Action in Community

A Spirit of Welcome

Holy Cross Church is about action. Maybe you wouldn’t think so if you join us for worship Sundays at 9:30 am, because there is a lot of sitting (standing, too, and singing). But our faith is active and vital, and, especially this year, we are focusing on Inclusivity.

What does that mean? Our Church Council (that’s who is elected by the congregation to run the church) is committed to conversation about becoming an RIC community. An RIC (Reconciling in Christ) Community has done the hard work, had the hard conversations to make sure we are in all ways a welcoming community, especially for our LGBTQ+ friends and neighbors. That means making sure that any person who encounters Holy Cross knows that there are no ‘levels’ of who is welcome here. All are welcome. During the RIC process, folks are brought face to face with their personal prejudice and patterns of behavior that would cause pain to our LGBTQ+ friends. In the coming months, we plan for these conversations to happen within the family of Holy Cross, so that they happen in a loving space, a forgiving space. Why are we working on this? It’s time. And we want everyone to be safe in our space. We want Holy Cross to be a place where inclusivity is real, where the invitation is complete.

As we talk about Inclusivity, let’s talk about our Latino neighbors. We are in a part of town (Salem) where many Latino families make their homes. We reach out to our neighbors in many ways, but it seems like worship is still just for English speakers. We are taking steps at Holy Cross to move to bilingual worship in some form. September 15 at 9:30 am was our first bilingual worship, and Manuel Borbon, mission developer for Latino ministry here in Oregon, was the worship leader, and preacher. We don’t know exactly where this is going to go – but we are excited about the possibilities.

Lastly, we are a sanctuary denomination as of this year (an action taken by our Churchwide Assembly). What does that mean? We’re still figuring that out. We know for sure it means that we are on the side of migrants and refugees, especially children and families who find themselves in the difficult position of being a refugee or migrant. Some churches have determined that means allowing folks to seek asylum in their worship spaces. Some have determined that means lobbying for refugee rights at the capital. There are many conversations about this right now at Holy Cross. We will figure it out. And stand for people on the margins, who are oppressed. That’s who we are.

Maybe you should join us. We would be glad to meet you.

Reverend Patricia Wolf Hughes, BCC