For a couple of years now I have led our church to put on a special Christmas memorial service for our community. The idea has been to offer some encouragement and comfort to those who are having a difficult time during a season when everyone else is supposedly full of joy and happiness. We even have a candle-lighting ceremony specifically for those who have lost a loved one in the last year.
But this year I had to cancel. Only one family talked to me about wanting a candle to remember a loved one. I realized that even if a few other people showed up, it would be too small of an event. It would feel uncomfortable for the one family involved in the candle-lighting service.
This is some of the reality of small town and small church ministry, isn’t it? Even though we don’t expect large crowds for most events, there still do have to be enough people to make it work.
The people who have attended in the past have expressed gratitude for an event that allowed them to pause in the busy festive season to mourn those whom they had lost in the past year. I’ll have to do some figuring whether to do it again, or to do it with some changes.
Oh well, the reality of small town!