A couple of weeks ago I sent a press release to the woman who covers the feel-good stories in our local paper. The release was about our Longest Night Service, taking place in a couple of weeks (to coincide with that astronomical event, in fact). I suggested that, uh, maybe this would make a good story? Or not. Whatever.
She replied promptly, that she was already doing a story on this type of service, and she'd try to work a mention of St. Sociable into the story.
... To which I replied, "Excellent! Thanks so much! Please feel free to call if you'd like to discuss it further---" And that was it. No further contact, so I figured, maybe we'll be listed among the other services being offered.
Here's the beginning of today's piece:
Snowflakes and carols ramp up the holiday spirit for some people.
For others, such seasonal reminders only add to the weight of sadness.
Maybe they've lost a loved one, a job or a cherished pet. Maybe they have a son, daughter or spouse serving overseas. Maybe they're dealing with serious illness of the body -- or of the soul.
Whatever the reason for their heavy hearts, they're being thought of at this time and invited to services created just for them.
At 7 p.m. on the Sunday before Christmas, St. Sociable Presbyterian Church will host "The Longest Night: A Service for Those Who Are Struggling."
Harpist Brilliant Ethereal Friend, pianist Our Organist and singer Our Choir director will lead those gathered in prayer through music, in addition to scripture and contemporary readings, explains designated pastor Magdalene.
She points out another malady of the season: "It may be that our childhood memories of Christmas are particularly difficult because of family histories of addiction or abuse," she explains. "Or we may simply be overwhelmed by the onslaught of advertising and the constant pressure to spend, do, bake and buy."
Private prayer and anointing will be available, and clinicians from the St. Sociable-Affiliated Counseling Center will be nearby for individual conversation after the service.