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), Saturday Dec. 21, at 7:30 p.m. Firelands Pastor Jeanne Gay will be joined by Father John Missler from Immaculate Conception Catholic Church and Pastor Janet Reed from the Port Clinton Church of the Nazarene 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 over shadow 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.
“Our son died just a few weeks ago, my mother passed away just before Christmas two years ago, my husband lost his job this year, and our marriage is suffering; these are the kinds of comments that I heard from people at Firelands’ Service of the Longest Night last year,” says Rev. Gay. “We live in a culture that tells people they should be happy at Christmas, 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). Please call the church office at 419.734.6211 for more information.