Joy Grows Here

Joy Grows Here.
The Next Step in Faith.

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing,
so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

 Romans 15:13

Honoring Our Past
Almost thirty years ago, ninety-three people gathered to begin a new congregation in South Tulsa.  Since then, this congregation has grown not only numerically, but in the joy and peace God offers to us as a part of this community of faith.  Together, we have shared in:

                158 baptisms                      103 confirmations                            76 funerals                          73 marriages

We have joyfully shared God’s blessings with others by giving away over half a million dollars in mission support to the larger church and community organizations.  We have hosted seven international guests to the National Youth Gathering, supported the Helping Hands Pantry for over a decade, built six Habitat Homes with other Lutheran congregations, and that’s just a few of the ways in which we have lived out our mission over the years.  Truly, we can say: Joy Grows Here.

Living Our Faith
Three and a half years ago, this congregation undertook a “Step in Faith”, and in response, God blessed our efforts.  Your generosity helped us exceed the initial commitments of $305,000, which allowed for the addition of new classroom space, and needed updates to our now twenty year old facility.  New flooring, paint and furniture have brightened up the building, making it more welcoming, and the new classrooms have allowed us to host additional community groups.  But there is more to be done.

Growing Disciples
Joy has always been, and will continue to be, a warm, inviting, friendly community that encourages spiritual growth.  In order to keep growing disciples, we recognize the need to maintain our facilities.  Wear and tear on our parking lot has reached a point that significant maintenance is required; is it not very welcoming to step out of your car and into a puddle on a rainy Oklahoma day.  Even more critical, the rise of individuals with little or no faith background means that more effort and energy needs to be placed on adult faith formation and programs to foster a “feeling of community”—one of our core values as a congregation. 

We have grown through our commitments to youth, a feeling of community, community outreach, care of creation and our worship life together.  In order to provide new opportunities for Joy to grow here, we need to expand our ministries in and to the community.  With this in mind, and recognizing that growing as disciples means not only investing in our future, but in the future of those who are outside our congregation, we propose the following:

1. Develop our ministry by adding programs and a part-time Director for Discipleship Ministries (Projected cost over three years: $100,000) (20% of funds raised will go toward this objective)

  • Deepen community outreach and connection to neighborhood through programs, invitational evangelism, and seeking out community groups to use our facility
  • Partner with other area Lutheran congregations
  • Emphasize adult education, catechumenate classes, and lifelong faith formation to grow a greater sense of community among Joy members

2. Continue the building plan (Projected costs: $300,000) (60% of funds raised will go toward this objective)

  • Redo and expand the parking lot to allow for growth and address drainage concerns
  • Update the signage and improve the curb appeal of the church building
  • Relocate the kitchen and create a coffee bar area in the current kitchen location to open up the Narthex into the Fellowship Hall

3. Liquidate the current mortgage debt (20% of funds raised will go toward this objective)

  • Our current mortgage has a remaining 10 years and balance of $300,000. By paying it off early, we plan to use the money currently budgeted for the mortgage to sustain the ministry development and additional staff as this ministry appeal concludes.

Ministry appeal gifts will be given over a three-year period, with ministry development and facility renewal projects beginning as funding is available.  No new loans will be undertaken to complete the above projects, and funds will be distributed so as to address each area.

Looking to the Future

In undertaking this ministry appeal, we envision a church that is welcoming, vibrant, engaging and relevant.  We envision a church that is centered on the Gospel, serving people and impacting the community.  We envision church in which Joy Grows Here. 

Joy Grows Here

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are we having an appeal?

An appeal, like Joy Grows Here, permits us to address current and future needs that the congregation has identified through surveys and listening posts, in a timely and efficient manner instead of having many small appeals. Joy Grows Here is not only about money it is also about growing as disciples of Jesus Christ. 

2.  When will we be asked to make a commitment to the Joy Grows Here appeal?

Joy Grows Here is a three-year appeal to raise funds to implement our strategic plan. While you can begin contributing at any time, Joy Grows Here is scheduled to begin on April 19, 2015 with Commitment Sunday being held on May 17, 2015.

3.  What will the funds be used for/How will the funds be distributed?

  • 60% will go toward continuing the building plan
  • 20% will go toward expanded discipleship and outreach ministries/Director of Discipleship
  • 20% will go toward debt reduction on the existing mortgage 

4.  Can I give to just one of the above objectives of the appeal?

The three objectives are interrelated and are based on the collective responses of the congregation to the CAT survey taken in July 2014.  For ease of accounting, all gifts given through the Joy Grows Here appeal will be distributed based on the above percentages.  Individuals can (and are encouraged to) continue to make designated gifts toward debt reduction through their weekly offering envelopes.

5.  What if my financial situation changes or I move before the three-year giving period is over?

At any time, your commitment may be increased, decreased or extended by notifying the Financial Secretary.  Even if you move, please consider honoring your commitment to the Joy Grows Here appeal.

6. What is our target goal for the ministry appeal?

Based on our annual operating budget and trends for congregations our size, our target goal is $500,000 for this appeal.

7.  How much should I give?

We encourage you to pray and discern your household’s most generous response.  If your household does not already tithe, consider using this appeal as an opportunity to grow in your percentage giving toward a tithe.  A giving guide is included in the Joy Grows Here brochure.  Please remember, your Joy Grows Here commitment is in addition to any regular weekly giving to our annual operating budget. For those who give electronically through our Simply Giving program, you can set up an automatic withdrawal for this as well.

8.  If we don’t raise the money for all the projected costs, what happens?

Gifts will be broken down by the percentages listed above.  Because we will not incur any additional debt for this appeal, it will take some time to collect the funds needed to continue the building plan with the parking lot being the first priority for the building plan.

9. What would a Director of Discipleship do?                               

In response to the top priorities of the CAT survey, the Director of Discipleship would help members recognize and develop their spiritual gifts by connecting them to other members of the congregation and the community.  In particular, special emphasis would be given to integrating new members into the life of the congregation, coordination of events and classes, and developing new outreach opportunities to the community.

10.  Who do I contact in order to make arrangements to give appreciated stocks or other assets? 

To make a gift of stock or other assets, please contact our Treasurer, Bob Young.