Online, In Worship, In Study 
Worship: 9:30 am in July & August      Study: 10:30 am on Tuesdays
"For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before Jesus at his coming? It is you! For you are our glory and joy."
(1 Thessalonians 2: 19-20)
FOR YOUR REFLECTION: I love this passage from 1 Thessalonians! Here St. Paul expresses gratitude in an amazing way-what is our hope? What is our joy? YOU! You are our glory and joy-we are grateful for all of you! How refreshing! Wouldn't it be great if someone in power in your life affirmed you in this way? YOU are the glory of God. YOU are the joy of God. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Spiritual writer Henri Nouwen writes this about gratitude: "Gratitude is the attitude that enables us to receive the hidden gifts of those we want to serve and make these gifts visible to the community as a source of celebration." Gratitude is a gift-to the one who gives it and to the one who receives it, because it creates an even playing field and allows all of our gifts and graces to be revealed. Gratitude builds joy because it allows us to give and receive, to center in a thankfulness for life, for possibilities and for one another.
FROM THE BOOK OF JOYBrother David Steindl-Rast writes: "It is not happiness that makes us grateful. It is gratefulness that makes us happy. Every moment is a gift. There is no certainty that you will have another moment, with all the opportunity it contains. The gift within every gift is the opportunity it offers us. Most often it is the opportunity to enjoy it, but sometimes a difficult gift is given to us and that can be an opportunity to rise to the challenge." (Page 242)
QUESTIONS FOR EXPLORING JOY: For what are you grateful? How do you express gratitude? How can being thankful build your inner joy? 
ACTION STEPS: This week, focus on saying thank you whenever and however you are able-to clerks, the janitor at work, the bus driver, your child's teacher, your neighbor. With each encounter, find a way to show gratitude. Don't forget your family and yourself! Or keep a gratitude list-three or more things for which you are grateful. Read that list at the end of the day or week.
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