HUDSON -- As the holiday season ramps up, Bethel Lutheran and First Presbyterian churches have something for those struggling with the cheerfulness and festivity of the season.
The Blue Christmas Worship is a service for anyone feeling “blue,” for any reason. Coordinated by the Rev. Kris Kurzejeski of Bethel Lutheran and the ev. Kendra Grams of First Presbyterian, the service will be at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 11, at Bethel Lutheran Highland, 504 Frontage Road.
“It’s a time when people can come and have a place to put their pain or loneliness or the sadness they feel this season,” Kurzejeski said.
Bethel has been hosting a blue service for a few years now. When Grams came to Hudson more than a year ago, she saw the importance of it. Rather than reinvent the wheel, Grams said she decided to partner with Bethel.
“I think it’s a really important space to offer in the community,” Grams said.
The two said they have enjoyed working together on the service, and hope it leads to more partnerships.
The service is not just for their churches' members. “It’s fpr anyone in the community that might just want to hear a word of hope,” Kurzejeski said.
The service is designed for anyone feeling any sort of loss, grief, mental illness or loneliness.
“There’s just so many things that make it a difficult time,” Grams said.
Grams said one role of the church, as a whole, is to honor that people don’t have to be cheery all the time. Even if people don’t feel like they’re in that space, it has a benefit.
“When they come, there’s a depth to it that speaks to them,” Grams said.
Grams said some people come because they were in that space of grief and loss years ago, and know how important it is to have people to sit with.
The service will feature music from harpist Grace Cross, who is pursuing a doctorate in music and has played numerous orchestras and ensembles, including the Tuscarawas Philharmonic in Cleveland.
Sometimes the best way to create space, to heal pain is not through words but through music, Grams said.
The service will also have poetry, scripture, singing and the lighting of candles.
Kurzejeski first attended a blue service years ago, before she was a pastor, after the loss of one of her children. That service had a harp, and inspired the presence of one in this service.
“It was a place I felt free to sit and cry and just acknowledge that it still hurts,” Kurzejeski said.
They hope the service provides attendees with a moment of respite, Grams said. It’s a time where they don’t have to pretend to be happy or festive, and can feel what they’re feeling, the two said.
“I hope they can leave with a sense of peace and maybe an affirmation that they’re not alone in whatever they’re going through,” Kurzejeski said.