Churches Battle The Christmastime Blues

OSKALOOSA — Not everyone feels holly and jolly during the holidays. First Christian Church and St. Paul Congregational United Church of Christ recognize that personal conflict or the loss of a loved one can cause Christmas to be a painful time. That realization led the two organizations to come together to host a “Blue Christmas” service beginning at 6 p.m. Saturday at the First Christian Church, 119 A Ave. East.

“This time of year can be a very difficult time for some people,” said Mike Omundson, pastor of First Christian Church. “This event will give those struggling the opportunity to come together and to feel supported in their time of sadness, whatever the cause might be. It’s really just a way for people to express their grief while getting that support they need.”

The constant refrain on the radio and television in shopping malls and churches about the happiness of the season, about getting together with family and friends, reminds many people of what they have lost or have never had, resulting in a case of the “blues.”

The anguish of broken relationships, the insecurity of unemployment, the weariness of ill health, the pain of isolation — all these often cause individuals to feel very alone in the midst of the celebrating and spending.

Omundson explained that the unique service gives those in need a space to acknowledge their sadness or concern before becoming uplifted.

“We hope that this let’s people know they are not alone in the midst of whatever they are going through,” he explained. This “nonthreatening” event is
open to the public and will feature readings of passages that are sure to offer comfort.

Although the United Church of Christ has offered a “Blue Christmas” service in the past, it has not seen the attendance event planners were hoping for.

With this year’s partnership, Omundson says he is hopeful the event will grow and bring happiness to several more community members. Often times individuals who feel down during the holiday season need encouragement to live the days ahead, according to the pastor.

For these reasons the host churches invite everyone interested to attend the service to hear prayers, scripture and music that “acknowledges
God’s presence is for those who mourn, for those who struggle – and that God’s word comes to shine light into darkness.”

For for information, contact First Christian Church of Oskaloosa at 641-673-4671 between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Story provided by Danielle Lunsford


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