about holy cross

A special thank you to Christopher Orr for writing the content for this page.

img


Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church church

We are a community of Orthodox Christians struggling to 'work out our own salvation with fear and trembling' (cf. Philippians 2:12). We are Greeks, Cypriots and non-Greeks; American converts to the Orthodox Christian faith and our children; immigrants from various nations and our children and grandchildren.


We live, teach and worship according to the traditions (cf.
II Thessalonians 2:15) of the ancient, apostolic churches of the eastern Mediterranean evangelized by the Apostles in the first century AD, as documented in the New Testament book of The Acts of the Apostles.


We worship in both Greek and English

  • - Greek (the ancient world's lingua franca or 'common tongue'), to preserve and celebrate the language of the Septuagint Old Testament and the New Testament, the Church's Ecumenical Councils and many of her theologians and saints, as well as the immigrant founders of this parish.

  • - English (the lingua franca or 'common tongue' of this parish, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, the diverse peoples of North America, and the world today), in obedience to the biblical commands to "pray with understanding" and to "teach all nations" (1 Corinthians 14:15, Matthew 28:19).


HISTORY

Our parish was founded in 1979 and dedicated to the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (see below). We are under the authority of our American-born bishop, His Eminence, Metropolitan Savas (Zembillas) of Pittsburgh.
.Our diocese, the Metropolis of Pittsburgh, is an integral part of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, which is a provincial synod (eparchy) of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople based in the modern-day city of Istanbul, Turkey.

(Constantinople - also named "New Rome" - was founded in 324 AD by the Emperor St. Constantine the Great on the site of the ancient Greek city of Byzantium as the new, Christian capital of the Roman Empire. This Christian Roman Empire endured in the East until its capital fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD - long after "Old Rome" and the western Roman Empire had fallen.)


Mission Statement

"The mission of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America" - and therefore the mission of Holy Cross in Stroudsburg – "is to proclaim the Gospel of Christ, to teach and spread the Orthodox Christian Faith, to energize, cultivate, and guide the life of the Church in the United States of America according to the Orthodox Christian Faith and Tradition."

"The Greek Orthodox Church in America sanctifies the faithful through divine worship, especially the Holy Eucharist and other Sacraments, building the spiritual and ethical life of the faithful in accordance with the Holy Scriptures, Sacred Tradition, the doctrines and canons of the Ecumenical and local Councils, the canons of the Holy Apostles and the Fathers of the Church and of all other Councils recognized by the Orthodox Church." Our mission is to serve "as a beacon, carrier, and witness of the message of Christ to all persons who live in the United States of America, through divine worship, preaching, teaching, and living of the Orthodox Christian Faith."


Our Parish Feast: The Exaltation of the Cross

Exaltation of the CrossOur church is dedicated to the Feast of the Exaltation of the Venerable and Life-Giving Cross (September 14), which commemorates the rediscovery of the wood of the Cross upon which the God-man, Jesus Christ, was crucified.

The Reading for our patronal feast day tells us: "Saint Helen, the mother of Saint Constantine the Great, when she was already advanced in years, undertook, in her great piety, the hardships of a journey to Jerusalem in search of the cross, about the year 325. A temple to Aphrodite had been raised up by the Emperor Hadrian upon Golgotha, to defile and cover with oblivion the place where the saving Passion had been suffered. The venerable Helen had the statue of Aphrodite destroyed, and the earth removed, revealing the Tomb of our Lord, and three crosses. Of these, it was believed that one must be that of our Lord, the other two of the thieves crucified with Him; but Saint Helen was at a loss which one might be the Wood of our salvation. At the inspiration of Saint Macarius, Archbishop of Jerusalem, a lady of Jerusalem, who was already at the point of death from a certain disease, was brought to touch the crosses, and as soon as she came near to the Cross of our Lord, she was made perfectly whole. Consequently, the precious Cross was lifted on high by Archbishop Macarius of Jerusalem; as he stood on the ambo, and when the people beheld it, they cried out, "Lord have mercy." It should be noted that after its discovery, a portion of the venerable Cross was taken to Constantinople as a blessing. The rest was left in Jerusalem in the magnificent church built by Saint Helen, until the year 614. At that time, the Persians plundered Palestine and took the Cross to their own country (see Jan. 22, Saint Anastasius the Persian). Late, in the year 628, Emperor Heraclius set out on a military campaign, retrieved the Cross, and after bringing it to Constantinople, himself escorted it back to Jerusalem, where he restored it to its place."

Holy Cross Greek Orthodox Church   |   135 Stokes Avenue, Stroudsburg, PA 18360   |   570-421-5734   |   holycrosspoconos@gmail.com