Now that the Christmas rush is over, and New Year's too, things have slowed and all but stopped when it comes to special programs and services at our churches. But that will soon change. A whole host of new special days will soon arrive.

Churches don't all do something special on Valentine's Day, but some do, usually a dinner and a celebration of love - God's love for us as well as our love for each other.

And, surprise, Ash Wednesday is on Feb. 13 this year, so just before Valentines Day, we begin the prelude to Easter, which is definitely early this year - March 31!

That will make Palm Sunday March 24. There will be various events scheduled if things go like previous years. And, of course, March is also the month for St. Patrick's Day, when there are usually a few corned beef and cabbage dinners to attend.

That's usually the fare at my house that day - because we simply really do enjoy that meal, and the Reuben sandwiches constructed with the leftovers!

andbull; For folks who have just managed to get through the Christmas season after losing loved ones, perhaps the grief may be starting to lighten up a bit. But people go through the process at different rates, some needing more time and help than others.

Once again, the Seventh-day Adventist Church at 1770 Northcrest will be presenting Dr. Neil Nedley's program on depression. On Tuesday at 7 p.m., there will be a free introductory DVD viewing about the program, "Depression ... The Way Out," which will run once weekly for eight weeks.

This preliminary DVD will provide a lot of information, and should help you to decide if you think the program will help you. If you decide it's for you, and you also want the books - Dr. Nedley's book and the workbook, (and other books will also be available), the cost will be $89. Those who have attended the program in the past are welcome to attend free of charge.

The course will teach you, basically, how to recognize and deal with depression, what contributes to it and how to make better choices for yourself. It will give you information on how best to recover and grow after suffering a loss. For more information, call 464-2738.

andbull; Don't forget also that Pastor Carol at the United Methodist Church offers grief support meetings on Wednesday evenings at the church.

andbull; The Ladies' Christian Fellowship will meet at the Trinity Center of St. Paul's Episcopal Church on Thursday at 10:30 a.m. Missions for the new year will be discussed. There will be a speaker and some music.

All women are welcome, as this is a multi-denominational group. Lunch is catered by Northwoods at a cost of $10. Beverage only is $3. Reservations are needed to order the correct amount of food. For reservations or more information, call Liz at 464-3539.

I learned a long time ago that the biggest thingnotto pray for is patience. As anyone who has done so can tell you, it brings you lots of practice inbeingpatient!

Many of us got that lesson big time this past weekend. And I have to admit that I went from frustrated to just plain angry by Monday. A lot of people did. But I have to hand it to the girls at Coast Central as they dealt with us, the transfers from Chetco. Also, it certainly did help to read Thursday's Triplicate to find that NCUA's gag order was behind the short notice.

As we continue to get this mess straightened out, let's make it a point to be nice to those folks as they do their job helping us. Those cashiers were not at fault, and we should not treat then as if they were.

To reach Martha Williams, call 460-3000,

or email