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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 November 29, 2020
This week's 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.
Sunday, Nov. 29 Worship
In-person and Online

First Sunday of Advent

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

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).
Thanksgiving Message by Pastor Karen 
Will be available this Wednesday Evening (Nov. 25) on Facebook.

Thanksgiving Blessing 2020
Thank you to all for your donations and time for this year's Thanksgiving Blessing. Thanks also to everyone who leapt into action after our last minute plea for more food.

We had an unprecedented number of families come for Thanksgiving boxes this year. We served more than 300 families and had to close by 6:00pm instead of our planned 7:00pm closing time due to a lack of food.
Advent begins Sunday, Nov. 29th
No Advent wreath workshop this year due to COVID.

Advent Calendars and Stickers 
Calendars and stickers will be given to Families with Children this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent.

If you would like to pick one up instead, we will try to save some and make them available in the office next week too. 
Advent Devotionals Here! 
This year our Alaska Synod created a wonderful devotional for Advent called “Overflowing with Hope.” It includes daily devotions from individuals through your Alaska ELCA congregations, including our very own Lori Atrops, Jim Hemsath and Pastor Karen. 

Here is the link:

We also have hard copies available. Let us know if you’d like one.
Midweek Advent Services 
We will use Haugen's Evening Prayer

Starting Wednesday, Dec 2, online at Joy's Facebook Page
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.
Children's Christmas Movie will be recorded...

Saturday, Nov. 28th

12:00 noon – 6:00 pm
Joy Lutheran Sanctuary
Calling all Joy Artists! Kids, Teens or Adults!
  • Background scenes for our Christmas Movie
  • You can draw/paint on a 8 ½ X 11” paper
  • Ideas: desert, dark sky with stars, hill, stable
  • These drawings will be digitized and used in Movie

Please email them to our Director or to as soon as you are able, BEFORE Nov. 30th.
Sanctuary Christmas Tree
Thank you to all whom donated towards the purchase of our new Christmas Tree. There's still time if you'd like to contribute!

Special thank you to Jim & Nancy Hemsath for picking it up and delivering it from Costco, and for putting up!
Sunday School
Sunday School continues and we’d like to thank all of you who are helping and all the parents for bringing their kids!
Thank you for your generosity!
Your offerings are very much appreciated and needed. As the season changes our utility expenses will rise. We are also on the cusp of determining how much we can pay a Full-time pastor in the near future. THANK YOU for your generous giving. You can also give electronically (see below or on our Website) and set up giving on a monthly basis. 
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

Thursday-Friday, Nov. 26-27 -- Church & JCDC Closed for Thanksgiving

Saturday, Nov. 28 -- Filming of the Christmas Movie (*new date)

Sunday, Nov. 29 -- First Sunday of Advent

Wednesday, Dec. 2 -- Wednesday Advent Service Online

Sunday, Dec. 13 -- Holy Communion will be served in-person & drive-up

We all feel the fatigue from lock downs and uncertainty over the rising Covid numbers the last few weeks. But there are great things happening here at Joy Lutheran Church.

  • Sunday School has started in a very safe format. Participation is good and our children seem to need this so much right now. Our teacher volunteers are phenomenal!
  • The children’s Christmas program this year will be in movie format! How exciting is that!! We can’t wait to see it.
  • We welcomed 4 new members recently, which includes sweet little Ella thru baptism last week.
  • The contractor for the 2018 earthquake damage expects interior repairs to be completed by Christmas. Exterior repairs will be completed next spring.
  • We have completed the MSP phase and started the Call Committee phase in our search for a new pastor.
  • We have initiated new ways to worship and connect, including drive-up communion.
  • We are hosting the community Thanksgiving Blessing next week.
  • AA and NA continue to use our building to save lives.

But I titled this as a Finance Report and I want to talk numbers.

  • Year to date January-October, our total income exceeded our expenses by $8,800, however if we had not received 2 special gifts of $5,000 each in January and May, we would have had to dip into reserves for $1,200 to pay our expenses.
  • August and September were our 2 lowest income months of the year but we bounced back. October was one of our strongest months in regular giving.
  • Our monthly expenses will increase over the winter months with higher utility bills and snowplowing.
  • There will be travel and moving expenses associated with calling a new pastor.
  • Typically, there is a boost in giving around Christmas but this year is anything but typical.

There is SO much good happening here at Joy! Don’t lose heart, we will emerge from this pandemic stronger. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your steady and generous support of your church and community. Each and every one of you is a gift.

--Sue Weimer, Church Council President
will continue at JOY LUTHERAN CHURCH
We encourage people who are at higher-risk to stay home. Stay home, too, if you have any sicknesses, unusual symptoms or have been exposed to anyone who has Covid-19. And of course, if you contract COVID, please let us know.

The feedback we have received is that people feel comfortable with the Covid-19 mitigation rules we are following at Worship and at Sunday School. If you have any suggestions of any more ways we can be safer, please let your Council members know. 

We will continue to re-evaluate this decision given the current high numbers of Covid-19 in our area.
JCDC is Hiring!
Joy Child Development Center is hiring.
  • Teacher: Toddler room teacher. Experience preferred but not necessary.
  • Cook: Experience preferred, but we will train.
Background checks are required. Please contact Robin O'Mara at 694-2755 if interested. Must be 18y.o.+
The next church council meeting will be Tuesday, December 8, 2020 at 7:00pm.