From Pastor John Gosswein

It was 20 years ago, the week of 9/11, that I was invited to lead a regular worship with the individuals I serve – persons challenged with a combined variety of physical and intellectual disabilities. The staff that accompanied the individuals felt we should ignore the news of the terrorist attacks: “The individuals needed to be shielded from these horrors. They wouldn’t understand, so we’re better to not bring it up.” One of them said, “We’re just turning off the news when anything comes up.”


New Hanover Evangelical Lutheran Church in Gilbertsville, Pennsylvania

From its Rejoicing Spirits Leadership Team:

“Rejoicing Spirits continues to lift the hearts of our Rejoicers and also our leaders during this pandemic. We continue to see that God is active in our lives through our Rejoicing Spirits community.

By Rev. Dr. Dave deFreese

Reverend Dave deFreese has been writing devotions for the Mosaic staff during the pandemic. We would like to share a recent devotion with you in hopes of bringing you encouragement.

“Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things ... and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9

Thank you for your ministry! We know these are unusual times and that many churches are still not gathering together for worship. We’d like to hear from you on what is working for you and your Rejoicing Spirits services during this pandemic.

Are you currently holding your services online or have you found another creative way to continue Rejoicing Spirits?

If you have developed worship guides or resources for an online service, would you be willing to share with others?

October is Clergy Appreciation Month and Mosaic’s theme is Thank you for lifting us up! Take the time to extend a thank you to your clergy for all they do for your congregation along with their support of Rejoicing Spirits. We invite you to say prayer for pastors today for Clergy Appreciation Sunday:

By Rev. Dr. Dave deFreese

As we begin a new year, let me offer an unusual blessing: “May God grant you the gift of holy discontent in the year ahead!”

Why in the world would anyone wish that, especially for someone they care for? Because it is a gift. To have holy discontent is to see need and to respond with hope. Holy discontent causes us to be fully alive to the struggles around us and to be motivated to make a change that is for the good. When we recognize injustice, God uses holy discontent to make the world we share better.


It is bittersweet to acknowledge that our partner, Rev. Dr. Jim Fruehling is stepping away from full-time service to Mosaic and Rejoicing Spirits. He has been instrumental in the work of Rejoicing Spirits since Mosaic took on the responsibility from Susan Crawford and St. Paul Lutheran Church in Exon, Pennsylvania.


Redeemer Lutheran Church | Salina, Kansas

Our first Rejoicing Spirits service was incredible! We had 60 people attend. The rejoicers helped with the greeting in the parking lot, served as ushers, collected the offering (cards to God), played a special song on the saxophone, sang and used shaker instruments, and said the table prayer. After a taco lunch, a variety of games were played. The day before the service we were interviewed by the Salina Journal and it made the front page! God truly blessed and guided us on this journey.


We have updated the Rejoicing Spirits materials to reflect some changes at Mosaic and to make it easier for prospective congregations to navigate our materials. Resources for congregations are now divided into two sections:

  • Step 1: Introduction to Rejoicing Spirits Ministry
  • Step 2: How to Start a Rejoicing Spirits Ministry

Next to come will be updates to the Rejoicing Spirits Host Site website—we will update you on the progress!


Submitted by Zion’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jonestown, PA

Zion’s Jonestown, Pennsylvania has been hosting Rejoicing Spirits for almost 10 years!

One of the most exciting parts of this ministry is when we spread the word and new people start coming, enjoying the service and making more friends.