Q. Why should I attend church in December? It’s cold and I have cookies to bake and stuff to do.
A. Great question! In addition to the fact that you would be missed, you would also be missing out on the prayer stations that will be set up each week of Advent, tying into the themes of the service. You’d be missing out on singing some beautiful songs, hearing some very …unique… prayers that Pastor Leia has written (trust me, you’ll understand when you hear them), and of course, joining in communion and fellowship with people who love you. Come to church! It’s a high holy season! Let’s all celebrate together that God is about to put on flesh and come into the world!
Q. The holidays are a really difficult time for me since my sister died. She loved Christmas, and seeing all the decorations makes me want to cry. Is it okay if I skip it this year?
A. Big holidays can be really rough for people, especially when it’s their first one without someone they love, or when they feel unable to provide for their families, or when they’re struggling with depression, or when their lives are already hectic and stressful enough without the added responsibilities of the holidays. This year, we will be having a Longest Night service at 7pm on Friday the 21st, which is the winter solstice–the longest night of the year. Some churches offer Longest Night services as a lower-key alternative to the boisterous traditional Christmas/Eve services, recognizing that the holidays can be a painful time. We will read comforting psalms, light candles, sing a hymn about light overcoming darkness that Pastor Leia recently wrote, and pray together. Instead of sitting in the sanctuary like we usually do for worship, we will sit in a circle around the communion table and instead of grand organ music, Doris Ann has agreed to play the more intimate piano. Together, we will make new memories and remember that the light will always overcome the darkness. Pastor Leia is still working on putting the service together, but she hopes that it will be a positive and uplifting, if quiet, night of prayer and fellowship.
Q. I’m ready for Advent to be over. I want to sing ALL THE CHRISTMAS CAROLS. How soon can I do that?
A. You are more than welcome to sing Christmas carols any time you like, regardless of the season. The birth of Christ is a miracle to celebrate in April as much as it is in December. Belt them out! But if you’re wanting to sing Christmas carols specifically in our sanctuary, with all your friends at Peoples, you should definitely mark your calendars for our Christmas Eve service, at 6pm on Monday, December 24. Those of you who were able to attend despite the snow last year might remember that Pastor Leia wrote an entire communion liturgy to the tune of some beloved Christmas carols, and she’s pleased to announce that she will be presenting NEW settings this year, in addition to a fun prayer station and possibly a special homemade bread (tbd).
Q. I feel super gross. I think I’ve got the flu. Should I come to church even if I’m (achoo!) contagious?
A. STAY HOME. DON’T BE PATIENT ZERO. Also, drink lots of fluids, rest as much as you can, see a doctor if you need to, and feel better soon.