Congregations intentionally seeking delight

Delight is a spiritual practice that must be cultivated individually and in community. We have intentionally gathered five like-minded congregations to pursue the transformative possibility innate in recognizing a daily delight.

Our project is comprised of First Baptist Church in America (Providence, RI), First Baptist Church of Philadelphia (Philadelphia, PA), First Baptist Church of Austin (Austin, TX), Providence Church (Charleston, SC), and First Baptist Church of Savannah (Savannah, GA).

In Ross Gay’s book of essays entitled The Book of Delights, he lays out his challenge to write a daily essay about something delightful. He pledged that he would do it every day for a year, write them quickly, and write them by hand. Of this practice, Gay says, “It didn’t take me long to learn that the discipline or practice of writing these essays occasioned a kind of delight radar. Or maybe it was more like the development of a delight muscle. Something that implies that the more you study delight, the more delight there is to study.” 

While it may seem like an odd time to be drawing out our delights, The Book of Delights shows that making space for delight means also making space for recognizing injustice, despair, hate, and unfairness. Delight wraps its arms around each of these inevitable aspects of life, drawing our attention to them, while simultaneously helping us to muster the courage to face them. 

The goal of this project is to empower our congregations to:

-Nurture their attentiveness for the delightful, even in the midst of difficulty

-Connect with others using a common spiritual journey to combat social isolation.

-Cultivate a collective and individual spirituality of delight through daily practice.

“The more you study delight, the more delight there is to study.”