Our ministry theme for December is joy. As I sit down to begin contemplating joy, we are just a week out from the presidential election. If you’re not sure about my views and feelings related to the whole election cycle, you can visit the UUS:E website and find my sermon from November 6. If you’re not sure about my views and feelings related to the election results, you can visit the UUS:E website and find my sermon from November 13. (And if you don’t use computers, and you’d like to read those sermons, please give me a call. I’ll send you hard copies).
Perhaps needless to say, joy is not high on my emotional list these days. And yet, I think cultivating joy is essential. Joy is essential not only as a foundation for engagement in the wider world, but it is also essential to our health and well-being, to our sense of confidence, to our sense of self-worth, and to our capacity for hope. So, in the interest of finding joy as I write, I offer my answer to the question, “What brings joy to my life?”
In no particular order:
- Playing the drums in worship;
- Hearing people laugh when I’m preaching;
- Working with the UUS:E staff (I’m not just saying this—each of them brings joy to my life!);
- A good night’s sleep;
- Yard work, as long as everyone’s willing to help (and sometimes even if they aren’t);
- A day off;
- A meaningful pastoral visit;
- Watching my sons do something creative that I don’t expect them to do;
- Watching leaves fall (can’t say why, other than that the experience connects me to mystery).
- Trevor Noah;
- A hearty breakfast (hard to do when you’re trying to go vegan!!)
- The darkness of this late autumn/early winter season—again, mystery (I’ll be preaching on this on December 11);
- The occasional Dogfish Head ale;
- My wife’s rock-solidness—mind, soul, body;
- A good book;
- Lamp light;
- ”Spirit of Life” and “Love Will Guide Us;”
- Hermione Granger, Frodo, Ender, and Paul Muad Dib;
- Great colleagues, UU and non-UU alike;
- 153 West Vernon St. on Elm Hill in Manchester, East of the Connecticut River.
I’m just getting started. But before I run out of room, let me ask you: What brings joy to your life? Send me a note. Give me a call. I’d like to hear your answer to this questions.