A Conversation on “Joy” with Reverend Wendy Brown

A Conversation on “Joy” with Reverend Wendy Brown

Sunday, March 8th, 2014

1:00–3:00pm

Join us in conversation on Sunday, March 8th with Reverend Wendy Brown as we unpack what "joy" means to us. As a minister at Guelph, Ontario's Harcourt United Church (an Affirming ministry in the United Church of Canada), Rev. Wendy has recognised joy as an experience that is not to unique to any one religion or culture, but an essential element of the human journey and has chosen to make "joy" the focus topic on her upcoming sabbatical.

As part of our Sunday Speakers series, Rev. Wendy will be leading us in an afternoon sharing and listening circle (inspired by an Ignatian spiritual practice) focused on our encounters with joy and what opens us to helping share joy in the world. While Rev. Wendy will be facilitating the conversation, please come with an intent to share out of your own life experiences.

Joy In Our Lives – Conversation Starters

How have you known joy in your life?

What life and/or spiritual practices help keep you open to it?

What do you discern may be blocking or preventing you from experiencing joy?

How can human beings, individually and together, extend joy in the world?

What Has Inspired Rev. Wendy?

happy-wendy

Rev. Wendy in her place of JOY

“Joy” – what it means and what it means to be open to it, allowing it to give shape and meaning to our own lives and to the life of the world – is, I believe, of concern to every religion and to the whole of humankind, whether religious or not.

I understand it to be essential to our journey, well-being and growth, as elusive as it sometimes seems.

Many things have inspired me to make “Joy” my spiritual quest for my sabbatical, including:

    • The following words written by Sr. Joan Chittister, a Benedictine nun, author and very wise woman:
“Too often we wait for joy to come to us when the real truth is that joy is something we must take responsibility for creating, not just for ourselves but for others as well…To be really holy (and, I would add, whole) people, we must stop thinking of joy as an accident of nature and begin to make it a priority.  ‘Always remember,’ Rebbe Nachman of Breslov taught, “joy is not incidental to your spiritual quest.  It is vital.’” (from Aspects of the Heart: The Many Paths to a Good Life: Twenty-Third Publications)
    • And this ancient Hindu prayer:
From joy I came, For joy I live, and in Thy sacred joy I shall melt again." (Paramahansa Yogananda)
    • And the thoughts of an itinerant 1st century Jewish rabbi, rebel and mystic named Jesus who spoke about his joy being made “full” or “complete in us."
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