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Our Parish and Our Plan

“And you also, as living stones, are being built up into spiritual temples and holy Priests to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable before God by Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter2:5)

An Expanding Mission

Holy Cross was founded in 2006 by families who wanted an Orthodox church in the Triad area that offered services in English, and which would be accessible and welcoming to newcomers and faithful from all ethnic and cultural groups. We had a desire to be an outreach-oriented parish that would draw people into the Church who were also interested in learning more about the Orthodox faith.

Based on those early efforts, we now offer the full liturgical worship that is the foundation of Orthodox life. From an initial group of 25 people, we have grown to 100+ people attending Divine Liturgy. We provide classes for inquirers and catechumens, and have baptized and chrismated 74 new members of the faithful since our founding. We have a large number of children who benefit from our educational and social activities, including our new youth group for teens. We continue to see new folks arrive and engage in all areas of parish life. By the grace of God, Holy Cross Orthodox Church continues to emulate this passage from the New Testament: “And the Lord added to their number day by day” (Acts 2:47).

As the parish has grown, the need for space has become increasingly pressing. Overcrowding is a blessed but persistent inconvenience during both worship and fellowship hour. Sadly, some visitors and even a few regular worshippers have chosen to worship elsewhere as a consequence. As renters, furthermore, our continued use of the present limited space is always at risk.

This is why, at the annual parish meeting in 2013, parishioners voted unanimously to purchase land in Kernersville, in an excellent central Triad location. This initiated a process of establishing Holy Cross in its own building, where it can continue to grow and have a wider impact. His Eminence Archbishop Nikon blessed the property soon thereafter. Through personal donations, income from our devoted Coliseum volunteers, and assistance from the Diocese, the land has been fully paid off. Also, important preliminary building requirements such as the survey, geological report, and engineering site plan have been completed, ensuring that the land will be suitable for our new church.

In addition to purchasing land, the Parish Council organized a series of listening sessions in 2014, in which many of you which many of you participated. From these we developed a list of hopes about our future life together, including ways of improving social opportunities, education for children and adults, reaching out to others both within the parish and in the larger community, using tools of communication and technology well, and facilitating engagement with our Orthodox liturgical services. The Parish Council has worked to begin adopting these suggestions as far as possible, and further improvements will become easier in a new and larger facility.

Project Description

Our goal is to build both church and fellowship hall at the same time, so that we will be able to enjoy a full parish life in the new facilities as soon as they are built. The proposed church will accommodate 250 worshippers*, and its design will reflect the breadth of Orthodox heritage reflected in our diverse membership. The fellowship hall will feature sit-down dining for 200 people, along with restrooms, classrooms, an office, and a kitchen suitable for shared community meals and events. The new interior spaces will include essential furnishings and equipment, with opportunities in future years to add iconography. Outside, we hope to build a fenced playground, along with parking and landscaping which enhance the property’s accessibility and beauty.


* Our goal of accommodating 250 worshippers, established in prior parish conversations, is based on our understanding from conversations with experienced Orthodox clergy that this is the maximum number of parishioners a single priest can shepherd well.

Funding: Giving

We recognize that this is a large sum of money for our community. To be good stewards of what is entrusted to us, and to maintain a sound financial footing for the long-term well-being of our community, we have made a careful effort to assess how much could possibly be raised through personal, sacrificial, and biblical giving according to each household’s ability, then to determine what may need to be borrowed. We conducted a formal assessment in July and August 2015 with the invaluable help of Anthony Scott of Stewardship Associates, using surveys; the responses of 65 adult parishioners were represented in the 43 surveys which were completed.

According to the report accompanying our survey results, the great majority of Holy Cross parishioners who responded felt that the time was right to build a church, and indicated that they would pledge to contribute. A survey question which asked respondents to estimate the amount they might be able to pledge during the three-year campaign was answered by two-thirds of respondents, with amounts totaling over $350,000.

It is vital before starting a building project that we have a realistic financial plan for completing the project. Our plan for funding will include the following components:

  • Funds raised through past contributions and ongoing fundraisers: currently these funds total $54,400.
  • Gifts and pledges from members and friends of Holy Cross Orthodox Church in a capital campaign. Gifts and pledges will be solicited during November 2015, and may be paid over three years until the end of 2018.

A successful capital campaign depends on gifts both large and small; however, to meet its goal, it is essential that several families or individuals make significant contributions to the campaign. With that in mind, the chart below illustrates the likely size and number of gifts needed for a successful Holy Cross building campaign. Even though gifts at these higher levels are unprecedented in our parish history, many Orthodox churches do in fact receive gifts of such magnitude when a building project is needed and is well-planned.

Funding: Borrowing

We have opportunities to borrow funds, but these will only be accessed following a campaign to receive gifts and pledges from church members and friends. The more we borrow, the greater the burden placed upon the parish’s ability to finance programs and ministries through our operating budget in years to come. Our borrowing opportunities include:

  • Equity in land already owned by Holy Cross Orthodox Church (considered by banks in qualifying us for a loan).
  • A commercial loan (initially a construction loan, which will be converted to a mortgage upon completion of the building); we have already determined that a bank will likely loan us up to $400,000, assuming that stewardship contributions remain steady. To make this loan payment easier, the OCA Diocese of the South offers a Managed Debt Program, in which it makes the payments for a parish’s building loan. The parish makes payments to the Diocese, which may be smaller than the lender’s monthly payment, making it easier for the parish to transition to a new higher level of expenditures.
  • “Church-friendly loans” to Holy Cross, guaranteed by the Diocese, which are loans made by parishioners and friends at terms which allow below-market-rate borrowing by the church and earn above-market-rate interest for the lender.
  • A Line of Credit of up to $200,000 offered by the Diocese as additional loan help.

A Time to Build

We believe the time is right to come together as a parish family and make our own Holy Cross church building a reality. A building campaign lasts a relatively short time in the lifetime of a parish, but its impact will be long-lasting. We ask you to consider carefully and prayerfully what your response will be.

Project Cost

The estimated cost of building a church and fellowship hall on our land is $1.3 million, distributed as follows:

Site preparation:

$309,700

Church:

$561,800

Community space:

$447,800

The Capital Campaign Gift Chart

Gift amount

Number of gifts

Total gifts at this level

$150,000

1

$150,000

$50,000

2

$100,000

$30,000

4

$120,000

$15,000

7

$105,000

$10,000

7

$70,000

$7,200

8

$57,600

$5,000

10

$50,000

under $5,000

Many

$97,400

Goal for all pledges

$750,000


Some church photos

Holy Cross Orthodox Church · www.holycrossoca.org