Holy Cross has been a pilgrim congregation since its beginning. Having started as a mission in 1986, the congregation has never built its own building. Holy Cross has worshipped in a deli, next to animal rescues, and for the last eight years, rented in a business park in Bressi Ranch, a section of Carlsbad. Holy Cross is making a bold step to move out of our current building in Carlsbad. I am pleased to announce that for the next six months, Holy Cross will be space sharing with Oceanside Sanctuary as we explore a more fulsome revisioning and relocating process.
We look forward to having short term solution for administrative and worship—livestreaming and possibly in-person—as well as possibly reigniting some of our outreach ministries that have lain fallow during the pandemic. The ability to carry on our mission while forgoing our current building is a gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are deeply grateful for the leadership of Oceanside Sanctuary’s hospitality, particularly lead pastor Jason Coker, to us as sojourners in such a time as this. Holy Cross’s new Lenten journey is one filled with hope and possibility as we can now freely contemplate a true Spirit-led future!
While Holy Cross has had a great benefit from many aspects of our building in Bressi Ranch, recent financial constraints were compounded by COVID. In these circumstances, our total monthly spending for the building—a little over $10,000—became untenable. The loss of our sublease with the congregation B’nai Tikvah, with whom we shared worship space, in the first quarter of 2020 was one aspect of that. Much had changed very quickly when I began as vicar last April. The following June, the Bishop’s Committee, with Bishop Susan’s consent, sought a six-month termination of our lease with Greene Properties. We heard little on this subject from them until late January, offering us a reasonable buy-out versus the length of our lease, which would have ended in March of 2022.
Nonetheless, by the example of our past relationship with congregation B’nai Tikvah, it is that very ability to share space, share worship experiences, and to share in mission that gives me such optimism for Holy Cross as we begin this new relationship with Oceanside Sanctuary. Pastor Jason Coker and I share a deep care for mission, and in particular the ways that community organizing can help disciples make tangible changes for those on the margins of society. As we look for a longer-term solution for our own facility needs, we hope to engage multiple resources in giving Holy Cross the best choices possible as we discern God’s ever transformative call on this community. Our congregational tagline, “Open Minds, Open Arms,” guides us in embracing the possibilities every step of this journey.
In listening to the Spirit,
The Rev. Richard Hogue
Vicar of Holy Cross Episcopal Church
A Message from the Bishop
This morning, I presided at the last Eucharist in Holy Cross’ rented office space in Carlsbad, and then deconsecrated the building. The move out of their space was the right step financially, but more importantly, I believe it is a courageous step in mission. The congregation will spend the next few months discerning God’s mission for this pilgrim congregation, and praying for God’s guidance for the next part of their journey. I am proud of the strong leadership, by Vicar Richard Hogue, Senior Warden Karen Sanchez, and the members of the Bishop’s Committee, that has led Holy to take this step of faith. I am confident that God will lead this courageous congregation to discern how best to follow Jesus into new life. I ask the diocese to join me in praying for Holy Cross on its journey:
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of Holy Cross, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
+Susan Brown Snook