We are excited to share a new Living Stones story with you. This is a great way for us to get to know each other a little better and to encourage one another on our journey to raising the cross on our new church home.
Pam’s story is here! And… there are more to come!
Our church is not the building we are all working together to build, but the ecclesia, the people. Built upon the rock of faith in Christ, our church is built of many faithful people, like living stones, who come together in faith and loving communion with God and with each other.
Living Stones is dedicated to our personal stories—our spiritual journeys, what we find precious here, and why we are committed to Raising the Cross. Yola generously agreed to be the first! You can find her story here.
We hope to see your story here in the future! Please submit your draft (<700 words) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Holy Cross Orthodox Church has a bright future—Glory to God! As we turn our eyes to the future and to the growing reality of our own temple, it is helpful and encouraging to look back on the path that has led us to this point. From a small group of committed people with a dream, worshiping together in a new Orthodox mission eleven years ago, we have grown to an established vibrant parish.
We have prepared this timeline of events to remind us all of how far we have come, and to encourage us in the work we are undertaking.
May we walk ahead in the unity of the Holy Spirit and with confidence in God’s faithfulness.
Glory to Christ forever!
(Click on the image above to go to the timeline on our Raising the Cross Site!)
Definition of several different numbers we will discuss.
Please refer to the definitions above with reference to these numbers:
Also keep in mind that we pay 10% tithe to the Diocese on monies collected for the Capital Campaign. We are currently allocating 1% of the incoming money to our Future Operating Budget to pay for electricity, etc., when we are in the new building.
We have many tasks ahead of us in the next few years – and many of them rely on your continued financial support. Under direction of the Parish Council, the Finance Committee has established these goals for our community – and with your help we can achieve these goals of sustained giving and sustained growth.
TEN THOUSAND VILLAGES
1564-A HIGHWOODS BLVD
GREENSBORO NC 27410
Holy Cross’s Women’s group, The Sisterhood of the Holy Myrrhbearers, meets monthly to build relationships over dinner tables, social events, and service projects. This month’s meeting has a special focus: raising funds for the Raising the Cross Capital Campaign.
The upcoming Sisterhood meeting will be held at Ten Thousand Villages, a store which features fairly-traded international hand-crafted home goods, jewelry, and clothing. This is an after-hours, private invitation preview of Ornaments and Nativities. Everyone in attendance will be able to shop the entire store and 15% of the evening's sales will be donated to Raising the Cross Capital Campaign.
Chili, wine, water and soft drinks will be provided - ladies may bring salad, bread or desserts if they like. We'll start the food at about 6:15 pm and have a brief presentation about the store at 6:30, but late comers are welcome as well. We invite any and all female friends and relations to join us. Small babies and children over 5 may come as well.
We’re looking forward to this fun night focused on giving - to our loved ones, international artisans, and our very own church building. Help us spread the word. Forward this invite to your favorite local ladies who have a heart for giving!
For more information please contact:
Mtk. Carrie Foley
Sisterhood of the Holy Myrrhbearers Coordinator
October Sisterhood Hostess
Ten Thousand Villages Store Manager
Mtk. Carrie Foley is a professional graphic designer and marketing expert, and has a gift for developing impactful visual concepts. Becki King is a professional content writer for legal websites, blogger, and former attorney who currently serves on the Holy Cross Parish Council. Theophan Dort brings to the group experience in website development and computer technology, and as a retired psychiatrist, is a nuanced communicator. Pam Richards, Chair, majored in English and writes poetry and short stories at faithwriters.com. Her leadership experience includes service as a director at a Christian non-profit ministry.
The members of the Communications Committee have been working together since the parish picnic in September 2015. That fall we worked at fever pitch to not only determine the most effective methods for disseminating information about the capital campaign, but also developing the visual aspects of those print and digital methods. The words in the original packet folders were thoughtfully chosen by the parish council and we were charged to create materials befitting the lofty project. We wrote and designed the brochure and the website framework to draw people into the exciting and challenging work ahead of us.
The active phase of the capital campaign required frequent email updates and as that phase drew to a close in early 2016 our activity also slowed even as the other committees’ activities accelerated. As plans develop and solidify, we will keep you informed throughout the process. In the end, our role will turn outward as we introduce our church to our new neighbors in Kernersville.
While we hope you will read and benefit from the information that we disseminate, our communication is not intended to be one way, and we are eager to hear from you. Feel free to offer comments, submit ideas, or share personal stories of your faith journey as it relates to the building of our new church. You may reach out to us in a number of ways:
As we walk this path together toward “raising the cross” of Christ for His glory, we greatly appreciate your partnership. Please remember us in your prayers that our words will fulfill our mission in accordance with God’s holy and perfect will.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
On Sunday, April 17th, Father Christopher offered a very interesting and informative presentation on Orthodox Architecture. As he said in announcing it:
Before we begin building our own Orthodox church, it is important for all of us to learn and understand why it is we build our churches the way we do. The church building is iconic and meant to portray the mystery of our salvation both in its interior and exterior arrangement. Architecture is a part of our Holy Tradition and we build according to the teaching of the Church. The Church is to present the Gospel to us and be the place where we participate in the fulness of our life in Christ through the liturgy and worship of the faithful gathered around Christ's Throne. This is why we don't build all-purpose buildings that look like assembly halls or gymnasiums.
For those who were unable to attend, a video of this presentation along with the slides used are available on our Raising the Cross website.
Dear faithful and friends of Holy Cross,
The Raising the Cross Capital Campaign committee would like to announce the status of our fundraising to date (April 15, 2016).
Our team members have completed most of our visits, though some people will receive calls in the coming weeks. We feel that our current figures will provide a sound estimate of our available resources to the Finance and Building committees. Both committees have been meeting for the past few months to determine how best to work within our resources to build a new church home which is both beautiful and functional.
As of now, Raising the Cross has pledges totaling $500,000 for donations to be made over a roughly three-year period, from November 2015 through December 2018. The pledges have come from 29 families or individuals. Donations which have already been received total $152,250. These donations are mainly in fulfillment of pledges.
I speak for the Capital Campaign team to thank all those who spoke with us and shared thoughtful reactions to this campaign and this time in the life of our parish. Let us move forward carefully and hopefully as we continue the long, hard work which must be done to realize our goal. Thank you for your continuing generosity to the Raising the Cross campaign!
Yours in Christ,
Capital Campaign chair
The Finance Committee was formed to assist with financial matters in preparing to build on our land. Our first meeting was held on October 2, 2015. It includes Steve Iltis as Chairman, Charles Davis, and Steve Richards. Darrell Boan will accompany them as they meet with mortgage lenders.
Some of the activities that we have accomplished thus far include:
We meet on the first Thursday of every month. Please let Steve Iltis know if you would like to join the committee in some of the work involved in making it financially possible to build on our land.
As we are growing our Expenses at about 5% per year, we also need to grow our Income. For the banks we need to show strong and steady growth. Please look at your giving over the past year. If you are able to, please increase that giving by 10%. If you have been writing a check for $100, consider increasing it to $110. Or if you have been writing a check for $25, consider increasing that to $27 or $28. If everyone does this, then we have no problem increasing our overall budget and showing growth as well.
One way to increase a bank's confidence in Holy Cross is to show that we are growing financially. The Council and the Finance Committee will also strive to stay within a reasonable percentage of our budgeted Expenses, which we have done the last 5 years.
Even though the Capital Campaign is not over, the Building Committee is already hard at work! Ladies and gentlemen, meet your building committee!
Each of the members brings a unique set of gifts to the process. Doug Forstrom has a wealth of experience in construction and building materials. Ana Iltis is a masterful organizer, as well as a careful thinker and decision-maker. Daniel Kowalcheck adds architectural training and experience and woodworking expertise. Father Christopher Foley brings his spiritual and theological insights and his ability to unify and motivate. Karen Brudnak-Slate offers her eye for value. Chairperson Nikki Johnson will put her leadership skills to work to build consensus at every step, and will represent the Building Committee as part of the Steering Committee established by the Parish Council. We expect that the Building Committee membership will change as the work proceeds and new perspectives and skill sets are needed.
We will continue to turn to the Parish Council for guidance and to the parish at large for insight as we embark on this journey. We ask for your support and your prayers.
"Glory in the Highest to God, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men." (Luke 2:14) Very soon we will be singing with the Angels of the Good News of our Lord’s becoming flesh for our salvation in the stillness of the dark night in a cave. We hymn the glorious birth of our Lord and with gratitude, praise, and thanksgiving, we offer up our song. We are thankful for the freedom to be able to celebrate Christ’s birth in such a full way through our liturgical worship. It is in and through our sacramental life that we come to have communion with God who became man for us. This is one of the reasons why this is such an important time in the history of Holy Cross—we are at a point where we are actively pursuing a building campaign so that this Divine Worship can continue for generations to come.
This past Sunday, December 13, Barbara Lawrence, RTC Capital Campaign Chair, presented the following update after Divine Liturgy. We have reached a point in our capital campaign—the first phase of Raising the Cross—where we have some numbers to share.
The Capital Campaign team is steadily working to make contact with everyone we hoped would have an interest in our building project. From an original list of 96 individuals, couples, and families, about 1/3 of these have met or talked with us and given a decision, 1/3 have yet to be called, and 1/3 are somewhere along in the process.
Since the Christmas season is such a busy time, we will probably be making few calls or visits during the remainder of December, but we will begin again in January. Please don't feel left out if you have not been called! It simply turns out to be a slow but worthwhile process which we will continue into the first month or two of 2016. If you would like to schedule a meeting sooner and have not yet been called, feel free to e-mail email@example.com.
We have received pledges totaling $471,700. A pledge is a promise to give a specific amount within the next three years, so this is the total amount of funds which have been promised. We have received funds donated by cash or check in the amount of $125,263. Most of this amount is toward the pledges which have been made.
Our hope is that everyone will consider not only donating, but making a pledge to the campaign. The importance of pledges is that they can be used to anticipate how much we will have by the end of the campaign, as well as when we will have enough to begin the building process. Even a pledge in a modest amount of $5 or $10 per week will result in a total donation to Raising the Cross of $750 or $1,500 over three years.
Please note that stewardship donations are important to cover the operating expenses of the church, and we urge everyone not to reduce this giving in order to donate to Raising the Cross.
Our online Raising the Cross donation form is active! This form may be used for one-time donations, or for recurring donations in which you designate an amount and an interval, and that amount is charged automatically on a regular basis according to your request.
One important detail: in order to connect donations with existing information in our database, many of you will receive an email with a special version of the donation link. If you receive it, please donate from the link you find there.
Please feel free to invite friends and family to visit raisingthecross.org where they can read all about our campaign and donate online.
If you have any questions, please ask Barbara Lawrence or Steve Iltis, fill out a slip for the comments box, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you all for your generosity and prayers for the success of our capital campaign! May the Lord bless you all during this time of our Lord’s Incarnation.
At this point, most of you should have received a packet full of information about the capital campaign including details on the timing and cost of the project, the proposed footprint and plat, information on giving and borrowing, and frequently asked questions about the campaign and building project. If you haven't received a packet and would like one, please e-mail us at email@example.com. Or, you can view the same information on our website.
You can share the news about our capital campaign with family and friends you think might be interested by connecting them with the Raising the Cross website or Facebook page. And you can expect to have the opportunity for deeper involvement in the campaign yourself.
As you may know, the capital campaign committee is calling parishioners to schedule in-person meetings with them. We want to help everyone understand the purpose of these meetings so that they will look forward to participating. Whereas in handing out the information packets, we have shared with the parish our vision for the journey, in meeting with people face-to-face, we want to involve the whole parish more deeply. You may be wondering: what are the meetings about?
First and foremost, the meetings are to gather your impressions about the capital campaign as it has unfolded so far, and your thoughts on the materials you've received. You may also be asked if you've thought about how you may want to support the campaign. We need to ask this because eventually, when we go to banks seeking a mortgage, one of their first questions will be how much has been pledged to our capital campaign.
Here's what will not happen during the meeting: you will not be asked to pledge a certain amount, to increase your pledge if you've already made one, or even to make a pledge before the meeting is over if you're not ready to. If you are ready, that's great. But that is a decision only you can make.
You might ask, “Wouldn't it be easier just to have everyone fill out a pledge card and skip the meetings?” Maybe. But this journey is not primarily about raising money. It's about all of us working and growing together to build our church. Your pledge is only one part of that.
The journey before us will reveal numerous opportunities to grow. We will grow in gratitude as we give thanks to the Lord for his wonderful blessings.We will grow in faith as we stand together in prayer, trusting ultimately in the Lord’s provision for our mission.We will grow in fellowship with one another as we share our hopes and dreams about how our church can incarnate the Gospel of Christ.
Please let us know if the information we're sharing in these emails is helpful, if you have any questions, and if there's anything about the campaign you'd like to know more about. You can give feedback to anyone who speaks with you about the campaign, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by leaving a note in the “Raising the Cross” box in the church hall.
The purpose of a new church is not merely bricks and mortar, but about the children of God gathering together in increasing communion with God and each other.
Holy Cross is the only OCA Orthodox Church in the Triad, and while beautifully culturally diverse, offers services entirely in the language that most people who live here understand, contributing to our growth. A new church building will accommodate the growth we have already experienced and will enable us to welcome those who are called by God and who hunger for the one true Faith.
Our children are surrounded by a seductive secular culture that would draw them away from the Way of Christ. To help ground them in the Faith, we want to continue to offer them education, and indeed, provide education for all ages. Parishioners have identified making space for this as a priority.
Fellowship is essential to building and strengthening our church family; our current close quarters make gathering together a challenge. A new fellowship hall will give us the space we need without having to spend time setting up tables and rearranging chairs. We will be better able to properly greet newcomers and spend time getting to know and encourage each other. Again, parishioners have spoken clearly about longing for community space where we can partake of shared meals and enjoy celebrations.
There is sometimes a difficult balance in the stewardship of the resources God has given us between the direct giving of alms and investing in the beauty of the church. We must remember and reach out to those in need, and a church that looks pretty but fails to care for God's children is an empty house. But Orthodox Christians understand the iconic nature of the beauty of God's house. We know, of course, that God is as present in the grocery store as in church, but everything we experience in Orthodox worship—the fragrance of incense, the beauty of singing voices, the light of flickering candles, the “cloud of witnesses” in the surrounding icons, the symbolism and beauty of the architecture—all of these things help us grasp in a direct, deep way that, in church, we have moved a few steps out of this temporal world and into a heavenly reality. The beauty of Orthodox worship iconically represents a window into the beauty of the celestial worship. We temporarily join the saints and angels when we participate in the divine services. This is actually part of Orthodox evangelism: many people have been drawn to the Orthodox Church by the beauty of her services. God calls us not to hide our light under a bushel, but to be a City on a Hill. We aspire to build a church that will shine with the glory of God and proclaim to this secular world that something different is here, something beautiful and precious. Come, taste and see! Let us worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness!
Part of evangelism is sharing what we have, and we cannot share with others what we do not have ourselves. St. Seraphim of Sarov said, “Acquire the spirit of peace, and thousands around you will be saved.” The more we are a community of peace, united in love, the more we have something precious to share with others. And the more we are filled with joy as we gather together to participate in divine services in a beautiful temple with room for all, the more free we will be to invite others to share that beauty, that peace, and that joy.
It’s official! Holy Cross Orthodox Church has launched our building campaign, “Raising the Cross.”
For the past several months, members of the parish council have been involved in learning and planning how best to carry out this campaign. The process of raising money, then building, is slow moving and complex. Fortunately, there is also solid guidance from people who have traveled this path themselves, and they have helped us.
We are calling our journey “Raising the Cross,” and it will continue from now until the day we are able to begin worshipping in our new church.
The first stage of our journey, the Capital Campaign, consists of gathering the financial resources we will need. It begins with our sharing information with all of you about how we plan to go about “Raising the Cross” for our new parish home. This information will be made available in various ways.
First, there are materials you can hold, read, and share: beautiful full-color brochures, and folders with detailed information about the campaign. We shared materials after Divine Liturgy on November 1, and will also have them available on November 8. We will mail folders and brochures to others, especially those who live at a distance. Please let us know if you would like materials but have not received them as of November 15.
In addition, our electronic communications include this email list, as well as our very special new website raisingthecross.org, which will be updated frequently throughout the entire building campaign.
As you review the materials, you will no doubt have questions. And if you have a question, someone else may be wondering about that same thing. So that we can communicate important information with everyone, please share your questions with us, either by email to email@example.com, or by filling out a slip for the Question Box in the fellowship hall. We’ll answer you directly, and share the answer (minus your name) with everyone by adding to the Questions page of raisingthecross.org.
Our hope is that each adult who is part of the Holy Cross community will participate in donating to the capital campaign. Our goal is to raise $750,000 in pledges, to be fulfilled during the coming three years. We are very thankful that several early pledges have already been made: we are blessed to begin our campaign with a pledge total of $455,000! These confirmed pledges have all come from current parishioners, and have already put us 60% of the way toward our fundraising goal!
Here is how we will continue the process of raising funds: Our Capital Campaign team requests that one of us meet (or speak by phone with those who live at a distance) with each individual or couple to hear your thoughts, and invite you to respond to the capital campaign with your own gift. Our goal is to encourage everyone in the parish to participate in Raising the Cross, and all gifts, of any size, will be received with gratitude.
Online donation and pledge forms will be available starting next week. However, we would encourage you to make your pledge after having a conversation with a member of our Capital Campaign team. This is because we hope to speak with you about how you view the campaign, prior to accepting your pledge with gratitude. We will also confirm the timing by which you would prefer to fulfill your pledge, so that our Treasurer Steve Iltis can record all details accurately and provide the financial forecasting we need to move forward.
Our plan is to continue active fundraising until we have spoken to everyone in the parish. This may need to take a break during the holidays, and continue in the New Year. So that we can celebrate a milestone before the holidays, we plan to announce the fundraising results to date on Sunday, December 13.
We look forward to talking with you in the coming weeks as we begin “Raising the Cross!”
The members of the Capital Campaign team:
Barbara Lawrence, Chair
Father Christopher Foley
Deacon George Hattle