Message Moments
Playing Bingo Last Saturday

We are in to summer days, and a great time in the life of our church family at Spirit of Joy.  Last Sunday we shared in a town hall meeting of the congregation.  We had wonderful representation from the church, and we were able to present the current picture of our building, construction, and future plans.  We have been tremendously pleased with the response to bringing together collateral from the congregation to secure the loan necessary to finish the building.  We encourage you to prayerfully consider sharing in the collateral (cash, stocks, or property) to be held in an escrow account for one year.

In the meantime, we have completed everything necessary on the property to have our grading permit signed off by the County.  This sets us up for building and completing the waste water system on the property.  Keep this process in your prayers as we move forward.

This Sunday, July 1st we celebrate the Fourth of July at Spirit of Joy.  Come and sing your favorite patriotic songs, and give thanks for the freedom we enjoy as God's people.  

The youth leave for Lake Shasta and Houseboats on Monday, July 2nd.  Keep them in prayer for a safe and inspirational week.  We have two full houseboats this year! Absolutely remarkable! We still need the loan of two cars and cash gifts for youth scholarships. If you can loan a car, call Janine Stemper at (760) 788-4435. Or click here to make an online contribution to help a deserving student participate in this life-changing event.

Plan to worship with us each week.  We will continue with two services throughout the summer, 8;15 and 10am.  We will have summer Sunday School Hangout at the 10am service.  

Vacation Bible School will be held July 30th through August 3rd. This year it starts earlier, at 8:30am, and ends at 11:30am.  The theme is Shipwrecked (saved by Jesus) and it should be a great time for the children with games, Bible Stories, music, crafts, and fellowship with other young people all week!

As we move through our summer days, may we be reminded that our life together and ministry goes on every week. Please continue to keep the ministry in your prayers, in your hearts, and commit yourself to our growing God's word in this community.  

            Pastor Dan
Ellen Attends Seminary!

Ed. Note: We are proud of the various members of our congregation who effectively serve in ministry at Spirit of Joy. We are blessed by the faithful and devoted ministry of Janine Stemper and Denise and Dougan Dimmitt with children's and youth ministry. Mikey Schuler and Nick Stemper, who grew up here at Spirit of Joy, have a productive and oh, so vital ministry leading our Junior and Senior High Youth programs,

And then there's Ellen Ray, who has just commenced a years-long seminary course of study. At your editor's request, Ellen has written for us about her faith journey that led her to this important decision. As you read her words, rejoice in her walk, pray for her, and when you think of her, send her an encouraging note or tweet.

Who am I? I describe myself as God’s child, a mother (of 3 adult children), a happily devoted and well-loved wife, a pastor in the making and a yarn-obsessed crocheter.

I remember feeling called at age 5. When I told my mom I wanted to be a priest (we were Catholic), she told me I couldn’t be. It’s bothered me ever since. I fell in love with Jesus when I was 7, when preparing for “First Holy Communion”. But the secular world enveloped me and I drifted away. While searching many different faiths and lifestyles, I often felt a “niggling” at the back of my mind (or was it deep in my heart?). It was like a voice beckoning.

When I found SOJ in 2012, a fire caught within me. Then, in 2014, I had an experience where I felt the Holy Spirit igniting and filling me and, quite literally, take me over. Now, it’s no longer a “niggling”. Our God – Father, Son and Spirit – has moved to the forefront of my mind. I’m compelled to walk with Him, talk with Him, avail myself to His Spirit and all that He offers. I’ve been led into places I would have never gone. He has healed things I thought would be painful forever. He lets me know He cares and is involved in my life – as much as I am willing (and able) to receive and recognize it.

Then, a little over a year ago, I felt a stronger, very definite calling. I feel compelled to make a complete commitment and turn my life over to Him. It was very much like jumping off of a cliff and hoping and trusting there is a net below (there is), and I seemed to be drawn towards leadership (which was a surprise to me) and teaching (which I’ve been doing in some fashion all my life). The call is real. And it is far from silent.

By becoming a pastor, I hope to lead, teach and, hopefully, inspire Christians to develop their relationships to the Divine. I want to also build bridges between people who are divided – especially denominations of Christianity – in order to unite and strengthen the community as a whole.

So, I begin. I’ve been led to attend Wartburg Theological Seminary, which is in Dubuque, Iowa. It’s almost completely online. I start with a prerequisite course in Greek this summer (pray for me!). Then, I begin the seminary coursework in September. First, I’ll do 2 years of study, then a yearlong internship, then a final year of study.

In my daily life, I have been moving gradually into a dedicated relationship – one that I nourish and indulge in often throughout my days and nights. It has filled me with a joy I’ve never known before…a peace and a trust that life, while filled with struggle and suffering (and I’ve had plenty of both), there is STILL a calm, peaceful and joy-filled place from which I can live. And that place is in His arms. How could I say no to such a life?

Generosity in July

Under Roman law, soldiers were given the authority to force anyone to carry their loads for the distance of one Roman mile (a thousand paces - slightly less than our mile measure). In Matthew 5:41, Jesus teaches that we should do not only what is required, but go beyond that and do or give more than is needed.

When we apply this concept, “going the extra mile” leads us into places

  • of understanding someone we’re at odds with
  •  of compassion for those suffering in some way
  •  of forgiveness even if, and especially when we’d rather not
  • of gratitude when we deliberately seek to appreciate what we have been given
  • of generosity with our attitudes, behaviors, resources, and our love

Consider going that extra mile. It gets you further than you’d think!

Pray for our church: God, please grant us the wisdom and financial resources that will allow Spirit of Joy to carry its work forward for many generations. Please grace us with the means to sustain and develop quality ministries that further Your kingdom on earth. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Ellen Ray,
Stewardship Task Force Leader
Spirits of Grace Update

Spirits of Grace will not meet in July.

With VBS in full swing, our Spirits of Grace Meeting for August will be changed from Wednesday, August 1 to Wednesday August 8.

In September, we will resume meet on the first Wednesday of the month. Meetings begin at 9 a.m. and all are welcome.

Thanks. Patty Payne
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Coming Events

SOJChurch Calendar

Weekly Activities
8:15 & 10:00 am: Worship
8:15: SS preK-6th grade
10:00: SS preK-High School
8-9am: Bible Study
morning study on hiatus 'til fall
6-7pm: Bible Study
9am: Prayers & Squares
Kids Klub, Junior High, and High School
are all on hiatus until after Rally Day
7-8am: Men's Breakfast Denny's
First Wednesday
9:00am: Spirits of Grace
NOTE: NO meeting in July
Next meeting: August 8, 9:00am
Second Wednesday
6:30pm: Women's Bible Study
is on hiatus until further notice
7pm: Choir
9:00am: Church Cleanup
We need your help: Please vounteer
Saturday: 1st & 3rd
8-9am: Men's Bible Study
Men's study on hiatus until summer
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