Our Preachers

No matter who you are, no matter how eloquent or otherwise, if you tell your own story with sufficient candor and concreteness, it will be an interesting story and in some sense a universal story…. We are so used to hearing what we want to hear and remaining deaf to what it would be well for us to hear that it is hard to break the habit. But if we keep our hearts and minds open as well as our ears, if we listen with patience and hope, if we remember at all deeply and honestly, then I think we come to recognize, beyond all doubt, that, however faintly we may hear God, God is indeed speaking to us.
Frederick Buechner from Now and Then

Holy Cross is blessed with five distinct preaching voices during Sunday worship. We also welcome guest preachers from time to time. Three of the four main preachers have served at one time as Vicar of Holy Cross, and all have honed their homiletic skills over a combined total of 150 years of professional ministry. While each voice is distinct, a thread of unity runs through them. Most sermons focus on Biblical texts while expressing different theological viewpoints and covering themes relevant to contemporary life (that include relationships, parenting, spirituality, joys and losses, and the challenges of faithful living). Brief biographies of our preachers follow:

The Reverend Roger Haenke came to Holy Cross in September, 2017. While serving as Curate for several months, he will learn about the scope of small-church parish ministry in The Episcopal Church. As a former Roman Catholic priest who served parishes in North Dakota, Fr. Roger’s experience of Church leadership in another tradition in the Upper Midwest is a gift to our faith community.  His educational background and teaching vocation in Nursing, both in Minneapolis, Seattle and San Diego have deepened his understanding of the Church’s call to care for God’s people. Fr. Roger’s preaching reflects his love of the sacramental life of the Church, his deep regard for all of God’s children, and his gift of seeing opportunities for faith to grow in everyday life.

Friar Edelman at Holy Cross Episcopal ChurchThe Reverend Walter Edelman was reared in Dobbs Ferry, New York. He earned a BA in History from Kenyon College, where he graduated with High Honors before being awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study in France. In addition to studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, the Paris Conservatory and privately with Marcel Dupre’ (organ), Fr. Edelman also studied at the L’Universite’ de Strasbourg and received a Certificate equivalent to a U.S. Masters in History. After earning his M.Div. from General Theological Union in New York City, he was ordained priest December 22, 1962 at St. John the Divine Cathedral in New York City by The Rt. Rev. Horace W. B. Donegan, the same bishop who had confirmed him years before. Over a long and rewarding priesthood, Fr. Edelman has served churches in Tarrytown, New York; Greenwich Village and the Bronx in New York City; and Coronado and Carlsbad, California. He has also served Episcopal Dayschools in Greenwich Village, New York City, and La Jolla and Coronado, California. Fr. Edelman’s sermons, like works of art, combine deep Biblical knowledge with solid Anglican theology, offering both comfort and challenge to his hearers. In December, 2017, Fr. Edelman will celebrate 55 years of priesthood.

Friar AtwoodThe Reverend Theodore Atwood, a native of Augusta, Georgia, enlisted as a Seaman Recruit in the Naval Reserve when a Senior in High School. He was an enlisted member while earning his B.A. from the University of Georgia (1960). He served two years of active duty, discharged as a Third Class Machinist Mate, and was commissioned as an Ensign (Probationary) while a Theological student in Berkeley, California. He earned his M.Div. from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, California in 1963. Following ordination to priesthood in The Episcopal Church, Fr. Atwood served as Curate, Vicar and Rector of Episcopal Churches in Georgia for five and one-half years. He returned to active duty in January 1969 with the objective of serving with the Marine Corps in Vietnam. After an initial assignment to the Fifth Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force, he served in the Republic of Vietnam with the First Marine Division, Fleet Marine Force. Captain Atwood retired in 1989 with 35 years total Naval Service. He resides in San Diego, California. Fr. Atwood recently celebrated 53 years of priesthood, and was the immediate predecessor of our current Vicar. His dual vocations in the U.S. Military and The Episcopal Church have given him unique experiences of service to God and country that are relevant to challenges of our time. His resounding voice brings strength and hope to his hearers.

  • Deacon Seth Longacre
  • Brian Peterson