By James Hanlon
Leader Staff Writer
This time of year can bring up all kinds of tough feelings. That’s why Pastor Liz Wilson of Immanuel Congregational United Church of Christ is holding a special service dedicated to those who are suffering, depressed or for anyone who finds the Christmas holiday season a challenge.
“We all have acheynesses and sadnesses during the year,” Wilson said. “Some of us more than others, some years are really bad.”
Wilson has held the service during the first couple weeks of Advent for the last decade. It involves some poetry and writing, but no singing. “It’s a very quiet, quiet service,” she said.
There’s also a physical activity that helps get rid of the pain. At a table with a sandbox, people can use a stick to draw a symbol of their pain. They pray for a minute, then erase the image in the sand.
“The first time that I did it, I cried my eyes out,” Wilson said. “I didn’t realize until that moment how incredibly sad I was about this thing in my own family life. I realized that everyone has these pains and we need to get rid of them if we are to enjoy each other.”
Wilson says the thing people struggle with most during the holidays is loss of loved ones. “It can be hard, especially during the holidays when we’re all supposed to be jolly and you can’t even muster up a smile. We feel obliged because of the children and the people who are happy; you don’t want to throw a wet blanket on their parade. So, it’s tough.”
The service lasts about 35 minutes. When it’s over, she sticks around for anyone who wishes to talk more. The service will be 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 7, at 1 Hovey St. in Oxford.
By James Hanlon