Tonight, for the first time ever, the people of West Dunbartonshire have an opportunity to remember those who have died as a result of addiction in a formal church setting. St Augustine's is hosting a Candle-lit Service, devised by yours truly, and hopefully it will hit the spot. This year alone we have had 18 deaths through drug addiction, and God only knows the number through alcoholism and its effects.
We're pulling out all the stops with millions of candles, some Taize music, and a chance for folk to remember, light a candle, or share their story. Trying to organise things like this are a nightmare sometimes, dealing with great folk whose lives are a bit chaotic anyway, or those whose lives are chaotic because they are caring for or working with the chaotic. For those who know me, they will realise that I'm totally at home with that! Chaos and I are really good friends!
I'm trying, desperately, to stay in professional mode, but I can't remember the last time I was so nervous about something. It's maybe because it's the first time around, or maybe because I know it's got to be just "right" for those who are in varying stages of grief. People will come, or will they? People will be upset, people will come with expectations, looking for closure, looking for comfort. Can we do all that? Can we pull it all together on the night?
I'm trying to pray and keep calm but I can't because I know how much this will mean to some folk. I'm giving it all to God, then I'm taking it back again, and the stomach is churning! So say a wee prayer for us tonight!