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 9:2-9
The Sundays after Epiphany began with Jesus' baptism and end with three disciples' vision of his transfiguration. In Mark's story of Jesus' baptism, apparently only Jesus sees the Spirit descending and hears the words from heaven. But now Jesus' three closest friends hear the same words naming him God's beloved son. As believers, Paul writes, we are enabled to see the God-light in Jesus' face, because the same God who created light in the first place has shone in our hearts to give us that vision. The light of God's glory in Jesus has enlightened us through baptism and shines in us also for others to see.

"Scout Sunday" Brunch - This Sunday
Please join us after worship in Brause Hall where the scouts will share with us some of their Dutch oven culinary creations.  Our own Boy Scout Troop 219 is with us today to give thanks and share fellowship.  This is a great opportunity to get to know our scouts and ask about their adventures and what they're learning.

If  you'd be willing to bring a dish to share, it would be very appreciated and welcome!

The Breakfast Club Meets Saturday
Please join us for breakfast at 8:00 AM this Saturday, Feb. 10.  After breakfast we'll tackle a few maintenance projects around the church.  

We'll also need a few people to help set up Brause Fellowship Hall for the "Scout Sunday" brunch.  Thanks!
Other Joyful News...

Alaska Synod Assembly 
April 27-29, 2018
This year's Alaska Synod Assembly will be held from Friday evening, April 27th until Sunday noon, April 29th at Central Lutheran Church in Anchorage. 

It is always an important and edifying experience to gather with our siblings in Christ from all over Alaska - to share our experiences, to worship together, and to prayerfully look to the future of God's mission in our state.  

This year, we will be also holding an election for Alaska Synod Bishop.  The Synod Bishop is elected/called for a 6-year term and is open to any ELCA pastor in good standing. This is a pivotal time in our synod's journey, and the election of a Bishop is an important part of that journey. 

We at Joy Lutheran need to elect two Voting Members - one male, and one female - to represent us at the Synod Assembly.  We want you to prayerfully consider if you might be called and willing to serve in this capacity. We especially look to finding people that are younger.  Any Confirmed Member of Joy is eligible to be elected as a Voting Member for Assembly. If you know someone who might be willing to be considered, or of you yourself would like to be considered, please contact Congregational President, Henry Huntington at

Ash Wednesday & Upcoming Lent Season
Ash Wednesday is February 14 this year. On that day, we'll gather for worship at 7:00pm.  Beginning the following week, Feb. 21, we will start our Soup Supper Wednesdays at 6:15pm followed by a Lenten worship at 7:00pm.  There's a signup sheet on the Opportunities bulletin board if you'd like to volunteer to provide soup or bread for one of these midweek meals.  (Easter is April 1.)

Intern Corner

With the start of February began the second half of internship. It's amazing how fast the first six months passed by, and I wonder how much of that sense of speed is because I'm split between two sites, and how much of it is because of the number of things packed into an internship. My MSW internship was 24 hours (three 8-hour days) a week for 12 months, while still doing two days of classes. My daily commute averaged 3-3.5 hours roundtrip. By the time I got home Friday evening, I was done, usually passed out by 9PM for the next 12-14 hours. Graduation was ten years ago. Not really that long ago, but I don't have many specific memories of that year, and much of the routine I must have had I can't recall either. The occasional snapshot sometimes floats by, but mostly it's a year of non-remembrance, and blurs.

This year is different for many reasons. I'm not taking classes; my commutes are certainly easier; and it's a different field and degree. I'd like to think that some of the other differences- like location, having a partner in the same town, and the structures of reflection- will help me remember things more specifically when I'm looking back in ten years, but just in case, I'd like to commit to memory, and the written record, a few highlights of the last six months:
  • The Thanksgiving Service- What fun to have the confirmation students help lead worship!
  • My preaching failures, and the beginnings of preaching success. (Overall, I'm getting better. I think?)
  • My first time presiding. (Something my teaching parish supervisor used to tell me suddenly made sense.)
  • Confirmation. You have good kids, and I like seeing them each week.
  • The conversations at Jitters.
Thanks for being a part of it all, and what's yet to come.

- Intern Pr. Kate

Global Perspectives on Jesus
This Lent we will be looking at how Jesus is thought of in different cultures around the globe. These include, but are not limited, to: African, Asian, and Latin American perspectives. We are asking you to share any pictures or other images of Jesus. We will be projecting them during worship. Please email digital files to Intern Pr. Kate (, or bring them in for her to photograph. You can also contact her for more information, or to help in planning.

Evangelism for You

One of the many requirements of internship is for the intern to do a project- something that they plan and execute independently. At PLTS (Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary), students have the option of concentrating in Evangelism and Justice, and to complete the requirements of this, my project needs to be in that area. Looking around, I've observed that there isn't much comfort in talking about Jesus, even among the lifelong church goers. People are afraid of offending, or being labeled. Sometimes people hear "evangelism" and they think street preachers and door-to-door missionaries wanting to talk about "JEY-SUS!"

As an introvert, and something of a pragmatist, I've put together a 6-session course covering WHAT evangelism is; WHY evangelism ought be done; WHO ought be doing it; HOW to evangelize; and WHEN and WHERE one might want to consider evangelizing. The sixth session is a "NOW WHAT?" looking at what you want to do with the learning of the previous five weeks. Each week will feature a short reading and activity/ exercise to be done beforehand (materials coming soon!). Everything is introvert-friendly; extroverts are welcome, too.

We will meet after worship in Brause Hall on the Sundays I am here. Schedule* below. Send any questions, concerns, suggestions, my way. Thank you! Intern Pastor Kate (

2/18  What
2/25  Why
3/18  Who
3/25  How
4/15  When/ Where
4/22  Now What?

*Dates may be subject to change with the Easter holiday and my split schedule.

Coming Week's Calendar
Feb. 11
9:30 AM
11:00 AM
6:00 PM
"Scout Sunday" Brunch with Boy Scout Troop 219
Boy Scout Troop 219
Monday, Feb. 12 6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
Feb. 13
6:30 PM
Alcoholics Anonymous
Wed., Feb. 14
5:30 PM
6:30 PM
7:00 PM
Confirmation Class
Narcotics Anonymous
Ash Wednesday Worship
Feb. 15
2:00 - 5:00 PM
6:30 PM
Intern Pr. Kate's Office Hours at Jitter's
Alcoholics Anonymous
Feb. 16
6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
Feb. 17
6:30 PM
Narcotics Anonymous
Next Week:
Sunday, Feb. 18
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!

Information on the Election of a Bishop
Happy New Year! What a wonderful opportunity to hope in what is ahead of us. What does a new year hold for you? For your family? For your church? 

This year holds a time of reflection, prayer, and listening to God's Spirit as our Alaska Synod prepares for the election of a bishop at our upcoming assembly. As members in this synod, it is important to consider the duties of the office and the meaning of calling a pastor for the synod. Then at our Synod Assembly at Central Lutheran (Anchorage) on April 27-29, each worshiping community will send voting members to share in this discernment process. 

This year, there will be no pre-election process. Voting members should arrive prepared to write down names of Rostered Ministers of Word and Sacrament in the ELCA that they believe God can use to encourage and guide God's work in Alaska. 

We vote using an ecclesiastical ballot - here's how it works:
  • 1st ballot is blank, names are written in. If 3/4 of the votes cast are for the same person, he or she will be elected bishop. If 3/4 are not in agreement, it becomes the nominating ballot. 
  • 2nd ballot includes the names of those who accepted the nomination. 3/4 of the votes cast shall be necessary for election. 
  • 3rd ballot includes only 7 names and requires 2/3 of the votes cast.
  • 4th ballot includes only 3 names and requires 60% of the votes cast. Additional ballots are limited to 2 people and requires a majority of the votes cast to name a bishop. 
At different points in this process, there will be time for introductions, questions, and speeches from those nominated. Above all things, those gathered will spend time in prayer, and the Alaska Synod Council encourages you to do the same as we prepare these next few months: 

O God, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. 

Wishing you Christ's peace, 

Amanda Kempthorne
Pastor, Lord of Life Lutheran Church, North Pole 
Chair, Synod Bishop Election Committee 

  The 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 a fun and lively book discussion. 
Our next meeting will be February 19th at the home of Nancy Hemsath. The book  for February is -   40 Autumns   by Nina Willner.  Shelley will be providing salads and Nancy Hemsath will be providing chocolate.  How perfect of a dinner combo is that?
Upcoming books: 
March 19th - The Smell of Other People's Houses by Bonnie-Sue Hitchcock.  This will be at the home of Marcia Hegna.
April 16th - Salt by Mark Kurlansky.  This meeting will be at the home of Betty Veldhuis.
To those who are already planning their summer:  The 8th anniversary party will be at the beautiful lake home of Gerry Norene on Friday, June 8th.  It is a sleepover for those who can stay.   It's lovely.

The Art of Preaching

Saturday, March 10, 9am-2pm & Saturday, April 14, 9-11 am
Joy Lutheran Church
10111 E. Eagle River Loop Road, Eagle River

The Rev. Dr. Martin Eldred, instructor

Designed for the Alaska Synod to assist lay people that would like to learn preaching skills, either for their own benefit, or for the ability to fill in during pastoral absences, this course is a brief introduction to the art of Christian proclamation, specifically the preaching of a sermon within the context of a Christian assembly at worship. Like all art, preaching is a mixture of inspiration, creativity, and carefully learned skills and practices, that are honed over time and experience. We will begin to discover the skills of listening to the biblical text with an ear to the homiletical task. As we look at Scripture, we will underscore the Law/Gospel understanding of the Word with a special attention to its importance in evangelical preaching. We will be introduced to ways in which we may listen to the context of where will live and where we worship, and how that informs our preaching. Finally, we will learn preaching by practicing preaching as well as listening and evaluating others as they preach.


The course will be held on two Saturday sessions:
  • Day 1 - Focus on the reading assignments and cover the "nuts and bolts" of preaching.  NOTE: Given the intensity of the course, it will be assumed that students have read the required reading before coming to class.
  • Day 2 - Focus on the task of preaching. Students will bring a sermon to class and present it before their peers, who will be part of the evaluation of that sermon. The purpose being that we learn by the act of preaching in front of others, but equally important, we hone our evangelical ears by listening to others preach. Before this day, students must email the instructor an electronic copy (.doc, docx, or .pdf) of their sermon.

Required Texts
  • The Witness of Preaching, Third Ed., by Thomas G. Long (Westminster/John Knox Press, 2016). (available via Amazon)
  • "A Brief Instruction on What to Look for and Expect in the Gospels" - Martin Luther (Handout) This brief section will be emailed before the first class to those who register.

Highly Recommended
  • Reading the Bible with Martin Luther, by Timothy J. Wengert (Baker: 2013)
  • The Preaching Life, by Barbara Brown Taylor (Cowley: 1993)

Suggested contribution: $50 o r Call the Synod Office: 907-272-8899