First Fruits from Our New Building

I’ve written a little about Chalice Christian’s new building. This Saturday we are having a service that I don’t think we would have conducted had it required renting additional space. Here is the information. Please feel free to forward this to Gilbert/Chandler folks who might be interested.

The Christmas season is traditionally seen as a joyous time of family celebrations. However Christmas may be a very difficult time for those who:

Are grieving the death of a loved one and spending a first holiday without them;
Have recently lost a job and wonder how to pay for gifts;
Carry painful memories associated with the season;
Have no family and will spend the holiday alone;
And those who suffer from depression as the days get shorter.

The emphasis on family and the need to “be happy” can make this a painful time for some people. And it offers the church a unique opportunity for outreach and ministry. There is a time to lament and to grieve. In a Longest Night service, we make a time to remember and affirm that God’s light came to those “who walked in darkness” – that the Christmas message of God’s hope is for those who are hurting. The “Longest Night” worship service draws its name from the winter solstice – the longest night of the year.

Our Longest Night service will be held December 22 at 6:30 pm. 15303 S. Gilbert Rd., Gilbert Arizona

Reaching those who are not being reached is really important to me. Rev. Linda Miller, our pastor, brought this service to us. I hope to attend, but more importantly, I hope folks who aren’t yet a part of our group will attend.

What is your reaction to a church holding a service like this? Does it seem out of the ordinary, or common? Is it something you’d be interested in attending if you could? Keeping in mind those who are not yet affiliated with the church that I hope would come, do you think strangers can help one grieve?

2 replies on “First Fruits from Our New Building”

This is beautiful. I don’t know if it will pull in folks not in your usual congregation, but even if it doesn’t, its beautiful to be acknowledging the pain that can be the shadow side of the holidays. No, I don’t thinks its common, but I’m dumbfounded that its not, now that I’ve heard about it.

We had our Longest Night Service last night. We focused on the light of Christ coming into the darkness of our lives, but at the same time respected the real presence of the darkness.

It was a service filled with talent which is wonderful. Singing and reading and construction of the service all made it easy to be moved. There was space to cry, which I needed.

Most of all, it was a service with integrity. I hope it is something we continue.

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