Blue Christmas/Winter Solstice Gathering!
From the Pastor's Desk
Are you dreading the holidays this year? For some, the holidays are difficult times, especially if there have been recent losses of loved ones, divorces, separations, or loss of employment.
Holiday traditions can be a harsh reminder of someone or something important that is now gone. If you are dreading the holidays, or know others handling difficult losses, join me for a unique gathering on Sunday, December 21 at 5 p.m. If weather allows, we will meet outside in my church’s courtyard, standing around a fire pit, then walk along a path of lighted candles to a warm indoor sanctuary. Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year. It reminds us of the long dark night our soul sometimes endures. Yet be assured, light, warmth, and hope will return again.
At our gathering, there will be recorded blues music, votive candles, time for silent reflection, and shared comfort –a time for quiet stillness and perhaps shared tears and laughter.
Many cultures celebrate winter holidays, often with lights and candle rituals. I grew up in Minnesota, where the winters were long and often bitter cold. My car had to be plugged in if I wanted it to start. My jeans would freeze stiff and bulky coats and sweaters were the norm.
The cold could be deadly, but I think the darkness and shortness of sunlight was equally a challenge. When summer came around, the people I knew celebrated sunshine, soaking up light and being outdoors as much as possible.
We all have cold dark nights of hardship during the course of life. Sometimes they last too long and while we don’t feel like doing anything, being with others, or having to talk about it, stepping into the light somewhere keeps us safe. We are a social animal. We need one another!
Sometimes we come away with a slightly different view on things. While winters could be awful, there is nothing as beautiful as walking on a frozen lake on a still night. The scrunching sound of snow, groaning ice, and crisp air is magical. The stars are clearer and your senses are keenly aware of the wonder of creation.
You’re alert. You’re alive - and living is precious and good.
Come and join in an age-old practice of experiencing cold and warmth this Winter Solstice.
Come, and gather with me!
Blessings to you, Pastor Nancy.