A place for peace and comfort during the holiday season

Trinity United Methodist Church to host service for those facing loss this Christmas

While the holiday season is often a time of joy and happiness for most, sometimes it can be a time of difficulty for those facing loss in their lives. For those in need of peace and comfort, Trinity United Methodist Church welcomes the community to “Blue Christmas,” a supportive service being held at 6 p.m. on Dec. 13.

According to Assistant Pastor Paul Melson, the church began hosting the service five years ago as a way to offer love and consolation for those facing challenges during the Christmas season.

“Not everybody is always full of joy this season, and there’s a place they can go to find some peace and comfort if they are struggling through a difficult time,” Melson said.

Melson said the service comprises passage readings, while speakers will share words of solace and those in attendance will have the opportunity to light a candle for those who have passed. The church will also have an angel Christmas tree available throughout the season for people to write the names of loved ones on cut out angels, or hang pictures of loved ones on tree limbs, as a way to remember those who are not here to celebrate the holiday season.

“Through the journey of life, there are ups and downs,” Melson said. “We as a church want to communicate God’s love and peace to them, even in those times that are challenging, and we want them to know God’s there for them and we’d like to be there for them, too.”

While the majority of those in attendance are community members who are grieving a loss, Melson said the service is a place for support for any type of loss, such as a broken relationship, or for those who are out of work or facing a physical loss.

“Some people are at points in their journey that are difficult or they’ve been hit with something that is challenging, and rather than forcing them to try to experience a wonderful Christmas season when sometimes you’re not going to, it allows them to know we want to meet them where they are and God loves them where they are,” Melson said. “It’s just a place to be able to reflect and know that you can find some comfort.”

Melson said each year the service welcomes between 50 to 70 attendees, with some coming back year after year, while others are attending for the first time.

According to Melson, the service is run by the church’s Stephen Ministers, a group of trained lay caregivers who provide “Christ-centered care to people who are hurting.” Stephen Ministry takes place across denominations, providing one-to-one support to congregations that use the Stephen Series system.

“They are able to walk with people through times of need, times of struggle and try to help them get to a better place,” Melson said.

Those interested in attending the service should visit www.trinitymullicahill.org, or call (856) 478–0090, for more information. Trinity United Methodist Church is located at 284 Cedar Road, Mullica Hill.