The Joy is for All!

Have you gotten involved in the Destined for Joy campaign yet?

Remember that the joy promised to us by the Lord in the vision that He has given to our church is for all. When we catch the vision, we rejoice. And we discover what role we can play in bringing the vision to life.

In the book of Nehemiah, it took Ezra the priest reading the Book of the Law to the people for many hours before they caught the vision! Ezra “read it aloud from daybreak till noon . . . in the presence of the men, women and others who could understand. And all the people listened attentively to the Book of the Law.” (Nehemiah 8:3) The chapter goes on to say that the other priests, the Levites, “instructed the people in the Law while the people were standing there . . . . making it clear and giving the meaning so that the people understood what was being read.” (8:7-8)

Once the people “understood the words that had been made known to them,” Nehemiah says they “went away to eat and drink, to send portions of food and to celebrate with great joy.” (8:12) They understood God’s vision for them and were filled with the joy of the Lord. They responded to their new understanding of God’s law by worshipping the Lord, celebrating with a great festival, confessing their sins, and covenanting with the Lord to live out the vision that He had given to them to be His Holy people.

Well, unlike Ezra the priest, our priest, Father Joe, has not “stood on a high wooden platform built for the occasion,” (8:4) reading the church’s vision statement to us from daybreak till noon! But he has shared it with us, and now he is devoting sermon time to delve more deeply into the vision God has given to us who are living the joy of knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior.

There is an opportunity to learn more about the Destined for Joy campaign, and how its goal is to enable us to live out our vision, at the campaign meeting tomorrow, April 26, after the 3:30 service. That meeting – open to one and all – takes place after the 3:30 service. Sunday, April 26. Bill Collins, our Destined for Joy campaign director, wrote to urge everyone to come to the meeting. If you have not RSVP’d for supper already, you will have to bring your own food, but don’t let that stop you from hearing the exciting updates from the campaign teams.

We even have our own “Levites” to help us share our ideas about living out and overflowing with the joy of Jesus at Church of the Apostles, Anglican, in the HIS Joy small groups that will occur in May. Maybe you have never been in a small group before, or, like me, you belonged to a small group in years’ past, but your group disbanded and you never took the time to join another. I am really looking forward to being a part of a small group once again when I participate in a HIS Joy small group. You can sign up here.

Finally, if you have not yet decided on a way to participate in the Destined for Joy campaign, here is something very simple you can do that would be a big help! We are putting together a Fact Sheet of frequently (or even infrequently) asked questions about the campaign and the vision and we need your help. You can send all your questions to me, Faith McDonnell, at You don’t have to just ask “nuts and bolts” questions about money and properties. Feel free to be creative and curious about all of the aspects of the vision. But please do this quickly! We are finishing the Fact Sheet very soon!

The end of Nehemiah 10 talks about first fruits, something we have been discussing lately at Apostles. As part of their response to the Lord’s word to them, the people promised to bring the first fruits of their crops and fruit trees to the house of the Lord every year, and many other first fruits as well. Like them, when we become excited about and committed to sharing Christ’s love, “we will not neglect the house of our God.” (10:39)

Faith McDonnell
Media/Information Team Leader