An Electronic Newsletter by the Community of Christ known as Joy Lutheran Church

Our Mission Statement

We of Joy Lutheran Church foster
grace-filled relationships with Christ
through worship, fellowship, and service.

Gospel:  Mark 13:24-37
Stir up your power, and come! The psalmist's plea in Psalm 80:2 has become familiar to us in the Advent prayers. Isaiah wants God to rip the heavens open. Both cry out for an apparently distant, angry God to show up, to save, to restore. When we hear Jesus describing the coming of the Son of Man with stars falling from heaven, it can sound dire and horrible, not like anything we would ever hope for. But when we really look at the suffering of people God loves, we can share the hope that God would tear open the heavens and come.

Decorate the Church for Christmas
The Breakfast Club is meeting tomorrow morning (Saturday, December 2) at 8:00am for breakfast and fellowship.  You are welcome to join us!

We'll start decorating the church for Christmas around 9:00am, including putting up the big tree in the sanctuary.   Bring the kids!  It's so much more fun when we do it together!

A Letter from the Pastor 

How do we wait?
I confess that I'm not the best when it comes to waiting, but then again, I'm not sure any of us really are.  Waiting is hard.  And we do a lot of it. Even in our so-called instant society, we spend a great deal of our time waiting.
We wait for our computer files to load.
We wait for the doctor's office to tell us test results.
We wait for the days to get longer again and the promise of Spring and new life.
We wait for a loved one. For a phone call. For a text message. For a word.
We wait for school to be over. We wait for a job, for a promotion, or for retirement.
We wait for our order at the drive-through (I thought this was supposed to be "fast food"!)
We wait for the harried Mom in line in front of us struggles to get her W.I.C. coupons in order as also she juggles her fussy baby.
We wait.
Waiting forces us to stop, to slow down.  How we respond to interruption is the key. I am often an impatient waiter, more than eager to get on with my tasks and my agenda. I confess that I don't take the time to wait to full advantage, to allow my insides to slow down as my outside is forced to stop my planned momentum.
Advent invites us to wait. Advent calls us to stop, to slow down, to listen.  There is enough business, enough agendas, enough noise and distraction to go around. But there is not enough waiting. True waiting. The waiting that anticipates. The waiting on tip toes, eager to see and hear and feel what is about to come.
Advent invites us to that sort of waiting, a type of waiting that eagerly expects that God's promised presence is indeed about to happen again in our midst, each new day, each new season.  The Advent of God in Jesus Christ at Christmas - that is our touchstone of waiting.  God among us. God with us. God for us.  It is a promise so vast that it didn't just come once, long ago and far away but is a promise that is, ever-offered, ever-renewed, ever-present. In all my busy, agenda-making, hectic pace, however, I may miss the promise altogether. I may forget how essential that promise is to who I am and who's I am.
We forget. And so, we are asked to wait. We are called to stop and see what God is doing in our lives and in the lives of others. We are invited to relish the new pace, the renewed remembrance, the refreshed awareness of God's gracious love.
Enjoy the wait.
Pastor Martin

The Giving Trees
The Joy of Giving Trees will be put up in the narthex tomorrow, Saturday, December 2.  Each card on the tree represents a requested gift from a local family.  This year Joy Lutheran in cooperation with Eagle River Parks & Rec. will host 3-4 families for Christmas.  Each family member can request a gift (or two).  We also provide each family with a bible and a gift card for groceries, or other necessary items.  

If you would like to participate, please choose a card and return the wrapped gift to Joy Lutheran with the card attached on the outside of the package.  the tentative deadline for returning the gifts is Wednesday, Dec. 20th.  The Witmer family has volunteered again this year to coordinate this event and distribute the gifts.

Intern Corner

     One of my favorite TV series is the CW's musical comedy Crazy Ex-Girlfriend. Super smart and accomplished Rebecca Bunch is a NYC lawyer. A chance meeting with an ex-boyfriend has her quitting her job and moving to West Covina, CA to make him hers, and live happily ever after. The first two seasons follow her relationship issues, give hints regarding a history of mental illness and treatments, and end with her almost getting the guy. In the third season, bent on destroying her ex-lover, she spirals out of control. As she comes to the end of a psychiatric hospitalization, her doctor says he has a new diagnosis for her. The musical number that follows expresses her joy and hopes at soon knowing what has been wrong with her all these years. For Rebecca, and her real-life counterparts, there is an unburdening as she looks forward to finally knowing what is wrong, and how to take care of it.

     As we begin Advent, we feel joy, hope, and peace as we prepare for the annual celebration of Christ's birth. Jesus is coming anew, and when we pause our busy preparations, we feel God's grace-filled love, a love unlike any other, which can be unburdening. Like Rebecca's mental illness has always been there with her, Jesus has always been with us. But now we see and experience Jesus (and the rest of the Trinity) in a new, freeing way. Rebecca is marked with a heavy stigma, but still finds hope in knowing she is finally getting the help (the treatment) she needs. Christ claims and loves us even with all our unholy stigmas. Rebecca finds peace in her diagnosis, telling her friends she can't make any promises about the future. We can find peace in the boundless love of Christ, and trust our futures to God, who is not bound by time.  

- Intern Pastor Kate Drefke

Intern Office Hours

Intern Pastor Kate will be at Joy Lutheran Wednesdays and Thursdays each week, as well as alternating 2 Sundays here, then 2 Sundays at Lutheran Church of Hope.  She will start holding "office hours" at Jitters on Thursday afternoons from 2:00-5:00PM.  

Join her for conversation about whatever is going on with you, "help" on your homework, or to help her with her sermon writing (or to go over how you thought the last one went).  

Don't be fooled by her introvert shield (computer), she does want you to sit and talk!  Stop in and say 'Hi!'

Midweek Advent Service & Soup Supper

We will continue our tradition of Midweek Soup Supper and Advent Worship beginning this Wednesday.  Soup Suppers begin at 6:15. Worship begins at 7:00 and will last about 30 minutes, although the "Longest Night" worship on the 20th will likely last a bit longer.

Dec.  6     Waiting and Watching for Hope 
Dec. 13    Waiting and Watching for Direction
Dec. 20    "The Longest Night" Service: Waiting and Watching
               for the Light

This Week's Calendar
Dec. 3
9:30 AM
11:00 AM
12:00 PM
6:00 PM
Peter-Boyer Baptism Celebration & Bon Voyage
Boy Scout Troop 219 - return from Rapids Camp trip
Boy Scout Troop 219
Monday, Dec. 4 6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
Dec. 5
6:30 PM
Alcoholics Anonymous
Wed., Dec. 6
5:30 PM
6:15 PM
6:30 PM
7:00 PM
Confirmation Class
Advent Soup Supper
Narcotics Anonymous
Advent Worship
Dec. 7
2:00 - 5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Intern Pastor Kate's Open "Office Hours" at Jitters
Alcoholics Anonymous
Dec. 8
6:30 PM
6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
JCDC Staff Christmas Party
Dec. 9
6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
Next Week:
Sunday, Dec. 10
9:30 AM
11:00 AM
6:00 PM

Adult Bible Study 
Boy Scout Troop 219

Weekly Worship Assistant Schedule
Please take a moment to consider serving in one of our 
Worship Assistant positions.   
Thanks for your service throughout the year!

38th Annual 
Lutheran Women's Advent Brunch
WHEN:     Saturday, December 2, 2017, 9:00 a.m.
WHERE:    Egan Center, downtown Anchorage
HOW:       Tickets are $24 and available for purchase. 

Please contact Jan Oistad @ 694-3459 or for further information.

Thanksgiving Blessing Update

Thank you to everyone who provided snacks, kept snacks supplied during the event, delivered meals and the many other things that made this year's event a success!  

The official debriefing meeting for Thanksgiving Blessing is next week, but preliminary numbers indicate approximately 240 meals were given out.

Advent Wreath Making Thanks!
Thank you to everyone who helped make this a successful event!  Special thanks to Cynthia Oistad, Henry Huntington and Kathy Huntington.  You may have seen our event featured on KTVA channel 11 news, if not, Pastor posted a link on our Facebook page.


Joy of Reading Book Club

The Joy of Reading Book Club meets on the 3rd Monday of every month.  Everyone is invited to come join us for a light dinner plus fun and lively book discussion.  Lots of stories and laughs!  

Upcoming books are:

December - A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman. 
Weimer has offered to host.
January - The Day the World Came to Town by Tom
Defede. Lori Atrops has volunteered to host this one.
February - 40 Autumns by Nina Willner.  Nancy Hemsath will
         be doing her chocolate affair.