Category Archives: News

Baby Pantry Ministry Serves Our Local Community

By Sonya Connolly, in News
The Baby Pantry is open on the first Saturday morning of each month, serving those in our local community who need help to keep their little ones healthy and comfortable. We work in partnership with Walk the Walk and Christ Church West River to collect and distribute diapers and wipes.  Through your generous donations to our annual Angel Tree, we collected 1590 diapers and 8 packs of wipes.  In 2019, we distributed over 20,000 diapers and 1750 packs of wipes, helping 108 babies in our largest monthly distribution.  Thank you for your continued support of this important ministry.  If you wish to get involved or donate diapers/wipes, please contact the office at

Recovery Rental Assistance Program Helps People Rebuild

By Sonya Connolly, in News
The Recovery Rental Assistance program at Joy Reigns provides short-term rental assistance grants to people residing in substance abuse recovery houses. When people first transition to a recovery house, they often do not have a job, transportation, and have exhausted their support network’s resources. In order to be accepted into a recovery house, people are often expected to pay initial fees/deposit as well as up-front front rent of one to two weeks, often about $400. Once a person moves in, rent averages $150/week.
Joy Reigns offers up to two weeks of rental assistance in the form of a grant. In order to receive a grant, recipients are asked to volunteer at the thrift shop for three shifts. This arrangement fosters healthy community relationships between thrift shop volunteers and grant recipients and serves as an opportunity for recipients to rebuild their work history. The biggest obstacle to the success of our program is a lack of transportation. Many of our inquiries come from people living in Pasadena and Glen Burnie who do not have access to private transportation. Unfortunately, to take public transportation from these areas, assuming one lives near a bus stop, it often takes approximately 3 hours to get to Edgewater. We have been fortunate to have a few volunteer drivers to assist with transportation but we do not have nearly enough.

Since its inception, we have given about $7000 in rental assistance this year. Knowledge of our program is through word of mouth only. Our goal is to have a more steady and significant budget, in addition to increasing our depth of drivers. With a firm budget and committed team of drivers, we will be able to reach out to more recovery houses, expanding our program to help even more people access and remain in recovery houses.

If you would like more information about how you can help, such as providing a donation, volunteering alongside a grant recipient, or serving as volunteer driver, contact Kelly Purnell at

Family Game Night and More!

By Pastor Sara, in News
Join the Yotter family and the Fellowship Team for a monthly family game night on the last Friday of every month. Our first event will be Friday, January 31st at 7 pm. Please bring a favorite game, simple snack to share and your own beverages. We will play Phase10 (and some other games). Plus, keep your eye out for more gatherings like a Bowie Baysox game, Paint Night and of course our annual Christmas by Candlelight. If you’d like to get involved with planning, email Lori LaDue and be sure to mark your calendars as events are announced!

Calling All Bread Bakers!

By Sonya Connolly, in News
We are now baking our own gluten free vegan communion bread each week. The Worship Team is looking for individuals to join Pastor Sara in a baking schedule. If you are interested, please contact Sonya in the church office or Debby Kaempf.

Christmas Eve Worship

By Pastor Sara, in News

You are invited to join us in celebrating our Savior’s birth on Monday, December 24th at 4:30 pm and 7:30 pm. All are welcome. Oh, come let us adore him!

In this season of peace, I invite you to join in this prayer from the ELW Occasional Services book:

Gracious and holy God, lead us from death to life, from falsehood to truth. Lead us from despair to hope, from fear to trust. Lead us from hate to love, from war to peace. Let peace fill our hearts, our world, our universe; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.
Take a moment and ask for specific peace:
in your heart
in your community
in our world.


Pictorial Directory Photo Shoot Coming Soon. Sign up today! 

By Sonya Connolly, in News
You are invited to sign up soon for the Lifetouch photography sessions for Joy Reigns’ 15th Anniversary pictorial directory,  These will take place on Friday, Nov. 9 from 2-9pm and Saturday, Nov. 10 from 9am-4pm.  This is a great opportunity to get a FREE 8×10 professional photo of your family. We encourage singles, couples, and groups to participate — and pets are welcome too!  We hope all will join in, so our directory can be complete.   Photos will be back in 3-4 weeks after the shoot, in time for Christmas!  You can order Christmas photocards and many other various photo packages, if you wish, but you are not required to do so.  Sign up at church or click this link to sign up now!  Questions?  Ask Sonya at

Fall Educational Opportunities

By Debby Coughlan, in News


There are so many great learning choices at Joy Reigns! Check out the information below and complete this form online.

Please select the one(s) you wish to participate in. Use 1 page/participant

  •   NEW! Bible Story Time — Before Worship from 8:45-9:15 am A story will be read from the Spark Story Bible for all ages
  •   Cross+Gen GIFT (Growing in Faith Together) — Following Worship for all ages6 Week Fruits of the Spirit Series. All ages begin together, then breakout time per age group: preschool, elementary, middle/high school, adult. Then, we close with FAITH5 together.
    If you wish to participate in Sunday morning Adult education, this is the one to sign up for – it replaces the Adult Bible Study from past years.
  •   NEW! Monthly Faith Fix Boxes
    An at-home activity – faith-themed box of activities for all ages.
  •   Confirmation — For Middle Schoolers Weekly October – AprilA weekly time for faith and fellowship after school.
  •   Sunday Suppers — For High Schoolers
    Monthly Sunday evening gathering in various homes for food, fun and FAITH5.Plus various fun youth events and retreats through the year.
  •   New! Frolic — For Birth to Age 3
    Parent and child group starting in late fall.
  •   Thursday Morning Bible Study
    Thursdays at 10 AM at Panera in Edgewater with Pastor Sara.Name of Participant: Parent/Guardian: Preferred Contact Info: Email or Phone:



Join the IAF Gathering on October 4th at 7:00

By Pastor Sara, in News

On July 12th, Sonya Connolly shared part of her family’s story and invited others to join her in the work of improving mental health and addiction struggles in Anne Arundel County with IAF.

AACo IAF is part of a national interfaith broad-based non-partisan organization that works through the power of relationships. Joy Reigns has committed to bring 50 people to the next gathering on Thursday, October 4th from 7-8:30 pm to begin to tackle together big issues such as mental health/addiction, fair housing, transportation, education and immigration.

Vacation Bible School Aug. 13-17 Register Now!

By Sonya Connolly, in News
We invite you to join us for:
Venture onto an uncharted island where kids survive and thrive. Anchor kids in the truth that Jesus carries them through life’s storms. This year’s VBS offers a half day morning option (preschool – 5th grade) or full day (completed kindergarten – 5th grade).
Registration is smooth sailing – just click one of the links below for full or half day!
Several families, some whom are new to VBS and Joy Reigns, have requested VBS scholarships for their children to attend. You can help these children be rescued by Jesus this year with our great pirate theme. If you have any questions or would like to make a special gift please contact Pastor Sara or Yvette Woods or place a gift in the offering labeled VBS Scholarship.

NEXT AACo IAF ACTION Thursday July 12th

By Pastor Sara, in News


What We Heard What We Will Do About It

THURSDAY, JULY 12, 7:00 – 8:30pm

Asbury United Methodist Church

87 West St.Annapolis, MD 21401

FREE PARKING in Whitmore Garage from 6:15pm until 9:15pm

Parking Validation provided at the Action


Please plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early.

We are one month away from our next action! Over the past three months, we have heard the stories of over 2,100 people from communities across Anne Arundel County. Your stories have shared anger, frustration, but also hope that building a power organization such as the one we are building will make us agents of real change together!


The problem areas we heard about:







all underpinned by systematic racism, sexism, and xenophobia, which we can dismantle together.



Do these problems affect you? Do you have hands-on experience or network connections that could help us build a solution? At the action we will invite you to participate on a Research Action Team related to these and other problem areas. As a team, you will work together and with others directly affected to identify specific issues and develop solutions that we may bring to the tables of power in our communities with people impacted by the problem.

Let us BUILD POWER together to address these community ills.

Let the leaders in your organization know you will be present!

At our next action on Thursday, October 4, we will LAUNCH OUR ORGANIZATION (with a name!) and address people in power, asking them if they will accept our recommendations and work with us to do something concrete about the issues we have raised.


The Anne Arundel County IAF Sponsoring Committee is a strictly non-partisan “organization of organizations” made up of 19 member and friend organizations working together to build community power so that people’s voices are represented, and solutions presented, at the places where decisions are made. We build power by forming deep relationships within our organizations and our communities, never acting “for” anyone, but always with. We do not endorse candidates or work with or for any political parties.