The Joy in the Journey -- Finding Your Joy

I remember as a kid in Sunday School, one of my favorite songs to sing went something like this: “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart, down in my heart, down in my heart…“ You may be able to finish the chorus for yourself. It is a timeless song, because we all desire to have joy in our life.  But what is this thing that we call Joy?

   The Webster’s dictionary defines joy as:
1 a: the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : delight.
   b: the expression or exhibition of such emotion: gaiety.
2: a state of happiness or felicity: bliss.
3: a source or cause of delight.       Quite often people equate joy with being happy and use the terms interchangeably.

   But, is JOY different from HAPPINESS?

   The answer is: Yes and No. Joy is something that lasts. Happiness is something that is temporary.

Joy springs from within and is an internal experience. Happiness is caused by external circumstances or experiences and it always depends on others.

   Joy brings with it a feeling of contentment and confidence which can take us through a storm in our life-journey. Happiness is not present when we are in the midst of a storm; it just vanishes.

   Happiness is a blurred emotion. It can mean different things to many people.

   Joy is a conscious commitment to be happy, to have a sense of gratitude and contentment despite life’s challenges.

   Joy in the Journey, the next Women’s Ministry Retreat, will be exploring whether we have achieved real joy in our lives as described above. It will be held on May 24—May 26, 2019 in Niagara-on-the Lake, Ontario.

   We have engaged a wonderful keynote speaker—Wendy Farha.  Wendy is a gifted singer, songwriter, musician, comedian and inspirational speaker. She has been writing songs and performing since 1978. Wendy began by playing in local coffeehouses, churches and hospitals.

   A gifted communicator, Wendy shares her songs, stories and her hilarious sense of humor to entertain & inspire her audiences. Wendy’s diagnosis of clinical depression in 2000 and then breast cancer in 2009 has given her an empathy for those suffering from sickness, mental illness, and from the many difficulties we experience in this life.  She will share her music, comedy and her life story — an inspirational, faith-filled message of hope and JOY through her journey which can be a model for our own journey!

   Our chaplain for the weekend will be Pastor Karen Kuhnert, currently serving St. James, St. Jacobs, ON.  We look forward to lively and inspirational worship for the weekend lead by Karen and her worship team. Breakout sessions will include Bible Study, Arts & Crafts; and Yoga to name a few.  We will offer a couple of off-site trips into the Niagara Area—including a wine tour!

   Saturday evening will feature the Red Shoe Banquet a themed, fun-filled evening for all.  What do Red Shoes have to do with it?  You have to come and find out!  Look for more information in the next Columbine in the fall.  Alternatively, you can go to our new Women’s Ministry Website at http://eswomensministry.com/

Information will be updated as available. We hope that many of our women can come on a spiritual journey with us that weekend and find their joy.

Cathy Calvin, Director, Women’s Ministry, Eastern Synod