As noted yesterday, this morning we held
the monthly All Ages Gathering and our Theme was “Joy”. We looked at Joy as a
Spiritual Discipline, which can make a sound undergirding for us as we enter
into the Lenten Season.

    
Despite a horrible blizzard there was a good turnout and an air of
organized chaos reigned throughout the morning!

  We
sang, we watched this video, we ate mini-cupcakes.  Nick and Norman (with the help of Nick’s
Muppet style puppet- Bud) had a three-way interview on the topic of “Joy versus
Happiness”, we made Joy banners and Lenten Prayer cards, and with Blair as
“Gamemaster” 3 Teams worked to match Bible quotes with references, gluing them
onto balloons and finally selecting their favourite verse to share with everyone.
We joined in prayer and finally we sang again.

    
Balloons were popping everywhere! It was wild and zooy, but in our own
quirky way, I pray it did honour our Lord; a Lord who endured even  death on the
cross for-“the Joy to come”.

     The
Toumis so kindly drove me home and then there was more shovelling and a
blizzardy Wil walk. Trudging through the snow covered streets I took time to
reflect on the morning and to consider if the criteria of true worship had been
met, and also how we, as a community, can grow by sharing in what might be
considered by critics to be somewhat unorthodox times of worship.

     For
me, personally, it is not a cut and dried case of success or failure but more
an urgent desire to see the fruits of such an experience. People offering to bake
cupcakes, or spending time during the week sourcing Bible verses and prayers
and Norman sharing his mother’s special words of wisdom-

                              “Happiness Happens,
Joy Overflows”

   Watching people working together gluing banners or matching
Bible verses, toddlers laughing and engaged with adults.

    Did “Joy overflow” in St. Stephen’s House
on this cold winter morning? And did the sound of our Joy reach the ears of our
Lord and make Him smile too?

    I
hope so!