Morning Journal/Patti Schaeffer
The Rev. Pamela Gable of the Lisbon First United Methodist Church switched her regular Saturday night church service to a special service titled " The Longest Night" which recognized the winter solstice and the shortest day of year. Pastor Gable noted how with the shortest day of the year comes the longest night of darkness and equated that to the darkness and struggles, perhaps resulting from the loss of a loved one, that people sometimes feel in their lives especially around the holidays. The service itself was to remind people that from that day on the light increases everyday and how on Christmas day we enjoy the brightest day of all - celebrating the birth of Jesus. With the singing of "It Came Upon the Midnight Clear," the lighting of the advent wreath and reciting of prayers for healing, attendees were invited to partake of communion and light a candle in remembrance of a loved one, a loss or a hope. As parishioners left the service they were invited to take a blue ornament for their Christmas tree and invited to return for the church's celebration of the birth of the Light, Jesus Christ, at the candlelight service last night.