12:26 PM

Holiday Greetings to Everyone from Cook Children’s

A message from Pam Foster, DMin, BCC, director of Spiritual Care at Cook Children’s

Holiday Greetings!

Cook Children’s is a multi-cultural, multi-faith community. We have a proud tradition of respecting and giving space for our colleagues whose beliefs may differ from our own. For several faith groups, December brings holidays.

In the Christian tradition, Sunday, November 28, was the first day of Advent this year. Advent reminds Christians to focus on hope, love, joy and peace in prayerful preparation for the arrival of Emmanuel, God with us.

Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights, began at sundown on Sunday, November 28 and ended on Monday, December 6. Hanukkah commemorates the Maccabean revolt and recovery of Jerusalem along with the rededication of the city’s Second Temple.

Bodhi Day (the day the Buddha achieved enlightenment) was Wednesday, December 8. This holiday is often celebrated with colored lights strung on a tree decorated with beads and ornaments.

The Winter Solstice is Tuesday, December 21, and designates the shortest day and longest night of the year. One of the oldest winter celebrations known, this holiday marks the rebirth of the sun and the beginning of winter. The days will get lighter from here.

Kwanzaa, the African-American cultural festival, begins December 26. Kwanzaa is an ancient Swahili ritual renewed in America by Cal State professor Maulana Karenga to mark seven African virtues: unity, self-rule, labor, trade, purpose, creativity and faith. The name derives from “matunda ya kwanza,” or first fruits of the year.

Regardless of your particular spiritual practice there is room here for you to celebrate with one another. The lights, sounds and festivities remind us that our human spirit needs others as we celebrate our faith; as we remember our connections to each other and enjoy time with ones we love. May the darkness recede as we share the holiday lights together.

About the Spiritual Care Department 

Our Promise guides us in honoring every child’s life as sacred. We honor that truth regardless of the child and family’s particular faith system. Every life is sacred and our new name, “Spiritual Care,” reflects that more clearly. The name “Spiritual Care” provides inclusivity and clarity that more accurately reflects the care provided.

So, in keeping with all the adaptations, Pastoral Care has changed its name to Spiritual Care Department. Click here to learn more.