The Longest Night: Facing the Darkness Together, Saturday, December 21 5:00-6:00 PM

This season comes with a constant cultural refrain of gathering with family and friends, of celebrating and giving, of spending money and experiencing happiness—and yet many people find it a source of more pain than gladness.  Even in the holiday season, or maybe especially in the holiday season, we may need space to name lack, loss, estrangement, insecurity, anxiety, depression, or express our fear or grief over what is happening in our world.

The Solstice, when the longest night stretches before us, may be a time when we need community and solace.

We will gather in the Parish Hall from 5:00 to 6:00 PM on the 21st to hear writings that offer comfort for what we are experiencing, and to have the opportunity to reflect together on three topics:

  1. experiences of pain this time of year (a story about you in the past or someone you know or characters in literature or film);
  2. particular causes of pain or struggle in your personal life this season;
  3. and pain you are feeling related to things happening in the nation or world.

All people are welcome of any spiritual path.  If you have questions or would like more information, email us at unitedchurchofstrafford@gmail.com.

The book “Active Hope” by Joanna Macy and Chris Johnstone offers a four step path to move from a potentially paralyzing negative emotional place to a re-energized positive place where we can act to improve the troubling situation we are facing.  The second of the four steps is “facing and honoring our pain.”
Our culture tends to recommend avoidance, denial or repression–saying we are “fine” and thinking there is something wrong with us if we can’t “get over it” when everyone else seems to be fine.  This approach not only contributes to the epidemic rates of depression in our society but also drains “active hope” that our world needs right now to become healthy and sustainable.
It does not take away our pain to name and honor it, but it does free us to see our pain and see the world differently, and that shift can make a crucial difference in our ability to participate in the transformation of what is troubling us.
We hope this gathering can have that effect for you.

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: