New Joy In Indiana
Stories of Faith in Action 2009
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New Joy Lutheran Church in Westfield, Ind., is a congregation that works to be a place where life and faith come together. With the help of an ELCA grant, the Rev. Connie Thompson began knocking on thousands of doors. Soon, New Joy Lutheran Church was born. It is so named because many people were new to church or at new stages in their lives and seeking the joy of God. The intent of ministry at New Joy is for everyone to feel like a partner in the process and to shepherd each other in order to serve in the community together.
After years of meeting in homes and a school, New Joy moved into the first phase of its new building last summer. Yet, the focus of the congregation has not been about building buildings, but rather building Christian faith and meaningful relationships.
“We don’t want to be tied to a structure,” says Thompson. “One of the most moving moments for me was at the groundbreaking. We held worship on a grassy acre and then moved over to the field and stood in the shape the building would be. There we held hands and prayed the Lord’s Prayer, anointed the area of the communion table with oil, and then everyone turned a shovelful of dirt where the communion table will stand. It was symbolic of the unity of effort that New Joy represents.”
Thanks to an ELCA grant, thousands were invited to join New Joy Lutheran Church.