ZUMC to offer holiday grief service


Christmas is traditionally known as a joyous time of year. But for some people, it may not be the happiest season of all.

Zionsville United Methodist Church aims to foster a sense of hope and healing for those stricken by grief, loss and depression this holiday season.

The service, called “The Longest Night,” will be Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m., close to the Dec. 21 winter solstice, the longest night of the year.

“’The Longest Night’ service is to recognize that even though Christmas is a joyous and happy season for many, there are some people who feel isolated from that,” ZUMC Pastor David Williamson said. “It could be for a number of reasons — a feeling of loneliness, a loved one that passed away, a relationship that is strained, struggles with anxiety or depression.”

Seasonal affective disorder affects an estimated 10 million Americans, according to Psychology Today.

“As the nights get long and the weather gets colder, people feel a weakness in their spirit,” Williamson said. “The service acknowledges that it is OK to feel any of those things and that God is with us.”

During the service, candles are lit and traditional Christmas songs like “Silent Night” are sung.

“We give a different meaning to lighting the darkness,” Williamson said. “It’s more prayerful and reflective.”

The service, with a message of hope and encouragement for those who may struggle during the holidays, is open to anyone. For more, visit zumc.org.

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