The Chapel of the Cross is a vibrant, nurturing, parish where all are welcome. Worship and prayer are at its heart and are essential to the essence of the community’s life and mission both as individuals and as a parish.
As an Episcopal Church in the Anglican tradition, the Chapel of the Cross is founded in the belief that Jesus Christ is Lord. The Episcopal Church is one branch of this Anglican Communion that has existed since the Church in England became the Church of England as part of the Protestant Reformation in the 16th century. Worship is based on the services found in the Book of Common Prayer. Parishioners are both bound together and sent forth by liturgy.
“Episcopal” means that the COTC has bishops who oversee a diocese (a geographical area). The parish is in the Diocese of North Carolina which comprises almost 125 congregations from Tarboro to Charlotte. Its Bishop is The Rt. Rev. Samuel Rodman and the Suffragan is The Rt. Rev. Anne Hodges-Copple.
From its beginning in 1842, the ministry of the Chapel of the Cross has been intimately connected with its neighbor, the University of North Carolina. University ministry remains a central focus today. In order to know Christ and to make Him known, Christian education, outreach, and pastoral care are high priorities. By providing Christian education for all ages, the COTC attempts to know Christ better and to follow His will. Through outreach ministries, the parish strives to make Christ’s love known in the world. Its pastoral care ministries carry out the baptismal covenant to heal, reconcile, and strengthen the Christian community, with clergy and lay people working together.
One of the COTC’s outreach ministries began almost 20 years ago as the Johnson Intern Program, funded initially by an unexpected bequest from a longtime parishioner, Margaret “Callie” Johnson. In light of Ms. Johnson’s life-long interest in the education and development of young people, the Vestry of the Chapel of the Cross decided to explore the idea of creating a internship program for young adults that would focus on outreach to the community. The first group of three young adults was welcomed in the fall of 2000, and even as JSC has become its own independent nonprofit, the Chapel of the Cross continues to play a vital role in the organization’s life — from providing office space and hospitality to the deep engagement of its parishioners.