A New Year Focus on Stewardship

Service opportunities abound in this New Year, our 80th as a parish

What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly is one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. But being a Christian steward means more. As Christian stewards, we receive God's gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord. (source: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops)

This article – What God expects from us – from the Catholic Education Resource Center provides insight about the meaning of Christian Stewardship.  

Following are opportunities to practice Christian stewardship – both within the parish and in the community – as we start the new year, building on our 80-year tradition of prayer, praise and service as a parish. The 80th Anniversary committee has selected a line from James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing" as our anniversary theme. Watch for updates from the anniversary planning committee. Carl Pickney is chair of the committee.

Service in the Community

January is Poverty Awareness Month, and the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops invites us to take up Pope Francis' challenge to live in solidarity with the poor. The USCCB website provides daily insights, reflections and calls to action regarding poverty in America. At the same website, you can also sign up to have daily Poverty Awareness Month reflections emailed to you.

Urgent Community Need

At the local level, Holy Cross parishioners are invited to help residents affected by the elevated carbon monoxide levels and other issues at McDougald Terrace. Many have relocated to hotels and are struggling with minimal resources. Holy Cross’s Justice, Peace and Human Development Commission (JPHDC) has responded to a call for help with a request for donations. Click here to read about this situation, and how you can help with prayer, material and financial donations. 

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service

January is also when we honor the life and legacy of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with a Day of Service on January 20. Our JPHDC team has organized a Day of Service that includes service projects for all ages, on site at Holy Cross and in the community. Check out the options and make this an experience for yourself, your family and friends. Members of our Gospel Choir will be serving in song, during the Holy Name of Jesus Cathedral Mass for Preservation of Peace and Justice at 10 AM. If you can't participate in person, then please keep the volunteers and recipients in your prayers.

Service within the Parish | Our 80th Anniversary

Those attending Christmas liturgies at Holy Cross received the following reflection for our 80th anniversary celebration, which has the theme: “Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met thee," borrowed from James Weldon Johnson’s “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

On Christmas day in 1939, Holy Cross church celebrated its first mass at the office of Dr. Norman Cordice. As we commemorate 80 years of God's faithfulness to us throughout the coming year, let us join in prayers that we will joyfully and enthusiastically remain faithful to God's vision for our Holy Cross community. 

Anniversary committee members are Carl Pickney, Clarissa Parker, Joyce Ellis, Rob Chapman Jr., Deirdre Peoples, Nadine Goodwin-Blake, Joyce Ellis, Betty Blackmon, Ronald Patterson and Marian Johnson-Thompson. Watch for updates. 

Building Community, One Stitch at a Time | Quilting Ministry

On the third Saturday of each month, starting a 9 AM, tables are pulled together in the Holy Cross Multipurpose Room, sewing machines plugged in, and fabric spred out, with a special purpose in mind: to create quilts that bring warmth and love to those in need, within the parish and in the Durham community.

The first Quilting Bee of 2020 will be held Saturday, January 18. All are welcome; no quilting experience required (there's more to quilting than guiding fabric under the needle of a sewing machine!). The team of long-time quilters will provide guidance. Fellowship is one of the extra benefits for those who participate. Recipients of this new batch of quilts will be those living in homeless camps in the area. Parish contacts are Cherrie Siewert and Lorie Crump. 

Service within the Parish | Pastoral Council

At the Sunday, January 5 mass, nine Holy Cross parishioners were commissioned by our pastor, Fr. Bart, to serve as the Holy Cross Pastoral Council. The council members include both long-time parishioners and one who has joined the Catholic Church in the past year – men and women of various ages and professional backgrounds who use their experience, time and talent to help with parish leadership.

Council members are:

  • Ron Patterson, chair
  • Leslie Tobin, vice-chair
  • James Siewert, recorder
  • Juyne Clements
  • Quincy Purvis
  • Joe Spina
  • Ogo Udemadu

Ex officio members are Phil Rzewnicki, deacon, and Nadine Goodwin-Blake, finance chair. 

The council members serve three-year terms, with one-third of the council rolling off each year and new members joining in their place. They serve in an advisory role to the pastor. Parishioners are encouraged to bring ideas and concerns to the council members through personal conversations or by dropping a note in the Pastoral Council Message Box, located in the gathering space.

Posters with Pastoral Council members' photos and names and the Holy Cross Organizational Chart are in the glass display case in the Holy Cross gathering space.

Parishioners also are welcome to attend Pastoral Council meetings, which are held on the second Tuesday of each month, beginning at 7:15 PM. 

Service within the parish | Liturgical Ministries

Liturgical ministries are vital to our worship experience. They include the Altar Servers, Altar Society, Eucharistic Ministers, Lectors, Sacristans, and Ushers and Greeters. Read Fr. Bart's message about the role of greeters and ushers on page four in the January 11-12 parish bulletin. The parish's lectors will receive a blessing during the January 11 and 12 liturgies.

Following are coordinators of Holy Cross's liturgical ministries. Contact them to learn more.

  • Lectors: Christine Cameron
  • Eucharistic Ministers: Maria Romp
  • Altar Servers: Jackie Ellis
  • Altar Society: Jackie Ellis
  • Sacristans: Judy Gardiner
  • Ushers: April Henderson
  • Greeters: April Henderson

Service within the parish | Young Adult Scripture Study

Holy Cross welcomes young adults from the parish and beyond to prepare for Sunday liturgies by reading and discussing the Sunday scriptures before coming to mass. This group is open to those age 18 and above (and includes some young-at-heart) who are interested in digging into the scriptures before mass, so that they can be better prepared to understand the Sunday scripture message. This scripture study group meets every Wednesday evening, 7 PM. Coordinator is Jason Martin.

Service within the parish | Communications 

The parish's Communications Committee assists the parish's administrative team and organizations by maintaining the parish website and social media accounts; producing posters, newsletters and other marketing and communications materials; and assisting with external communications. This month, parish coimmunications will begin working with our bulletin company to create a new parish website. Volunteers with communications and design skills (or a desire to gain experience) are welcome. Contact is Anna Rzewnicki.


Tags: McDougald Terrace, Pastoral Council members, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, MLK Day of Service, stewardship, service roles, liturgical ministries, Christian stewardship

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