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'An invitation for healing and comfort': Blue Christmas services help those struggling during the holidays

Posted at 5:19 PM, Dec 13, 2023
  • A Blue Christmas service at St. Andrew's United Methodist Church is helping their community cope with sadness over the holidays.
  • Christi Leupold, St. Andrews communications coordinator, speaks about her experience losing her grandmother and how the service has helped her.
  • St. Andrews United Methodist Church will have their Blue Christmas service on Sunday at 10:00 a.m.

BROADCAST TRANSCRIPT:

While the holidays are jolly and bright for many it's also a time where memories with lost loved ones and other feelings can overwhelm us. I'm Jill Lamkins your Northwest Omaha reporter at St. Andrews United Methodist Church in the Torrey Pines Neighborhood. Here and other churches in the Omaha metro offer a Blue Christmas Service to bring comfort to those struggling with grief.

The service lets people know they're not alone with whatever it is they're dealing with.

For Christi Leupold, it was losing her grandma this past September.

"There's been moments this Christmas season that have been harder like last night I was addressing Christmas cards, and I deleted her off of my spreadsheet. You know like, it's small things like that."

Christi says she finds herself doing things her grandma would enjoy around Christmas time and while that brings her joy, it also brings her sadness.

"The service really helped me to go into some emotions that I hadn't been addressing at all."

And she might have never gone if it wasn't held on a typical Sunday morning as a part of the regular service.

"It makes people feel like you're not unusual if you're feeling some of these sad feelings during Christmas that's really normal and that we all have a place and supporting one another during that journey," said Pastor Chris Jorgensen.

"We have a moment where we invite people forward to light candles and each of those candles represents whatever someone might be grieving during this holiday season."

After the service, churchgoers can also go to people called Stephen Ministers, who can be a listening ear if they need someone to talk to.

"If you aren't allowed to feel your sadness or feel your grief, you really don't get a chance to heal, and I love that this is an invitation for healing and comfort."

If you have feelings of sadness this holiday season, I did a quick search to find some churches in the Omaha metro that also offer these services.

Here at St. Andrews on 150th and W Maple Road they'll have their service Sunday at 10:00 a.m. At St. Andrews United Methodist, I'm Jill Lamkins your Northwest Omaha reporter.