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.
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.
In the Episcopal Church, it’s become customary to talk of “formation” rather than “education.” Christians are made, not born. We are formed in the ways of Christ, a process that involves hearts and hands as well as heads. Formation is lifelong. At Holy Cross, we take formation seriously, trying to offer thoughtful, enjoyable programs for all ages.
Sunday morning formation opportunities at Holy Cross include something for ages 3 through adults. During our formation year (generally early September through Pentecost in May or June), breakfast is served for the whole family beginning at 9:00 a.m. At 9:15, children and youth are invited to their formation programs. Adults lingering over breakfast begin their formation time.
Each Sunday, after the 9:00 am breakfast and before the service begins at 10:00 am, a special time is set aside for the adults to ponder, learn, pray and plan. We speak of formation, rather than education, at Holy Cross because Christians are made, not born. Our journey into the fullness of Christ, into understanding ourselves and God’s love and purpose for us, is lifelong. So this Adult Forum time is an important part of our Sunday mornings. The topics we touch on are varied. They’re usually stand-alone, which means you aren’t going to “fall behind” if you aren’t able to make a Sunday.
This year we’ve been spending a lot of time on getting to feel comfortable with the Bible, using as a resource Marcus Borg’s Reading the Bible Again for the First Time. During Lent, we took a breather from this study to talk about the ways in which the fear and anxiety gripping the world today, much of it hyped by our exposure to media, erodes our sense of being grounded as people of God. How could we develop Lenten practices that help us renew an appreciation of our wholeness? What is the role of silence, of simplicity, of sabbath in our lives? In May, we turn to a comprehensive review of our liturgy and worship, with the adult discussion times devoted to this area of our life.
We don’t seek one-size-fits-all answers at Holy Cross. We open questions, share experience, and search for ways to apply the wisdom of Scripture and Christian tradition to our very modern lives.
From time to time we also offer special adult formation programs at other times. These may include Saturday workshops and weekday evening series. See Happenings Now for information about what may be going on currently.