Because the Christmas season can be a difficult time for a variety of reasons, Seelyville United Methodist Church will host a "Longest Night" worship service on Sunday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. The church is located on US 40, just east of the Seelyville traffic light.
The service provides a way for people to address their hurts and sorrow--acknowledge their pain--while still celebrating the joy of Christ's birth, says the Rev. Steve Bahrt, pastor of the church.
"The 'happy' holidays can become an overwhelming experience of mourning for those dealing with a significant loss in their lives, whether it is a loved one, a job, an un-welcomed life transition, or some other form of loss. Yet, even for those uncomfortable with the celebration of the Christmas season, there is still a wish and need to observe the holy day of Christ's birth and the great gift of love and hope it represents."
The "Longest Night" worship service is held on the evening of the winter solstice, Dec. 21, which is the longest night of the entire calendar year. From this day forward through the remaining winter and spring seasons, each day grows longer and brighter and, likewise, each new moment of life may grow brighter and more hope-filled through God's gift to the world at Christmas.
Rather than morbid, the quite and reflective service is deeply hopeful. It is a time of remembrance, asking; a time where there is no expectation beyond the moment. By acknowledging our loss, reflecting on life, and looking for God's hand at work in our grief, we will find a way together, in the presence of God, to find hope and comfort amid the holiday celebrations all around us.
Friends, family members, and neighbors throughout the Wabash Valley are welcome. Refreshments and a time of fellowship fill follow the service for those who wish to participate.