A long night for hope

Published 9:56 pm Wednesday, December 12, 2018

The Oakland Christian United Church of Christ congregation will open its doors on the longest night of the year to offer a place of comfort, fellowship and prayer for those struggling this holiday season.

The church will hold its “Longest Night” service at 7 p.m. Dec. 21, the same evening as the winter solstice. The Rev. Mary Anne Biggs will officiate the service, with the Wesley Chapel United Methodist Church and St. John’s Episcopal Church pastors there to co-officiate.

This will be a quiet and contemplative service, Biggs said. There will be no Christmas carols or joyful anthems; just quiet music, prayer and the lighting of candles.

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The service is meant for those that are hurting this holiday season. Someone who is struggling financially, lost a loved one or has some other burden weighing on them may appreciate the service. All are welcome to the church for fellowship and comfort.

“For those suffering from the recent or impending death of loved ones and for those whose families are in crisis, it can be a very isolated and dreary time,” according to a church press release. “Every greeting and every song remind the grief-stricken of how unhappy life is at this moment.”

This will be the first time that Oakland Christian UCC has held such a service. Biggs, who officially became the church’s pastor in June, said she’s bringing this idea to Suffolk because she’s seen how it helps firsthand.

“There was a time in my life where this service was helpful, and I suspect it may be for other people as well,” she said.

Oakland Christian UCC is located at 5641 Godwin Blvd. The service is expected to last about 40 minutes, but participants may stay longer if need be.

Call the church office at 255-4353 for more information.