‘Blue Christmas’ service hopes
to offer ‘light in midst of darkness’

A non-denominational service this Sunday afternoon is being offered to provide South Okanagan residents a refuge from grief and despair as the holiday season approaches.

The Blue Christmas Service, scheduled for 2 p.m. Sunday at the Osoyoos United Church, is offered as “a time of light in the midst of darkness — a quiet ecumenical service for anyone feeling lonely, grieving, angry or just feeling blue.”

“It was held in Oliver for the last few years, but they aren’t doing it this year so that’s why we decided to take it up down here,” explained organizer Lori Stodola, a member of the local Catholic congregation.

The service is supported by the Desert Valley Hospice and local churches, with sponsorship from the Nunes Pottinger Funeral Service.

“This is for people who are grieving for whatever reason,” explained Mrs. Stodola. “They could be grieving the loss of a loved one, grieving the loss of their health. They could be grieving the loss of a job or just loss of hope.

“It’s for them and it’s also for people who love them, care for them and are trying to help them — and for people who have been there and have come back and can provide some hope for the people who are feeling hopeless.”

Although the service does will touch on religion, Mrs. Stodola said it will have a secular focus.

“Just because it’s being held in a church doesn’t mean that people who aren’t affiliated with churches can’t attend,” she said. “It’s secular and it’s ecumenical — it’s open to anybody regardless of race, creed, gender or cultural background.

“If they feel the need, they’re welcome to be there.”

Osoyoos United Church is located at 7814 Spartan Drive.

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