Every Monday morning, join us here as we help you prepare for worship this coming weekend! You’ll find:
- This Week’s Scripture
- The Theme for the Week
- Discussion and Reflection Questions
- Movie, Video and Book Suggestions
- Individual or Community Practices (ideas for prayer, service, or activism)
- Programming and Events
- And MORE!
Want to go back and review a previous week in the series? No worries. Just click here to access an archive of previous weeks.
This week’s scripture:
Saturday, Sept. 26 & Sunday, Sept. 27: Mary Kate Buchanan preaching
7 Go, eat your bread with enjoyment, and drink your wine with a merry heart; for God has long ago approved what you do. 8 Let your garments always be white; do not let oil be lacking on your head. 9 Enjoy life with the wife whom you love, all the days of your vain life that are given you under the sun, because that is your portion in life and in your toil at which you toil under the sun. 10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do with your might; for there is no work or thought or knowledge or wisdom in Sheol, to which you are going.
(for all ages!)
- Who makes you laugh the most?
- Who warms your heart?
- What’s the difference between joy and happiness?
- Can you think of a time when you weren’t just happy, but you felt true joy inside, deep down? Share about it! What about that time warmed your heart or stirred joy in you?
- What makes you excited? Passionate? About life? About your work?
- What’s the best part about being a Christian to you?
- What Good News about God or faith brings you joy?
- Tell a joke!
- Have you ever experienced joy in a surprising way?
- What would add more joy into your life?
- Do you find it easy to be full of joy? Why or why not?
- Have you ever experienced joy during a hard or painful time in your life? Tell about it. What did that feel like?
- How can you bring about joy in others? Today? This week? This year?
- What is a joyful childhood memory?
- What food brings you joy?
- Is there a movie or TV show that cheers you up?
- Is there something your parents or friends do to cheer you up when you’re sad?
- What does your joyful face look like?! Show us!
- What book or story do you love hearing?
- Have you latched on to a joyful story in the Bible? Which one?
- When was the last time you chose joy?
- Have you exchanged status for joy?
- Are you too responsible to let joy in?
- Is joy holding back until you deal honestly with your sorrow?
- When was the last time you were recklessly joyful?
- Who helps you see the joy in front of you?
(for all ages)
- The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World (by the Nobel Peace Prize Laureates Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu)
- All Joy and No Fun– Book on modern parenting
- The Book of Delights Essays, by Ross Gay
- Spark Joy, Marie Kondo
- Eat Pray Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
- The Last Lecture, Randy Pausch
- Augustus and His Smile (Video of Book being read aloud by the author found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-FBhbYtedU )
- Mei Mei Loves the Morning, Margaret Holloway
- Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, Judi Barrett
- Everywhere, Wonder!, Matthew Swanson
- Sky Color, Peter Reynolds
- Under a Painted Sky, Stacey Lee
- The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky
- The Alchemist, Paulo Coehlo
- Inside Out! Video Clip from movie: Meet Joy (& all the other emotions!) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9LDSBU15GXM&feature=youtu.be
- Short Video Clip: “Spread Happiness” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aL2nYsXNfMI&feature=youtu.be
- Forrest Gump
- It’s A Wonderful Life
- Pursuit of Happyness
- Toy Story
- Sister Act
- James & the Giant Peach
(i.e. prayer/service/activism) (for all ages)
- Balloons bring many people joy. They are happy. We usually only buy them when we are celebrating. Buy three balloons. One for yourself — celebrate you, find joy in it. One for a friend — make them smile. One for a stranger — just because.
- Count your Blessings! Make a gratitude or joy journal. Name one thing each day that you are grateful for or that has brought you joy. Thank God for those things.
- Play a game that a family member loves even if it’s not your favorite game. Ask them why they love it. Enjoy them enjoying the game. Thank God for creating us to love all sorts of different things!
- Surprise someone with one of their favorite things (treat, meal, flower, activity).
- Make time for you. Do something that brings you joy! By yourself or with someone else.
- Five photos in five days — capture an image of joy five days in a row