The Church of the Holy Cross (Episcopal)
At the Church of the Holy Cross, we gather in worship and community as we seek to pray, grow, and serve together. We take to heart Jesus' message to love God with our whole being and to love our neighbor as ourselves. All God's children are welcome here, no exceptions. Come and see!
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A Pastoral Letter from Our Clergy:
June 3, 2020
Dear People of Holy Cross,
The prophet Micah offers a clear and compelling description of the life of faith, one that weaves together strands of prayer, love, and service:
"He has told you, O mortal, what is good;
and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with your God?"
In a single sentence of scripture, we are reminded of the enormity of God’s love and goodness; of God’s desire to walk in relationship with us; and of God’s characteristics of justice and kindness that we are called to emulate as bearers of God’s likeness in the world. A single sentence that further reminds us of the teachings of Moses and Jesus, the commandments to love God with our entire being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. It all goes back to God, and it all goes back to love.
And yet, we know that in the brokenness of our lives and of our world—in those places where God’s love and presence do not take first priority—we sometimes hurt each other, and we sometimes hurt ourselves. These past days have reminded us of the evil and darkness that continue to emerge from the sin of racism, as well as the deep pain that many of our sisters and brothers continue to bear in our fragmented and imperfect society.
As people of faith, we believe that all people of every race and ethnicity, gender expression, age, sexual orientation, religion, and political ideology are beloved children of God, created in God’s own image and valued as God’s own. As followers of Jesus, we believe that, in accordance with our baptismal covenant, we are called to “renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God” and “to strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being” (Book of Common Prayer, pages 302 and 305).
As our Presiding Bishop Michael Curry preached in his Pentecost sermon Sunday morning, we are living in a time of not one, but two, pandemics:
"We really do observe this Pentecost in the midst of a pandemic. The pandemic of COVID-19 is real. It is painful. And we pray that scientists and researchers and all of the folk who are working hard will find a way to bring this pandemic to an end. But there's another pandemic, not of the viral kind, but of the spiritual kind. It is a pandemic of the human spirit, when our lives are focused on ourselves, when the self becomes the center of the world and of the universe. It is a pandemic of self-centeredness. And it may be even more destructive than a virus."
This spiritual pandemic, the pandemic of the human spirit, is real and powerful and destructive. And yet, this pandemic does not have the last word. Injustice does not have the last word. Hatred does not have the last word. Hopelessness does not have the last word. Fear does not have the last word.
As 1 John tells us, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them … there is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear” (1 John 4:16, 18). Our response to God’s love is love: to love God and to love our neighbor. This is the way of the cross, of the sacrificial, life-giving love of Christ; once again, it all goes back to love.
We are a people of the Book, as witnessed by our devotion to holy scripture. As people of faith, we don’t merely lift up our book of sacred texts and brandish it for public show, but we open it, read it, mark it, inwardly digest it, and allow the revelation of God’s love that is between the covers to illuminate and guide every step we take, either down a street, or across a park.
Following in the way of Jesus, proclaiming the truth of God’s love for all creation, and living a Spirit-filled life of justice and compassion is not easy. We give thanks, however, that the God in whom we live and move and have our being will lead, guide, and empower us each step of the way. This summer, and beyond, we recommit ourselves to living this way of God and sharing God’s healing love with the world.
We remember in prayer George Floyd and all other lives lost needlessly before him. As we discern where the Spirit may lead, please pray with us:
"Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart, and especially the hearts of the people of this land, that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."
(Book of Common Prayer, page 823)
God’s peace be with you.
The Very Rev. Kristin C. Kopren, Rector
The Rev. Deacon Michael Coburn
(mailing address: PO Box 1090):
367 State Road 344, Edgewood, NM
3.4 miles N of I-40 | 2 miles S of Frost Rd.
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