Thursday, May 29, 2014

The incredible, shrinking denomination, part two (for today)

CUMBERLAND, MARYLAND: Holy Cross-St. Philip’s Episcopal Church closing
Congregation will hold last service June 15

By Matthew Bieniek
Cumberland Times-News
May 27, 2014

An Episcopal church with important historical roots in the community will be closing its doors next month.

Holy Cross-St. Philip’s Episcopal Churchwas a merger of two mission congregations — Holy Cross, a mission church for immigrants, and St. Philip’s Chapel, a congregation for freed blacks after the Civil War. Those two congregations merged in 1966, creating a diverse congregation of people of many ethnic backgrounds.

“We see it as a resurrection of sorts ... taking on new life in a different form,” said the Rev. Theresa M. Brion, the vicar of the church. Brion said the history of the church reflects such transformations. “There’s a cycle of life,” Brion said.

The congregation will hold its last service June 15 at the church on the corner of Brookfield and Greenway avenues. “We see it as a service of celebration,” said Brion. The 9:30 a.m. service will be followed by a potluck meal. The current church was consecrated in 1961.

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