The Longest Night: A Service of Hope and Healing

Longest Night 2016 FlyerFor those experiencing loss or grief, the holidays can be an especially difficult time. The longer and longer nights can often add to a sense of sadness that make the joyful celebrations and holiday parties painful to endure.

For those longing for a touch of inner peace during the holiday season, a non-denominational and interfaith service of prayer and fellowship will be offered on Thursday, December 15th at 6:30pm at The Fountains, 15300 N Fountain Hills Blvd.

This “Longest Night” service, named for the longest night of the year, the Winter Solstice, aims to offer support, hope, and a space for healing of the spirit for all those in attendance. Anyone experiencing loss or grief is encouraged to attend – and not just the loss of a loved one to death, but the loss of a home, the “loss” of a loved one to dementia or mental illness, homelessness or other difficult life circumstances – including seasonal affective disorder.

This year’s gathering will center around the walking of the Labyrinth, a spiritual practice of Christians for hundreds of years. The Fountains has acquired a large indoor labyrinth around which participants will experience the depth and power of this ancient catalyst for healing and transformation. Nancy Garten, Stephen Ministry coordinator at The Fountains, sees acknowledgement of “The Longest Night” as “a natural expression and extension of what Stephen Ministers do, comforting and caring for people in times of need.”

Inevitably, this time of year rolls around for some with less joy than with an all-too-familiar sense of sadness. The Longest Night is a gathering with others who are also experiencing the pain and emotional challenges of the season.

Although one’s circumstances may not be able to be changed, we can gather together to find hope and healing through the love and support of one another this holiday season. Join us as we embrace the labyrinth as a symbol that grief is not a simple, linear journey.

The community is invited to join us at 6:30pm in the sanctuary at The Fountains (on the corner of Fountain Hills Blvd and Glenbrook). Childcare will be provided.