From Our Pastor...
Dear Friends in Christ,
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in times of trouble.
Psalm 46: 1
Due to the onset of the COVID-19 virus and mandated precautions,
we have cancelled all church activities,
including in-person Worship, through the end of March. The Church Council and I have not reached this decision lightly.
Love of neighbor is our motive
On Sunday mornings by 9:30 am, a pre-recorded Devotion or mini-worship service will be sent to you via email/ Constant Contact.
(If we do not have your email address, please send it to us at
This Devotion will also be made available
on Joy Lutheran’s Facebook page. It may not be “LIVE” yet, but we will re-evaluate and make improvements along the way. FYI I also will send out assignments to our Confirmation Class students.
Together we are attempting to slow the virus’ spread. If we have a huge surge of patients our hospitals will be overwhelmed.
We seek to protect those at higher risk of death.
God is giving us this opportunity to interfere with the normal course of this virus.
During this time of “social distancing” (or as some have said “social caring”), we are still the Church
! As the song goes, “The Church is not a building….the Church is not a steeple…..the Church is a people!” Rather than focusing on “gathering” together in person, perhaps God is giving us a time to re-think Church. How can we worship “alternatively”, lift each other up regularly in prayer, support one another in Spirit, give to those on the edge?
Here at Joy Lutheran Church as staff and leaders we will be putting our heads together on these very concerns. Worship is a source of solace and a healing balm. We also trust that God is where we are at. God will lift us up and use us even as we are scattered. God is in control amid all these changes, creating us anew.
At this point of time I ask you to:
Follow Public Health advisors’ guidance.
Here in Alaska people who have travelled anywhere Outside are asked to isolate themselves for 14 days
I urge you to follow all protocols.
Pray for health care workers throughout the world and everyone keeping hospitals going; all workers keeping our infrastructure going – delivery and supply chain, utilities, groceries, airlines, prisons, law enforcement - the list goes on; leaders in each level of government; child care workers and all education staff; people who have lost their jobs; those who are homeless.
Call up, “email” or even write someone. Offer words of encouragement. Listen to one another. Pray over the phone with each other.
When you go to the store, don’t forget the Food Bank. They will be overwhelmed I’m sure at this time. Many people in our society cannot “stock up” on any food or cleaning items.
Do you have children at home?
Perhaps they could make cards or a little “picture” for someone in our congregation or your extended family who is older and would really appreciate it! Need an address? Contact us.
Finally, if you have a pastoral care concern, call me (907-434-1862) or the Church!
We will be checking messages. I am available and will want to know if you are sick or in the hospital or need to talk or pray.
In Christ’s love,
Interim Pastor Karen Sonray