Blue Christmas for Ladysmith residents having tough time with the holiday

Friday service for people of all faiths, or no faith

Gerry Beltgens Special to the Chronicle

Sometimes it is hard to see the bright side of Christmas because of the challenges in our lives or in our past.

It can be difficult to feel the Christmas spirit when we have lost someone close to us, or life is not working out the way we had hoped.

The Blue Christmas Service on Dec. 21 at 7 p.m. at the United Church in Ladysmith is open to all people of all faiths, or no faith.

“The goal is to provide an opportunity to experience the feelings of sadness and loss that many feel at this time of year, and also to hear that there can be light after darkness” said Reverend Greg Darjes.

Darges is also a spiritual adviser at the Cedars Addiction Treatment Centre and he recognizes that many people do not feel the Christmas spirit as expressed in the media.

“Many people are dealing with traumatic experiences that become particularly difficult at Christmas. Substance abuse and depression often increase during the dark days of winter,” Darjes said. “We want to provide a place where people come to terms with their feelings, a gentle place to understand that others go through this as well and that there can be a light at the other side of the dark.”

“It is important to know that we are not trying to convert anyone, we want to provide a place to have your feeling recognized and acknowledged.” said Sharron Onciul of Ladysmith United.

“There will also be drinks and snacks afterwards. Everyone is welcome. It will be a safe place to come out of the dark on the longest night of the year.”

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