Monthly Archive for March, 2009

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“Body Language” in Worship

The processional cross at Holy Cross was made by Weare blacksmiths Cook's Forge. It is a Celtic cross, and echoes the pattern of the window above our Altar.

The processional cross at Holy Cross was made by Weare blacksmiths Cook's Forge. It is a Celtic cross, and echoes the pattern of the window above our Altar.

Someone coming to Holy Cross from another denomination remarked, “The thing I like about it here is people are free to do different things at church: sit, kneel, stand, cross themselves, bow or not.” We do have that kind of flexibility. But sometimes people want a bit of guidance in feeling their way to what works for them in worship. So here’s an attempt to provide that. Continue reading ‘“Body Language” in Worship’

Come With Joy Sundays

One of our Holy Cross teens joins guitarist Jim Sims to provide Sunday music.

One of our Holy Cross teens joins guitarist Jim Sims to provide Sunday music.

For the past couple of years, Holy Cross has been experimenting with periodic “Come With Joy” Sundays. These are inspired by a ministry of Caroline Fairless and Jim Sims called Children at Worship ~ Congregations in Bloom. Caroline, an Episcopal priest, and her husband Jim, a musician and composer, have a mission to make Episcopal worship more attractive to children, teens and young adults. They bring a rich array of music, drama, visual arts and other exciting ideas to Sunday morning Eucharists. Continue reading ‘Come With Joy Sundays’

Meet Richard Harbour


Richard Harbour joins Bishop Gene Robinson at a Holy Cross potluck dinner.

Richard Harbour joins Bishop Gene Robinson at a Holy Cross potluck dinner.

Richard likes to describe himself as a doer, not a planner. Which is a great orientation for the Property chair on the Holy Cross Vestry. Though he’s in sunny Florida for the winter months, for most of the year Richard is right on top of all the building and grounds jobs that need attention: painting, gutting the old basement, washing windows, grooming the grounds. Richard is a retired sales representative, who lives with his wife Ellie in Hillsborough. When we want something done, we ask Richard! Everyone should be so lucky as to have a guy like him on hand.




Meet Susan Ruggles




Susan likes to say that when she first started attending Holy Cross we had just installed indoor plumbing! Besides serving as one of our “memory repositories” (she is on the parish history task force) and as head of the Altar Guild, Susan is currently serving on the Vestry as our Diocesan Liaison chair. Combined with her role as one of our delegates to Diocesan Convention, this means that she is responsible for all of the ways in which we interface with diocesan programs: Safer Church minister, coordinator of the Gifts to Children of Prison Inmates program, and more. Susan retired at the end of 2008 (hurray!) has a grown daughter and son, and an adorable granddaughter who sometimes comes to church with her. She’s pictured knitting a prayer shawl for our prayer shawl ministry–through which we give comforting shawls to those in the congregation or the wider community who are ill or facing surgery.

Lent 3 March 15, 2009

Exodus 20:1-17                                                                  

1 Corinthians 1:18-25                                                       

John 2:13-22


“On his first day of eighth grade at the former Holy Name Roman Catholic school in Washington, DC, last fall, Jeffrey Stone bowed his head, clasped his hands and began to recite the Lord’s Prayer. Within seconds, his teacher chided him: ‘We don’t do that anymore.’”*


Holy Name, like six other financially troubled schools in our Nation’s capitol, was turned into a charter school over the summer last year. Continue reading ‘Lent 3 March 15, 2009’

Meet our “organ scholar,” Mary Copeley

Six or seven years ago one of our musicians, the folk singer Douglas Clegg, suggested that Holy Cross begin a program of supporting an “organ scholar.” Organ scholars would be teenagers who wanted to take organ lessons–the organ being the most difficult and sophisticated instrument a musician can aspire to play. Since organists are something of a dying breed, we thought Douglas had a great idea. His suggestion was taken up enthusiastically by our other two organists, Liz Black and Roberta Walmsley.

Our first organ scholar was a John Stark High School junior, Erik Boyko. Erik started organ lessons, with scholarship aid from Holy Cross, and began to play at church–first one piece, then several, finally whole services. We watched as he grew in competence and were both joyful and sad when he went away to college at the University of Chicago. (Erik graduated two years ago and is now an artisanal bread baker in Boston.)

Mary at the console of the Holy Cross organ.

Mary at the console of the Holy Cross organ.

Our second organ scholar is Mary Copeley. Mary is a home-schooled high schooler, looking towards a career in organ. She is one dedicated and accomplished young lady, having been selected in a natinal competition last year for a summer “organ experience” intensive music camp–one of just 20 young people to be chosen. Lest you think organists are some sort of weird wonks, know that Mary also plays in a rock group, enjoys sports, and otherwise exhibits the marks of a regular teenager. Mary is a faithful member of St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Manchester, so she often does double duty, fitting in service there as well as at Holy Cross.

Women at Holy Cross

The women at Holy Cross are planning to gather regularly for special presentations, worship opportunities, outreach or just for fellowship. Please share any ideas you have about things we can do together to increase our spiritual formation or that you think would be fun.

Support of MDG Work in Africa

For the past two years, Holy Cross has sent an amount equal to 0.7% of its income to support two aid and development projects in Africa.

KWIHEED supports microentrepreneurs like this woman, selling produce in the marketplace.

KWIHEED supports microentrepreneurs like this woman, selling produce in the marketplace.

The first is WINHEEDCAM, formerly known as KWIHEED, a microcredit development agency operating in Cameroon. It was founded by Concord doctor Munro Proctor, who found in the course of medical mission work that economic development was the foundational need of rural people in Cameroon. With Dr. Proctor’s retirement, his work has been taken over by an organization called, which is a funding and oversight operation for a dozen or more locally based development projects in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America. The transfer will enable the continuation and expansion of the wonderful work WINHEEDCAM has done over the years.

The second project we support is Masiphumele Corporation. Masiphumele operates in one of the poor townships outside of Capetown, South Africa. It provides leadership, organizational skills, training, and other support to community leaders engaged in home building, education, and other community activities. Like KWIHEED, Masiphumele has New Hampshire connections. It is the child of a Granite State couple who also have a home in South Africa.

Both the national Episcopal Church and the Diocese of New Hampshire have endorsed the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations, which call for devoting 0.7% of budgets at every level of society in developed countries to help the developing nations of the world attain educational, health and social goals by 2015.

Lent 2 March 8, 2009

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16                                                        

Romans 4:13-25                                                                

Mark 8:31-38


When I moved here to start as vicar, going on twelve years ago, I was new to email. (Sounds impossible to believe! Now email is being eclipsed by Facebook and Twitter.) I picked as my email address holyx, for Holy Cross. I didn’t realize that I could have used a plus sign instead of the x and had an address that avoided negative connotations.


Anyway, it’s occurred to me sometimes that X is an interesting take on the Cross. (Actually, the crosses used in crucifixion apparently weren’t like the Latin crosses we’re used to seeing. They were tau or T-shaped. And some crosses were actually X shaped, the victim’s hands and legs stretched out more painfully.) But the thing about X and the Cross is that “X marks the spot,” X is the intersection of space and time, X is the cross-hairs in a gun sight. And all of that is true of the Cross of Christ, the Holy Cross, the namesake of this church. Continue reading ‘Lent 2 March 8, 2009’

Membership at Holy Cross

We welcome a newly baptized member of the Household of God.

We welcome a newly baptized member of the Household of God.

Membership means different things in different churches. In the Episcopal Church it’s very simple. To be a member you have to be baptized and you have to have your name recorded on the membership rolls of the church. That’s all! You’re in! If you haven’t been baptized, the vicar will be glad to discuss baptism with you. If you were baptized in a different denomination, the Episcopal Church accepts your baptism; baptism is once-and-for-all, we don’t rebaptize.

On another level, membership is not so simple. Continue reading ‘Membership at Holy Cross’