Week of Joy

A Monday Meditation for December 14, 2020

Dear St. Peter’s-

It’s the week of JOY! 


Maybe that word feels overwhelming or elusive...or maybe it feels like an invitation. Even if it’s difficult, I encourage you to see it as invitation just for today.


There is a lot of pain and uncertainty. It’s made even more poignant by this time of year that is supposed to be cheerful and exuberant. Our joy is likely different this year. And that’s ok. Joy can be present alongside the pain and challenge. They’re not mutually exclusive; they don’t cancel each other out. They can simply co-exist. 


As an example of that, today in this Monday Meditation, I want to share some pictures from Gifts to the Manger from Washington UCC. We had a couple of driving and organizing elves this year--but it was very different from the usual bustling and chaotic Christmas in Cincy weekend. The set up was different, the planning was different, the feeling was a little different. And while it was sad to not be there, and challenging to have a 15 year tradition shift, there was still joy and so much goodness. 


The generosity of many congregations made this weekend possible for the community in Camp Washington. It’s a relationship that St. Peter’s cherishes and continues to nurture. Thank you feels inadequate, but that’s the language we have, so thank you St. Peter’s for being a part of this ministry of love. 


I’ve included some pictures that were sent over the weekend: 



The first is of a member of our community with her fully packed car, driving elf extraordinaire! 


The second is of a thriving tradition of creating a nativity out of the toys and stuffed animals found. *The creators of this nativity would like to draw your attention to the giant Jesus--the focus of the story, and of the three wise women. 


The third is of all the gifts and clothes bagged up by family, ready to be delivered outside for curbside pick-up. 



This weekend was full, from Cincinnati, to Worship & Wonder and 456, to Worship, to Church Chat, to Youth Group, and to the Fellowship Walk...we are companioning each other along the way and making space for the pain as well as the joy. What a gift you all are to each other!


So, even if it’s just for a moment, find some JOY today.


With love,