November News and Updates


2017 Eastern District Professional Church Worker Conference!: The 2017 Eastern District Professional Church Worker Conference (PCWC), “Forever Reformation”, is to be held on November 8-10, 2017 in beautiful Niagara Falls, New York! The 2017 PCWC Planning Committee has worked hard to provide all of our Eastern District workers with another fine opportunity to gather for worship, for study, for learning, for fellowship and for fun! If you have any questions regarding the conference, please contact Mary Ellen Sima at or 716-634-5111 X13.



Boxes are available in the narthex.  New this year: shipping cost is now $9 and also due to shipping laws, candy and tooth paste can no longer be added.  Any questions see Lori Ropach

Boxes are due back on or before November 12th!



Our Pumpkin and Pizza Party in October was such a fun time for all! We were so blessed by visiting friends and lots of fun and games. We also learned that we too are a lot like the pumpkins we carved. Just like we scoop out all the yucky insides of the pumpkin, carve a brand-new face, and put a bright glowing light inside for all to see…. God does the same with us!  He sent His Son Jesus to “scoop out” all the yucky sin from our hearts, gives us a brand-new life in Him, and shines his Love and Spirit through us…. A light for all to see that we are His creation.

Sunday School Missions: Thank you for giving to our shared mission of continuing support to the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Eastern District’s Liberian Mission project. All money we give in our Sunday School offering will be sent to help Pastor Art Zogar in Liberia, Africa as he helps to build churches and bring others to Christ. You may stay updated on this mission through the Eastern District Website:

“From Heaven Above”, the children’s Christmas service will be given on December 17th at 10:00 am. Rehearsals start on Sunday, November 12th from 3:00-4:30 in Krampitz Hall. Other rehearsals will be during the Sunday School hour on December 3rd and December 10th.  For more information, please contact Rachel Nickel–Children’s Christmas Program director

Christmas is Coming!! and we still have room for you! If you have a love for working with Children and enjoy helping them to have fun and make special memories…. We need you! Whether your gift is organizing, costume creation, singing, directing, etc. This year’s Children’s Christmas Program is currently set to be on Sunday, December 17th. We will have practices on the two Sundays prior to that (Dec. 3rd and Dec. 10th) during our Sunday School hour of 9:30-10:30. This is always such an extra special time full of wonderful memories! I just know you will want to be a part of it! Please contact me or sign up in the Narthex as soon as possible!

Please continue to pray for our Sunday School, it’s teachers and all that we do to share the love and Word of God with the children of our church family!  We say a special prayer of thanks for our Church leaders and all who volunteer in so many special ways! ____________________________________________________________________________

Reformation Festival: St. Paul Lutheran Church 31 Washington Avenue Batavia, NY

Saturday November 4, 2017 from 2-4 PM. Join us for a Reformation Festival where we will step back 500 years and celebrate the life of Martin Luther. Food, games and kid-friendly events. Call 585-343-0488 for more information.  


Guest Pastors: On November 12th we will have a special Lutheran Heritage Sunday and Pastor Marshall will be preaching and leading Sunday school. On Sunday November 19th Pastor Spilman will be preaching while Pastor Nickel is in New Orleans at the LCEF fall leadership conference.

Looking ahead to the Advent and Chrsitmas Season

November 26th Regular Sunday Services at 8:00am and 11:00am


Adult Bible Study: Adult Bible Study Sundays at 9:30am. We have begun a 6-part series titled “We the Church: Priesthood of All Believers”. All adults are welcome to join us each Sunday in the Holy Cross Christian Center at 9:30 am for fellowship within the Word.


Volunteer Opportunity – Nursery Attendants: We are looking for someone able to watch children during the second service, entertain newborn to three year olds for the full hour of the service, and to lead children up to the age of 7 in activities during the sermon. Red Cross or equivalent Babysitter Training is required for any youthful attendants. Please see any Council member or Pastor Nickel if you are interested in learning more about this volunteer position.


Wednesday evening Advent Services

Dec 6th St. Luke Lutheran Church, Cheektowaga

Dec 13th We host at Holy Cross, Clarence

Dec 20th Lutheran Church of our Savoir, Buffalo

Sunday Dec 17th Special Children’s Christmas Service

Sunday Dec 24th Regular Sunday Services at 8:00am and 11:00am

Lessons and Carols in the evening December 24th (details will be coming shortly)

Monday December 25th One service at 10:00am


Heating Season Heating Up:

As this is written, summer is still hanging on, but soon enough the windows will be closing and our furnaces will be kicking on. Did you know that HCCC has two furnaces and four thermostats? The church proper has three furnaces and four thermostats.  All this equipment helps keep us comfortable, but it also comes with a cost.  All the thermostats are programmed to turn on and off to accommodate normally scheduled usage for the area monitored, but of course there will be times we find ourselves using a room outside of the normally programmed times.  If you find yourself in this situation, you may adjust the temperature setting on the thermostat; but please do not set them to “hold”.  Many times over the years we have found a thermostat has been set to “hold” a temperature that will override the normal programming.  Once “hold” has been selected, the heating system will maintain that temperature until someone notices and re-sets the thermostat to its “run program” configuration.  So, for example, if a “hold” at 70°F is set for the upstairs at HCCC on Sunday afternoon, it may remain at 70°F for the next 6 days!  The warmer a space is, the faster it will lose its heat to the outside environment, and the more it will cost the church on our natural gas bill.  There is a simple solution.  By simply pressing the “arrow up” or “arrow down” buttons, every thermostat’s program can be temporarily overwritten to allow a temperature setting different than what is pre-programmed.  When the temperature change is made this way the thermostat will return to its original programmed setting in 2 hours.  If you find yourself in a space for longer than two hours, you can simply adjust the temperature setting by pressing the arrow button in again to extend this “temporary” setting for an additional two hours. We will be posting “simple” visual instructions, directly adjacent to each thermostat to make it easy. So when you find yourself in a situation where the heat needs to be adjusted please look for and follow the instructions. Thanking everyone for their cooperation, Your Council


Hello Church Family,

Pastor and the Elders would like to update on what happened at the retreat on Saturday 10/28.  As you may recall, we started this process on June 4th and followed in July and August with some foundational sermons from Pastor and Bible Study in our many ministry groups.  72 out of about 150 members completed the Vitality Survey.  The responses was extremely strong and exceeded our expectations with about 50% participation and giving us a very strong baseline on 14 attributes..  In September, we had 10 small group sessions and 67 people participated, some several times.  All this information was critical to understanding who Holy Cross IS and SHOULD BE and set the stage for the retreat.  At the retreat, 25 members spent 5 hours with each other, enjoyed lunch and fellowship with each other.  We had fun too and engaged in some excellent discussion on our new draft Mission Statement.  During our time together; we heard Gods Word, reviewed the results of the Vitality Survey, discussed the feedback from the small focus group discussions and prayed together, thanking God for his blessings on all of us during this process now and during the next steps.  

We also heard an important message from Reverend Chris Wicher on the importance of having a mission that Holy Cross will embrace and use as the foundation for everything we do.  He challenged us to stay focused; to understand who we are and not try to be something we are not…and remember to balance our missions between internal and external as well, to remember the “empty chair” and that what we do should bring people to Jesus and fill the empty chair we have for them at Holy Cross Clarence.

So how did we come up with the new mission statement?  Well, we had some fun doing that by first splitting up into small table groups and doing an activity called 4 Squares.  In each square we had to draw a picture that answered a question like; What are the most important things in your life? or What is your favorite hobby?  We then shared our 4 pictures with each other and had some good laughs while learning something news about our fellow church friends.  While still in the small groups, we were challenged to identify 3-5 unique characteristics or values based on all the survey and focus group data we just reviewed.  Each table group then had to come to consensus on 3-5 of those values and report them to the rest of participants.  Using sticky notes, each tables 3-5 values were posted on the board and 4 very strong common theme’s came out of the work from each of the 6 tables groups.  Reverend Chris Wicher reminded us that a mission statement needs to be clear, concise and useful before leading us through the creation of our Draft mission statement.  It was amazing to see God working through all of us as the new draft mission statement unfolded before our eyes with loving input from everyone in the room over the course of the last hour of the retreat.  In the end, we were so very pleased with the result.  

Our proposed new mission statement draft is…”Together in God’s Word, we Go to Sow and Grow Christ’s Love.”  What a powerful statement this is for Holy Cross Clarence, knowing that almost everyone in our church provided input, spent personal time to take the survey, open their hearts during the small focus groups and for those who spent 5 hours on Saturday the 28th to thoughtfully resonate on God’s word as the foundation, understand the survey results and revel in Holy Cross’s values to thoughtfully and carefully craft the new proposed mission statement for all of us to prayerfully consider as we move forward.

So what is next, you might ask?  During November, we are asking you to think about the new proposed mission statement and ask Pastor or the Elders any questions you might have about it or how we got there.  Make recommendations to any fine tuning of the wording.  Or simply affirm to yourself that you are comfortable with it and will embrace and live it.  And remember, on December 10th, we will be asking you to vote on the proposed draft mission statement at the Voters Assembly Meeting.  Once the new mission is approved, the fun part will start and we really need your help to review all the many missions we have today and to begin to identify new missions that we may want to start.  All these missions should support our newly affirmed Mission Statement.  If the small focus groups are an indicator, there will be no shortage of ideas from everyone for all of us to consider.

In Christ’s Love; Peter, Francis, Dave, Scott and Pastor Nickel