Because the Christian faith offers light and hope in the darkness, Firelands Presbyterian Church is hosting an ecumenical “Service of the Longest Night” on the winter solstice (the longest night of the calendar year), Friday, Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m.
Firelands Pastor Jeanne Gay will be joined by Reverend Bruce Batchelor-Glader from Trinity United Methodist Church and Reverend James Lehman from St. John Lutheran Church in conducting this service which is open to all in the community who find the holiday season difficult.
For many people, the holiday season is bittersweet. This time of joy and expectation can often overshadow the pain and hurt that many experience when the world’s merriment puts their grief and sorrow in stark relief. This worship service holds up those in the community who have lost loved ones, who struggle with serious illness or feel overwhelmed by all the bad news in the world.
“We live in a culture that tells people they should be happy at Christmas,” Reverend Gay says, “that families should all love each other, and we should have no sorrow in our lives. But the reality for many people is that the darkness may seem overwhelming, the night long.” The Service of the Longest Night will provide a quiet time for reflection with prayers, songs, scriptures, and candle lighting, during which all worshippers will be invited to light a candle as a symbol of Christ coming into the darkness of mourning.
Firelands Presbyterian Church is located at 2626 East Harbor Road, (1/2 mile west of Wal-Mart). Call the church office at 419-734-6211 for more information.