Archive for the 'Believing and Belonging' Category

Coming to Holy Cross with No Religious Background

What if you have no religious background at all? What if you’ve never stepped inside a church, or you’ve been only to a few weddings or funerals? You may have heard some terrible things about churches–that they ask you to believe “six impossible things before breakfast” as Alice Through the Looking Glass put it, that they’re full of self-righteous people or people who all have the same political beliefs, that they’ll try to get their hands on you and once they do they’ll never let you go. But maybe you’re also  intrigued by the idea of being part of a group of people who believe in a mysterious higher power they call God and who care about each other and about justice and peace in the world. Maybe you’d like to explore religion a little, but are just afraid that you’ll be lost in the strangeness of a worship service, make an utter fool of yourself by doing something wrong.

Well, you’re not alone. An increasing number of people in our society have no religious background. Interestingly, New Hampshire has (after Vermont) the highest percentage of people with no religious affiliation of any state in the U.S. And yet, a lot of people are searching. They sense that something is missing in their lives, in the lives of their families. Continue reading ‘Coming to Holy Cross with No Religious Background’

Joining in Communion at Holy Cross

Of all the anxieties that visitors and newcomers to a church experience, “Can I receive Communion?” is probably right there at the top. There’s a fear that if one joins the congregation in coming forward at Communion time and one shouldn’t . . . an alarm will go off, God will hurl down a lightening bolt, or the priest will publicly humiliate you.

Well, none of those things will happen at Holy Cross! If a visitor comes to receive the Sacrament, she or he will receive it. At the same time, we do follow a simple rule, which is the requirement for receiving Communion in the whole Episcopal Church. That is, you should be baptized. Continue reading ‘Joining in Communion at Holy Cross’

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’

Coming to Holy Cross from the Roman Catholic Tradition

Holy Cross is part of the Episcopal Church, in turn connected to the worldwide Anglican Communion. Most of us, however, did not start out as Episcopalians, and many of us would not define our faith with a denominational label. Holy Cross welcomes people from many faith backgrounds, as well as those without any prior church connection. The roominess of Anglicanism offers a particular welcome to folks from a variety of backgrounds. This web page, which is available at the church in booklet form, is designed to help those coming from the Roman Catholic Church to better understand the Episcopal or Anglican tradition. Continue reading ‘Coming to Holy Cross from the Roman Catholic Tradition’

Coming to Holy Cross from a Protestant Tradition

Holy Cross is part of the Episcopal Church, in turn connected to the worldwide Anglican Communion. Most of us, however, did not start out as Episcopalians, and many of us would not define our faith with a denominational label. Holy Cross welcomes people from many faith backgrounds, as well as those without any prior church connection. The roominess of Anglicanism offers a particular welcome to folks from a variety of backgrounds. This web page, which is also available in booklet form at church, is designed to help those coming from other branches of Protestantism to better understand the Episcopal or Anglican tradition. Continue reading ‘Coming to Holy Cross from a Protestant Tradition’