Learning and Formation for the congregation is offered on Sundays after the 9:00 service (except during the summer) and runs until 10:45.

  • Preschool and kindergarten students use the Montessori-based curriculum Godly Play, which incorporates storytelling and self-directed learning through art and play.
  • Godly Play continues in first and second grade with a more in-depth look at the people and the history of the Old Testament. Students at this level also begin learning the skill of finding chapters and verses in the Bible.
  • Third-through-fifth graders use the "Living the Good News" curriculum and focus on one or more of the readings from the day’s service. They also discuss how the teachings in Scripture relate to their everyday lives.
  • Middle school students meet for Sunday school after the 9:00 service. Next year, they will begin Rite 13. These young parishioners will reflect on their relationship with God as they actively serve the community.
  • We are exploring using Journey to Adulthood (J2A) with the junior high school students next year; they will begin to reflect on their relationships with God as they serve the community.
  • Our senior high class will be a combination confirmation class and senior high formation. The formation topics will be based on books and discussions that explore the transition to adulthood in the Episcopal Church.

Adults have several options for Christian education at Holy Cross.

  • The HC Scholars Program offers 16 presentations each academic year, on roughly alternate Sundays and repeating on selected Wednesday evenings. Themes (Early Christianity and Anglicanism; Old Testament; New Testament; and Comparative Theology) are covered in modules that let participants self-pace and choose their depth of study. The Scholars Program requires no homework and recognizes those who attend regularly.
  • On Sunday mornings when the Scholars Program does not meet, adults enjoy lectures on spiritual topics or discuss the lectionary readings further.
  • A weekly Bible Study takes place on Wednesday mornings. Participants first review the Scripture readings for the coming Sunday, then meet as a book club to discuss a selected book on a religious or spiritual topic, such as The Historical Figure of Jesus by E.P. Sanders.

Vacation Bible School meets each evening for one week in the summer, allowing families with working parents a chance to attend. Kid-friendly dinners precede the fun learning. This year’s theme was Giving and Receiving God’s Love.

Dr. Elaine Pagels speaking at the Holy Cross public lecture series
Dr. Elaine Pagels takes questions from the audience during her presentation at Holy Cross.

Holy Cross hosts a public lecture series, endowed by a parishioner, featuring nationally recognized scholars and authors on matters spiritual and sometimes controversial. These lectures draw an audience from the community and nearby Virginia Theological Seminary, as well as from our own parish. A lively question-and-answer period always follows the lecture. Some recent guests include:

  • Dr. Elaine Pagels, Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion at Princeton University. The recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship, she is best known for her studies and writing on the Gnostic Gospels.
  • Dr. John Dominic Crossan, New Testament scholar and former co-chair of “The Jesus Seminar,” historian of early Christianity, and former Catholic priest who has written more than 40 scholarly and popular works.
  • Virginia Theological Seminary Professor Robert Prichard, who spoke on the religious and spiritual roots of the Episcopal Church.
  • The Rev. Dr. A. Katherine Grieb, professor of New Testament at Virginia Theological Seminary, speaking on "Jesus: The Gospel of God."

All of life is a spiritual pilgrimage, but there is a special sense of community in a tangible journey with fellow parishioners. Holy Cross has participated in several pilgrimages, both local and international.

  • Holy Cross has an annual Advent retreat that focuses on slowing down and preparing our hearts for Christmas. One of the most memorable ones was a pilgrimage at the National Cathedral, a day of silent meditation followed by a walking meditation.
  • On three occasions, the congregation has blessed groups of parishioners who embarked on 14 days of study in the Holy Land, joining others from around the world in one of the 22 annual courses at St. George’s College Jerusalem.

We have benefited from and contributed to seminarian training and have developed a strong reputation as a desirable field education site for students at nearby Virginia Theological Seminary.