Winter begins at 11:48 p.m. this Monday (December 21). The weather gets colder — but the days get longer.
To celebrate, Saugatuck Congregational Church invites the public to a winter solstice labyrinth blessing (Tuesday, December 22, 6-8 p.m.).
Labyrinths are a series of concentric circles with many turns all leading to a center. They’ve been important spiritual parts of many cultures for thousands of years. Walking a labyrinth provides a calming meditative state that re-energizes, reduces stress, helps re-focus and nourishes the soul.
Saugatuck’s 7-ring labyrinth spans 50 feet. The path is lined with over 1500 bricks. The church says that “world-renowned dowser Marty Cain assisted in determining the optimal location of the rings, the spine and its entrance. We hope it will become a spiritual retreat for the entire community.”
The labyrinth was an Eagle Scout project by church member and current Staples High School senior Liam Borner.
During several October weekends, members and friends of the church — along with Boy Scout Troop 36 — dug trenches and installed bricks (left over from the recent renovation project) in a special tree-lined section off the front lawn.
That’s just 1 of 3 special events to which Saugatuck Church invites the entire community.
Tomorrow (Sunday, December 20, 4-5 p.m.), a “Blue Christmas” candlelit worship service is open to anyone who is lonely, grieving or feeling down.
“Are you grieving, struggling, unemployed, uninspired — or just plain blue?” the church asks. “Do you feel disconnected from the holiday spirit? You are not alone.”
The event — co-sponsored by the United Methodist Church — includes music, prayer and reflection by the glow of candlelight.
On Christmas Day (Friday, December 25, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.), Saugatuck Church hosts a free community reception, with a light lunch and holiday treats. Bob Cooper and Suzanne Sheridan provide live music.
That event is co-sponsored by the United Methodist Church, Unitarian Church and Temple Israel. Saugatuck Church calls this “a happy result of our years spent with no church home of our own,” following a devastating Thanksgiving week fire 4 years ago.
Transportation to the church on Christmas Day — or food delivery to your home — can be arranged by calling 203-227-1261. To volunteer or make a donation, go to www.SaugatuckChurch.org. Then click on the Christmas tree — and smile.