One of our most prominent human foibles is forgetting that sometimes the greatest gifts require a pretty significant amount of work.

Okay, maybe that is just me, but when I think of “gifts” I think that means no action required on my part. I just sit and wait for the birthday cake, for the present, or for the amazing trip or whatever else I have come to believe is headed my way.

Hopefully, by the time we reach a certain point of maturity, we develop an awareness that the good stuff in life requires something from us, the love and grace of God are, of course, the exception. That is especially true with joy.

One of the most difficult emotions to describe or fully understand falls into one of those— “you know it when you feel it or see it categories”—like hearing an amazing song or seeing an incredibly moving piece of art. There is no equation or magic formula to assure its creation. But how does the mystery of joy connect to our shared life here at Broad Street?

I think it comes down to two things, one personal and one communal.

We have to be personally open to joy and willing to let it arrive in our lives however it may appear. A bird on the feeder or miraculous birth of a baby, or even the celebration of a life that has passed on. Wherever it happens, it can only move us if we are open to the experience.

On a larger scale, as members and attendees of Broad Street, we have a shared mission to create spaces and opportunities for joy to happen.

By supporting our youth ministry, the music programming, the food pantry, or even the coffee provided after service and a space for friends to chat, we contribute to a potential environment of joy. Those moments, at their best, provide people the safe spaces in which to experience joy in their own way and in their own heart.

These joy incubators feed back into the greater community of Broad Street and our larger world. That is why our annual campaign this year is focusing on joy. It is something we can provide even more of—whether it is as a result of gifts of time, talent, or treasure. And couldn’t we all use at least a little more joy?


How do YOU find joy at Broad Street?


-Written by Christopher Carver, Co-Chair, Together for Joy Annual Campaign 2024

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