00 AM Service
Adult Inquirer’s Class & Confirmation Class for Youth, 6th grade – 12th grade are scheduled annually to coincide with the Bishop’s Annual Visit. Those wanting to participate in these classes need to call the office to sign up.
9:00 am Morning Prayer around the main altar
Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday
10:00 am Wednesday Holy Communion
(1st Wednesday of the month is a healing service with the anointing for healing)
*Nursery care is available for most services
The Episcopal Church
The members of Holy Cross Episcopal Church welcome you. Ours is a church rich in both international and local history. The Episcopal Church has had a continuous existence since the founding of the Church by Christ. As a part of the worldwide Anglican Communion, the Episcopal Church is one of the great branches of the one, Holy Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
English colonists brought their faith to the new land, the Anglican Church, also known as The Church of England. After the Revolution, it became necessary for the new country to establish its own Church which would be independent from the British Monarchy. While maintaining the integrity of their Faith, Creed and Worship (the Book of Common Prayer), the Episcopal Church was established structuring its organization on the principles of the new government.
History of Holy Cross Episcopal Church
Holy Cross Began when members of St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, purchased land in Northwest Pensacola for a new church to meet the needs of Episcopalians in that area. After two years of planning and prayer by a nine member steering committee, appointed by their Rector, the Rev. Van Davis. The new Mission Church of Holy Cross held its first worship service on May 9, 1976, at Scenic Heights Elementary school under the leadership of its Vicar, the Rev. Michael Hesse, appointed by the Bishop.
Worship continued at Scenic Heights until Sunday, March 25, 1979, when the congregation moved to its newly constructed multipurpose building on North Ninth Avenue. Worship services, dinners, meetings, rummage sales, and community service projects were all held in the same building. Much of the construction of the interior was crafted by the parishioners including the platforms, altar and rail, baptismal font and pulpit, the central stained glass window, and the “Stations of the Cross” paintings on the north wall.
Holy Cross attained parish status in 1982, and before Fr. Hesse was called to be its first rector and served until 1992. The Rev. Betts Slingluff served as Assistant to the Rector from August, 1984 until his sudden and unexpected death in February, 1986. A new assistant, The Rev. William Geiger, accepted the call in September, 1987, and served until the fall of 1992. The Rev. William Stoudenmire served as a Transitional Deacon from 1993 until 1994.
The church grew rapidly during those early years and provided leadership in introducing new programs into the diocese, including Cursillo, Kairos, Happening and a mission relationship with the Diocese of Guatemala, beginning with construction, by Holy Cross members, of a small chapel (Santa Cruz) in a jungle village of northeast Guatemala.
In December, 1992, The Rev. Michael Schulenberg was called to be the second Rector of Holy Cross, and served until his retirement in December, 2002.
In September, 2003, The Rev. Ray Waldon was called to be the third Rector of Holy Cross and served until July, 2007, resigning due to health issues.
The Rev. Jeffrey Jencks accepted the call to be Holy Cross’ fourth Rector in July, 2008 and retired in December, 2013, on medical disability.
The Rev. Dr. Glenn Rohrer was sent by Bishop Duncan as Priest-In-Charge in January 2014 and served until August, 2016. The Rev. Clara M. Hewis has served as our Vocational Deacon from February 2011. The Rev. Walter Kindergan served as our Curate from June 2014 to January 2015.
In August, 2016, The Rev. Robert Dixon accepted the call to be Holy Cross’ fifth Rector.
Over the years interior and exterior construction projects have resulted in more space for Worship, Christian Formation, parish gatherings, and community programs. The Margaret Stenger Walkway was completed in 2012 connecting the Church to the Parish Hall. The O’Neil Circle Drive Memorial was redesigned, in memory of family members, providing a garden entry to the Church.
Beautification of the church grounds and upkeep of the buildings began in earnest in 2016. The search committee was canvassing our members and searching for a new rector and our vestry began a very focused restoration of God’s church. Air Conditioners were serviced, replaced and put on a year round maintenance schedule. Storm repairs from a Tornado “near miss” happened with new roofs on the Christian Education Building, Gazebos and the western exposures in the Main Sanctuary. The lighting both inside and outside were re-evaluated and repaired as needed. New water fountains were installed. Major improvements to our existing buildings were completed, including sound system, computers, phone system, door and window iron work, protective cover for Stained Glass Cross Window, Door improvements, new signs, planter beds, tree removal and more!
The wardens and vestry also decided to move forward on the Columbarium in the Garden of Repose. Additionally, a new patio area was laid in the Gazebo area adding to the safety of outdoor events and the potential of having more events.
A major playground restoration has been taken on by our men’s group, The Brotherhood of St. Andrew.
Plus, adding a fourth and final wing to the educational complex and enclosing the center area, thereby creating a multiple use parish hall. These structures will complete the master plan adopted by the church in the late 1970’s.
The Episcopal Church is both constitutional and democratic in its government. In every parish there is a body of lay persons called the vestry, elected by the congregation to be its legal representatives in all matters concerning its corporate properties and to perform other duties prescribed by Church law. After consultation with the Bishop, the vestry calls a priest to serve as rector of the parish.
Our parish belongs to the Diocese of the Central Gulf Coast, which is led by its bishop and a diocesan convention composed of diocesan clergy and lay persons elected by the member parishes. The dioceses are grouped geographically into areas known as provinces. The governing body of the Episcopal Church is the General Convention, which is composed of two houses: House of Deputies (lay and clergy elected equally from their diocese) and the House of Bishops.
Becoming a Member of Holy Cross
We hope you will find Holy Cross to be an open and welcoming community of faith. Take time to explore the many avenues of participation available to all: worship, service, education, fellowship and more. We look forward to getting to know you as you get to know us.
When you decide that Holy Cross is a good fit, you may become a member by simply stating your intention to be a part of this congregation.
Letter of Transfer
Once you have decided to join Holy Cross, we encourage you to request your letter of transfer from your former congregation. Our parish administrator will gladly help you with this process.
We strive to be a healthy parish, ministering effectively to our own members, our community, and the world. These efforts depend on the willingness of all our members to contribute their time, their skills, their spiritual gifts, and their financial resources. We look forward to helping you discover how your gifts can have a special place in this parish’s life. As we work together, opportunities grow into commitments.
Baptism is the sacrament of initiation into the Christian faith and life. If you have not been baptized, we encourage you to explore this possibility. You may wish to begin with a conversation with a member of our clergy team. We also encourage you to consider participating in a multi-part series of classes known as Inquirer’s Classes. There you will engage the history, tradition, theology, liturgy, and customs of our church along with others who are preparing to make an adult profession of faith. Inquires Classes are also helpful if you have already been baptized and wish to participate in Confirmation, Reception, or the Reaffirmation of your baptismal vows at the time of the bishop’s visitation. Similar classes, known as Confirmation classes, are provided for our young people as well.
If you have an infant or young child who has not been baptized, we offer instruction for parents and godparents. Baptisms are scheduled on Sundays throughout the year, except during the pre-Easter season of Lent.
Holy Eucharist/Holy Communion
Baptized Christians of all ages are welcome to receive communion at Holy Cross.
Worship at Holy Cross
While all of the activities described in this booklet serve to bring members closer to God and each other, the heartbeat of our life at Holy Cross is our worship. In fact, some would say that worship is what Episcopalians do best.
The Episcopal Church is a sacrament church. Our central rites of worship are sacraments – signs and means by which God’s grace works in us and by which our faith in God is strengthened.
We also use the term “liturgy” when speaking of our various worship services. Liturgy (from Greek meaning “work of the people”) means that every one of us is an involved participant in worship.
The two great sacraments of the Gospel – given by Christ to his Church – are Holy Baptism and Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion). The Episcopal Church also recognizes five additional rites as sacramental in character: confirmation, ordination, holy matrimony, reconciliation of a penitent (confession and absolution), and unction (anointing or laying on of hands for healing).
The Book of Common Prayer
The Book of Common Prayer has been called the Bible in worship because the words of our prayers are shaped by and steeped in scripture. With a rich history of its own, our prayer book contains one of the finest collections of prayers ever offered by human beings to God. The prayer book brings structure, familiarity, and dignity to our common worship. It offers prayers suited to many different needs and occasions. The prayer book also contains the Outline of Faith, or Catechism, as well as historical documents important to our church. It is both a guidebook for public worship and a treasured resource for private prayer and meditation.
Some of our worship customs may feel unfamiliar at first – bowing when approaching the altar, genuflecting (bending the Knee), bowing the head at the name of Jesus, making the sign of the cross, or bowing the head as the cross passes in procession. These actions are not required of anyone, but are practiced by many people as expressions of reverence.
Activities at Holy Cross
The purpose of the church is to glorify God by being God-like in the world, to live in the world as Christ lived, to allow His life to be lived out through his body, the Church. Outreach ministry is the church at work in God’s name, reaching out to meet needs in the wider community. Our daily lives at Holy Cross are filled with outreach ministry. Holy Cross offers a wide variety of activities that provide opportunities for service, fellowship, and worship for parishioners and their families.
Though there is always room for more, the following are our current ministries and outreach programs:
Children’s Choir & Chapel
Children are invited to join with others in the chapel during the 10 AM service. Children will be able to sing, say prayers, Worship in a relaxed and holy place. They will also learn age-appropriate sacred, fun songs and which may be offered regularly in church and seasonally at special concerts.
Holy Cross hosts a variety of annual, seasonal events. Stay tuned to the weekly bulletin, church website, and Crucifer for details on events such as the Easter Egg Hunt, Trunk or Treat, Christmas Pageant and others.
Vacation Bible School – The 2017 VBS will be June 12-16, 2017.
Each summer, Holy Cross offers Vacation Bible School. A team of qualified and dedicated volunteers offer a week-long, half-day camp that features daily Bible study, songs, games, crafts and tons of fun! Children, ages six through twelve are eligible to participate and older children are invited to serve as helpers. Details will be announced in the weekly bulletin, church website, and Crucifer.
Episcopal Youth Community (EYC)
Teenagers in sixth through twelfth grade may also participate in EYC, which meets periodically for meals, fellowship, fun, and Bible study in a casual, supportive atmosphere. This Christ-centered, group of young people is dedicated to reaching out to other youth organizations and serving the community in a fun and exciting atmosphere. Qualified volunteers strive to help these young people develop a higher purpose in an environment where they can discuss and try out new ideas in a process of discovering their own convictions.
Boys and girls, 8 years old and older, assist in Sunday and other worship services. Acolytes continue traditions from the earliest days of the Church by participating in processions as Crucifers, Torch and Flag-bearers, lighting and extinguishing candles, and assisting the priest’s preparation for the Eucharist.
Adult Bible Study: Today’s Readings, Our Lives. We meet every Sunday morning at 9 in the chapel. Please enjoy coffee and snacks in the hall, and then come over and join us to discuss the Sunday Bible readings.
Holy Cross is blessed to have many accomplished and talented musicians as members of the Chancel Choir. The choir rehearses on Wednesday evenings. Interested singers are always welcome.
A beautiful addition to the Holy Cross Music Program, the Handbell Choir performs during Sunday worship services throughout the year as well as special programs and services.
We need musicians both vocal and instrumentalists. Please let us know if you have a talent that needs to be exercised. Contact our music director or our priest to serve.
Eucharistic Ministers (Chalice Bearers)
Eucharistic Ministers participate in a canonically-ordered ministry to assist the clergy in serving the chalice at Holy Communion. Eucharistic Ministers are nominated by the rector, approved by the vestry, and licensed by the bishop of the diocese, for a term of three (calendar) years. Service as a Eucharistic Minister is a particularly intense form of ministry, as you participate with the clergy in one of the holiest aspects of worship, the administration of the sacrament of Holy Communion.
Eucharistic Visitors administer the Holy Eucharist to those members of the parish who are infirm or otherwise unable to attend Sunday services.
Holy Cross currently has a number of devoted lay readers, many of whom are also licensed Eucharistic Ministers. They assist the Priest at all worship services, read lessons and prayers and bear the Eucharistic Cup. When a priest is not available they lead the congregation in Morning Prayer.
At every service, the ushers job is to greet and make everyone, especially visitors feel welcome. Ushers are trained and serve on a rotating basis. Two ushers are needed for every service. They distribute weekly bulletins, collect the offering and assist during communion.
Ambassadors for Christ
The Ambassadors for Christ is our greeter ministry. At each Sunday service warm friendly Ambassadors greet and assist all who are new to Holy Cross. They distribute visitor bags containing information about Holy Cross, invite our visitors to Coffee Hour and introduce them to other members of our church. Following the worship service each visitor receives a loaf of fresh baked bread at their home. The Ambassadors serve on a rotation basis.
Volunteers who assist in the preparation for worship services held at Holy Cross are extremely important participants in the life of the parish. These volunteers prepare the altar for all weekday and Sunday services, arrange flowers, care for the linens and vestments, and polish the silver and brass.
Prayer Shawl Ministry
The Prayer Shawl Ministry lovingly craft shawls for others who are on the prayer list. They knit or crochet two types of shawls: lap or wrap around. After the shawls are blessed by our Priest they are given as a source of comfort, healing, and remembrance of their Holy Cross Family.
The Holy Cross Family is assembled into neighborhood groups known as Shepherd Groups. The purpose is to provide our members with a quick, nearby contact for all types of assistance and fellowship. A leader is selected for each Shepherd Group who serves as the contact person. There are currently 7 groups throughout the greater Pensacola area.
Wednesday Night Dinners
Dinner on Wednesday nights is prepared by volunteers and served to members who are at church attending various programs such as choir rehearsal, youth group, Christian education, or just to enjoy the fellowship.
Small groups of 3 to 4 individuals or couples have dinner on monthly rotating basis between the participant’s homes. The host couple chooses the menu and provides the main dish. The other couples bring side dishes and desserts. This is a great way to enjoy fellowship in a smaller setting outside of the church.
Holy Cross Travelers
For those on the go, The Travelers visit places and events within our diocese. Enjoy getting out while enjoying some fellowship with other members of Holy Cross.
Color, Coffee and Chat
This fun group meets once a week for coloring and fellowship. Adult coloring is a wonderful relaxation tool. Some Holy Cross members who want to be a part of the fellowship but do not color bring their knitting projects to work on.
This lively group meets monthly to enjoy a good game of Bunco and fellowship. A great time is enjoyed by all.
Holy Cross publishes a newsletter with up-to-date articles of interest to the parish. Information from our members is always welcome.
Coordinated by our volunteer librarian, the church library is fully stocked with an ample supply of books, video and audio tapes on subjects of interest to all ages.
Stephen Ministers are a group of members, who provide high quality, confidential, Christ-centered care and support to people experiencing illness, cancer, grief, divorce, job loss, loneliness, disability, relocation, and other life difficulties.
Brotherhood of St. Andrew
The Holy Cross Chapter of the Brotherhood of St. Andrew is part of an international ministry of men within the Anglican Communion for the spread of Christ’s Kingdom among men and boys through the disciplines of prayer, study, and service. By experiencing food, fun, fellowship, intellectual stimulation, and spiritual renewal, each member can discover God’s purpose in his own life in order to be a more effective minister to others.
Daughters of the King and The Episcopal Community = Daughters of Christ the King (DOCK)
This group is in prayer for the world and our church. It is made up of two communities: The Daughters of the King and the Episcopal Community. They take a Rule of Life, incorporating the Rule of Prayer and Service. By reaffirmation of the promises made at Baptism and Confirmation, a Daughter pledges herself to a life-long program of prayer, service and evangelism, dedicated to the spread of Christ’s Kingdom and the strengthening of the spiritual life of her parish.
Episcopal Church Women
The ECW, which includes all women of Holy Cross, is dedicated to serving the Lord through worship, study, spiritual gifts and service. Fundraising events during the year support outreach and charitable organizations in the community and the diocese. They also sponsor or fund various projects within Holy Cross.
Cursillo and Reunion Groups
Cursillo is a three-day weekend designed to help Christians better understand their individual callings to be Christian Leaders. The local Cursillo Community is Coastal Pilgrims.
The Cursillo experience does not end when the weekend is over. It is a starting point that lasts the rest of your life and is a springboard to a life-long practice of the Baptismal Covenant called The Fourth Day. The Fourth Day encompasses three major elements:
- The Group Reunion – a small group of Cursillo attendees who meet weekly
- The Ultreya – A “Reunion of Reunions” of sorts, usually held monthly at various churches in the Diocese.
- Spiritual Direction – An important element in the Cursillo movement committed to help persons deepen their union with Christ.
With a trained mentor, this four-year distance-learning program of the University of the South helps students discern their own personal ministries through study of the Old and New Testaments, Church History, Theology and Theological Reflection.
United Ministries provides financial assistance to families in crisis who have emergency needs such as housing and utilities and to provide counseling which offers hope, encouragement and spiritual guidance. United Ministries is a community partnership of many different churches and individuals who volunteer time and resources to provide emergency aid to the less fortunate members of our community. Holy Cross supports United Ministries by monthly donations.
United Way Day of Caring
Uniting our community and leveraging resources to improve lives. In 2013 Holy Cross supplied paint and volunteers to paint two homes. This year volunteers will give their time and talent to provide much needed yard work for families in our local communities.
Holy Cross volunteers give their time and talent to help people after a disaster.
Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD)
Holy Cross raises funds to alleviate hunger, create economic opportunities, promote health, and respond to disasters around the world. The Holy Cross Episcopal Youth Community (EYC) youth raised $725 for Gifts of Life through their Souper Bowl Sunday Dollar donations and a Tree Picking Service Day Donation. Vacation Bible School raised money for the ERD to benefit providing clean water to Africa.
Manna Food Bank
Holy Cross parishioners donate food the first Sunday of every month to alleviate hunger in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. On Souper Bowl Sunday, Holy Cross youth collect canned soup to give to Manna Food Bank.
Volunteers donate pints of blood 3 to 4 times a year to the One Blood bloodmobile which helps save countless lives.
Holy Cross donates to Operation Santa which helps foster children in the care of FamiliesFirst Network of Lakeview. Holy Cross gives 3 presents to each child who would normally not get anything. The Angel Tree is put up by the first Sunday of Advent.
Girl Scout Troop #424
This Christ centered troop is open to 10th through 12th graders. Members meet every first and third Tuesday. Service projects include the Ronald McDonald House, Holy Cross Angel Tree, Shoe Drives, Environmental service projects and Holy Cross Clean Up Days.
United Thank Offering (UTO)
United Thank Offering is entrusted to promote thank offerings, to receive the offerings, and to distribute the UTO monies to support mission and ministry throughout The Episcopal Church and in invited Provinces of the Anglican Communion in the developing world.
Ronald McDonald House
The third Sunday of each month, Holy Cross volunteers have been going to Ronald McDonald House to “home cook” a warm, comforting meal for families in their “home-away-from-home” so parents and children can stay together.
Peanut Butter Drive
This runs each year from October through mid-November. Holy Cross parishioners donated 228 pounds of peanut butter to provide families in need with a locally grown, nutritious, yummy, safe, food.
Divorce Recovery Workshop
The first group of 7 have successfully “graduated” this “extremely rewarding” program by finding friends, support, and resources to overcome anger and to heal from pain. The next group is currently forming.
Baskets of Caring
Fifteen baskets of donated food to make Christmas meals were lovingly packaged and delivered to families in need annually.
Relay for Life
Holy Cross volunteers walked through the night and donated over $1,500 to raise much-needed funds and awareness to save lives from cancer this year.
Our Holy Cross facilities are offered as a Polling Place for Escambia County Voting Precinct #108, Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), La Leche League, and Covenant Hospice Grief Support.
IN CONCLUSION…OR JUST THE BEGINNING
Episcopalians are joyfully grateful for our church. Wherever we go, the Episcopal Church with its life of common prayer ministers in a familiar manner. Architecture, customs, music, formality, and style of worship may vary, but one thing remains constant. Through our life in the church, we believe that we encounter God and God’s loving will for us as it is revealed to Jesus Christ.
We welcome you into this fellowship. We hope you will join us in our journey of faith.