Alyssa Barlow and Wes Howland
Rally Day 2014
    As many of you know, in October our cherished Youth Director, Alyssa Barlow, and Wes Howland announced their engagement. We were happy and excited to congratulate them as we shared their joy. However, our joy was somewhat tempered by the realization that we might soon be calling a new youth director. After all, Wes had a stable and lucrative job in Davis and traditional thinking suggested that she would join them there. But rather than rely on traditional thinking, Wes and Alyssa sought the Lordship of Jesus Christ in their lives to guide them and inform their decisions regarding their pending marriage and career choices. 
    Alyssa grew up in Spirit of Joy. She graduated from RHS in 2008 and from U.C. Davis in 2012 with a major in Biology. She was an intern at First Baptist Church of Davis in 2013 when she received the call to be Spirit of Joy's Youth Director. She was impressed that this was God's call and she made almost immediate plans to transition back to the community and church in which she grew up. Those of us who knew Alyssa during her childhood and youth were delighted and pleased with this outcome. Since returning to Ramona, she has plans to pursue her Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy.
    Meanwhile, Wes remained in Davis, and for almost a year they prayed and considered what God had in store for the future.  
   In talking about their relationship Wes observed that Alyssa "has always been blessed with the ability to discern God's movement in her life and in the lives of others." As he watched her interactions with others he was impressed with her "God-given ability to bring others to life in almost anything." He also says that it has been wonderful to see how her work "has allowed God's will to be fulfilled in so many amazing ways."
    Regarding his decision to pop the question and then move to San Diego County, Wes said that it "wasn't difficult to make.  I think most people realize how amazing a person Alyssa is when they get to know her.  I've been blessed beyond measure having her in my life.  Realizing that I might have the chance to share my life with hers for the rest of our lives made the decision pretty easy."
    Finally, as Alyssa and Wes consider this new adventure together, Wes said, "As God has moved us more into the calling of marriage, I've realized that His calling for my life has shifted as well.  In marriage, the role of a husband and the wife is to lay down their lives for the other.  God's calling for Alyssa to Spirit of Joy has been clear to the both of us.  And as her future husband I feel as though God is calling me to support her in this role, and that involves moving to San Diego to join her in this community."
    We are impressed and blessed by the depth of this young couple's Christian commitment as they seek God's perfect plan for their lives. While their current plans depend on Wes finding a job in San Diego, we know that "Man proposeth, but God disposeth." (from Proverbs 16:9 via The Imitation of Christ), Therefore we ask you to join with us in praying with and for Alyssa and Wes that God will open (and close) doors and that they will trust and praise Him in all things.
Coming Events
Sun, Jan 25 3:00 pm
Piano Benefit Concert
Sat, Jan 31 9:00 am
Spring Festival Choir Orientation Meeting
Mon, Feb 2,
Home Groups Resume This Week
Sun, Feb 8 9:15 am
Valentine Bake Sale
Sun, Feb 8 1:00 pm
Spirit of Joy... A Glorious Unfolding
Sun, Feb 8 5:00 pm
New Member Information
Sat, Feb 14 9:00 am
Spring Festival Choir Begins

SOJChurch Calendar

Weekly Activities
8:15 & 9:45 am: Worship
8:15: SS preK-6th grade
9:45: SS preK-High School
6:30-8pm: Junior High
Sunday: 1st & 3rd A.M.
11-12:30 High School
7-8am: Bible Study
7-8pm: Bible Study
9am: Prayers & Squares
4-6pm: Kids Klub
7-8:30pm: High School
7-8am: Men's Breakfast
First Wednesday
9:30am: Spirits of Grace
7-8pm: Women's Bible Study
7pm: Choir
Saturday: 1st & 3rd
Men's Bible Study:
7:30am: breakfast
8-9am: discussion
     For now, view and listen to this new music video from Steven Curtis Chapman.
     Then, in coming weeks, look here for more information about Spirit of Joy's Glorious Unfolding.
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Useful Links
Weekly Activities
Sunday Volunteers
Photo Privacy Policy
Stephen Ministry
Task Force Leaders
Church Council
Youth Ministry
Youth Calendar
Kids Klub
Contact Us
eNews Archive
New members
    Have you been visiting Spirit of Joy for awhile now and have questions or wonder about what it takes to become a member?
If so, please attend our
New Member
Information Meeting
Sunday, February 8, 5-6 pm
    Pastor Dan will review our history, discuss our beliefs, and answer any questions you might have. Please sign up on the kiosk... we’d love to have you come to this informal small-group setting and better acquaint you with our Spirit of Joy family.
    Sign up on the kiosk if you have been visiting us and would like more information about Spirit of Joy.
    Spirits of Grace will host a Valentine Day Bake Sale between services on Sunday, February 8. Proceeds will go to our new kitchen and church needs.
    Cakes, cupcakes, cookies, kiss-me candies, fudge, rice-krispy treats and other Valentiney goodies. Please help out by baking and/or buying. Contact new Spirits of Grace president Patty Payne for more information. at
Eagle Scout Nick Stemper