Bathurst Uniting Church will be holding a number of activities during this season of Lent leading up to Easter.
Each Year Target and Uniting Care partner together to help raise money and gifts during the Christmas period for disadvantaged people across Australia. They have collected over 2.1million gifts in the last 25 years, and have raised in excess of $2 million dollars in the last 2 years alone.
For those who headed into a Target store over the Christmas period, you would have noticed a Christmas tree near to the front of the store with gifts under the tree and gift cards attached to the tree. The main aim is to make Christmas more special for the thousands of Australians, who for various reasons are unable to celebrate Christmas.
In December, as one of our services in the run-up to Christmas at Bathurst Uniting, we held a Blue Christmas service. A service for people doing it tough at a time of year which is otherwise so relentlessly jolly. For people grieving the loss of a loved one; facing an empty chair at the Christmas table; stressed or distressed by having to put on a ‘happy face’ for the holidays – and frankly, just not up to singing ‘Joy to the World!’ one more time… At our Blue Christmas service, we prayed together, and sat together, and wept together. We acknowledged that the story of the birth of Christ has its dark places, as well as its light ones: places of fear and loss, disruption and danger. We acknowledged that at the heart of the Christmas story is not an escape from this world, in all its pain and struggle, its questions and cries – but God coming into it. Not a promise that all will be well, but that God will be with us in the midst.
‘They will call him Emmanuel – which means, ‘God with us.’…