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Church offers service for those who have experienced loss of loved ones this year


NORTH RIDGEVILLE — Getting through any tradition or ritual for the first time after the loss of a loved one can be a trying time, but it’s particularly tough when those traditions involve holidays.

“The service is open to anyone who has lost loved ones,” Pastor Tom Joyce said of the 6 p.m. Nov. 27 Time of Remembrance service at Fields United Methodist Church, 34077 Lorain Road.

“It’s always a difficult time around the holidays,” Joyce said of the mix of poignant and painful memories that Thanksgiving, Christmas and other holiday periods summon up for many people.

“We want to offer God’s grace to those folks and to journey with them for that short period of time (during the service) or for as long as they need us.”

The service, which the church has held for a number of years, may be of special significance for Fields’ members who have experienced the loss of a family member in 2011.

“There are 11 families out there who are having a difficult time this year,” Joyce said.

The service will include the lighting of candles to honor loved ones who have died, singing prayer, and practical suggestions for getting through the holidays. Someone need not have suffered a recent loss to attend the service.

“Last year we had people stand up and bear witness if they felt comfortable doing so,” Joyce said.

Anyone attending the service will also be able to receive materials on grief and mourning, particularly during the holidays.

Each participant will also be given an angel ornament. Anyone who would like to attend is asked to RSVP to the church office at (440) 327-8753 by Nov. 25.

Fields United Methodist Church will also host its annual Community Thanksgiving Service 7 p.m. Sunday.

Open to anyone and all faiths, the service is a joint effort of Fields United Methodist, the city’s First Congregational United Church of Christ and St. Peter’s Catholic Church.

The Rev. John Fairweather of First Congregational will provide the message, while the combined choirs of all three churches will present a special choral Anthem of Thanksgiving under the direction of Lucy Mercer from Fields.

An offering will be taken to benefit North Ridgeville’s Community Care, an organization that helps low-income and disadvantaged local households with food, clothing, and assistance in paying rent and other bills.

Refreshments will be served following the service in the church Fellowship Hall.

For more information about the Thanksgiving service, contact Fields church at (440) 327-8753, or First Congregational United Church of Christ at (440) 327-2921 and St. Peter’s Catholic Church at (440) 327-2201.

Send your North Ridgeville news to Steve Fogarty, 329-7146 or

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