NEW HAVEN, W.Va. — While for most, the approaching Christmas season will bring joy and happiness, it will be the first year some will face the holiday without a loved one.
In order to cope and celebrate the life of loved ones who have passed in the last two years, the New Haven and Graham charges of the United Methodist Church will host a “Covid Memory Tree.”
The celebration of life will be held Sunday at 5 p.m. in front of the New Haven United Methodist Church, located at 511 Fifth Street in New Haven. According to Pastor Paula Napier, the service will not only be for families whose loved ones passed away due to Coronavirus, but for any cause or illness.
“It’s a way to reach out to the whole community and let them know we care,” Pastor Napier said.
She added during the pandemic, many churches had to halt their in-person services, and cancel dinners and holiday programs. She added this is a way for the community to come together and she hopes the public will attend.
Family members are invited to bring an ornament with the name and/or photo of their loved ones who have passed. The name should be given to Pastor Napier.
Those wanting an ornament made for them can contact Pastor Napier or Judy Scites at 304-553-5697 or 304-882-2286, respectively. There is no cost for the ornament, however donations to the church will be accepted.
The evening of the service, each name will be read, a bell rung, and Christmas carols will be sung in their memory. There will also be prayer for the deceased, as well as for the family who is left behind.
The New Haven and Community Fire Department will assist in providing lighting for the tree, the pastor said.
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Mindy Kearns is a freelance writer for Ohio Valley Publishing, email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.