On YouTube: Blue Christmas Service

The Christmas season is a time of joy, reunion and abundance. But for many, these weeks are a time of loneliness, sorrow or grief—especially this year. Often those who are hurting are told to “Cheer up! It’s Christmas!”

Esperanza offers solace with its annual Blue Christmas service. This year the service will be available on YouTube at Esperanza Lutheran Church – Ahwatukee on December 16th beginning at 6 p.m. Order of Service

“Some congregations refer to this service aOrder of Services The Longest Day, and for people experiencing darkness within and without it can be the longest day,” says Alice Schultze. “I do believe there are no boundaries to grief and to sorrow and to loss. This year with COVID every one of us is experiencing sadness and pain in a myriad of ways from slight to extreme. We acknowledge that but also recognize a sense of positivity.”

The service is a time of quiet, peace and consolation. “It’s a gentle service, not a weepy one,” Alice explains. “Blue makes one think of sadness, but this service is also very much about hope.”

During the service, members of the Esperanza community will share personal stories and poetry and other readings.

Speakers include Susan Vega, Elizabeth Farquhar, Craig Peck and Ray and Joyce Purdy. Jim Nelson will lead the music, Pastor Paul will deliver a message and Alice Schultze will read from her own poetry, printed below.

Votive candles are lit during the Blue Christmas service. Viewers may want to have candles ready at home.


Night Thoughts

Inside the silence

There’s a crashing of waves and no peace.

There is no peace.


We are each within our selves,


Inside the silence.


Once from miles away

You called out to me, and

Through the wind

I answered.


Do you remember?


My beloved lies beneath the ground

Comforted by angels, but for me

There is no solace.

Only silence.


By Alice Schultze

October 30, 2020




My soul reaches for my beloved

But he is here only

In absence.


We live in the bittersweet,


For those we’ve lost,

Startled by

A moment’s transient joy.


Knowing and not knowing pain,

We hope for its mirror twin,



And so we breathe on.

By Alice Schultze

October 15, 2020


Sunday In a Time of Virus

It’s perfect weather, and

The dogs and I are on the porch,


With the bees and butterflies.


The Virus is far away,


Perhaps from another galaxy.


It can’t come near.



In this warmth,

In this brilliant Sunday sun,

I deceive myself.


By Alice Schultze

April 26, 2020


Glory in a Time of Virus

The Virus lies in wait for our tears,

And thus if we neither

Cry nor weep,

We shall perhaps

Be saved.


I have seen an angel in prayer

And it is a glory.


Light a candle

For those who have gone Beyond,


The lost and the saints,

Incandescent mirrors of God.

The angels sigh and fold their wings

So we may touch them




By Alice Schultze

December 1, 2020