excerpt:"People are looking for security, but there isn't much now," said Rev. Dr. Janet Newman , the interim minister at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Northwest Austin.
Newman said her congregation ushered in the holiday with a traditional candle-lighting service on Christmas Eve.
"One of our customs is that we bring our own light, and we try to make the world better with our own efforts," Newman said. By darkening the church sanctuary and letting ushers distribute light to each person on the aisle, then passing the light from person to person, "we are sitting in the light that we are holding, and it reminds us of the light we are responsible for bringing into the world," she said.
Though layoffs and foreclosures have touched congregations and parishes in Austin and throughout the country, Austin pastors said Christmas was a good time to remind people of the intimacy God promises to his followers and the light they believe Jesus brought to the world.