- We welcomed children back into the building and Kids’ Adventure Klub classes. We offered nursery at both the 9:00 and 10:30 services. Kids adventure Klub at 10:30 for children 3 years old through 5th grade which we welcomed 10 new children who participated on a regular basis. Some of my favorite lessons were our Halloween party, and our OneThing notes. Our biggest challenge was getting volunteers to help teach which made our 1st-5th grade class very large.
- Had our first fall fishing with Pastor Mark at his home and 10 people had a fabulous time!
- Had 50 people attend our movie under the stars night (drive in movie) on our Joy property. Kids decorated bags and had flashlight scavenger hunt.
- Backpack Blessing as part of our JoyServe service.
- We had 4 families participate in our first ever bedtime prayers with Ms. Cheryl.
- We gave away 14 Bibles to children in first grade and older.
- 43 families participated in our Advent Candle Project. Families picked up (or we hand delivered or mailed) their kits and made their project at and participated in lighting them during our livestreamed worship. I loved seeing people post their candle project on our Joy Facebook Group! So creative!
- We hosted our first ever Journey to Bethlehem where 61 people rotated through the station of love, hope, peace and the last station was joy that was a sleigh ride around our property. We collected many diapers for our partners Keeping Kids Covered in Waukegan.
- Enjoyed being part of the first ever Donuts with Santa.
- 37 families participated in our Lent project this year. Along the same concept of the Advent wreath, families participated in daily activities to grow their faith during the Lenten season. We had many items donated that went along with our Lent in Plain Sight Sermon Series.
- 14 children made their First Communion at our Maundy Thursday service. Families enjoyed cake together following the service.
- 48 children participated in our Easter 2nd Annual Egg Hunt prior to in person worship and had a special guest appearance from the Easter Bunny,
- We had an amazing week at Vacation Bible School. We still had some modifications to our week, but one thing didn’t change – God showed up in big ways! 87 children participated, 80 volunteers (20 leaders, 28 adults and support staff, and 32 youth). We raised approximately $ in donations and items from their wish list to support this year’s mission. Matthias Academy is a nonprofit adult day program in southeast Wisconsin. It serves adults with mild to severe disabilities, specialized medical needs, behaviors and mild to severe autism from IL and WI. They provide a student centered program for adults to learn, work, and socialize.
- We had a total of 11 baptisms this year, 7 baptisms during worship and 4 private baptisms that we Livestreamed. One of my favorite parts of my role at Joy is to be a part of this special step in a child’s faith journey, making and presenting each child a prayer blanket is such a blessing.
I can’t begin to thank the people of Joy for the love, support, encouragement, time, talents, treasures, hugs and abundant blessings you shared with this ministry. It is an honor and a privilege to serve with such amazing and gifted team of leaders. So very blessed to be a part of this community…and can’t wait to see what God has in store for us in the coming year!!
With love & thankfulness,