April 12, 2014 at 3:25 PM
The Episcopal Church of the Holy Cross has been a North Plainfield landmark for almost 150 years. It is a beautiful and treasured example of Carpenter Gothic architecture at 40 Mercer Ave. between Grove and Washington. The numbers of cars parked outside during Sunday services at both 8 and 10 AM show that it is a lively parish.
What many may not know, however, is that Holy Cross is a welcoming, diverse family of parishioners who work in many different ways to reach out to the community at large. Betty's Basement is a thrift shop that sells clothing, household items, toys, etc. at bargain prices. Plus, there is a free book for every child who comes through the door. Neighbors Feeding Neighbors provides food support on the second Sunday of the month at 1 p,m,, and all are welcome. Also on the second Sunday of the month there is the Men's Breakfast where you can chow down on some excellent pancakes, find out about all of the programs Holy Cross has to offer, and discuss any subject under the sun. There is a liberal helping of tolerance, fellowship, and laughter served up at every event at Holy Cross.
At Holy Cross you can drop off food to benefit the local food bank; you can drop off "dead" cell phones or smartphones which will be donated to the Resource Center of Somerset which reaches out to victims of domestic violence. Watch for advertisements about our International Festival in June, inviting the community to sample an amazing variety of ethnic food as well as fun and fellowship. In November, the Holiday Boutique offers food and crafts from a wide variety of local artisans.
Holy Cross is in the process of developing a program of outreach to young mothers. Currently, the parish is collecting books for the children at James Monroe Elementary School in Edison, recently destroyed by fire. The parish hopes to create free SAT/ACT tutoring sessions for North Plainfield High School students.
Each newcomer to Holy Cross is warmly welcomed by an usher and given a gift bag containing info about the church and a sweetie, among other things. All are invited to the coffee pause after the 10 AM service. The congregation is a warm family that offers tolerance, support, and fellowship in an uncertain and often frightening world.
Easter Sunday services are especially wonderful. The flowers are lovely, and the choir, though small, is mighty. The music is particularly is particularly inspiring. An amazing Easter Brunch and Easter Egg Hunt follows the 10 am service.