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The Comfort and Hope Service began as a ministry for people who were hurting, especially during the holidays. The season and its festivities often make people acutely aware of their losses.
Decorations, Christmas carols, the empty chair at the dinner table often serve to remind those in grief of the loved ones who will not be with them for the holidays, creating great sadness in the midst of others' who are celebrating. It is common among those who have lost a spouse, a parent, a child, or a close friend, to even dread the holidays.
When the pastors and Stephen ministers saw the need for comfort for those who were grieving at the holidays, they scheduled the comfort and hope service. They had seen articles about "Blue Christmas" services in other churches and communities around the country. The first Comfort and Hope service was held at Messiah in 2006. One has happened every year since then.
The Messiah community invites those who are sad at this time of year to join with others for comforting scripture reading, quiet music, prayer, and a brief personal reflection from someone who has lost a loved one or had a significant reason to grieve, especially during the holidays.
Those who attend also have the opportunity to light candles, participate in Holy Communion, and even talk privately or pray with a Stephen minister about their grief. Tears are welcome!
This year's Comfort and Hope Service at Messiah will be Wednesday, December 20 at 6pm at the Hazel Dell Campus. A team of drivers from Messiah will provide rides to any persons needing this assistance. Please contact Alison in Messiah's front office. All are welcome.
The Comfort and Hope Service is sponsored by Stephen Ministry team at Messiah.