12 Dec Christa’s Corner
Our annual Longest Night Service will be held this year on Wednesday, December 19th at 6:00 p.m. I hope that you will attend this beautiful and meaningful service, and I hope that you will feel comfortable inviting friends, family, and community members to this service. It is a service that recognizes that there are more emotions involved in our lives than the joy and happiness that is culturally expected of us at this time of year, and it gives us the freedom and space to express such emotions as hopelessness, fear, grief, and loneliness. Like the literal longest night of the year, in which increasing light follows the darkness, the Longest Night Service reminds us that even amid the places in our lives and the places in this world that may seem dark, Christ comes to bring light into the darkness.
One of the misperceptions about the Longest Night Service is that you have to be depressed or grieving to go. While it is true that if you are depressed or grieving, this is an excellent service to attend, it’s also a service appropriate for all people to attend. Is there any place in your life in which you experience hopelessness, fear, grief, or loneliness? Then this service is definitely for you! Is there any place in the life of one of your friends or family members where they are experiencing hopelessness, fear, grief, or loneliness? Then this service is for you! Please come and offer prayers on their behalf. Is there any place in this world that is experiencing hopelessness, fear, grief, or loneliness? If you can answer yes to that question, then this service is for you, too! Come and offer prayers for those hurting places in our world.
The Longest Night Service is a calm and quiet communion service, with a mixture of Scripture, prayer, reflective music, and candle lighting. Prayer stations are also set up around the sanctuary where you can ask for and receive personal prayer. Those who have attended in the past have found it to be a meaningful service, and they have desired more people to experience it. We would love to have you attend this year, and we would love for you to invite others in our community to come as well. If you would like to attend this service and need childcare provided, please contact our Family Ministries Director, Macy Cottom, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 843-946-6037.
As a final note, one of our denomination’s magazines, Presbyterians Today, included an article in their most recent issue about three different pastors and their churches and their experiences with doing a Longest Night Service. I was one of the pastors interviewed for this article, and elements of FPC’s Longest Night Service are discussed in that article. If you have interest in reading this article, it can be found at: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/pt-1118-bluexmas/
I hope this year that you might come to our Longest Night Service and experience its blessings.