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Our Mission Statement

We of Joy Lutheran Church foster 
grace-filled relationships with Christ
through worship, fellowship, and service.
Notes of Joy - Week of December 20, 2020
God keeps the promise made to David to give him an everlasting throne. The angel tells Mary that God will give David’s throne to her son Jesus. She is perplexed by Gabriel’s greeting and by the news of her coming pregnancy, but she is able still to say, “Count me in.” We who know that Jesus is called king only as he is executed still find it a mystery hard to fathom, but with Mary today we hear the news of what God is up to and say, “Count us in.”
Sunday, Dec. 20 Worship
In-person and Online

Fourth Sunday of Advent

Our Sunday worship will be available LIVE on the Facebook app only beginning at 9:30am; the recorded service can be viewed on Facebook any time after 10:15am.

Note: A link to our mitigation rules is below. We are wearing masks, practicing 6ft distance in chairs, and keeping services short due to COVID-19. We are being very safe - if you’d like to worship with us, please try it out!

Note:  Churches are still being allowed half capacity at their gatherings, with 6 ft distance.  (They are in a different category than other gathering groups both due to freedom of worship but also the infrequency of our gatherings).
Good preparation is the key to a successful outcome and the Call Process for a new pastor is no exception. The Committee, with guidance from Bishop Shelley, has prepared interview questions and held practice interview sessions with Pastor Karen and a pastor they did not know. They also spoke with the chair of the Fairbanks Lutheran call committee, as they have recently gone through a successful Call process, which was mostly done online. That was a huge help as far as understanding what worked, how long things took, etc. Now our committee is mainly waiting for Bishop Shelley to send information of a potential candidate, which could be as early as next week or as late as March.  Stay tuned. 
Window Painting
Thank you to all our Sunday School window painters for helping make the church look more festive!
Is anyone able to offer a special music number at the 5:30 pm Christmas Eve service? 
Our Christmas Film
We are excited to see the upcoming film that the children and youth are making to tell the Christmas story! A big thank you goes to Cynthia Oistad and Katie Lanehart who approached Megan Bladow, the director of TBA Theater Company, and asked if she would help put this film together.

The plan as of now is to show the Christmas Film twice: 
  • 9:30 am Sunday Service, Dec. 20th 
(Tentative - we haven't received the film yet)
  • 5:30 pm  Christmas Eve, Dec. 24th 

The TBA Theater Company (non-profit) has given hours of their time and expertise to put together our Christmas Film "Pageant" this year. Special donations appreciated. Earmark your check for TBA, or give electronically (see Joy's website), select "special offering" and send an email to stating it is for TBA. 
CHRISTMAS EVE Plans - Thursday, Dec. 24th

5:30 pm Shortened Family Service with Candle Light 
  • Showing of the Christmas Pageant Film by our very own youth and children

8:00 pm  Outdoor Shortened Worship  (around a Fire Ring)
  • Litany/ Prayer, Candle light and Christmas carols
  • In our EAST (upper) parking lot (Please park in the WEST (lower) parking lot so there will be no cars in our outdoor "worship space")
  • Wear warm clothes! Those who do not wish to stand, can bring a chair.

We would like you to SIGN UP for the indoor service as space is limited. A signup sheet is on the Opportunities bulletin board in the upper narthex, or email us at
Blue Christmas Service - Mon., Dec. 21, 7pm Online
Feeling “blue” this Christmas? 

We wish to offer a space where the reality of life with its grief and pain can sit alongside the hope and light which is the real heart of Christmas.  

Many of us who struggle with grief, illness and hardships may not resonate with the “Merry Christmas.” We particularly think of and pray for those who will be experiencing their first Christmas after the death of a loved one.  We will be posting a pre-recorded worship designed to speak to these times. Please join us! 

Midweek Advent Service - Tues., Dec. 22, 7pm
Our fourth midweek Advent service using Holden Evening Prayer will be posted online on our Facebook page.

Help Needed Christmas Eve
Pastor Karen is looking for a family who plans to attend the 8:00pm outdoor Christmas Eve service to help her “pantomime” the Christmas story. Please let her know if you can help.

Sunday, December 27
Yes, we will be meeting for worship at 9:30am. The lessons speak to the bringing of infant Jesus to the temple to be blessed. The holy family encounters elders, Anna and Simeon, who speak beautiful prophetic words.

No Sunday School - Sunday, December 27
We hope the teachers will enjoy a little break!
Let there be Light!
Thank you to Steve Wakeland who climbed the heights of a ladder to change the light bulbs (and straighten the stoles) in the Sanctuary. Also thank you Marcia, his "spotter!"
Children's Message - Saturday at Noon
Pr. Karen records a 3-5 minute message for young people each week. The Children's Message is available on Facebook every Saturday at noon. Click the Facebook link above.
Food Pantry needs donations... Its a rough time of year for many families. Bring donations (chili, soup, meats, TP especially needed) to the Church or write a check and earmark it for the Chugiak-Eagle River Food Pantry.
We are ordering 12 potted poinsettias for the Christmas Eve altar. If you’d like to sponsor one of them, please sign up on the Opportunities bulletin board. They are $15.
Ice Candle Luminaries Needed
Pastor Karen is hoping to arrange "ice candles" in our outdoor worship space on Christmas Eve. The more the better! There are several YOUTUBE tutorials you can look up.

Please bring them to the church on or before Dec. 24. 
Joy of Reading Book Club 
The Joy of Reading Book Club will have ZOOM-only meeting for December.

Marty and Lori Atrops will be sending out the ZOOM information.   The date will be Monday, December 21 and will start at 6:30 PM.   Although we are sad to give up our in-person meetings, a ZOOM meeting will still allow us to talk books and maybe more people will feel comfortable joining.   Our tenacity is impressive!
The book for December is The Last Days of Rabbit Hayes by Anna McPartlin.
Coming up:
January – Jimmy Bluefeather by Kim Heacox

Sunday, Dec. 20 -- Worship with viewing of Christmas Film

Monday, Dec. 21 -- Joy of Reading Book Club via ZOOM

Monday, Dec. 21 -- Blue Christmas Service Online, 7:00pm

Tuesday, Dec. 22 -- Midweek Advent Service Online

Thursday, Dec. 24 -- Christmas Eve Worship (5:30 Indoors & 8:00 Outdoors)

Sunday, Dec. 27 -- Sunday Worship, 9:30am (No Sunday School)
The next church council meeting will be Tuesday, January 12, 2020 at 7:00pm.