Frequently Asked Questions
1. What kind of church is Church of the Holy Cross? ↑Top
Church of the Holy Cross is an Anglican church. We welcome all those in the Raleigh area and beyond who are in search of a church home. Our services are contemporary and relaxed, yet liturgical. The casual atmosphere (and dress!) allows our diverse congregation to focus on worship. (See question 4 for more information about our worship service.)
Initially founded in 1991, Church of the Holy Cross moved from various temporary locations to the current West Millbrook Road site in 2002. Building renovations and enhancements are underway. (See our history for more information.) Our church has been under the leadership of the Reverend Dr. John W. Gibson Jr. since 1992, when he was called to be the first vicar of this new mission within the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina.2. What are Church of the Holy Cross's beliefs and mission? ↑Top
You will find that our beliefs are consistent with the orthodox faith, a faith that has been affirmed by Christians around the world through the ages. From the parish's beginnings more than a decade ago until today, Church of the Holy Cross has been deeply committed to the Great Commission and to representing an evangelical witness. Our first decade was one of growth and refinement. In 1999, we clearly stated our vision: to be a worshiping community dedicated to fulfilling the Great Commission by discerning, deploying, and releasing the gifts of our members for ministry. (See About Us for more information).
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” —Matthew 28:19–20
3. How should I dress to attend Sunday services? ↑Top
We encourage you to wear whatever feels most comfortable for you. There is no real “dress code.” In general, most people dress casually. Dress is secondary to matters of the heart. We have members who wear shorts in the summer, as well as some who prefer to dress up.4. What is the Sunday worship service like? ↑Top
The church service begins at 10:00 a.m. Our services are contemporary in nature, but firmly grounded in Scripture. The sermons are relevant to daily life and provide thought-provoking yet uplifting wisdom for the challenges of our times. The music is a passionate and inspiring blend of both contemporary “praise” music and traditional Christian hymns. (See the Music Ministry page for more information.)
The readings that the congregation participates in come from the Bible or from the Book of Common Prayer, both of which are provided under the seats for your convenience. The bulletin will direct you to the specific pages. (See question 10 for information on the Book of Common Prayer.)5. How long does the service last? ↑Top
The general Sunday worship service begins at 10:00 a.m. The service usually concludes at about 11:30 a.m., but members and visitors often find themselves lingering afterwards for an extended time of fellowship over coffee.6. Will I have to say or sign anything, give anything, or be singled out in any way? ↑Top
We long for Holy Cross to be a place of safety and refuge. We do have greeters who will welcome you at the door, provide you with a church bulletin, help you find child care locations, and answer any questions that you might have about our services or our facilities. Beyond that, it is between you and the Lord!
Included in the bulletin is a card that you may complete and place in the collection plate. The card gives you a chance to ask a question, share a special prayer request, or ask someone from the church to contact you.7. What about my children? Do they come into the Worship service with me? ↑Top
Our Children's Ministry provides an enriching experience for children of all ages-from newborns through fifth graders. Toddlers and older children receive age-appropriate Christian instruction, including Bible stories and various opportunities for artistic expression. Parents can relax and fully appreciate the primary worship service while knowing that their children are receiving high levels of care and attention. Children aged 3 years through grade 5 leave for Sunday School during the Sermon Hymn and are reunited with their parents in the general worship service just prior to the Holy Eucharist (communion). Childcare for children under age 3 is available from the beginning of the service until communion when parents are asked to pick up their children in the nursery.8. Who is the minister? ↑Top
The Rev. Dr. John W. Gibson Jr. is our minister. Father John became the first vicar of the mission-Church of the Holy Cross, Episcopal-in 1992. The mission became a parish in 1995, and Father John has remained as our rector since that time. He and his wife, Lisa, are part of a core team of early leaders who have helped shape the vision and direction of the church.9. What kinds of ministries, outside of the Sunday worship service, are available to me? ↑Top
See the Ministries section of this site for information about various church ministries. Please see our calendar for a list of major events throughout the year, and the home page includes a list of upcoming events that may be of interest.
If you want to learn more about the Christian faith or explore some of life's questions in the context of Christian beliefs, you may want to enroll in our Alpha course. Alpha provides a relaxed environment in which people can learn and discuss important faith-related issues with others.10. What is the Book of Common Prayer? What version does CHC use? ↑Top
The Book of Common Prayer is a guidebook that Anglicans use to support both corporate and individual worship. The Book of Common Prayer is a collection of ancient and modern prayers and readings that allows everyone to participate in worship (“Common” means “for everyone.”). Copies of the Book of Common Prayer, as well as Bibles, are available in our sanctuary for your use during our church services.
The Book of Common Prayer dates to 1549, when it was first compiled by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer. It has been through several revisions over the years; the current edition that we use is the 1979 Edition. About two-thirds of its contents are actually derived from the Old and New Testaments. It includes services for the Holy Eucharist, as well as baptisms, weddings, and funerals. It also contains prayer aids and suggested Bible readings for each day of the year that can be a useful supplement to your own personal prayers when you worship alone or with family and friends.
One of our church members, John Klassa, has graciously made the content of the Book of Common Prayer accessible from this Web site, where it serves as a worldwide resource. Feel free to explore it in greater detail.11. Why do you offer communion every Sunday? Can I, or am I supposed to, participate? ↑Top
First of all, any baptized Christian, from any denomination, is invited to receive communion at Church of the Holy Cross. We celebrate the Eucharist every Sunday to rejoice in Christ's resurrection on the first day of the week. This is actually a practice that dates back to the early Church in the first century. We believe that God's act of reconciliation with us through our Savior is of such importance that it bears repeating each week and on special holy days.12. Can I be added to the church mailing list without being a member? ↑Top
Yes; just contact the church office and provide your name and address. Include your e-mail address if you'd like, because informal and late-breaking news is often delivered that way.13. How can I become a member of Church of the Holy Cross? ↑Top
Periodically, a New Member Class is offered for those wishing to explore the possibility of membership in Church of the Holy Cross. This class presents the vision, mission, and core values of our church and explores our expectations of those who would like to become members.
Ultimately, membership in the church is established through the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. Baptismal services are scheduled regularly throughout the year and usually take place during our Sunday morning service. If you're interested in joining the church and have never been baptized, arrangements may be made following completion of the New Member Class. We ask that parents desiring to present their children for Holy Baptism first take steps to establish their own membership in Holy Cross.
Those who have already been baptized and have been active in another church, prior to coming here, may request having their membership transferred to Holy Cross after completion of the New Member Class.14. What is Confirmation? ↑Top
According to the Book of Common Prayer, those baptized “are also expected to make a public affirmation of their faith and commitment to the responsibilities of their Baptism in the presence of a bishop and to receive the laying on of hands.” In the Anglican tradition, this rite is known as Confirmation. At Holy Cross, we schedule Confirmation classes prior to a visit from our bishop, which occurs about once a year. Instruction includes a consideration of basic Christian doctrine, standards for Christian living, and resources for Christian devotion. Upon completion of the classes, you can be Confirmed as a member of the church by the bishop during his visit.
Confirmed membership is required of those desiring to be eligible to vote at parish meetings and to serve in positions of ministry leadership in the church.
Our Newcomer's Ministry is always available to answer any questions that you might have about this process or other aspects of our church.