"WELCOME!"   That's a greeting we all like to hear!  It means we have been received in a kindly fashion,  as to one whose arrival gives pleasure.  Over the years not much changed with Mr. Rogers Neighborhood and Fred Rogers, who became a PBS legend.  When you think about it,  it was the same house, the same trolley to take you to a world of make believe, the same puppets and the same opening song. Every episode Mr. Rogers, with his signature  sweater and sneakers, always asked the same question in his song: “Would you like to be my neighbor?”

     WELCOME, NEIGHBOR!!  WELCOME, FRIEND!!  This month we celebrate friendship.  I expect we all have some close friends.  But probably more are distant, maybe due to miles,  or situations that set us apart for a time.  And if we are "private" people, we probably have just a few close friends.  I do not post on Facebook very much.  I'm not one to check out what's happening in the life of everyone who has friended me.  I hope I am a friendly character, but I don't think I have many close friends.

    I recently read:  "A friend is someone who knows the song in your heart, and can sing it back to you when you have forgotten the words."  We'll often sing,  "What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear ..." We celebrate those who come to us in difficult times, reminding us that we are loved in spite of actions or words that were made.  Real  friends share life with each other.  Even our God loves us so much He sent His Son to walk among the human race to have a closer relationship with us all.  Jesus, God's Son, became one of us!

      At Holy Cross we are called to be neighborly,  CARING!!  We are surrounded by a great deal of pain.  Everywhere you look in our society people are plagued with pain. Some are struck with injuries or illnesses that place them in physical pain. Some are dealing with stigma and scars of emotional pain. Some are living in the darkness and despair of spiritual pain. The mission of the church is to reach out to those in pain. Our purpose is to reach out with hope and healing to a hurting world. Our purpose is to reach out with the love of Christ.   We are to  love sinners, and assist in having sin less prevalent in our lives.  Through repentance and faith we are found accepatable to God.

     "Come unto me all who are weary and distressed (burdened), and I will give you rest" is the promise of Christ. (Matt. 11: 28)   The Church is the body of Christ in our world today.  WE are HIS HEART AND HANDS AND VOICE!  We want to be a Light to direct all to Jesus, and His cross of reconciliation with the Father, or Father in heaven.  Can we encourage you to walk with us?

     To our new friends and members to our family we say, "WELCOME!"    GLYSDW .... God LOVES You, And So Do We!   Let's get better aquainted.  CASABO - Come again soon, and bring others!