For many, Christmas time is a bittersweet time of year. For people who are dealing with grief, significant life changes, sobriety, and other challenges, this time of year can be especially difficult. This is also the time of year with the longest nights, so on the longest night of the year First Christian Church offers to everyone in the neighborhood a special, meditative worship service that makes time for remembering and sharing our hurting places with God. The structure of the service helps people open their hearts to hope.
The December 21 service begins at 7:00 p.m. The liturgy, honed over the years by the Rev. Dr. Russ Peterman, Senior Minister at First Christian Church, includes special music, scripture, silent reflection, candle lighting, and healing prayer. The service will be followed by a simple time of fellowship for those who wish to participate.
The highlight of the service seems to be the lighting of candles. It is a quiet response to the scripture readings and an act of prayer. It is our hope that the service will provide a space for people to release their anger, face their emptiness, have a good cry (if that's what they need), and know that God cares.