The Conversation

Fall 2017 – Joy, Happiness and Faith

Sunday Adult Forums, 9:15-10:15 in the Library: we dig deep with an open spirit into theology, scripture, societal issues, wisdom for living.   The childcare center is open downstairs during this time.  Grab a cup of coffee on the way in, if you like, and join us!

“For Van Gogh, oleanders were joyous, life-affirming flowers that bloomed “inexhaustibly” and were always “putting out strong new shoots.” In this painting of August 1888 the flowers fill a majolica jug that the artist used for other still lifes made in Arles. They are symbolically juxtaposed with Émile Zola’s La joie de vivre, a novel that Van Gogh had placed in contrast to an open Bible in a Nuenen still life of 1885.” – Caption at the Met

Aren’t we all trying to be happy?  Or does that word “happiness” sound like something superficial?  Self-centered, in a world which needs our attention and love?  Should people of faith be happy in this life?

Maybe joy is a better word.  Paul didn’t just say “pray continually” and “give thanks in all circumstances,” but “rejoice always.”  (1 Thessalonians 5)   Why is this important? How do we rejoice?

Forum schedule – check the website and bulletin for updates:

September 10 – no forum, rally day intergenerational event.

September 17 and 24 – Mark Bertelsen and Pastor Bernt on happiness and joy in the Bible and Christian spiritual / theological traditions (including Martin Luther).

October 1 – Holly Pearson, “The Book of Joy.” In their 2016 book, His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu address the question of how to find joy in the face of life’s inevitable suffering. Although the authors come from different faith traditions, they share joy practices and much more.”

Future dates include the opportunity for FLC members of all ages to share their struggles and questions about joy and happiness, a Ted Talks video entitled “Doesn’t everyone deserve a chance at a good life?”   We’re hoping to move into discussions of the theological side of nobel laureate Bob Dylan and other songwriters.