|. .Weekly Newsletter. .|
December 11, 2016
There is a cultural expectation that Christmas is a happy time. We should be smiling and happy as we worship, when we’re at parties, when we’re strolling the mall, and decorating our houses. Yet for so many people, Christmas is not a happy time at all. Many people are grieving, and the thought of facing a Christmas season without a loved one can be overwhelming. There are people facing serious illnesses with anxieties and questions about what lies ahead of them. There are people with family and friends far away who find Christmas to be a lonely time of year. Oftentimes, the Christmas season does not afford enough time and space for these people to authentically express how they are feeling. One way that churches seek to address this is by holding a ‘Longest Night’ or ‘Blue Christmas’ service. FPC will have our Longest Night Service on Thursday, December 22nd at 6:00 p.m. in the Kings Sanctuary.
A Longest Night Service, held as close to the longest night of the year as possible when the world is at its literal darkest, is a service that acknowledges that people are not always ‘merry and bright’ at this time of year. Through liturgy, prayer, Scripture, silent meditation, Taizé music, candle lighting, and communion, those who come to this worship service will have a calm and meditative space to express feelings of hopelessness, fear, grief, and loneliness. In expressing these feelings, we will be looking toward the light that Christ offers us, the light that was brought into our world at Christmas. This light cannot be overcome by the darkness, even in our darkest nights.
FPC’s Stephen Ministry program will be sponsoring The Longest Night service, and along with the pastoral staff will be helping with various aspects of the service. Several Stephen Ministers will be available in different areas of the sanctuary. They will be available to pray with you one-on-one at any point during the service in which you may sense a need for this kind of prayer.
I would strongly encourage you to attend this special service, and please invite any friends or family who you believe would also benefit from this service. It is open to everyone. For those who normally attend our Early Sabbath worship service, please note that as this service will be Thursday at 6:00 p.m., we will not be having an Early Sabbath service that evening. For those used to associating Thursday nights with our Grissom Campus, please note and remember that this service will be happening in our Kings Sanctuary.
If you have any questions about the Longest Night service, please contact me or Skip Yingling. We hope that you will join us for this special night.