We are at the end of February and moving into late winter and early spring! We are also about two months of Holy Cross in the Historic Third Ward! This means that we have hit a stride and more activities and events are being planned. Please read carefully the many announcements below and plan on being part of our fellowship and worship times!
I want to thank Holy Cross for allowing me to serve on the vestry in 2021. I have stepped off of the vestry to focus on my ordination process and serving Holy Cross in a ministry capacity and not a governing capacity. Our current vestry is now Helene (Sr. Warden), Mandi (Jr. Warden), Denzil (Treasurer), and Max. Let us continually lift them up in prayer as they govern our church in its temporal needs, particularly as we begin the process with the diocese to look for a priest to serve as a vicar for us.
Here is my Junior Warden Report for 2021 . . .
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”Proverbs 3:5-6
The past few years have been a rollercoaster for all of us. As individuals, as families, as a society, as a church. While 2020 was challenging because of the pandemic. 2021 was even more challenging for our church. While we were able to worship together throughout 2021, we still grappled with the waves of the pandemic and its impact on us; our beloved former rector, Father Malone, had and continues to have a health crisis. He resigned.
In 2021 we grieved together as we have seen our brothers and sisters in Christ lose beloved family members (Judith Perdina and Esther Pogachnik). We have mourned with those within our body that have lost friends and family. We gained new friends with a loving assisting priest in Rev. Yehoshua Odidi that has helped us through the absence of Father Malone. We prayed and cared for those who were ill, went in and out of the hospital, and had health needs. We rejoiced with new members (Benjamin and Kiera Rasmussen), confirmations (Michael, Amanda, and Samuel Rasmussen), a baptism (Liam Rasmussen). We celebrated and fellowshipped together in picnics, anniversary and vow renewals, and holidays. We reached out to families in need outside of the church and provided and prayed for them. 2021 was a time of laughter, weeping, fun, service, and preparation for the future.
In April of last year, the Bishop challenged the vestry to develop a bold strategic plan for the church to move forward with the Kingdom of God and halt the retreat we have seen in numbers over the years. He stated we needed to take action and move forward. And that we did. We came up with a bold strategic plan to start an extension of Holy Cross into Milwaukee’s Third Ward. The Bishop loved it.
Originally the plan was an extension to have a Saturday evening service in addition to the Sunday service in Brookfield. To reach into the heart of Milwaukee. That was the plan. But God had a different plan for us. Father Malone went into a health leave of absence/sabbatical to address his health concerns. This led to his unfortunate resignation. The plan had to be adjusted. We could not support two services and locations without a rector. We had to change the plan. We boldly came together as a body of Christ and moved our beloved Holy Cross into the Third Ward of Milwaukee. We did so in unity together. Unfortunately, we lost our dear friends, the Wendelbergers, in the process. But we remain in good fellowship and contact with them.
Holy Cross is a tough and resilient Church. It has been through a lot over the years, from the trials of the end of St. Edmunds through the years that followed up to the present. We have shown that we are a body of Christ that is resilient, withstands, and holds firm ground to the truth. We have also demonstrated that we are an agile church. We adapt and move forward; we do not give in to defeat. We hold our ground. We are also a church of integrity. We believe and hold firm to the truth in the Word of God.
Integrity, resilience, and agility are all great words that define the character of Holy Cross Anglican Church. While we have been on the defensive for years, we now are equipping and building for an offensive movement to advance the Kingdom of God in the greater Milwaukee area.
Let us move forward in unity in the context of the mission and vision found on our church website:
“We are a fellowship of believers that meets in the Historic Third Ward and actively ministers to the surrounding neighborhoods, downtown, and to the nearby college campuses. Holy Cross is modeled after a traditional Anglican parish church. Our focus is to be a connected and integrated part of the community of Milwaukee. We are a visible church through our people and clergy: one that is active in building relationships, ministering to people in need, building fellowship, and being visibly part of the Milwaukee community and its activities. Our neighbors should know we are here for them and our desire to minister and be part of their lives. Our mission is to disciple and baptize believers and share the Good News of the Gospel in all that we do with our neighbors throughout Milwaukee and the World. This is the great commission given to us by our Lord Jesus Christ . . .www.HolyCrossMKE.org
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19-20
I do not have the decades of history with this church that some families do. But I am certainly proud to be part of this church, its future and serve alongside so many wonderful people. Thank you for letting me serve beside you and being part of Holy Cross Anglican Church and its vision. Let us see together what 2022 brings us as we work together for the Kingdom of Christ, our Lord.
In His Love and Service,
Michael Rasmussen, Junior Warden 2021
- Shrove Tuesday & Ash Wednesday. We will be having two events next week to conclude our season of Epiphany and begin our season of Lent:
- Shrove Tuesday – Pancake Tuesday – March 1st. In the spirit of our Anglican heritage, we will load up on carbs by eating pancakes at Sweet Diner (239 East Chicago Street) at 8:00 a.m. for a time of fellowship and fun as we prepare for Lent.
- Ash Wednesday – March 2nd. We will be having an Ash Wednesday service following the 1662 Commination Service to start our season of Lent together. This will be at Michael and Amanda’s (336 North Milwaukee St, #506) at 6:30 p.m.
- Bible Studies and Small Groups. The next month will see two Small Groups started . . .
- Exploring Meaning in Tolkien’s Middle-Earth. This is starting on March 8th, at 6:00 p.m. at Wizard Works Brewing in the Third Ward (231 E. Buffalo Street, Lower Level).
- Wednesday Bible Study & Evening Prayer. This is starting on March 9th at 6:30 p.m. at Michael and Amanda’s (336 North Milwaukee St, #506).
- Hawaiian Luau – March 19th. Yes, we will be having a time of fellowship as we finish the cold winter by focusing on tropical thoughts!. We will be having a fellowship Luau with yummy Hawaiian food and fun! This will be starting at 5:00 p.m. at Michael and Amanda’s (336 North Milwaukee St, #506).
- Visit by Bishop Dobbs. Our Bishop will be visiting and worshiping with us on March 27th. Please put this on your calendars for this special time. The Bishop will be doing confirmations on this visit of Benji and Kiera.
- Holy Week Services. We are planning a Tenebrae Service for Wednesday (April 13th), a Maundy Thursday Service for Thursday (April 14th), and Stations of the Cross and Good Friday Service (April 15th).
- Podcasts are LIVE!!! Our sermon podcasts are available on both Apple Podcasts and Google Podcasts (as well as on Facebook and www.HolyCrossMKE.org)