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An Oasis

posted Apr 21, 2015, 5:30 PM by David Cobb
IN recent months, we've found words to express our identity and mission. Here's what we've come up with.

Rooted in a pluralistic Christian heritage, Spirit of Joy is an oasis for inquiring minds, contemplative souls, and compassionate hearts.

An oasis because SOJ is a fueling station: a place to renew our energies and increase our capacity for loving God and others, An oasis is a touchstone, a resting place, not a permanent destination. SOJ provides sustenance for the spiritual journey. In particular, we see this through the three primary aspects of our ministry mentioned above.

Inquiring minds speaks to our attention to learning and growing as we strive for greater spiritual maturity and understanding. Through educational opportunities, including Sunday morning study hour, guest speakers, special topics, etc. we provide a safe place to explore our faith journeys in ever greater depth, with curiosity and the awareness that we can never know too much.

Contemplative souls refers to providing meaningful worship opportunities using a variety of modalities in an attempt to meet as many diverse needs as possible. An emphasis on spiritual disciplines has created a centering prayer ministry group, as well as one focusing on lectio divina, both of which are ways to deepen one’s experience of the divine.

Compassionate hearts is about social justice and being with and for the poor, the marginalized, the forgotten. Spirit of Joy does a single mom’s oil change twice a year, serves a meal to the men at St Stephen’s Shelter once a month, collects food for the local food shelf, and participates in Armful of Love at Christmas. Both individually and collectively, we seek to follow Jesus in providing for “the least of these.” SOJ feeds us, nurtures us and then urges us to focus outside ourselves to a world desperate for loving hearts and willing hands to serve the poor, the marginalized, the forgotten.

As a community, we exist to encourage, and support people on their spiritual journeys, but also to challenge and stretch us in uncomfortable ways as we seek to follow Jesus.