The holiday season is upon us. A time for cheer, celebration, gratitude, joy, and enjoying the company of those whom we love. However, the holidays also bring sadness, mourning, pain, and challenge. For one, even with significant progress in addressing the pandemic over the last two years, we remain affected. We have undergone what mental health professionals are calling an individual, community, and national trauma, and our constant attempt to navigate this new world impacts our relationships (and how we may choose to gather with friends or family this season) at every level.
For some, this impact further complicates already difficult relationships for which getting together prompts distress rather than joy. Memories of holidays past bring pain, not comfort. People with this experience struggle with hurt and to make a way forward for their wellbeing. Still others struggle with the loss of loved ones they will miss this holiday season. Collectively, we mourn lost lives since the start of the pandemic. We also mourn the struggles of people across the globe experiencing hardship due to poverty, injustice, immigration and asylum policies, war, climate change, and other struggles over power and resources.
As our faith community celebrates this holiday season, we recognize the joy, pain, hope, and heartbreak that we and those around us experience. Thus, we offer opportunities to come before God with our whole range of experience. This Sunday at 10:30am, we will observe our Service of Gratitude with scripture, music, words from the nonprofit Native Hope, and a story of gratitude from one of our regular worshipers.
We will then enter the season of Advent guided by the theme “There is Room,” and on the first Sunday of Advent, Rev. John Indermark will preach. Our Advent theme is based on a resource by The Methodist Church in the United Kingdom, you can read more on each week’s focus in the pamphlet.
On Sunday, December 18, we will go caroling to some members who cannot join us in person. Additionally, we will hold a Blue Christmas service on Thursday, December 22 at 6:00pm.
Finally, we will gather for our candlelight service on Christmas Eve at 5pm. The service will be participatory for all ages who would like to dress up as part of the Christmas story.
There Is Room!