Faith asks questions. The young rich man asks Jesus, “What must I do to inherit eternal life?” (Mark 10:17). Martin Luther’s Small Catechism is built around the question, “What does this mean?” The Psalms lift up unanswerable questions – “Where could I go to get away from your spirit?
Where could I go to escape your presence?” (Psalm 139:7) – seeking to give expression to the inexpressionable God.
These questions are examples of a faith that seeks understanding.
Faith reaches understanding through the give-and-take of reflection and response to new information, insights, or experiences. Faith seeks understanding, fundamentally, in the life and practices of Christian community.
Here at New Joy we bring our faith and seek understanding through a variety of ministries on Sunday mornings and throughout the week, in weekly gatherings, special events, and short-term courses.
As we look to the start of the 2017-2018 program year, we are excited to share a new season of learning opportunities at New Joy Lutheran Church.
Children & All Ages
Singing the Story – A six-week series on Sunday mornings where we will learn the classic church camp and vacation bible school songs, and explore the Bible stories that are behind them.
Starting Sunday, September 10, 10:45am.
Holy Food – A three-week series exploring how Jesus feeds us and comes to us in a special way in Holy Communion. This class serves as First Communion preparation for those individuals seeking to receive their First Holy Communion.
Sunday mornings, and one evening special event, in November.
Advent Wreath-Making Workshop – A special seasonal event to gather with the church to share a meal and make household Advent Wreaths, a centerpiece for prayer and devotion during the Advent season.
Sunday evening, December 3
Christmas Story Telling – We’ll gather for several weeks before Christmas to learn the story of Jesus’ birth so that we can tell the story of Jesus’ birth at our annual all ages, Christmas readers theater-style pageant (December 17, 9:30am).
Sunday mornings, and one evening rehearsal, in November and December.
After the New Year – we will start off the year with another round of Singing the Story, diving back into great Bible stories and Bible songs; a Lenten program “The Way” will lead learners to walk through the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection; and, a series of “Spring Training” gatherings will prepare kids and adults alike for our summer’s Vacation Bible School ministry.
Upper Elementary/Middle School
T.G.I.F. (Together Growing in Faith) – a twice monthly gathering on Sunday afternoons of our 4th-7th graders. Focus on building relationships with each other, church, and the Good News of Jesus Christ. As we wrestle with the Bible and themes of faith, we take seriously the increasingly complex questions our growing young people ask.
Kick-off on Sunday, August 20, 4pm; twice-monthly throughout the program year
Confirmation Class – a nearly-week gathering of 7th and 8th graders on Sunday evenings for a focused period of study and exploration of God’s Word and key teachings of the Lutheran Christian tradition.
Kick-off on Sunday, August 20, 6pm; almost weekly throughout the program year
Youth Group – a weekly gathering of our 9th-12th graders on Wednesday evening for dinner, Bible study, prayer, and games. Plans for summer 2018 include the ELCA Youth Gathering in Houston, TX, with 30,000 youth and adults from throughout the country.
Kick-off on Wednesday, August 16, 6:30pm; weekly throughout the program year
Introducing the Lutherans – a six-session short course and book group exploring Lutheran teachings, history, and practice of faith. Six mostly consecutive Thursday evenings.
Kick-off on Thursday, August 31, 7pm
Wednesday Morning Bible Study – gather midweek to look at the coming Sunday’s Bible reading. Prepare for worship by digging deep into the text, and helping Pastor Chris with his message.
Kick-off on Wednesday, September 6, 9:30am; weekly throughout the program year
Monthly Men’s Breakfast – once a month gather with the men of New Joy for breakfast, Bible Study, prayer, and fellowship.
Cookout Kick-off on Friday, August 18, 6pm. Breakfasts on second Saturdays each month, 8am, throughout the program year.
Exploring the Psalms – read the Psalms as songs of faith using the ancient practice of collatio, a traditional way of reading Scripture together to form community.
Various times during the year on Sundays, with first sessions meeting in November