Blue Christmas Service.

The service on December 10th  2015 is the fruit  of a faithful church member Carol.

Together with the Minister she recognised in 2000 that Christmas is not always a time for all out festivities. Notwithstanding the joyous celebration of the birth of our Lord it is often muted for many as they struggle with loss of a dear one during the year, personal or family illness or financial or mental struggles.

Those in attendance reflected on the sombre blue lights of the tree as they thought about loved ones. They had an opportunity to pre order  cards  which would be placed on the tree either ``In memoriam``, or  ``Thanksgiving`` or ``Thinking of . These donations would then be distributed to two Community schools.

The opening  prayer petitions while recounting sorrows, difficulties and violence in today world were answered by words of  Trust, Faith, and Hope as HE has promised to be with us always especially on those dark days.

Our homily was very inspiring. Reverend Lee recounted that earlier that day he was on Broadway at the West Broadway Centre a collaborative outreach ministry of All Saints Anglican and Broadway United to continue his counsel  now in its third month with a client- a young first Nation  woman. She  had so far experienced a life of abuse at hands of family members and strangers. She required polypharmacy to an extent that she had no idea why or what drugs she was prescribed. Thus orientation as to time and space was cloudy. As she sat down for conversation, with intent of displaying her new mittens a gift from her sister with whom there was a previous estrangement- it was also the first new mittens in quite a while- she realised that one mitten was missing. Searching in frenzied mode on her person,  purse and coat she was frantic with disappointment, and it appeared that she would have a frank panic attack. They decided to retrace her steps and proceeded down Broadway on a mitten hunt when she spied a “ball”  in the middle of the Avenue. Without thought for personal safety in her glee ran out onto the busy street relief in her heart, and while he(Lee) fended off not too happy drivers she knelt down, clasped the lost mitt, kneeled down  and said The Lord’s Prayer. Hustling her off the street he was struck by her faith. As he expanded on this theme it was a reminder to him and listeners that  we too should have faith  even in the midst of anguish and sorrow.

Many times we doubt his Presence as we do not get prayers answered immediately and forget those times when we were given answers, as friends or relatives come to our aid through the power of Prayer.

As service continued congregants processed to place the cards on the tree and light a candle for  those not present.

The service concluded with Holy Communion and a Benediction of the Peace.

June M. James