News from SOJ‎ > ‎

News from Spirit of Joy February 19, 2013

posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:32 AM by Spirit of Joy Christian Church   [ updated Feb 19, 2013, 11:32 AM by Jackson Cobb ]
Okay, so I said Sunday there were signs of spring. Mea culpa (that's Latin for "my bad"). It's c-o-l-d out today. Still, we had engaging study, warm fellowship, and the opportunity to worship with new visitors Carol and Jim. It was great seeing Shirley back, as well as Frank. We missed you while you were gone!
On a related note, you hadn't told me how much people travel in January and February. Attendance has been a little light these past few weeks, and you've told me not to get discouraged. I'll do my best. I hope you're doing well, and I want you to know that when you are away on Sunday, you are very much missed. It will be good to back at full strength again soon. If you've missed someone you're used to seeing, please let them know. And if you've been away a while, think of this Sunday as a great time to reconnect! The theme this Sunday is "From Despair to Hope." I'm staying hopeful! :)
Here's some of what's been going on in our community:
Pastoral Concerns
  • Know that you can call, text, or email me anytime with prayer concerns or joys. You can also use the prayer request linkon the website to send me a message.
  • I'll include paryer concerns in weekly emails, but I won't post them publically on the website.

Along the Way

The inward journey is as important as the outward one when it comes to growing in faith. My daily Lenten blog Along the Way is one way we can walk both together. You can subscribe to receive daily devotionals, or you can find links on my facebook page or the pastor's page on the church website.


Learn to Save a Life Wednesday Night

Thanks to the generosity of John and Jeanne Sarych, the church now has an Automatic External Defibrillator, or AED. We're going to receive training as a congregation during a special evening session this Wednesday (tomorrow night) at 6:30. Dinner's still at 6:00, and the youth group still meets at 7:00. Come on out to learn how to save a life. Afterwards, we'll have a 15-minute Lenten vespers service in the Taize tradition.


Day on the Hill

My, but this is an active week! Those who plan to go to Day on the Hill Thursday to meet with lawmakers, you should have already heard from Paula. Get your materials here if you don't have them yet.


Game Night

Come on out to SOJ Friday night and bring your favorite games. 7:00 is when the fun begins!


Women's Group to meet for Muffins and Mimosas

Several ladies of the church have expressed interest in having an opportunity to have on-going fellowship opportunities. Debbie and Angela are hosting the first "Muffin & Mimosa" fellowship at their home this Saturday at 10:00 a.m. Please RSVP by email to Angela at so we can get a general idea of muffins and chairs needed.

Community Action Training

A reminder that this Saturday is a special training for those interested in working toward marriage equality. Here's Adam Arling's note again:

The Community Action Training is an opportunity to prepare for the next phase of the campaign to win marriage equality in Minnesota.  At the Community Action Training there will be a strategy update and a training on effective grassroots lobbying.  The South Metro has a number of target districts we want our supporters prepared to win.  The training starts at 11 am and should be done by 2 pm, at the Presbyterian Church of the Apostles (701 E. 130th St, Burnsville), just a few hours to become engaged, energized, and ready to win marriage for all!

Adam Arling
Open and Affirming Conversation
We've talked for several months in various settings about what we might do to let people who've been hurt by church because of their sexual orientation or gender identity know that this is a safe community for them to grow spiritually and be fully embraced.
The March 10 study hour at 9:30 will be dedicated to conversation about this, and then we'll ask the congregation to stay for a brief meeting after worship to see if we have consensus on how we can talk about the church in the wider community.
No one, least of all our members who have been hurt by past experiences of exclusion, wants the church to become identified specifically as a "gay church." Rather, we are looking for a way to communicate more clearly that we are a Christian church that is intentional in welcoming all, as we have been from the beginning.
For more about the history of this conversation in the wider Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), you can check out the GLAD Alliance webpage and watch Mel White's address to the GLAD banquet at General Assembly two years ago (I was privileged to be Mel's pastor then). I'll be happy to point you to more resources in the church library and elsewhere.
THE FORGOTTEN: A Look at the Lives of Young Black Men

Come hear the stories! A unique and powerful performance - and it's all true.


“The Forgotten” provides a unique window into the lives of young black men in Minnesota as they strive to overcome adversity and rise above the infrastructures that impact their lives. Through their voices, they will leave their mark on the world: standing for what they believe in, telling their stories and refusing to be...forgotten.


February 28 at 7:00 pm in Fleming Hall (light supper and social beginning at 6:30 pm) and March 3 at 11:00 am in Fleming Hall


All are welcome! Free will offering. For more information about the play or Brotherhood, Inc.,

contact Bill Keatts at 612-209-06120 or wkeatts@austin.rr.comSt. Olaf is proud to host the theater and spoken word performance: And look for Brotherhood Brew — coffees, teas and cocoa — for sale in the St. Olaf Store!


Brotherhood, Inc. is a St. Paul-based 501(c)3 non-profi t organization that seeks to uplift and empower young African American males, ages 16-24, who have had contact with the criminal justice system or gangs, or who are at risk of such involvement.


Citizens League and Diane Tran to lead Study Hour March 3

Join Diane Tran and representatives from the Citizens League as we join conversation across party and ideology to discuss the state budget priorities.


Budgets, as Sojourners founder Jim Wallis has always said, are moral documents. You can offer your input into the important priorities you believe the state should set in its coming working period. We'll start study hour earlier than usual, at 9:00, so as to give the Common Cents workshop the time needed.


See the attached file for more details.


Earth Day Planning Ahead

Finally, thinking farther ahead, we're getting an Earth Day service ready for April 21, with a special focus on our role in taking care of this tiny spaceship of a planet that we travel on. We'll have a film for study hour about an island nation threatened by rising sea levels. Other ideas? Talk with Debbie Nelson who is going to help organize our planning team for that Sunday.


As always, there's more to share, but I don't want to overwhelm! :) If I've missed something, let me know, and I'll get it out later in the week.


Blessings and Peace,