Two unusual Christmas gatherings

Shirin McArthur

Episcopal Church of the Apostles is hosting two free Christmas-season gatherings this year.

The first is an Advent and Christmas discussion series entitled Painting the Stars: Science, Religion and an Evolving Faith. The program takes place on Wednesday evenings and includes a 20-minute video followed by discussion in small groups. The videos include conversation between scientists and theologians on evolutionary Christian spirituality.

The series began on November 30, but each installment stands on its own, so visitors are welcome to drop in at any time. The remaining sessions will take place on December 14 and 21 and January 11, 18 and 25.

Each session begins at 5:30 p.m. and participants are invited to bring their own dinner. Discussion will last until 6:45 p.m. An optional Centering Prayer session follows from 7:00 to 7:45 p.m. each evening.

The second program being offered at Church of the Apostles is A Quiet Christmas Holy Eucharist for those who find themselves sad, grieving or in need of any sort of healing during this Christmas season.

This Quiet Christmas service will take place on Saturday, December 19 at 6:00 p.m. It is open to everyone and is especially meaningful for those who are experiencing pain at a time that our culture tells us we should be merry and joyful.

Sometimes the holiday season is not “the most wonderful time of the year,” and for those of us experiencing loss or grief, Christmas can be an especially difficult time. The death of a beloved friend or family member, a divorce or job loss, an illness or frightening diagnosis or myriad other personal struggles can make this time of year particularly tender. The prominence of our culture’s seasonal joy may be an unwelcome reminder of the void or heartache in our own lives.

Yet, Church of the Apostles believes that God’s boundless and redeeming love is present with us, especially in the midst of darkness. The light of Christ, that glorious light that Jesus’ birth brings into our dark world, heralds hope and peace for us all. We invite you to share in that hope and peace in our Quiet Christmas service.

Church of the Apostles is located at 12111 N. la Cholla Boulevard in Oro Valley. Should you have any questions about these events, please call 520-544-9660 Monday through Thursday between 9:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.