WS Update: Joy Shared

August 23, 2021

This past Sunday, my husband and I were able to attend service for the first time since the birth of our daughter. What a joy it was to be at W83 with our church family! This verse kept running through my mind, “I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.” -Psalm 122:1

Like most of us, the COVID bubble (coupled with the newborn bubble!) has left us feeling a bit isolated. And while we have certainly experienced joy in this season with the birth of our daughter, that joy has felt incomplete at times.

Pastor David recently mentioned Dr. Adam Grant’s NYT article regarding communal joy. Grant is an organizational psychologist who argues that there is a specific kind of joy we have been missing in this season – communal joy. And during this pandemic, that is something that has been largely absent from our lives.

Grant goes on to say that in cultures where people pursue happiness individually, they actually become lonelier. But in cultures where they pursue happiness communally—people appear to be happier.

“Peak happiness lies mostly in collective activity.”

We, as Christians, know that community is at the heart of the Trinity. The Bible tells us in John 16 that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit commune in perfect community with one another. So, it should come as no surprise to us that we, as image bearers of God, find our greatest joys in community. In short, joy is deeper when shared.

As we head into a new season of our church, my prayer for myself and for our church is that we would find new ways to pursue communal joy together. I am greatly expectant of all that God will do in this new season of our church and am looking forward to the different opportunities for us to pursue communal joy together as a church family.

Grant concludes his article, “Joy shared is joy sustained.” Father, may it be so in us.

In Christ,

Ellen Boker
Director of Care & Counseling


Vision Sunday

September 12 from 12 – 1:30 pm at W83

As you may remember, our theme last year was “Reimagine to Rebuild,” which included a survey that many members of the congregation filled out. That feedback along with many conversations about our future helped our staff rework our vision and priorities, some of which were shared at our May congregational meeting.

On September 12 we will celebrate God’s faithfulness in the past and look forward with excitement and anticipation to the next part of our journey. Join us as Pastor David shares in greater detail our mission, values, and core strategies for the future of our church.

Because of what we have been through it’s never been more important for us to reconnect in person, enjoy some food together, and prepare for the future as we continue to live out Jesus’ sacred call to love our neighbors and heal our city.

Goings On

• Join a Moms Group: Moms Groups include prayer, worship, Bible study and create opportunities for connection, renewing us in the gospel so we can effectively serve our families and our neighbors.

• We’re hiring: We are seeking a Youth Ministry Manager to help develop our ministry for 6-12th graders. Check out the job description and pass it along to others who might be interested.

• Become a “resource friend” for NYC families: Help fulfill Safe Families for Children requests, like gently-used furniture and clothing, diapers and formula, and online grocery shopping. Sing up for a mailing list and learn the needs of city-wide families.

• Pack emergency relief kits at World Vision: On the first Saturday of every month, help fill emergency relief kits with food/essential supplies, and build and palletize boxes. Wear close-toed shoes and clothes you won’t mind getting dirty.