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  • Writer's pictureBruce Ballantine

Newsletter December 2023 - First Presbyterian Ridgewood, NJ

First Press Newsletter- Dec 2023
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Dear Friends,

I daresay that for most people, Christmas is eagerly anticipated as a time marked by festive gatherings of family and friends, a time to decorate our homes and give beautifully wrapped gifts to those we love, a time to attend concerts, sing carols, and celebrate the birth of Jesus. Christmas is typically experienced as a day and a season

filled with great joy!

But that is not how everyone experiences Christmas.

For those who have lost a loved one, for those struggling with depression, for those going through separation or divorce, for those who have lost a job or who may be facing financial difficulty, for those caught up in addiction, for those afflicted by a serious illness, for those whose level of stress is off the charts, for those who feel discouraged

for any number of reasons, Christmas and the days leading up to it can be difficult.

A Longest Night service, or Blue Christmas Service, as it is sometimes called, offers an alternative to the joy of the seasonal celebrations for those who find themselves in places of darkness. A Longest Night service is typically held on or around the winter solstice – when daylight is in short supply and darkness lingers. For those who find

themselves caught in a long, dark night of the soul, such a service can provide a glimmer of light and hope.

Longest Night Service ~ Wednesday, December 20, at 7:00 p.m.

For the first time at First Pres, this year we will offer a Longest Night Service. It will take place in the Chapel on Wednesday, December 20, at 7:00 p.m. During this time of worship and contemplation, you are invited to a quiet refuge of prayer, music and remembrance. We will acknowledge our losses and ponder the everlasting hope that

shines as light in the darkness.

You are invited to step into this space of calm, quiet and healing. And you are invited to bring a loved one or friend who might benefit from this experience.

Grace and peace,



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