Blue Christmas: A Worship Service of Night Prayer for God’s Arrival in Deep Darkness


Hybrid–On-Site and via Zoom (use the Sunday worship link on the website)

While Advent is a season of hope and Christmas is a season of joy, not everyone feels hopeful or like celebrating. Grief, illness, aging, depression, loneliness, unemployment, and loss are magnified. Even those who are not struggling with losses may feel the stress of preparations and expectations around Christmas time. 

The winter solstice, December 21, is the longest night and the beginning of winter in the northern hemisphere.

A few days after that many of us will gather to celebrate the Nativity of Our Lord, the arrival of Jesus Christ, God in human form. December 25 is celebrated as Christmas because it had been incorrectly identified as the winter solstice. What the early Christians intended for this feast was not a birthday party for baby Jesus but rather a feast of proclamation. God arrives by way of deep darkness. Christians wanted to tell the world that God, the maker of the cosmos, chose to lovingly draw near to our broken world by way of a human birth on the longest night of the year. God’s love for us goes deep and does not fade or change with the seasons. It is richer and more plentiful than the darkness of night, blazing brighter than the noonday sun of late June.

For many, the lack of daylight intensifies other suffering. The weight of depression grows heavier when light is scarce. We get stressed out when our calendars fill with extra social obligations. We fear interactions with family members that have been difficult in the past. What an opportunity, then, to share that the message of Christmas is specifically sent for those in pain and suffering. It is not that “all is merry and bright.” Rather, it is the abiding truth that God seeks to be with us, even when we are “blue.”

Join us on Wednesday, December 13th at 6 pm for a worship experience of music, prayer, readings from the Bible, and a brief reflection on God’s arrival by way of deep darkness.

The People’s Supper Potluck Meal with Pastor Rhonda and the Luther House UNM and CNM Community


In times of heightened tension, division, and expressions of hate, faith and spiritual communities have a vital role to play in being stewards of resilience, collective courage, and creating braver space in the presence of difference. At the same time, faith communities – like any gathering of people – can also be places where we avoid hard conversations and discomfort, instead of leaning into vulnerability, risk, and the authentic relationships we need.

The People’s Supper is an adaptable resource that provides an opportunity for communities from all religious traditions to do what they do best: bring people together for fellowship, renewal, good food, and the chance to go beneath the surface to explore the struggles and stories that make up our lives.

Pastor Rhonda Newby-Torres at Luther House UNM and CNM noted in a recent letter about this community that Luther House participants are people who have been historically marginalized.

Join us on Wednesday, December 6th at 6 pm, bring something to share (homemade or store-bought is just fine), and be ready for faith sharing questions that explore differences and common ground around our Christian faith over a shared meal together.

Job Posting – Part-Time Music Minister


Holy Cross Lutheran Church, a vibrant Christian community undergoing a redevelopment process, seeks a motivated and joyful person of faith to enrich our journey of renewal by leading the musical portions of our worship experiences, directing and accompanying a vocal choir, and equipping others to use their musical gifts for our life together. Holy Cross seeks someone with keyboard proficiency comfortable leading from both the piano and the organ.

Please send cover letter and resume by December 15th to schedule an interview after the first of the year to Holy Cross Lutheran Church, 6901 Wyoming Boulevard NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109, or digitally at .

Job Title: Music Minister
Reports To: Congregational Council
Supervisor: Pastor
Annual Salary: $13,000-15,600 (according to education and experience)

Primary Duties

  • Accompany weekly worship on Sundays at 9:30 am with a special focus on enabling
    congregational singing, incorporating the musical gifts of all people (including rehearsal time as
    needed), and seeking creative ways to incorporate young people into worship
    • These same duties for special worship days such as Holy Thursday, Good Friday,
      Christmas Eve
    • Four weeks including Sundays for vacation and two weeks including Sundays for
      continuing education of paid time off
  • Direct, accompany, and rehearse with the vocal choir one evening per week for 90 minutes and
    Sundays 9 to 9:20 am during the school year
  • Rehearse with Riverside Brass Ensemble 1 hour per week as needed
  • Participate in worship planning with pastor and volunteers
  • Demonstrate motivation and initiative through consistent collaboration with people and
    creative musical experiences for worship


  • A self-motivating person of faith who is excited about being on a journey of renewal with a
  • Keyboard proficiency being comfortable leading from both the piano and the organ
  • Proficiency in directing, accompanying, and rehearsing with a vocal choir including selecting

Holy Week Schedule – Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday


Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for Holy Week at Holy Cross! Scroll below to check out all the happenings of Holy Week, and plan to join us as you are able. Peace to you today, and we look forward to journeying with you through Holy Week to the joy of Easter Day!!

Scroll below for detailed information for each worship experience. You will find the Zoom link for all services here.

Palm Pickup on the Holy Cross Patio
Friday, March 31st from 9 am to 6 pm
If you would like a palm to wave from your home during worship via Zoom for Palm Sunday, drop by the patio in front of the main entrance at Holy Cross between 9 am and 6 pm and pick up a palm (or two!) You may also make a palm out of any items you have in your home for worship via Zoom–be creative and have fun making it! Palms will be available on-site on Palm Sunday.

I look forward to a journey through Holy Week with you!

The Great and Holy Week
Saint Augustine (354-430 CE) called Holy Week the “Great Week” because of the powerful things God accomplished during these days. Today, followers of God continue to journey through Holy Week—Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day—to remember and celebrate God’s action through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, as well as to claim that God’s story of resurrection becomes our story of new life every day.

Sunday of the Passion/Palm Sunday
On this day we take our place with all who gathered around Jesus as he made his entry into the city of Jerusalem to suffer and die, those initially gathered around Jesus were hungering and thirsting for transformation in their lives and in the world. Alongside all who gathered then, we gather today to wave palms of welcome and cry out “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest heaven!” We long for Jesus to enter our lives today to bring the blessing and peace which only God can bring.

Maundy Thursday
Maundy is the English form of the Latin mandatum, from the “mandatum novum,” or the new commandment that Jesus gives on the night he is betrayed and handed over: “I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” (John 13:34) On this day we read the story of Jesus’ final meal with his followers before he was crucified. At this meal Jesus models God’s self-giving love by washing the feet of those who were gathered. This action becomes our call to mission as the people of God, to love one another as Jesus loves us.

Good Friday
In ancient times this day was called the Triumph of the Cross. English speakers now call the day Good (originally “God’s” Friday) because we believe that through Jesus’ death on the cross, all receive the good gifts of salvation, eternal life, and daily resurrection reality. On this day the focal point of the worship experience is an extended and interactive reading of the passion of Jesus from one of the four Gospels. This passion narrative—the story of the betrayal, arrest, mockery, suffering, crucifixion and burial of Jesus—delivers the good news of God’s self-giving love which transforms us and the world. The worship experience concludes when at the foot of the life-giving cross we pray for everyone and everything on earth and engage in a liturgy of reverence for the cross on which hung Christ, the savior of the whole world.

Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day
Christians consider Easter to be the “first day.” From Easter comes the practice of worshiping on Sunday morning. It is the first day of the week. It is also the first day of new creation, sometimes called the “eighth day” of the week, for on it Christ restored the image of God in the human and in so doing also brought restoration and renewal to all of creation. The Easter season proceeds from and celebrates this first day. In the resurrected Christ, there is time after the end, life after death, restoration of what was broken, the brightening of what had gone dark. In the fifty days of Easter, Christian communities around the world strive to worship God in a way that illustrates that the body of Christ lives now in the heavenly places and also in the gathered body in the world. Worship is where heaven and earth meet.

Palm Sunday Worship with the Procession of Palms
April 2 at 9:30 am Mountain Time
Worship In-Person and/or via Zoom

Join us on Palm Sunday, April 2nd, at 9:30 am MT for worship as we enter Holy Week. The Gospel reading from Matthew will be Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem in the days preceding his crucifixion. On-site we will process with palms from the covered patio through the sanctuary, palms will be available on-site. If you are worshiping via Zoom you are invited to wave a real or homemade palm. There will be a congregational meeting following worship to discuss and approve the Holy Cross 2023-2024 Mission Spending Plan (annual budget) and new proposed mission statement for the congregation. The Zoom link will be the normal Sunday worship link found on our website, or you may find the Zoom connection here.

Maundy Thursday
April 6 at 6 pm Mountain Time
Worship In-Person and/or via Zoom

This day is also known as Maundy Thursday, from the Latin phrase mandatum novum from the “new commandment” of Jesus found in John’s gospel that we love one another as Jesus loved us. We will read the story of Jesus’ final meal with his disciples from Matthew’s gospel. Worship concludes with the stripping of the altar for Good Friday worship, which dramatizes Jesus’ symbolic stripping of earthly power and his self-emptying love. The Zoom link will be the normal Sunday worship link found on our website, or you may find the Zoom connection here.

Good Friday
April 7 at 6 pm Mountain Time
Worship In-Person and/or via Zoom

Good Friday is the day Jesus was crucified. As we gather for worship on this day the focus will be the extended and interactive reading of the passion narrative, or story of the crucifixion of Jesus, from the gospel of Matthew. The congregation will read the parts of disciples, accusers, chief priests, congregation, soldiers, and bystanders. These parts are in bold type in the attached reading; if you are participating in worship via Zoom this day you may wish to print out this reading so you can participate by reading these bold type parts. The Zoom link will be the normal Sunday worship link found on our website, or you may find the Zoom connection here.

Three Mid-Week Lenten Potluck Dinners


The Lenten Potluck Meal on March 15th has been cancelled.

This is due to a day-long visit from the candidacy committee of Matt Hansen, Pastoral Intern, and several of our regular cooks and participants being out of town and/or unavailable this Wednesday.

This concludes our mid-week Lenten dinners for the season.

This year Holy Cross gathers for the first three Wednesday evenings before Holy Week, beginning March 1st, to share a meal and have some community time at 6pm on March 1st, March 8th, and March 15th.

Drinks, plates, bowls, and utensils will be provided. Bring anything, homemade or store-bought, to share for these potluck style meals.

Join us for any or all of these Wednesdays as you are able.  Bring a neighbor or friend!

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner


Shrove Tuesday is the day immediately preceding Ash Wednesday, named historically after the “Shriving” (confession and absolution) of Christians on this day that precedes the penitential season of Lent.  This is the feast before the fast! 

Join us for a pancake dinner at the church at 6pm on February 21. Pancakes and syrup will be provided, but please bring something to share!

We will also be working on the creation of ashes via the burning of Palms from last year’s Palm Sunday at 7 pm.

I hope to see you there!

Ash Wednesday Drive-Through Ashes and Hybrid Worship


Join us on Ash Wednesday, February 22nd, for Drive Through Ashes 10 am to 12 noon and 4-6 pm and/or live participatory Ash Wednesday Worship at 6 pm, including the Imposition of Ashes and the celebration of Holy Communion, in-person and/or via Zoom. More information is below.

About Ash Wednesday
On Ash Wednesday we begin our forty-day journey toward Easter with a day of fasting and repentance. Marking our foreheads with dust, we acknowledge that we die and return to the earth. At the same time, the dust traces the life-giving cross indelibly marked on our foreheads at baptism. While we journey through Lent to return to God, we have already been reconciled to God through Christ. We humbly pray for God to make our hearts clean while we rejoice that “now is the day of salvation.” Returning to our baptismal call, we more intentionally bear the fruits of mercy and justice in the world.

I hope to see you there!

Drive Through Ashes 10 am to 12 noon and 4 to 6 pm

Drive through the church parking lot for the Imposition of Ashes and a prayer to go anytime 10 am to 12 noon and 4 to 6 pm. You can stay in your car, or park and walk up to the Holy Cross main entrance area.

Worship In-Person and/or via Zoom at 6 pm

Imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion

If you will be joining worship via Zoom, you may prepare ashes ahead of time to mark yourself during worship. This can be done using any small amount of soil from outdoors, from an indoor potted plant, ashes from a fireplace, or any other creative way you can prepare ashes for use in your home.

Nativity of Our Lord: Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship


Worship In-Person and/or via Zoom –
Prepare a Candle to Light from Home (if you are joining via Zoom)

Join Holy Cross for Christmas Eve Candlelight Worship, including the celebration of Holy Communion, accompanied by the Riverside Brass ensemble, on-site and via Zoom, this Saturday, December 24th at 5:30 pm Mountain Time.

Bible Theme for the Day
In winter’s deepest night, we welcome the light of the Christ child. Isaiah declares that the light of the long-promised king will illumine the world and bring endless peace and justice. The angels declare that Jesus’ birth is good and joyful news for everyone, including lowly shepherds. Filled with the light that shines in our lives, we go forth to share the light of Christ with the whole world.

We will sing many Christmas songs together, pray with one another, have children's time, read from the Bible, hear good news proclaimed during the sermon, share the Lord's Supper, conclude with a candlelight song, bless one another, and send each other, refreshed by the gift of Jesus at Christmas, to be God's gift of love to the world.

If you are participating in worship via Zoom, you are invited to have a candle ready to light as we sing Silent Night, Holy Night! together.

I hope to see you there!

Christmas Eve Worship
Saturday, December 24th, 2021 at 5:30 PM Mountain Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 823 1803 0986

Find your local number:


Luke 2:1-14

God’s greatest gift comes as a baby in a manger. Angels announce the “good news of great joy” and proclaim God’s blessing of peace.

In those days a decree went out from Emperor Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration and was taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria. All went to their own towns to be registered. Joseph also went from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem, because he was descended from the house and family of David. He went to be registered with Mary, to whom he was engaged and who was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for her to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn.

In that region there were shepherds living in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for see—I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign for you: you will find a child wrapped in bands of cloth and lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace among those whom he favors!”

Join Us for Advent Potluck Dinners at Holy Cross


Mark your calendars now and plan to join us for the four Wednesdays during Advent at 6 pm (Nov 30, Dec 7, Dec 14, and Dec 21st) for a potluck dinner at Holy Cross. Bring something to share, homemade or store-bought, and join us for a Bible reading at the beginning of the meal and a faith question to share at your table.

We hope to see you there!