[SUBMITTED MEDIA RELEASE]
JAMESTOWN – The Christmas season is traditionally thought of as a happy time – a fun and joyous season of celebration with friends and family. Parties and gatherings filled with smiles, good cheer and laughter seem to be the rule of the day and the media is filled with happy faces sharing holiday joy.
For many people, however, the holidays can be a dark and depressing time. Christmas and the pending year-end can bring underlying fears and anxieties to the surface. Broken family ties, divorce, depression, addiction, and other personal issues can seem even heaver burdens to bear and can lead to feelings of worthlessness and despair for some.
For the past few years, St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Jamestown has offered a special service for people from all walks of life who find the holiday season to be an especially difficult time. St. Luke’s “Blue Christmas” service will be held again this year on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 5 p.m. in the church sanctuary.
The Rev. Luke Fodor, Rector of St. Luke’s invites anyone, regardless of their church affiliation to attend.
“We would like to acknowledge that there are people out there who simply do not see this as a particularly happy time of year.” Fodor says. “Most homes cannot measure up to the media’s stylized version of a holiday celebration. Our intention is to offer a comforting and inviting alternative to people who need something that feels more honest and real to them individually.”
The Blue Christmas service is a departure in style from the regular Sunday offerings at St. Luke’s. Intended to be simple and contemplative, the evening program will consist of meditative music, candle lighting, communion, scripture, healing prayers and anointing.
Steven Cobb, Director of Peer Services at the Chautauqua County Mental Health Association, and member of St. Luke’s says that he sees a great value in this type of service to the community, especially at this time of year.
“People who are already in difficult situations often feel even more desperate over the holidays.” he says. “Not everyone is happy and jolly during the Christmas season. We see people daily who are having a hard time connecting in a positive way with their friends and families and working hard at mending differences and family ties. Christmas is just one more hurdle for them to overcome. I find it very powerful that something like this is happening in our area as a way for people to begin to re-establish spiritual connections, which is one of the key areas of the holistic healing process.”
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church is located at 410 North Main Street, Corner of Fourth and Main, Jamestown. For more information about the Blue Christmas service, or any of St. Luke’s other offerings, call the church office at 716-483-6405.