Joy-Filled News for Easter Week of April 21, 2019
Our Mission Statement

We of Joy Lutheran Church foster 
grace-filled relationships with Christ
through worship, fellowship, and service. 
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.” God has indeed raised from the dead the one who was put to death “by hanging him on a tree.” Alleluia! God allows Jesus to appear “to us who were chosen by God as witnesses” in holy baptism and invites us to eat and drink at the table of the risen Christ. Alleluia!
From the Pastor:

Dear Friends in Christ:

We are entering the most important and most sacred week of the year. My prayers are with you all as we contemplate and experience the profound, wondrous, stubborn love of God. That is a love that will not except our brokenness, incompleteness, sin, doubt, confusion, shame, or even death as the final answer.

Only God’s Word remains:
You are loved.

The theme of this and every Holy Week is simple: 
From God: I love you, and I will do anything to bring you into that love.
Nothing else in our everyday reality tells us this Good News with such straightforward, insistent and consistent love. God does. Over and over again, God reaches out to us with grace, mercy, and love. We don’t earn it. It’s a gift.

It is also a gift we are asked to share with our neighbors. In our words and in our deeds, we are called to embody the grace and love that the embodied God so freely gives to us: to free those enslaved by guilt and shame; to feed those who are hungry; to welcome those who so often are rejected for ignored. We are not perfect, but God asks us, in our human, messy and imperfect ways, to share that perfect love.

As your pastor, I am asking you to pray about your part in our life-giving mission. How do you feel called to help? How may you use your gifts to allow others to experience that same love you have received? All gifts are special and holy. Those who help with the maintenance of our building, the preparation for worship, the counting of our offerings, the sharing of music…and on and on…are all equal in the work and ministry we share in Jesus. Where is God calling you to serve?

We also all support the mission through our gifts of money. As you may know, our current financial reality is such that we are often unable to pay basic bills – the lights, the heat, the mortgage – all those things that enable our common work together. May we all prayerfully consider how our gifts of time, talent, and money are part of the mission and ministry we have in Jesus. If you are not yet a regular giver to our financial needs, I encourage you to consider becoming one. Take a portion of your income each month to give to the work of Jesus in our community. If you are a regular giver – thank you for your faithful support! If there is a way in which you are able to increase that gift, I ask you to consider it in prayer and deliberation. Together, we embody God’s promise:
We are embraced in love.
We are sharing that love.
We are, together, living out the “New Creation Community” in Christ: 
freed from shame, 
freed from sin, and 
freed to serve in Jesus name!

-Pastor Martin
Joy-full News
Worship Assistant Help Needed During Holy Week
Many people help bring together each worship service. Our volunteers are so cherished and valuable! We have many openings on the Worship Assistant Schedule in the coming week. Please consider if you can serve in one of these positions. The signup sheet is on the Opportunities bulletin board. Thank you!

Alaska Synod Assembly 
This year’s Synod Assembly will be held at Lutheran Church of Hope in Anchorage beginning Friday, April 26. Joy will be represented by Jim Hemsath, Kathie Adams and Pastor Martin. While these three are our official Voting Members, guests are always welcome to attend any part of the Assembly.  

Synod Assembly Saturday Snacks
Lutheran Church of Hope is the location host for Synod Assembly. It is customary, however, to ask nearby congregations for help with some aspect of hosting, especially with meals. Each of the Anchorage and Eagle River/Chugiak ELCA congregations have been asked to help supply one of the meals for Assembly. 

We're asked to provide snack foods for the two session breaks on Saturday, April 27. Kathie Adams has graciously volunteered to be our contact person to help shepherd our efforts. There will be a signup sheet on the Opportunities bulletin board. There are instructions on the sign-up regarding labeling for common food allergens. Please have your contributions delivered to church on Friday, April 26 between 10:00am-5:00pm.

Maundy Thursday April 18 7:00 pm Worship

Good Friday April 19 7:00 pm Worship

Easter Sunday April 21 8:30 am Worship
9:30 am Breakfast Potluck
11:00 am Worship

Upcoming Events

Come and eat: Easter Potluck Brunch
Joy’s enduring tradition continues! Join us in an informal potluck brunch between services on Easter Sunday, April 21 . With services at 8:30 and 11:00, the brunch will be open from 9:30 to 11:00 in order to allow folks from both services to participate. 

We’ll need help setting up tables on Saturday, April 20, beginning at 9:00am , as well as with set-up and clean-up on Easter morning. All manner of food welcome! 

Beginning Photography Workshop
If you've been unhappy with your photographs, whether taken from a cell phone, point-and-shoot, or DSLR camera, Wayne Fredeen and Roy Corral are offering a free two-hour presentation FOR BEGINNERS ONLY after worship on Sunday, April 28 . The workshop will be interactive with ample time for Q&A to demystify the processes used by professional photographers, and help you take stunning photographs. Join us and invite your friends interested in photography!

Electronics Recycling
Joy Lutheran is again hosting its annual electronics recycling event. This is a great community service and a way to keep electronic materials out of the landfill. 

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, June 1 , 10:00am - 2:00pm. Stay tuned for more information regarding volunteer opportunities, possible fees for larger items, and a list of accepted items.

Blood Drive - Tentatively Scheduled - Stay tuned!
In conjunction with the recycling event, we hope to bring back our tradition of a blood drive in partnership with the Blood Bank of Alaska. See Nancy Hemsath if you have any questions.
Worship Assistant Schedule
Joy of Reading Book Club
The Joy of Reading Book Club meets the 3rd Monday of every month and gets started around 6:30 PM.   We share a light dinner and discuss the book of the month with open minds. We have learned a lot! 
May 20th – Karen is hosting and the book is
Educated by Tara Westover
June 7 – 9th anniversary party at Gerry Norene’s lake home and the book is
Tidying Up by Marie Kondo    
July – no meeting
August 19 – Marcia is hosting and the book is Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
September 16 – no host yet, but the book is Where the Crawdads Sing
by Delia Owens
October 21 – Betty is hosting; the book is Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

All are welcome, even if you haven’t read the book. We will enjoy your company!
Thanks for the Coats!
Thanks to your generosity and effort, we were able to gather about 50 children’s winter coats that were delivered this week to Love INC in Eagle River. 

These coats will be part of the school supply distribution in August that is held in our area by Love INC. Your efforts will keep a lot of kids warm this next year — thank you!