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December 1, 2021 News

Joy and Gratitude: December 2021 Vestry Papers

Dear Friends,

For many of us, the holidays present an opportunity to slow down, reflect and consider the year that is coming to a close. It is also a time of expressing gratitude for all our many blessings, even in a continually challenging world. In this issue our authors open their hearts to us in profoundly personal and vulnerable expressions of what it means to claim joy this season.

What does it look like to be present and open to our God’s calling, even when the world around us continues to be overwhelmingly turbulent? In Here Am I, Lauren Grubaugh Thomas shares a deeply personal reflection on expectant motherhood, hope and joy this Advent season.

In Thoughts on Joy, Jaivan Mohorko, a 17-year-old, presents sage wisdom on what joy means to him and how a positive approach to life and the world around ensures that even if joy isn’t permanent, it always returns to us. This article is available in English and Spanish.

For some, the path to motherhood is a painful and lonely journey. In Mother of All and Mother of None, Miguelina Howell opens her heart to us in her beautiful recounting of how God’s love and mercy have been steadfast through the trials and triumphs of her life. This article is available in English and Spanish.

The fear that sobriety will rob us of our fun is very real and more common than we might think. In Resurrecting Joy Through Sobriety, Erin Jean Warde describes her experience with sober discernment, showing how she was able to look at her own self with clarity and love and claim her joy.

Forma, a ministry of ECF, will hold its virtual conference, The Church for Today and Tomorrow, on January 18-20, 2022. During the conference, we will dive into five aspects of ministry that we believe are integral to understanding the Church today and tomorrow: Social Justice, Intergenerational Ministry, the idea of Letting Go, Hybridization, and Re-Imagining Sabbath. Each of these topics will be addressed by a variety of workshops, now listed on the Forma website. Come learn and vision with us at Forma 2022!

To learn more about ECF and our vision, please visit our new website.

The ECF Vital Practices team would like to wish you and your family joy, hope and love this Christmas season.


Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Practices

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