This summer, we are spending eight weeks in the book of Ephesians. Each Sunday our sermons will take us through Paul's letter to the church in Ephesus, as we look at what it means to be a follower of Jesus in today's world. Come grow together with us at Holy Cross this summer!

Week 8 - "Armored"

Week 8 - Sunday, August 23rd - Ephesians 6:10-20 "Armored" Download the Small Group Study Guide here / Download the Leader's Guide Here

WEEK 7 - "Realigned"

Thursday, August 27th - Ephesians 5:18-6:4 "Realigned"

We are coming to the end of our series in the Book of Ephesians, and in the final chapter Paul brings to us the practical realities of our life in Christ.

As we are Growing Together into Christ, we have been changed by God through his grace and his blessing. And this change affects all of our relationships, whether as spouses or as children or as parents or in our communities.

So how will you grow in your identity in Christ? How will you allow your identity to affect your relationships? Paul’s says in Ephesians 4:23-24that we are to be “renewed in the spirit of [our] minds, and to put on the new self.” It’s time to continue being renewed, and renewing our minds and putting on our new self takes some work, some intentional growing.

I’d like to share a few more immediate opportunities for you (and us) to grow (together) in your identity in Christ and to let it begin to permeate your relationships.

For All: Life Groups (midweek and Sunday mornings) are places where we grow in relationships with other Christians and knowledge of his word.

For Men: Our Holy Cross Men’s Hike is an incredibly fun opportunity to walk with God for a weekend with other men, to ask God questions, and to listen as he speaks.

For Women: Three excellent women’s life groups are available to renew your mind and your relationships: Sunday Morning (10:10 a.m. Sullivan’s; led by Daynna Wolf); Tuesdays Daniel Island (7 p.m. Anna Smith;; Wednesdays Isle of Palms (9 a.m. Wild Dunes; Christine Donavan,

For Youth: Next Gen Ministries — our youth ministry — is a place to belong, to be in community, to know God’s word, and to speak to God in prayer. 

-The Rev. Trevor Spencer

Week 7 - Sunday, August 23rd - Ephesians 5:18-6:4 "Realigned"

Week 6 - "Filled"

Thursday, August 20th- Ephesians 5:1-21 "Filled"

Ephesians 5:1-21, from this past Sunday's lesson, says "Walk in love..."  How in the world will that happen this week?  I've got too much to do on my task list. I've got too many people that I need to connect with. My kids have had too much summer fun (and sugar!) to even think about sitting at schoolwork. And I've got to get it all done BECAUSE I have to keep my job and make sure everyone is happy. 

Walk in love... how will it ever work?

Ephesians reminds us that "growing together" doesn't happen because we choose to overcome -- but because He overcame! We are blessed, rooted, and united in relationship with Jesus (the only spiritual teacher to come back from the dead!) and it's his power that we can rely on to get us through. How? 

The Gospel is the good news Paul is pointing to as the source for living life. Because of Jesus life, death, and resurrection there are four new realities: 

1 - We are Adopted! We God's children! We are not infants tossing on the waves... alone and on our own in the world. God himself has brought us into the family. He's backing us up! 

2 - We are Loved! We walk in love as Christ loved us... not selfishly thinking we need to fend for ourselves... we can look to Jesus self sacrificial love and realize it will never run out! 

3 - We are Sanctified! We are fully cleansed and have nothing to hide. Amazing grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me! There is nothing that can be revealed about me that Christ hasn't already died for. There's no shame in being a sinner... because we have a great Savior! 

4 - We are Filled! Adopted, Loved, Sanctified... those are the realities of who we are. But God doesn't just leave us with a definition to learn! He gives us real courage by living with us, sending His very own presence to walk with us, giving us His own power to live. 

How do I walk in love?  I look to Jesus and how He defines me... and when I struggle... I ask for help from the one who is right there with me.

-The Rev. Greg Smith

Week 5 - "Renewed"

Thursday, August 13th- Ephesians 4:17-5:2 "Renewed"

Who are you imitating?

Someone once said: “Children have never been good at listening to their elders, but they have never failed to imitate them.” That’s so true, isn’t it?! Perhaps you remember as a child being mortified by your parent’s mannerisms, actions, political beliefs, hobbies etc. Maybe you swore that you would never be like them! And yet, as the years have gone by, you have discovered that you like to do the things they do. You use some of the same facial expressions or sayings that they use. And, heaven forbid, you even vote for the same political party!

In our reading from Ephesians this past Sunday, the apostle Paul wrote: “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children.” Just as children copy their parents, so we are to copy our Father God. If you won’t take Paul’s word for it, how about Jesus’? In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says: “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” (Matt 5:48, The Message).

And what is that God-created identity? Well, it’s as beloved children! Adopted sons and daughters. Children who know that their identity is that of being loved by their parents will want to follow their parent’s ways out of love more than fear. And this kind of imitation will produce good fruit for many years, and perhaps generations, to come.

So, imitate God. Read, mark, and inwardly digest his word, and then live it out! Perhaps begin by reading through a gospel and seeing how Jesus lived. Then follow the pattern he gave to his disciples for a gospel shaped life, and see where he takes you as he calls you to grow up into him.

We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul.

-The Rev. Jonathan Bennett

Week 5 - Sunday, August 9th - Ephesians 4:17-5:2 "Renewed" - Download the Small Group Study Guide here

Week 4: "Equipped"

Thursday, August 6th-Ephesians 4:1-7, 11-16 "Equipped"

How will you serve?That’s the big question of the week. In our sermon series on Ephesians, our theme for the week was “equipped”!

As Christians — every person who has put their trust and faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of their sins — we are to be equipped for the work of ministry. (Ephesians 4:12) How will you build up the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:12) so that we all — together — may reach maturity (Ephesians 4:13)?

For some, the idea that you’re called to be "ministers" is a new aspect to God’s grace in your life. And your clergy ask, “what do you want to do? What are your gifts and passions? How can we equip you for the work of ministry??

Do you want to feed and minister to the hungry? Do you want exercise a ministry of hospitality? Are you an artist? Do you want to engage children in their growing faith? Do you want to lead on Sunday mornings? Do you exercise compassion for the sick? Do you want to sing? Do you repair stuff? Are you a cook?

The possibilities are endless. I encourage you to ask the Lord, “What would you like me to do? How will you use my gifts?” And see what He says.

More importantly, as you walk that out, you can see what He does through you.

Your clergy are here to help you engage in this ministry to which God’s called you. In the next few weeks, we might ask you this question again. And we encourage you to let us know so that we can help you and EQUIP you for this work.

We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul.

-The Reverend Trevor Spencer

Week 3 - "Rooted"

Thursday, July 30th -Ephesians 3:14-21 "Rooted"

Sunday was great!! In Ephesians 3 we talked about Christ's love for us... but now it's midway through the week and life just isn't turning out the way I hoped. This is reality! Paul, stuck in prison when writing Ephesians, knows the challenges of life -- and yet he has hope! How? He prays for a knowledge that surpasses knowledge... something so deep and rooted inside of us that despite the bending forces of the gale force problems of today... we will have what it takes to hang on. He asks for God's help -- acknowledging that he doesn't have what it takes in his own strength. 

And that's the amazing thing about the Gospel. It isn't that we have to reach out for the Love of Christ... it isn't that we have to meditate our way into the Love of Christ... it isn't that we have to force it to the front of our mind. The Good News is that Jesus, the very love of Christ, comes for us. All we have to do is stop running and let Him do His work of loving!

Just look at the trajectory from Ephesians chapter 1.  The divine intimacy echoes progressively from Christ and His work on the Cross and into our lives: Christ is seated above us (Eph. 1:20–22), then we are seated beside him (Eph. 2:6), then we rest upon him (Eph. 2:20), then he indwells us (Eph. 3:17), then he fills us (Eph. 3:19).

You see -- it isn't about us being "able"... it's about Him "who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think"... which includes getting us through today, no matter how it turns out. 

We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul.

-The Reverend Greg Smith

Week 2 - "United"

Thursday, July 23rd - Ephesians 2:1-13, 19-22 "United"

How do we grow more mature as followers of Jesus? Well, one way is through the help of other followers of Jesus. When we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior, God doesn't say "Okay. Off you go. You're on your own now!" No. He joins us together into the household of God. He gives us other believers to support us and help us grow. And yet, so many of us still choose to try and go it alone. However, we need brothers and sisters on the journey. Not just to make it through, but so that we grow up into Christ along the way.

The famous 19th Century evangelist D. L. Moody was visiting a prominent Chicago citizen when the idea of church membership and involvement came up. “I believe I can be just as good a Christian outside the church as I can be inside it,” the man said. Moody said nothing. Instead, he moved to the fireplace, blazing against the winter outside, removed one burning coal and placed it on the hearth. The two men sat together and watched the ember die out. “I see,” the other man said.

Do you 'see'? Are you trying to make it alone? Or do you have the regular love and support of other believers? People who know you and know how your journey is going.

We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul.

-The Rev. Jonathan Bennett

Week 1 - "Blessed"

Thursday, July 16th - Ephesians 1:1-14 "Blessed"
The Bible uses a number of metaphors for growing spiritually into mature Christians. There is the human child who should move from milk to solid food. There is the plant in which a seed is planted and grows to maturity. In both of these metaphors, neither the child nor the seed determines its origin. Both are established by something other than itself. As Christians, we acquire through faith what God has determined to provide for us. This is where we begin the Christian life.

In the book of Ephesians, Paul states that God “has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing.” If it is to be had in your spiritual life and you are a Christian, you have it. He “has” blessed you.

If you believe, then it has been given to you. This is good news. We are blessed by God completely. You are free to seek to understand this, to live into it, and to do that which grows you into maturity.

We’ll continue to explore how we Grow Together in our series in Ephesians this Sunday with more Biblical foundations from the Apostle Paul. If you missed last week, you can listen to the sermons from week 1 below. - The Rev. Trevor Spencer

Week 1 - Sunday, July 12th - Ephesians 1:1-14 "Blessed" - Download the Small Group Study Guide here