The Longest Night Service will be held Thursday, December 18, at 7PM. This is a time to remember our loved ones and acknowledge the losses in our lives that can be more painful during the holidays. Read more below…
For 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, fellowship, and candle-lighting will be offered on Thursday, December 18th at 7pm at The Fountains, a United Methodist Church, 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.
One of the event’s organizers, Stephen Minister Renee Montague, says, “Since the loss of our son six years ago during this season, I first attended a bi-weekly support group, and now enjoy volunteering at several grief support camps each year. Mostly, I feel good. But inevitably, when this time of year rolls around so does that all-too-familiar sense of sadness. I have set aside this evening, and look forward to gathering with others who are also experiencing the pain and emotional challenges of the season.”
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.”
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. The community is invited to join us at 7pm in the sanctuary at The Fountains (on the corner of Fountain Hills Blvd and Glenbrook). Childcare will be provided.
More Info: Renee Montague 602.738.4900 OR firstname.lastname@example.org