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Stepping into joy

At the end of May, Lifewords joined a variety of charities, organisations and independent businesses at Big Church Festival. We went all out on the theme of JOY, showcasing our latest resource, Little Book of Joy, and inviting people to intentionally step into joy.

It was a delight to watch people’s faces light up as they stepped into our circus themed ‘Little Nook of Joy’. Whether they were blowing bubbles, spinning plates, choosing postcards, badges and stickers, trying on hats and jugging, or enjoying a freely given Little Book of Joy, we lost count of how many child-like smiles and exclamations of joy we witnessed.People enjoy looking at the Lifewords' stall at BCF and taking away bubbles and Little Books of Joy.

The stand was bright and overflowing with joy, and many festival goers stopped in their tracks as they walked by, saying things like “Look at these! These are beautiful!”” and “I love connecting art with the Bible like this does.” It is our hope that when these resources are used by organisations that support vulnerable people, they too experience a positive and joyful reaction, and find help and healing in the words of the Bible.

Genesis Trust

One such setting in which this Little Book has been bringing joy is Genesis Trust in Bath. Genesis Trust is a Christian charity that seeks to offer immediate, practical help to people who are homeless and vulnerable. They also offer long term help and opportunities, like Lifeline, a day centre offers crisis support, and Life Recovery, seeks to help people recover from the causes and impact of addiction through one-to-one sessions. Alongside this they run Life Skills, which has a long time focus on health, wellbeing and creativity, and Life Connect, a weekly meal which gives service users the chance to connect with others. As Hilary Long, the Community Manager for Genesis Trust, puts it, “there’s a lot of life going on at Genesis Trust!”Copies of Little Book of Joy on a stand with 'Little Nook of Joy' banner in the background

Hilary has noticed that Little Book of Joy and Little Book of Chaos have been particularly popular at their Faith Group. She shared: “the Little Books really speak to our guests who are experiencing a wide range of chaos. But I also love the theme of joy, and the Little Book of Joy reminds us that we do have reason to rejoice always.”

Joy for the ages

Elizabeth, our Supporter Engagement Lead, shared: “When Jesus said 'be like children', I don’t think he meant 'be child-ish', I think he meant 'be child-like'. Often children live in the moment, content with what's in front of them because they haven't learned the concept that there might be something better/bigger/more. Joy is rooted in those things - contentment, living in the moment, allowing yourself to be genuine and vulnerable. To access that joy we have to choose to step into it."

People of all ages have enjoyed using the journaling pages of Little Book of Joy to reflect on how they experience joy. In response to the prompt ‘Use this space to write down what brings you joy in creation’, Natalya, 6, wrote “when I go to a place with freedom, like a field or meadow.” A board with a prompt and space to write a responseThe prompt ‘Use this space to write down things that you are grateful for' brought up responses from 'food' and 'gaming' to 'family', 'music', 'the time I was given with my daughter' and 'Jesus'.

Expressions of joy are all around us. We saw so many at Big Church Festival, and love to hear from organisations, churches, ministries, and individuals about how they experience joy through sharing the Bible with their communities. If you haven’t got your copy of Little Book of Joy yet, why not get one now? They come in packs of 10, so are easy to share with your friends!

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