For those experiencing loss of a friend or family member, poor health, loneliness, anxiety, depression, loss of a job, or another type of difficult time, the Christmas season is far from “the most wonderful time of the year”. Typical holiday festivities—caroling, decorating, buying gifts, parties, family gatherings—emphasize joy and cheer, leaving little room for feelings of pain or grief, and cause greater feelings of isolation.
In response, the Prairie Faith Parish Nurse Ministry offers The Longest Night Service, offering a somber, gentle space for the community to gather on the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. This ecumenical service is open to everyone regardless of denomination or church-going status. The service is simple, candles are lit, scripture is read, and the focus is on personal needs in an atmosphere of quiet contemplation. This quietness can restore hearts and help worshippers to carry on. In a season dense with emotion, a recognition of pain brings some hope and comfort to those who mourn. Gathering with others experiencing a difficult time helps us remember that we are not alone.
Those who do experience this holiday as a happy time will also find meaning in The Longest Night Service, as it serves as a time of quiet retreat from the hectic nature of the commercial aspect of the season and guides us back to the real meaning of Christmas.
The Longest Night Service will be held on Saturday, December 21, 2019 from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 338 N. 7th St. in WaKeeney. The service will be followed by an opportunity to pray or meditate in the sanctuary for those who wish to do so, and light refreshments will be served in the Bethlehem library for those wishing to stay and visit.
Please help spread the word in the community to friends and neighbors, and feel free to call Nancy at the church office at 785-743-2005, or leave a message on this site, with any questions or concerns. The church is handicap accessible.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5