Sisters and Brothers,
The holiday season is here. Even as I write this letter, I’m thinking about what to pack to take with me for the Thanksgiving holiday. After Thanksgiving, it’s only a short time before the Christmas season begins.
For some, this is a joyful time of year. I’m sure that there are a few overachievers who will have their Christmas lights up the day after Thanksgiving, and whose Christmas shopping is already done. There is a lot to celebrate and be thankful for this time of year. For some, the magic of Christmas is still as palpable as it was in their childhood.
But for some, the holidays are a difficult season – those who have lost loved ones recently and are facing their first holidays without a beloved family member; those who have loved ones serving overseas and who cannot come back for the holidays; those who are experiencing a recent divorce and adjusting to holidays spent apart; those who have outlived so many of their friends and family members that they now find themselves alone on the holidays.
The holidays can be a bit sad if you’re missing someone, or many someones.
That’s why, this year, we’re going to have a special service for anyone who is feeling a bit blue – for whatever reason – this holiday season. On December 21st, the longest night of the year, we’re going to have a Blue Christmas service at 5:30 pm.
This is a time for us to come together as a community of faith and to recognize that we are all at different stages of life’s journey. It’s an opportunity to support one another. It’s a time for people to acknowledge their experiences.
This may be a new worship service for the Custer Community Church, but dealing with heartache is something that our congregation – and the wider Christian church – has been doing really well for a very long time.
Rev. Dustin Bartlett