Taking Leave from New Joy

Taking Leave from New Joy

This Sunday, January 20, will be my last Sunday with you before my extended leave for service overseas with the Indiana Army National Guard. Your partnership in the Gospel, both here at New Joy and with the US Army, is something for which I am very grateful.

New Joy Lutheran Church is a spirited community called by God to extend a radical welcome, share a generous grace, nurture transforming faith, and live God's promise.

God has given us an ambitious vision for 2019. With this in mind, I can't wait to return to New Joy early in 2020 to see what God has done through you to transform our church and our community.

As partners in God's promise, in 2019 we intend to:

  • welcome families experiencing homelessness into our church;
  • nurture the minds, hearts, and faith of children in our community with our new preschool;
  • construct and improve homes for families in need in our county;
  • expand our Christian Learning ministry with the addition of a new part-time staff member;
  •  construct a pavilion on our grounds to expand our space for ministry and fellowship; and,
  • proclaim the Gospel of our Lord's comfort and grace in Central Indiana and among Soldiers in the Persian Gulf region.

It's going to be one amazing — and quite full — year of ministry!

Please continue to receive Vicar Will Bevins as your brother in Christ and minister of the Gospel. I have been fed by his gracious words and presence these past few months. I know you will continue to be fed by his faith, by his example, and by his leadership.

A few logistics:

I will be eager to share my military ministry with you, as much as internet connectivity and mission sensitivity allows. Therefore, I will send updates on my ministry and mission to the church by way of blog posts on the church website and/or messages that Kristi Kittilstved will share with the congregation. I do not anticipate checking my pastor@newjoy.org email regularly, if at all, while I am on leave. Any communications to me should go through Kristi. She will know how to reach me.

About 40% of the Armed Forces of the United States serves in the reserve component. These reserve component service members have chaplains only because congregations like ours embrace the military as part of their ministry. Thank you for your service to the Gospel, and to the men and women in uniform.

Blessings to you,
Pastor Chris Duckworth