As I reflect on my work with Calvary Moravian in Winston-Salem, a quote from Henri Nouwen came to mind: ”Joy does not simply happen to us. We have to choose joy and keep choosing it every day.” The Calvary congregation has been choosing Joy for the last several months as we’ve worked together to understand grace, generosity and gratitude and the joy it brings to us.
Early in the year, a dedicated group of members began talking about joy and how it frames all facets of congregational life. “Joy is at the Heart of It” was chosen as our theme and it inspired the design of a beautiful logo used on congregational letters, commitment cards, in the newsletters and on our Sunday bulletins. It also became the matrix on which we developed a mission and ministry budget.
In addition to the traditional line-item budget, we choose joy to describe our life and ministry together and provide information about how our gifts are used in Christ’s service.
Our Joys include:
- The Joy of Serving – While we enjoy fellowship within our walls, Christ calls us to mission beyond ourselves to the wider community and to the world.
- The Joy of Learning – Growing in faith is a life-long process and a variety of learning opportunities are available.
- The Joy of Home – A dedicated staff, in addition to many volunteers, provides administrative, financial and facilities management are important to help provide worship and fellowship opportunities.
- The Joy of Others – Through various ministries the congregation receives pastoral care and encouragement.
- The Joy of Faith – Worship is the “heart” of our congregation. Offering God thanks and praise through weekly worship is foundational for the practice of the Christian faith.
- The Joy of Music - Calvary is especially gifted at ministering to each other and the wider community through the singing and playing of our faith. By means of choral, band and handbell music we seek to praise God and deepen our own faith experience.
Our pastoral assistant Ramona Presswood wrote a beautiful hymn text we sang on Commitment Sunday. It concludes with the following verse:
With Joy I pledge my part to spread the gospel truth:
Christ is the way, the truth, the life for me and you.
We are Christ’s hands; in every place
To every race with joy we stand!
In this Advent season, I hope that you will choose Joy, experience Joy and share Joy as we prepare for the birth of the one who is Joy.