This has been a particularly troubling year for Boone County with a police officer's death, the death of a city councilman, the death of a Western Boone High School student and two Zionsville students, the death of a rural Thorntown farmer and a horrific accident the took the legs of another farmer.
On Thursday, the community was hit with yet another tragedy when word spread of the accidental shooting of a 4-year-old in Lebanon.
Pastors of three Lebanon churches, two of whom also serve as law enforcement chaplains, decided to conduct a Christmas Light Worship Service at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Centenary United Methodist Church, 910 E. Fordice Road, to give people who are grieving a chance to enter the Christmas season with a feeling of hope and faith.
The Rev. Terri Thorn, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, has conducted similar services for the last seven years. Thorn is chaplain for the Lebanon Police Department. The Rev. Anthony Stone is pastor of Centenary UMC and chaplain for the Boone County Sheriff's Department, and the Rev. Nathan Kibler, is pastor at Central Christian Church.
“The three of us decided we want to offer a worship service with a focus on taking the true meaning of Christmas and bringing that light into what has been a really dark year,” Thorn said.
“There is a presumption everyone is going to be happy at Christmas time,” she said. “But the reality is that's not always true for folks, especially if they've had a bad year.”
The service, she said, “is for anybody in the community, whether they're having sadness or not. It's a way to come together and say goodbye to this difficult year and find strength and hope in the fact that we are a community.
“This is especially important to those who have lost jobs or loved ones. It's an opportunity to withdraw from the hustle and bustle of December and spend time in a worshipful setting to encourage each other and to say Boone County is strong and many of us are strong because of our faith,” she said.
“We don't call it a healing service. We think healing takes place in these services, but more importantly we think it's a hope building service,” she said. “How you grieve a tragedy is personal. This service should give you a sense of hope that you're not alone.”
All in the community are welcome.