November 2021
Joy and Gratitude

Editor's Letter November 2021

Dear Friends,

As we inch closer to completing another year of the pandemic, of restricted movement and adjusting to a loss of ‘normal’ life, how can we find and focus on joy and gratitude? In what ways can we celebrate the good things and give thanks for our countless blessings and learnings this year? In this issue, our authors remind us that even when we are weary, we only have to ask to receive joy and our God’s abundant, endless love – often in surprising ways.

Have you experienced the joy and comfort a pet or companion animal can bring to your life? In Joy Cometh, Nicole Mirando gives us a glimpse into her loving relationship with her rescue puppy, Linus, and shares how, in the end, it was he who rescued her. This article is available in English and Spanish.

What does it mean to be centered in joy? Are you searching for a way to engage your church leadership in reflection on their joy and gratitude as a community? In her vlog, A Pandemic Church Plant Inspires Joy, Beth Wyndham invites us to consider where the Holy Spirit may be calling our faith communities to seek joy.

In The Joy and Gratitude Within, Kathy Culmer shares wisdom through words and video about the ways gifts like joy from our God may not always look like what we’re expecting, and how we often find them in unexpected places and spaces when we most need them.

When Max Firesheets decided to change their name, the people of the Episcopal Church of the Redeemer in Cincinnati, Ohio, came together in solidarity and faithfulness. In the video Bold, Magnificent and True, Max Firesheets, in conversation with Philip DeVaul, describes their journey from uncertainty to joy.

The Board of Directors of the Episcopal Church Foundation recently elected four new board members – learn more about them here. The Board convenes in-person on November 11-13, 2021, when they will focus on discerning a new direction – one that recognizes ECF’s unique position to lead innovation and change with an emphasis on reimagining, reforming and rebuilding existing structures.

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


Charis Bhagianathan
Editor, ECF Vital Pratices

This article is part of the November 2021 Vestry Papers issue on Joy and Gratitude