This is the time of year when the days get shorter and shorter and the night gets longer and longer. When it feels like we live more in darkness than we do in light.

And so the festivals and celebrations of this time are all about light: the light of candles, the light of stars, the light of lamps burning longer than they should in the darkness. We bring light and life–greenery, berries, glorious singing–into our lives to help us thrive in the colder, darker days.

But we need the darkness as well. We need time for quiet, for nurturing, for healing. We need the intimate embrace of stillness to help heal our wounded spirits and hearts. Because we are all wounded and in need of healing. Especially in these days of strife and conflict, anger and anxiety. In these days of our seemingly never ending grappling with pandemic and isolation.

Maybe you’ve noticed your fuse is a little shorter. Maybe you have less energy for relationships. Maybe you feel like you’re at your wit’s end more than usual. Maybe the season brings you more pressure and pressure than joy.

Please remember: you are not alone.

It’s OK for you to take time for yourself, for quiet and reflection, even if everyone around you is calling for celebration. It’s OK for you to say to your loved ones “I’m not feeling all that great.”

It is OK to ask for help. Please know that you can reach out to me if you need a listening ear, or a quiet presence, or a place to vent.

We’ve also planned a few ways you can find some quiet and healing in community, if that’s what you need.

Rev. Don Stouder and I will be offering a Holiday Service of Healing on Tuesday, December 7, at 6pm in our Sanctuary. Come and join us for quiet reflection and ritual to soothe your heart and listen for hope.

And I’ll be offering some quiet gathering times during the day as well. Join me in person on December 13 or 20 at 1pm or on Zoom December 15 or 22 at 1pm. We’ll light our chalice, share a reading and perhaps a quiet song, and be together in quiet, reflective community.

I hope that this holiday season—both its bright joy and its nurturing darkness—bring hope, healing and warmth to you, your family, and all those you love. I know you join with me in wishing hope, healing, and warmth to all of our neighbors, near and far.

Happy Holidays, dear one.

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