7th annual Empty Chair program scheduled Dec. 10

November 19, 2012
Sandy Seybold, who has been involved with the “Empty Chair at Christmas” service the last seven years, make ornaments for family members who attend the service. Seybold’s son, Chad, died in 2004 from injuries sustained in an alcohol-related crash. This year’s service will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 10 at Greene Community Church. - Jon Stevens / Observer-Reporter Order a Print

WAYNESBURG – The holidays are supposed to be a joyous time, but for some people still grieving, the festive parties, carols and presents only serve as a cruel reminder of the loved ones who are no longer here.

For those families, a chair around the Christmas dinner table will be empty. And an empty chair will be displayed at Greene Community Church, 653 E. High St., Waynesburg, where the seventh annual “Empty Chair at Christmas” service will be held at 7 p.m. Dec. 10.

“We all tend to notice that ‘empty chair’ at the table a little more visibly during this time. The service includes a candlelight portion and the reading of the names,” said Cherie Rumskey, a victim’s advocate for the Greene County district attorney’s office.

“We encourage attendants to bring a picture of their loved ones for the ‘Memory Board.’ We are also pleased to announce that Lisa Pazzynski and the Waynesburg University Lamplighters will provide the musical entertainment for the evening,” Rumskey said.

This year’s service is being officiated by the Rev. Donald P. Wilson and David Crowe, pastor of Greene Community Church.

The service has been organized with the assistance of Sandy Seybold, whose son, Chad, died in 2004 from injuries sustained in an alcohol-related crash; Carol Furmanek, whose daughter was murdered as a result of domestic violence; and the Greene County district attorney’s office and the Victim/Witness Assistance Program.

As she has done every year of the Empty Chair, Seybold has made ornaments to be distributed to all attending the event.

The Empty Chair at Christmas service is a warm, uplifting program intended to offer comfort and a sense of belonging for anyone missing a loved one. Following the service, everyone is invited to share in refreshments in the church social hall.

For more information, call Rumskey at the Victim/Witness Assistance Program at 724-852-5229.

Jon Stevens was the Observer-Reporter’s Greene County bureau chief. During his 41 years with the O-R, he covered county government, courts and politics, and won statewide and regional writing awards.

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