Designed for anyone experiencing grief or loss – whether loss of a loved one, health, or employment – especially prevalent during this pandemic year
St. Andrew United Methodist Church invites the community to “A Service of Comfort and Hope,” designed for those experiencing grief and loss, on Sunday, Dec. 20, at 4 p.m., in the sanctuary, 5801 W. Plano Parkway. The service will also be livestreamed online, and there is no cost to attend in person or stream online. Featuring Guest Speaker Paula D’Arcy, an award-winning author, retreat leader and former psychotherapist, Harpist Barbara Biggers, music by the St. Andrew Chancel Choir Ensemble, and hymns, the service will be led St. Andrew pastors Rev. Jennifer Powell, Rev. Robert Hasley, and Associate Director of Music Phillip Haworth. Registration is required to attend the in-person service.
“With the ongoing pandemic, there are so many who are experiencing personal and devastating loss, anxiety, isolation, and loneliness, and this can be especially difficult during the holiday season,” said Rev. Jennifer Powell. “We hope this service will help them find hope for the holidays amid their grieving, whether it be the loss of loved ones, jobs, health, or relationships.”
Guest Speaker Paula D’Arcy will share her message of hope and healing via livestream from Austin. D'Arcy survived the loss of her husband and young daughter in an accident in 1975. She was three months pregnant at the time. Among her bestselling books are Gift of the Red Bird, Waking Up to This Day, and the award-winning Stars at Night. D’Arcy serves as an adjunct faculty member of the Oblate School of Theology in San Antonio, Texas. Dallas Harpist Barbara Biggers will perform live in the sanctuary. She has played with the Dallas Symphony, Dallas Opera, Fort Worth Symphony, and many others. Prior to coming to Dallas, she worked in the New York area, where she has performed at the Tony Awards and with headliners Placido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Jean-Pierre Rampal, the Irish Tenors, Diana Ross, Johnny Mathis, and others. Additionally, she was principal harpist with Broadway musicals Follies, Ragtime and Nine and has multiple other Broadway credits including Phantom of the Opera, South Pacific, The Producers, 42nd Street, Wicked and many more. The St. Andrew Chancel Choir Ensemble performance will be pre-recorded and onscreen.
“Music has a powerful and emotional way of healing us all,” added Phillip Haworth. “We hope that the musical presentations as well as the inspirational words provided during this service will help attendees reflect on their individual losses, while providing peace and healing. Please join us for this very special hour of comfort and hope.”
To register to attend in-person, visit standrewumc.org/news/ComfortAndHope. Each attendee, in person and online, will be invited to light a candle to burn throughout the service in remembrance of a loved one.
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St. Andrew United Methodist Church began in 1986 in the spirit of its namesake, a disciple of Jesus. The life of the Apostle Andrew embodies the church's mission, which is to invite the Christian-ish and the unchurched to become passionate servants of Christ. The congregation of St. Andrew follows Jesus, lives in relationship, serves others, and takes risks in faith. Worship includes four services each weekend on a 21.2-acre campus at the corner of Plano Parkway and Mira Vista in Plano, Texas, where more than 2,000 people gather each weekend. Recent renovation allows the Sanctuary to host worship in both Traditional style, with the classic pipe organ, and Contemporary style, with a new LED center screen and lighting technology. Small groups and Bible studies gather on campus and throughout the region every day of the week. Mission opportunities serve our local area, neighboring regions, and global communities. The church has been repeatedly selected as a "Best Place to Worship in Plano” by the readers of the Plano Star Courier. St. Andrew United Methodist Church is located at 5801 W. Plano Parkway, Plano, Texas 75093. Visit www.standrewumc.org; call 972-380-8001.