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“So you’ll go out in joy,
    you’ll be led into a whole and complete life.
The mountains and hills will lead the parade,
    bursting with song.
All the trees of the forest will join the procession,
    exuberant with applause."

Isaiah 55:12 (The Message)

Last weekend, a number of us attended the Annual Retreat together, spending a day and half hearing Kathy Gathro and Jeannie Herbert remind us of the Spirit’s work in leading us into joy.  In the opening session, I jotted down a quote, “Gratitude is the password to joy.” So, in an attempt to "unlock" joy in my own life, here are a few notes of gratitude from the retreat. 

  • I appreciated the way that Kathy and Jeannie led us in our sessions with creative multi-sensory practices. 
  • I’m grateful for the work of the retreat committee and volunteers who organized logistics, planned activities and led music so that all participants would find moments of joy through the retreat.
  • I’m grateful that WCF values inter-generational fun, where people and children of all ages played games and shared their comedic talents together. It’s a rare moment in the life of the church and even rarer in our modern society where our programs are often segmented by age and demographic.
  • I’m grateful for the unhurried and unplanned conversations where I was able to hear about God's work in the lives of my WCF family. 
  • I’m grateful to be reminded that God’s spirit is at work in the lives of our sisters and brothers in Christ, particularly after a challenging 18 months of pandemic life.

Ultimately, I’m reminded through God’s words to Isaiah that joy isn’t dependent on what we do, but upon the faithfulness of God. God’s promise of joy to the Israelites is grounded in God’s commitment to God’s enduring love for Israel and for you and I. That is certainly good news to be grateful for!

This week, pause for a moment of gratitude and recognize how joy is being unlocked. If you are able, share with a friend or send me a note. I’d love to hear about it!

Pursuing joy together in Christ,


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