2011 Sermons Sermons

July 10, 2011 – 4th Sunday of Pentecost

by The Rev. Darrell Huddleston

Gen.  25:19-24; Ps. 65:9-14; Rm. 8:1-11; Mt. 13:1-9, 18-23

This is one of those parables of Jesus that preaches itself.  The Parable of the Sower:  The Soil, the Seed, and the Sower.  Three parts to it and all related.  The Greek word parable (παραβολn, ‘parabole’) means “something cast beside” something else in order to explain or clarify it. The great NT scholar C. H. Dodd said, “…the parable is a metaphor or simile drawn from nature or common life, arresting the hearer by its vividness or strangeness, and leaving the mind in sufficient doubt about its precise application to tease it into active thought.” (Parables of the Kingdom, p. 5)

The dictionary defines parable as “A simple tale told to illustrate a moral truth.” But Jesus’ parables are not simple, moralistic tales, but complex, profound stories.  There is mystery to them; there is a depth, an open-endedness, which makes us see something new when we read them over and over.

Christian Formation Happenings Now

Formation Begins

Holy Cross began its church school year in September with a lovely full breakfast. Formation opportunities for all ages follow the breakfast – the adults stay in the parish hall and the children go upstairs to the atria.

Everyone enjoys a full breakfast, beginning at 9am. Afterwards, the adults relax with coffee and hold their Adult Forum.
After breakfast, the children gather in the atria of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Here a child prepares to work with a practical life exercise.
People Stewardship

2011 Ministry Minute – Mike Goulet, October 9, 2011

As I tried to put together this Stewardship Campaign, I realized how much Fr. John and Anne did for us. I know we’re supposed to look to the future and break some of those ties that we had, but I think it’s OK to look back and miss them. I realized this so starkly when I knew that there was no way I could put together those thoughtful and personalized words within the Pledge Letters, as he used to do. I know many of you, but certainly not all of you, and certainly not in that way that Fr. John knew you. In a way, I feel like we lost that “adult supervision” that we took for granted, particularly (for me at least) regarding God and other things spiritual. What do I know about stewardship? Who am I to head up the effort to fund Holy Cross and its mission? That was Fr. John’s Job!!!

But then Kerri reminded me, “Sometimes you don’t grow unless you have to”.

AND my how we’ve stepped up! Treasurer, Warden, Convention Delegates, Stewardship, Children’s Formation, Outreach, Search committee, Chicken Barbeque, the weekly “Cat Herding” that Will and Phyllis Townsend do to put together these beautiful services. WOW! There’s a lot of work to be done, but WE’RE DOING IT. We have two amazing interim ministers. Fr. Huddleston, your words are careful and thoughtful and prayerful. Bishop Walmsley, we’ve been blessed with your experience and wisdom for so long – when you give sermons, it’s almost like we’re not going through this transition.

It’s funny – the more I think about our theme this year, the better it sounds – “Sustenance”. We don’t need to change too many things for now. We don’t need a new building, we don’t need new landscaping, we don’t need anything new or big. What we have already is big enough. Sure we must continue to grow this congregation, but right now, our primary focus has to be on sustaining what we have.

All the Stewardship Campaigns we’ve done in the past were important – last year, with its theme of “Transition” propelled us forward with a record number of pledges. But for some reason this year seems more important than ever. This year is our opportunity to say to those search candidates – “Holy Cross is good”… “Holy Cross is worth it”.

The bottom line is that, I believe, God want Holy Cross to survive. God wants us to be successful. God want us to keep doing the good work we’ve been doing in this community for so many years.


2011 Sermons Sermons

July 31, 2011 – 7th Sunday after Pentecost

by Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Isaiah 55:1-5; Psalm 145:8-9, 14-21; Matthew 14:13-21

When he came ashore and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them. –Matthew 14:14

Let me begin by stretching our imaginations.  Today’s Gospel is one of the most familiar in the New Testament.  It is the only story of its kind recounted in all four Gospels, the feeding of a vast number of people:  Matthew and Mark each say 5000 men.  We are told that they are in a wilderness place, somewhere near the Lake of Galilee.  There are no interstates to get there, and no traffic jams.  Maybe you rode a donkey, most likely you walked, and if you came from as far away as Jerusalem because you were attracted to go hear Jesus preach, that might have been a journey of several days.

As the passage begins, Jesus has withdrawn by boat to a remote place — presumably to pray with his disciples.  Word comes to him that a crowd has assembled.  When he lands and sees the expectant crowd, he is filled with compassion, and he heals the sick. 

2011 Sermons Recent Sermons

Pentecost 3, July 3, 2011


The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Deuteronomy 10:17-21; Psalm145; Matthew 5:43-48


Lord God Almighty, in whose Name the founders of this country won liberty for themselves and for us, and lit the torch of freedom for nations then unborn: Grant that we and all the people of this land may have grace to maintain our liberties in righteousness and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

On this Independence Day weekend, I want to talk about our country and what faith says to our present situation as a nation and people.  We began our service today with an alternative to the usual organ prelude.  It was the first of several quotations from the writings of Thomas Jefferson set to music by the composer Randall Thompson, the beginning of a choral work written in 1933 to celebrate the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Jefferson, one of the major contributors to the birth of our nation.   The composer deliberately set out to write a type of “public music” that would lift up the origins of the American struggle for independence.  In fact one of the early performances of  the work would be as a tribute to the presidency of Franklin Delano Roosevelt after the latter’s death in the waning days of World War II in 1945.

Neither Jefferson nor various others of the signers of the Declaration of Independence released on July 4, 1776, were devout Christians,

2011 Sermons Recent Sermons

Trinity Sunday, June 19, 2011

by The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell.  Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss.  All the saints greet you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

The Apostle Paul, to the Corinthian Church, 2 Cor. 13:11-13

Listening to several of our young people talk about their faith on recent Sundays, I have been reminded of my own growing up in a small parish in Massachusetts in the middle of the 20th century.  Like them, I was bit by bit caught up in the congregation, both its youth activities and the worship.  In those days, of course, we did not have opportunity to read lessons, or help administer communion.   And the leadership of worship did not include women or girls, except maybe to help the Altar Guild.  Somehow it rubbed off on me, and I not only became a committed Christian but found myself in seminary and later the rector of a small city parish in St. Louis, Missouri.

Today, there is a lot of concern about how fewer and fewer people in American society are practicing Christians. 

Happenings Now

Ordinary Time Gallery

The Spiritual Life Task Force presents an opportunity for interested parishioners to take part in a summer time exploration of the Sunday Gospel lessons and revelatory art.

You are invited to choose a Sunday during the summer, read the assigned Gospel, find a piece of art or photography that speaks to the reading and write a short meditation or poem that connects the two.   The piece of art and the meditation will then be posted on the appropriate Sunday in the “Ordinary Time Gallery”, the space just inside the glass doors between the Gathering Space and the Worship Space.

A sign up sheet will be on the table in the Gathering Space.  A list of websites where you can find religious art will also be available, however, you are not limited to those sites.   Original art work, photography etc. that open meaning to you in connection to the Gospel reading are perfectly acceptable.

Please limit the size of the art work to 8 1/2” x 11”.   Your meditation or poem should also fit on one 8 ½” x 11” paper.  Questions, more information – contact Marge Burke.



2011 Sermons Sermons

June 26, 2011 – 2nd Sunday after Pentecost

by The Rev. Darrell Huddleston

Jer. 28:5-9; Ps. 89:1-4, 15-18; Rm. 6:12-23; Mt. 10:40-42

This is one of those Sundays when the gospel lesson has been isolated from its context.  Most Bible verses do not live in isolation.  There is context and the context for these three verses is the preceding thirty-five.  Chapter 10:5b-42 is of one piece and it is known as “The Missionary Discourse.

A brief summary of it:

Be alive and active in mission and spreading the “Good News.”

Don’t worry about material possessions.

Don’t worry what others think of you; in fact, you may be hated by others, even by your own family.

Loyalty to God in Christ comes first, even before family.

Don’t fear those who can kill the body, but the one who can kill body and soul.

Pick up the cross and follow Christ.

Trust in God.  If God cares even for the sparrows God will care for us.

Practice hospitality.  In receiving from you they receive Christ.

Let me read just the preceding six verses to give you a sense of what he said:

Children's Formation

Recognition Day for Atria

On June 12, 2011, one of the many milestones we will be celebrating is the end of the formation year. Each year, the adults in our Catechesis of the Good Shepherd program recognize the children’s work during the past year, giving certificates of completion and offering a gift to those who will move into the next level in the fall.

We hope all parents and children can be there for this, as well as to offer Anne God’s blessing as she “retires” as our Level 3 catechist.

The Sunday of June 12 is the feast of Pentecost, the celebration of the visitation of the Holy Spirit to the disciples. In the atria, Pentecost is marked with a special presentation involving a meditation on the gifts of the Holy Spirit and a sharing of the Light of Christ in strengthening us in those gifts.

The children and adults love these celebrations, especially because they involve receiving our own lights – our own candle to watch over – until time when we put them all together on the prayer table and watch the light get bigger and spread. Our lights joined make all the lights more beautiful and stronger.

This will be our final atrium session until the fall. Many thanks to parents and other adults in the congregation who have assisted in the atrium this year. We hope that others will be called to join the adults and children as we deepen our relationships with God.


Youth Group

Kids in grades 7 and up gather after breakfast at 9:15 each Sunday. Under the leadership of John Heckman, they engage in games, discussion, activities and learning. They also participate in special events at other times: parties, snow tubing, movies, shopping for Christmas gifts for the children of prison inmates, Adopt-a-Highway roadside pickups, and trips with the youth of other congregations.

Some of the Youth Group members helped decorate the Worship Space with paper doves for the Day of Pentecost.
Some of the Youth Group members helped decorate the Worship Space with paper doves for the Day of Pentecost.


Our young people also take active roles in worship, reading lessons, playing instruments, as acolytes (servers), and occasionally helping with informal dramas. Coming from several area schools, of a range of ages, Holy Cross teens are a diverse group who enjoy each other, welcome friends and newcomers, and look on the congregation as family.

A teenager brings his guitar skills to add to Sunday worship.
A teenager brings his guitar skills to add to Sunday worship.
Visiting monk Curtis Almquist visits with Holy Cross teenagers.
Visiting monk Curtis Almquist visits with Holy Cross teenagers.