The holiday season theoretically is a joyous occasion full of warmth and fellowship with family and friends, but can bring grief to those experiencing loss — which a Thursday event seeks to alleviate.
A group called the Comfort Seekers Alliance (CSA) will hold a community holiday potluck brunch that day at Holy Angels Catholic Church in conjunction with the local branch of the National Association of University Women (NAUW).
It is scheduled Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Monsignor Duncan Center, located behind the church at 1208 N. Main St.
Organizers say it will be a time of food, fun and fellowship, along with special entertainment by the niece of Maya Angelou and others.
Thursday’s brunch is geared toward those who are experiencing a time of grief, loss of any kind or loneliness, or others who simply want to get away to relax, be inspired and be encouraged during the holiday season, organizers say.
“The invitation is for anyone in the community who wishes to come together desiring a time of fellowship and joy,” said Cheryl “Yellow Fawn” Scott of the local women’s group.
The Comfort Seekers Alliance is the brainchild of Dr. Carolyn Watkins, an NAUW member who recently lost her husband. Together the alliance and NAUW are seeking to bridge the gap in the healing process during this holiday season through Thursday’s gathering.
“There is no charge for the event — we would, however, like for you to share your signature brunch food item with others at the brunch,” Scott added in reaching out to the community.
Rosa Malikia Johnson, the late Maya Angelou’s niece and archivist, will attend Thursday’s brunch.
Johnson is expected to read Angelou’s poem “Amazing Peace,” originally presented by the poet and civil rights activist at a lighting of the national Christmas tree in Washington, D.C.
Also, Linda Chambers (a caroler), Michael Hatcher (soloist) and) John Rees (musician) have agreed to entertain during the brunch.
A mime performer known by the stage name of “Life” additionally was to be part of the event, but had to cancel due to illness, Scott said Tuesday.
The poetry presentation reflects another joint initiative of the National Association of University Women and Comfort Seekers Alliance. They recently began partnering in the Spoken Word Project, which uses various literary forms to uplift and strengthen those in grief, and encourages writing opportunities for them.
Through its overall ministry, the Comfort Seekers Alliance seeks to develop a sense of camaraderie among persons so they might interact, discuss needs and concerns and have others available who understand what they are experiencing with the death of loved ones.
One of its primary goals is assuring those who‘ve suffered a loss that they are not alone. The Comfort Seekers Alliance also is available to seek out opportunities and resources within the community which will assist them.
“Our primary focus is on widows, but we reach out to anyone experiencing death,” one person spearheading the effort explained. “Our aim is to be the hands God uses to comfort.”
Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.