HUDSON, Ohio — For the seventh year, a Hudson church marked the start of the Christmas season by recognizing the challenges it brings for those who have lost loved ones.
Sunday, Christ Community Chapel hosted a Remembrance and Hope service to provide comfort for anyone grieving.
“We want to comfort people who are remembering the loss. And it’s really painful this time of year,” said Pastor Jim Colledge. “Maybe this is the first Christmas. You know, after death there’s always a first.”
The service included a sermon and prayer, followed by names and tributes read in remembrance of lives lost.
“Not only have you come to remember those you have lost, but you have come to remember that there is hope,” Pastor Colledge told the congregation, encouraging the audience to look to scripture for hope.
Bagpipers from the Cleveland Firefighters Memorial Pipes and Drums band performed during the service. An organizer explained the organization confirmed the pipers’ participation just days before the Cleveland Fire Department lost one of its own.
Firefighter Johnny Tetrick was fatally hit by a car while responding to a crash on the highway on Nov. 19. Hundreds paid respects during a public funeral. His family remembered him as a man of deep faith.
Tetrick was not among the 75 names and tributes read Sunday. But dozens of other family members, friends and coworkers were honored.
One tribute was for Medina County Juvenile Corrections Officer Joshua Kristek. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, Kristek died in October 2021 from COVID-19 contracted while serving at the Medina County Juvenile Detention Center.
Part of his submitted memorial said, “When we think of kindness, compassion and integrity, we think of Officer Kristek.”
Many received candles etched with their lost loved ones’ names. They were lit as the names were announced and photos scrolled on a projector screen. Pastor Colledge prayed for those struggling with grief to find hope.
“Fill us with that hope today, not only because of Christ but because of how we join together here. I pray in his name, Amen,” he said.
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