By Hal Hayes, Holy Cross member
Holy Cross Anglican became a parish after worshiping through the Lenten period of 2007 as a home church. Under the leadership of Bishop Jesus Huertas and Father Jonathan Pietschman, we continued to worship at various locations until September of 2007 when we moved into the Chapel at the Bennett Funeral Home in Midlothian, Virginia. In the spring of 2008 we petitioned CANA for parish status. Under the guidance of Bishop David Bena and Cannon Julian Dobbs, we were accepted into CANA and the Anglican District of Virginia in June of that year.
While the congregation is small with an average Sunday attendance of twenty-five, we are diverse generationally and ethnically. Our ages run from 1+ to over 80. On May 22, 2011, our beloved founding Pastor, Father Jon, retired. He has been succeeded by Father Douglas Kimemia. Father Douglas and his family are from Kenya, and he is completing his doctoral work at Virginia Commonwealth University. In addition to the Douglas family, we have a member from Puerto Rico, one from Jamaica and one from Nigeria.
On this past Pentecost Sunday, the reading from Acts 2 was shared by Ampy Key (in Spanish – Puerto Rico), Faith Kimemia (her native dialect of Kenya) and Emanuel Onalaja (in his native dialect of Nigeria). Thus emulating the gathering with the disciples where everyone heard the message in their native tongue.
We have our own inside joke telling people to come and worship with us as we can “baptize you, confirm you, marry you and bury you without leaving the building.” As the only Anglican presence under the Anglican Church of North America and the Anglican Diocese of the mid-Atlantic in Chesterfield County, we look forward eagerly to how God will use Holy Cross to spread the Gospel in our community.
Those pictured are: Amp Key (Puerto Rico - Spanish), Monica Wells (Jamaica - English), Kathy Cantrell (USA - English), Father Douglas Kimemia (Kenya), Faith Kimemia (Kenya - African dialect). Not pictured but reading - Emmanuel Onalaja (Nigeria - African dialect).