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Service will bring hope

Christmas is a joyous time of year for many, but for some of us, it can be anything but joyful.

Even those who believe in the birth of our savior, Jesus Christ, can find this season to be sorrowful for a number of reasons. Perhaps they are missing those they have lost. Perhaps they know this will be the last Christmas with an ill or aging family member. A young woman could be mourning for the children with whom she never got to enjoy Christmas. A family with children could be struggling and unable to afford the toys and food they feel they should have to provide their children with a fun Christmas.

There could be all kinds of reasons that someone feels less than joyful at Christmas, and the constant cheer around them — carols on the radio and in the stores, the repeated greetings urging them to be merry and bright, even the Christmas cards in the mail with pictures of families — could be a constant reminder of why they feel sad while others, maybe even well-meaning strangers, urge them to be happy without realizing what they’re going through.

The Oakland Christian United Church of Christ is hosting a “Longest Night” service at 7 p.m. Dec. 21, coinciding with 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.

The service will include quiet music, prayer and the lighting of candles to bring visitors closer to God without forced cheerfulness.

We appreciate the Oakland Christian United Church of Christ stepping up and hosting this very needed service for the community, with the support of their fellow Chuckatuck-area churches. It may not be the cheeriest thing they do all year, but they will surely touch the lives of a lot of people.

Oakland Christian is located at 5641 Godwin Blvd. The service is expected to last about 40 minutes. Call 255-4353 for more information.