About Holy Cross

Groups and Boards

Holy Cross Women in Mission is the women's group at Holy Cross, and a member organization of the LCMS Lutheran Women's Missionary League. Meetings are usually held on the second Wednesday of the month at 9:30 AM. All women are invited!

Holy Cross Choir sings for worship about a dozen times each year. Rehearsals are usually held on Sundays from 11:30 AM – 12:00 PM.

The Voters' Assembly of Holy Cross has four regular quarterly meetings each year, and special meetings as needed. Congregational officers are the President, Vice-President, Treasurer, Recording Secretary, and Financial Secretary. There is also a separate Christian Education Treasurer. The congregation's boards are Board of Elders, Board of Education, Board of Evangelism, Board of Stewardship, and Board of Church Properties.


The impetus for founding Holy Cross was an unusual event: the establishment of an entirely new community. Located in the tri-state region where South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska meet, Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, was launched in 1988 as a new master-planned community in suburban Sioux City, Iowa, on a scenic peninsula between the Big Sioux and Missouri Rivers.

Presented with the unique opportunity to be a part of this new community, in 1993 the South Dakota District of the Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod called Rev. Glen Wurdeman as a Missionary at Large. In 1994, space was rented for the mission in a house then located at 952 North Sioux Point Road in Dakota Dunes. This served as the first home of Holy Cross Lutheran Church, with the basement remodeled into a worship space. The house has since been moved to 119 Wallace in North Sioux City, South Dakota.

This ranch-style house now located at 119 Wallace in North Sioux City was literally the original "home" of Holy Cross, where both worship services and preschool were conducted from 1995 – 1997. At the time it was located south of the junction of Sioux Point Road and North Shay Road in Dakota Dunes, and was later moved to North Sioux City.

Bible studies and Vacation Bible School were held in the summer of 1994, and in September, 1994 the first worship service was held. In the fall of 1995 a preschool was established and became a major focus of mission outreach. In November, 1995 the congregation was formally incorporated and chose as its name Holy Cross Evangelical Lutheran Church of Southern Union County.

Rev. Wurdeman, who had been the South Dakota District mission developer, now accepted the newly established congregation’s call and was installed as the first Pastor of Holy Cross in February, 1996.

In May, 1997 land was purchased at corner of Dakota Dunes Boulevard and Bison Trail for a permanent church facility. Following the groundbreaking ceremony, construction began on the first phase of our facility, which is now our Educational Wing. The LCMS organization Laborers for Christ served as general contractor. The first service in this facility was held (in what is now our Fellowship Hall) on Christmas Eve, 1997.

The first phase of Holy Cross is now the Educational Wing. The Fellowship Hall served as the first Sanctuary for ten years, from 1998-2008. The same cross that was atop the tower over the former west entrance now graces the belltower of our new Sanctuary.

In 1999, Rev. Wurdeman accepted a call to a parish in Indiana, and Holy Cross was vacant for several years. In February, 2003 Rev. Kevin Vogts, an experienced mission developer who was serving at Concordia University Wisconsin, was called and installed as the second Pastor of Holy Cross. Pastor Vogts served Holy Cross for over a decade, accepting a call to a parish in Kansas in 2013.

In 2007 Holy Cross rejoiced the celebrate the Groundbreaking for the new Sanctuary in March and the Cornerstone Laying in October.

A long-range study was conducted as part of the congregation’s 10th Anniversary celebration in 2005. This led to plans for a building expansion, which resulted in the Sanctuary addition. A very successful fundraising campaign resulted in pledges of $1.3 million toward the $1.5 million project. Ground was broken in March, 2007, the cornerstone laid in October, and the first service held in the beautiful new Sanctuary on Maundy Thursday, 2008. The addition was dedicated to the glory of God the following week.

The Sanctuary addition completed in 2008 blends beautifully with the original design of the Educational Wing.

By God’s grace and blessing, Holy Cross has come a long way from a few families worshipping in the basement of a rented house. It is God alone, through the power of His Gospel in the Word and Sacraments, that has accomplished all that has happened at Holy Cross.

We will have many more challenges as we move into the future and, Lord willing, our growth continues. But, as Samuel says in 1 Samuel 7:12, "Thus far the Lord has helped us," and He will continue to be with us and bless us both individually and as a congregation in the future as He has in the years past.


The community of Dakota Dunes, South Dakota, in which Holy Cross is located is noted for the unique architecture of its buildings. Holy Cross is in a prominent location, at the entrance to the Residential Community, and as part of this community we endeavored to erect a facility with a signature design.

The architect selected was Brad Mollet, AIA, of Mollet Architecture. He previously won a design competition for the new South Dakota Governor's Mansion. He also has an extensive background working with churches that have liturgical worship. Building on the original design of the first phase, his stunning concept for our Sanctuary is a pleasing blend of contemporary with traditional elements. The booklet Symbolism of Our Sanctuary, explaining the significance of its unique design and symbolism, is available in the Gathering Room.

In addition to a new Sanctuary, the addition dedicated in 2008 also includes an impressive new entrance, with a large atrium under a monumental bell tower (the tallest structure in Dakota Dunes), new offices, a large Gathering Room for fellowship before and after worship, a coffee bar, restrooms, choir loft, sacristy, vestry, cloak room, and ample storage. The Sanctuary has also been enriched with many special donations, including beautiful stained glass windows and an outstanding pipe organ. A unique feature is a patio and Prayer Garden off of the Gathering Room. The Hearth Room, intended to be like a living room, was left unfinished for future development.

The first phase of our facility now serves as our Educational Wing. The large space formerly used for worship, with an adjacent large, well-equipped kitchen, is now a very attractive Fellowship Hall. The Educational Wing also includes classrooms, the Christian Education Office, Church Library, and restrooms.

We rejoice in God’s blessings providing us with this beautiful facility, dedicated to His worship, service, and glory!


The Sanctuary of Holy Cross has a unique, signature design with many symbolic elements. The booklet Symbolism of Our Sanctuary, explaining the significance of its unique design and symbolism, is available in the Gathering Room.

Stained Glass

Even before erecting our new Sanctuary, Holy Cross was blessed with the donation of beautiful stained glass windows. Eight windows were donated and installed in our former worship space — now our Fellowship Hall — in 2004. They were designed and crafted by Jim Berberisch, Sioux City, Iowa. It was intended that these windows would be moved to the new Sanctuary when constructed, and the unique octagonal Baptistery in the new Sanctuary was specifically designed for them. They beautifully depict the life of Christ, symbolizing that through Baptism we are united with Christ in His life, death, and resurrection (Romans 6:3–5).

In 2006, a striking set of windows depicting Christ the Good Shepherd and guardian angels was installed above and on either side of the entrance to the Educational Wing. These were also designed and crafted by Jim Berberisch, Sioux City, Iowa. It was intended that when the Sanctuary addition was erected these windows would remain, to adorn the entrance to the Educational Wing and serve as a lasting testimony to the importance of and reason for all our congregation's educational efforts.

In 2007, the congregation approved a comprehensive design plan for stained glass windows in the Sanctuary addition. They will all be designed and crafted by Bovard Studio, Fairfield, Iowa.

The three largest windows on the south wall will represent the three Persons of the Trinity and will also depict the primary work of each Person: God the Father and Creation; God the Son and Redemption; and God the Holy Spirit and Sanctification. And these three windows will together tell the entire story of Scripture, starting "in the beginning" at the top of the east window, with Genesis and creation, and ending at the bottom of the west window with Revelation, and the Second Coming of Christ and the "new heaven and new earth" (2 Peter 3:13). These windows are lit at night as a beautiful witness to the community.

The massive cross above the Altar is artistically incorporated with the Altar window, which is the signature artwork of our new Sanctuary and the first of the Sanctuary windows to be donated and installed. It is really four windows in one, with panels featuring four detailed scenes from the life of our Lord.

His nativity is symbolized by a charming scene of Mary cradling the infant Jesus, with Joseph standing guard behind them. His ministry is symbolized by His preaching to a crowd, perhaps the Sermon on the Mount. His crucifixion is represented by a life-size, classic depiction of Him on the cross. And His resurrection is represented by the empty tomb.

The window representing God the Father and Creation is a portrayal of Genesis 1:1, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," and the First Article of the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth."

This window starts the story of Scripture with the Manus Dei or "Hand of God," which is the classic symbol for God the Father, based on Psalm 145:16: "You open Your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing."

The stars and planets represent the creation of the heavens, while the idyllic scene below represents the creation of the earth and its life, with Adam and Eve as the crown of creation. The Fall into Sin is suggested by the forbidden fruit they are about to pluck from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, while large tree below represents the Tree of Life.

The rising sun not only represents the creation account’s repeated statement, "And there was evening, and there was morning" (Genesis 1:5–31), but also the final Old Testament promise of the Messiah: "But for you who revere My name, the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).

The beautiful "red ribbon" device will be repeated in each of these three windows and connect them to tell one unbroken story. The ribbon can be thought to represent a ribbon in the pages of a Bible, and it is red to symbolize the blood sacrifice of Christ for our salvation, which is the unifying theme running throughout Scripture.

The two smaller, square windows above and on either side of the Altar depict the two Sacraments, the east window being a Baptismal shell to signify Holy Baptism, and the west window a Communion chalice to signify Holy Communion.

The three windows of increasing height on the east wall will portray additional scenes from the life of Christ and major festivals of the Church. The shortest window will be the Epiphany (Matthew 2:1–11), the center window the Baptism of Christ (Matthew 3:13–17), and we will use the tallest window to portray the Ascension (Acts 1:1–12). Because the single window on the west wall is adjacent to the Baptistery, it will depict the classic scene of Jesus with the little children (Mark 10:13–16).

To complement the two windows representing the Sacraments, the large window in the Coffee Bar area, which is now frosted glass, will represent the Word of God. This will also provide a stunning point of visual interest as worshippers enter through the archway from the entryway atrium, immediately signifying that this is a house of divine worship in which, as the ancient prayer says, we "read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest" the Holy Scriptures. The window on the landing to the balcony will depict musical praises rendered to the Lord, perhaps with symbols such as a harp, organ, and choir. Finally, the two small clerestory windows in the Hearth Room will depict Luther’s Seal and the logo cross of the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod.

Additional windows will be installed as donations are made. They do not have to be donated or installed in a specific order or in groupings.

page last modified 2015 January 10 at 14:57:22; valid HTML; valid CSS [ (1) (2) ]