Why We Love This Church!
11/18/20
Joy of All Who Sorrow
Joy of All Who Sorrow
Joy of All Who Sorrow

Joy of All Who Sorrow is a place where people find transformation in Jesus Christ through worship, education, fellowship, and service. It is a place where the endless beauty and majesty of God is revealed to us, as much as possible in this life. It is where sorrows and burdens are turned into means of healing and joy. Our Church is a place where brokenness and heartache stand face to face with the Giver of abundant Life. It is a place where we begin the journey of going “from glory to glory” (2 Corinthians 3:18). Hear what our parishioners are saying about their Church home. 

From our bishop Metropolitan Joseph “1. Your church and you all are so dear to the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow that you did not close the church for services, especially for Divine Liturgies, during the Corona-virus pandemic; 2. You are celebrating your Church Name Day and always thinking of the heavenly things; 3. You always try to remember the eternity; 4. You are blessed that the Mother of God Joy of All Who Sorrow is your Patroness; 5. She is happy to be an example for you; 6. You are the chosen few by Her to be on the right path to salvation; 7. She rejoices when your lips are never too tired to sing Her praise; 8. She loves to fill your hearts that you turn to Her with the grace of Christ.”

Popadia Juliana Miller “We love Joy because the people you meet there are genuine, honest, and kind. There is not a menacing bone in the Body of this parish. Parishioners attend because they truly want to and love being there. Everyone works together and truly does ‘bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ.'”

Kristina Ako “Church for me is a place where no one has to pretend. We all have the love for God and we all express it in our own way. Inside the Joy of All Who Sorrow church, the atmosphere is ALWAYS calm and sort of secluded from the outside world. I feel shielded and confident that my prayer is heard. I always suggest to my friends and family if their heart is heavy with grief for departed or unresolved issues they should go and light a candle. I encourage them to walk around and look at the icons, look at the saints’ faces, and see if one of them speaks to them. And when it does, learn more about that particular saint and make them your amulet and guiding star.  The location of our church, the quality, and beauty of the woodwork, the aroma of myrrh and serenity, the warmth of the people, and the ability to be compassionate no matter how hard of a sin one has committed THAT is what makes my church really a Joy. Even if it is through Sorrow.”

Irina Lawrence “To me “Joy of All Who Sorrow” is a faithful community of wonderful and caring people. Everyone feels welcomed and accepted here. The priests of the church preserve the teachings and traditions of the Orthodox Faith, offering wise guidance to all of us. The way the liturgy is conducted and the appearance of the church, including the abundance of icons, candles, and the incense aroma, remind me dearly of the Orthodox churches I visited in Russia. I am thankful for the unique opportunity, while living in America, to experience the vivid beauty of the Orthodox faith and to grow in my faith as well.”

Anna Glass “I write this on November 4th, the one year anniversary of the death of my brother Ed in California. I thank God for the influence that the congregation of Joy of All of Sorrow had on him. He went from a strict agnostic to a man who was asking for prayer for others and himself. He and his wife were so impressed with the “treasure” that I found in the people of this church. My brother’s last words to me were, ‘Tell the people in your church thank you for taking care of my sister and thank you for your prayers.’ ”

Photini James “Joy is home!”

Mary Lee “I am thankful that our Church values Orthodox Spiritual Tradition in the Services, striving to be God-pleasers rather than man-pleasers. Also I love our sense of Community, where together (rather than individually) we can get any job done easily and even joyfully!”

Julia Martin “What I’ve always loved about Joy of All Who Sorrow is that, although I am no longer living in Indy, this parish will always be home, offering herself to anyone. Last spring a month or so before the shut-downs began occurring, I was blessed to participate in the laying to rest of my dear friend, Cindi (Philothea), alongside other dear friends. This experience was a culmination to me of the love I’ve been freely given by this family belonging to God’s Holy Mother. Cindi was a little like her, offering her very life to “the least of these.” But it was in thinking of her and all the spiritually gigantic women around me during that time, when together we supported her lifeless body, nurtured her memory faithfully and with hope for our own salvation, responded to the richly prescribed services performed lovingly by the clergy; it was then I understood better what it must have been like to be a myrrh bearer, working and worshipping and crying and delighting alongside even the one woman who bore the infinite God. And feeling of one body with both her and her Son. I don’t think I can express the feeling of family I have toward the parish any better than that. And the strength I feel, even apart from you all, feels like the goodness I have from my own mother’s love.”

Patrick Snavley “I really like being with people who are to the best of their ability following God and using the gifts He gave them. We also support the church through giving, almsgiving, and having an active prayer life. I feel fortunate to be here.”

Margo Scheuring “Father John is magnificent as is Father Stevan who is now retired. I like being a part of the family of the church. I sincerely hope the parish will come through the current shut down with no loss of life or membership.”

Rafael Thomas “Since the day I walked into the church and met Fr. Stevan and met all the people, I knew I was home. Being without parental guidance, I now have Fr. Steven as a father, Mat. Margaret as a mother in addition to Mother Katherine and  Mother Macaria and I consider the other members to be my siblings.”

Marian Sanderson “I’ve always felt Joy has a stellar core of godly people and clergy. True blue Christians, striving for sainthood, however imperfectly, with whom I am ever honored to commune.” ♥️♥️♥️ 

Theodosia Boyd “I love the church because I love God. Sunday was set aside by God to be a day of rest and communion with him and the church is the place to be if I want to draw close to God and be with God. What better place to be to share this time with his people too?”

Moses Sosna “Joy of All Who Sorrow is not a church to me; it’s a family I belong to. Everyone looks out for each other and no need goes unmet. You don’t have to be alone on a holiday unless you just want to be. The people at Joy are not judgmental. We are not perfect, but we accept the limitations and faults of others. If there is an occasional offence, repentance and forgiveness is immediately sought. I love the prayerful atmosphere of the church and appreciate the beauty of our services. I have an overwhelming sense of belonging at Joy and I am committed to this church and my family here.”

Ruth Newhouse “For nine years after I became Orthodox, I and the other members of Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Nashville, Indiana journeyed to Joy of All Who Sorrow for each Pascha (Easter) and Nativity (Christmas) service. When I started working in Indianapolis again, I had the opportunity to attend Joy on a more regular basis. I relished the excellent teaching of Randy Hay at Wednesday night Bible Studies. Thursdays were also special as we gathered in the bookstore for an Akathist (specific prayer). This was especially nice when Maki, my Okinawan Exchange student, was with me. She soon learned the prayer and sang it with us. It helped her English and embedded the love of the mother of God in her heart. After prayer we shared a meal together followed by the always interesting Inquirers’ Class. I was experiencing fellowship over meals, which I never had with my family. It wasn’t long before Joy became my extended family and the building felt like home. My membership is still at the church in Nashville, but life circumstances have prevented me from attending as often as I used to. During the difficult events I have been through this year (in addition to COVID), my family at Joy has supported me in every way imaginable and I thank God for them.”

Steve Happe “I appreciate Joy for being the warm and welcoming congregation that it is. I was baptized here and continue to grow in Christ with the others around me.”

Maria Goldstein-Smallidge  I’ve been going to Joy for so long that it feels like family. Everyone is nice and friendly. I also love the candles and the incense that is used during the liturgy.”

Ryan LaFerney “Not only is Joy of All Who Sorrow where I met my wife, Maureen (at a Fellowship of Saint Moses the Black conference) but it is where I began a new stage of life. I’m grateful for the generosity of the community. I’m especially grateful to the clergy and nuns for helping to keep me rooted in Christ.” 

Anonymous “Selfless clergy, monastics, and parishioners who are wonderful examples of faith in action – loving God, each other, and people everywhere.”

Randy Hay  “There are many things I’ve loved about Joy since we joined the parish in 2006:

The beauty and depth of the services

The amazing parishioners who quietly give their all to others

The wonderful music and icons

The compassion for those who are spiritually wounded

The sincerity and patience of our clergy”

Michael Drippé “Joy Church has been my church home for thirty five years, and my home is where my heart is, with the clergy and parishioners of our wonderful church.”  

Diakonissa Rebecca Walker “It feels like home and it is home.”

Mary Drippé “I came, decades ago, searching for wisdom, and I found Christ here.  The rolling stone, at last, put down roots here.  At JOY I have found my home, my church home, my community home, my interior hospital, my life home, my spiritual home.”

Anya Aslanova “From the time I walked into the Joy of All Who Sorrow Orthodox Church, more than 20 years ago, I knew it was home. Its heavenly scent of myrrh, its gentle light, the chanting, the unexplainable yet familiar feeling of belonging were all present from the very first moment. Over the past 20 years, my church has carried me and my family through life’s many joys and sorrows. Without it, many sorrows would have been impossible for me to handle and many joys wouldn’t have been amplified by God’s love and shared with my community. It is here that I have found my lifelong friends, many of whom have become family. It is here that I continue finding peace and joy.”

Fr. Deacon Michael “There are way too many reasons why I love our parish family to put down in detail, but I will name the essence of that love. Over the past 20 plus years since the establishment of our parish, I have experienced wondrous things both internally and externally, spiritually, and physically, which have filled and expanded my heart and mind beyond telling. And for that I give thanks to our heavenly Father, our Lord Jesus Christ, our blessed Patroness and Mother of our God, all the saints and the love of my Fathers, Brothers, and Sisters. It hasn’t always been a bed of roses; pain has also been a very deep and real part of our parish family. But it is nonetheless precious and even though it takes time and discernment it has helped and nourished me to grown towards the image of God, which is the goal of our life together. Through the guidance and direction of our Fathers and eternal truths of our faith, which we as a family strive to live out together, I have (despite my hardness of heart and stubborn will) found newness of life and brotherhood and a desire to find the meaning of life. I think the fulfillment I have been seeking from parish life is found from sacrificing and supporting others in the family without severe judgement. Thank you to all at all times who make my life an abiding joy.”

Many thanks to Popadia Miller for conceiving the idea for this blog and collecting comments. It is both a celebration of our Feast Day (Nov. 6) and and offering of Thanksgiving.

Many thanks also to the people who contributed their heartfelt comments. If you missed the opportunity to participate, contact Anna at annetteglass03@gmail.com to have your comments added for next week. You can either write it yourself or ask Anna to call you so you can tell her what you want to say and she’ll write it up for you.

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1516 N DELAWARE ST. INDIANAPOLIS, IN, 46202 · (317) 637-1897