(Posted November 13, 2015)
As we round the bend toward Thanksgiving and Christmas, the whirlwind of these weeks has caught up most of us in the rush. So many things crowd themselves into our schedules. We are even welcoming into Christian fellowship little Aurora Albanesi through the waters of Baptism this Sunday. Aurora is the infant daughter of Christina Rosenberger Albanesi and Daniel Albanesi.
With all the activity, with all the going and coming and family and food, there’s only one thing missing from all the holiday madness.
Perhaps, there’s someone you loved who was here for Christmas and Thanksgiving who isn’t here this year – at least in the visible sense. That kind of loss creates a “hollow space” inside of us where all the noise of the holidays can echo hollow. Or, perhaps you or a friend or neighbor is facing a crisis – of health, of relationship, of faith. When you’re facing such things this time of the year all of the hubbub just magnifies the empty place inside.
What can touch and fill this place of loss and concern at this time of year? Our love and prayers for one another, and the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon us. This Sunday, the latter portion of our service will be devoted to a ritual of remembrance and healing. Our Church School children have created two “healing trees” with prayer cards to hang on it, for us to fill out with our petitions for healing, and the names of those we are missing this Thanksgiving and Christmas season. During the blessing and healing service, people are invited to voluntarily come forward and receive a blessing. This particular service is especially meaningful to invite your friends to attend, if they are grieving or missing someone. We all are invited to bring a picture of those who we’re praying for to place on the healing trees. Our goal: we want to bring peace and light to all who hurt. Doug and Ginny Hartline will give us music to match the moment as well. Please join us for the joy of Baptism and the love of praying for one another.
Congratulations to this year’s group of Confirmands! We are pleased to prepare the following young people for their membership in First Congregational Church:
Our Confirmands will be leading us during the course of the next six months in creative, hands-on ways to live their faith, as they explore the meaning behind prayer, worship and scripture in the Congregational tradition.