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Finding Joy – St. Nick’s News Aug 2, 2023

Full St. Nick’s News for August 2, 2023

Dear Friends-

I have been reading a book by author Ingrid Fetell Lee. It is called Joyful:The Surprising Power of Ordinary Things to Create Extraordinary Happiness. It is a wonderful book that challenges the reader to find Joy in unexpected places and to cultivate it where we can.

In one chapter, she speaks of joyful surprises and says, “…when we encounter joy we didn’t expect to receive, it feels a little bit like luck or grace, as if a benevolent universe is looking out for us.” I love how she captures how joy makes us believe, feel, and connect to a higher power. As Christians we call this “benevolent universe” God at work through the power of the Holy Spirit in and through the love of Jesus Christ.

But back to joyful surprises – I am always full of joy and surprise when someone prays for me out loud. It doesn’t matter how many times it happens – I am always filled with joy, awe, and wonder at the love and grace shared in an offering of prayer.

Prayer is a powerful way of connecting with God and with one another. I felt this connection when you all prayed for Jeremy and me. I also felt this connection when we prayed over our worries and “what ifs” this past Sunday. I was reminded by a wise woman in our community that all of those worries were being lifted up in prayer by 70+ people in worship. Which means her friend, whom she offered prayers for, is not alone in her worry and struggle.

Maybe the most beautiful and biggest joyful surprise we are given is that we are in this crazy, messy, beautiful, life together. Carrying one another through the rough times and laughing together when it’s easy.

As Jeremy and I leave for our vacation, we carry you in our prayers for safety, peace, and a joyful last few days or weeks before school starts. We are thankful for all the little surprises and grace-filled moments we get to have together as a community of faith. I hope you will share your love and joy with Bishop Read and Rev. Martha as they come to help us out over the next couple of weeks. I hope your time in worship and prayer will be full of delightful and joyous Godly moments.

God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,