Please click the logos and pictures to find out more about the individual ministries.
The Church of the Holy Cross is best defined by our ministry, a primary and integral part of our church community and the reason our parish was founded in 1954. Life together at Holy Cross is grounded in worship of God and is lived out in fellowship and care for one another and in our commitment to serve in God’s name the community of Shreveport-Bossier City. Holy Cross is a Jubilee Ministry Center of The Episcopal Church.
Seeing the need for a day shelter in our neighborhood, Holy Cross opened Hope House ten years ago. Here our neighbors may shower, do their laundry, receive mail, access telephone service and have a snack and a cold drink of water. And, of course, there’s fellowship and coffee! Hope House opened as a day shelter, and today our services are extended to people living in the neighborhood in apartments and houses who are in need of laundry and showers.
Open five days each week, Hope House is managed by Donna Earnest and Bradley Wheat, with help from some of our friends who come in for services. Working with people from Holy Cross, they plan and offers activities and services based on the needs of the people who come to Hope House. At present GED and Celebrate Recovery classes are underway. Chuck Ellis helps with food stamps, Medicaid and medical needs. The building also offers rooms for supervised meetings and a place for St. Luke’s Episcopal Mobile Medical Ministry to serve twice each month. The Holy Eucharist and prayer are offered each Thursday afternoon to the clients of Hope House.
Hope House has two showers and two toilets, independent of one another; an ice machine and two refrigerators. As new needs come to light in the neighborhood we will continue to adapt the space to accommodate them. Other churches and interested groups join us to provide sack meals, laundry and bath products, birthday celebrations, care and fellowship. We welcome volunteers from all parts of the community to minister with us. If you would like to serve people who are homeless or living on the edge of homelessness, please call Holy Cross, 318.222.3325.
Seeds to Success Garden
Three years ago our lot behind the church was a forest, just sitting there, soaking up the sun and the rain. The Occupational Therapy students at the medical school decided they wanted to work with our neighbors to make a garden for their fall project. At the same time but independently, Donna Earnest’s Project–ING class that meets in our Education Building every other Friday had the idea of a garden. Some of the people in the class are homeless, some are newly in permanent housing, some have been living in the neighborhood for years. Holy Cross had the lot cleared, the two groups got together, and they invited the residents of the McAdoo Hotel, the VOA’s apartments for Veterans down the street, to work with them. Shreveport Green and the Agricultural Center got involved, and now we have ten raised beds, four rain barrels and compost piles, and new seeds planted every season!
Members and friends of Holy Cross have supported the garden by working in it and providing funds and tools. Shreveport Green and the Ag Center will offer instruction on healthy eating and cooking, and our neighbors will enjoy the fruits of the garden. We are very excited to take a step to ensure the health of our friends! Plans are for 16 more beds, and there are ideas for how the garden may become a financial enterprise for our neighbors. Stay tuned!
Follow these links to read the progress reports on the garden:
Next Step Ministries
Our neighborhood is one of people who are homeless and some living on the edge of homelessness. Some are newly living in permanent housing. Project–ING is made up of one fearless and committed leader, Donna Earnest, and about twenty neighbors either homeless or newly in housing. Every other week they meet in our Education Building for Bible Study, fellowship and a grand lunch cooked by Donna.
To encourage them as they take the next step in their lives, Holy Cross provides “incentive gifts”, like homemade cookies. We also address the ongoing need for everyday items like toilet paper, deodorant, toothbrushes and toothpaste, soap, etc., as well as food staples like bread, margarine, nonperishable shelf food.
Holy Cross Villas
In partnership with HUD, The Villas provide comfortable quarters to eligible tenants on an equitable basis to all applicants, regardless of religion, race, or social background. The Rev. Sally Fox visits each Villas once each month for Bible study, meditation, or Eucharist.
Caddo Council on Aging
The Caddo Council on Aging is the primary provider of services for senior citizens in our area. Holy Cross has supported their ministry primarily in the Meels on Wheels program, which regularly delivers meals to senior citizens in their homes. In some cases, the meals provided by the Caddo Council on Aging are the only well rounded meals our senior citizens get.
The Shreveport-Bossier Rescue Mission
Homeless people (individual or families) requiring immediate housing, food, and medical assistance are served by the rescue mission.
Through the years, as the Rescue Mission has grown and expanded their services, Holy Cross has provided substantial economic support.
The Fuller Center for Housing
Initially, these houses were intended for people who had evacuated South Louisiana. The opportunity to own a home has been extended to members of the Shreveport-Bossier City community. Having almost completed the original commitment, The Fuller Center has expanded their ministry to include refurbishing houses and building in other neighborhoods.
The work of churches and organizations in our community through The Fuller Center and Community Renewal International is transforming the Allendale neighborhood, adjacent to downtown Shreveport!
The Philadelphia Center
Established in 1990, the Philadelphia Center is a nonprofit 501(c)3 community service organization dedicated to providing HIV/AIDS education, information and support to the citizens of Northwest Louisiana.
While the majority of the people the Philadelphia Center serves are HIV positive, the center provides services and support to anyone impacted in any way by the disease. Services include HIV/AIDS testing, education and outreach, a food bank, and assistance with medication, transportation and housing.
The Philadelphia Center’s Shreveport office is located at 2020 Centenary Blvd. Under its umbrella also is the Mercy Center, a housing facility for HIV-positive indigent people, located at 740 Austin Place, Shreveport. The Philadelphia Center recently acquired a third house on Austin Place, to be used as a residential home for people with HIV-AIDS.
St. Luke’s Medical Ministry
Under the leadership of the Rev. Ken Cooper, the Episcopal Churches of the Shreveport Convocation formed St. Luke’s Medical Ministry in 2009.
The medical van follows a monthly schedule to visit sites in Bossier City, Shreveport, Minden and Mansfield, taking medical evaluation, education and care to people who ordinarily do not have access to care.
Betty Johnson, the ministry’s Executive Director, plans and administers the missions. Volunteers are medical and non-medical people from our churches.
At this time all funding comes from church donations and grants. St. Luke’s provides a much needed service to an under-served part of the population of our communities.
The Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy
In 2003, after extensive research on the needs of our community, the Episcopal Churches of our Convocation joined with others in the Jewish and Christian communities to begin the interfaith free pharmacy.
The Vision of the Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy is for residents in our community who are uninsured to have access to free prescription medicines so they may regain and stabilize their health to maintain their jobs, their residences and their independence.
Mission: The Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy provides free, life-sustaining medications to individuals who lack the resources to pay for them. Our service strategy is a regional community-wide volunteer effort in which services are provided in an environment of caring concern preserving the dignity of those served and promoting the health of our community.
The Interfaith Pharmacy provides free medicines for the uninsured and under-insured by utilizing donations of time, medicines and funding available locally and regionally. These resources available to us as a charitable pharmacy are linked to the needs of our community through established connections in the medical and social service community.
The Northwest Louisiana Interfaith Pharmacy distributes medicine from its office at 909 Olive Street in Shreveport.
Episcopal Relief and Development
During Advent our custom has been to support a special ministry, Episcopal Relief and Development. Formerly The Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief, ERD is the Episcopal Church’s heart and hands in a world broken and hurting. Whenever a natural disaster occurs and disrupts the lives of people anywhere; whenever war, famine or disease bring pain and death; in places where resources and education are needed for economic growth or agricultural improvement, ERD brings help and comfort and relief to the area and its people. The church reaches nearly millions of people in over forty countries to help “alleviate hunger, improve the food supply, create economic opportunities, promote health and fight disease, while rebuilding, strengthening and educating communities all around the world.” Our gifts to ERD make this part of the Church’s mission possible. We encourage donations to ERD at any time, and during Advent we suggest “alternative gifts” in the form of donations.