Pastor’s Welcome

Welcome to the Joy Lutheran Church website. I’m happy that you are taking the time to look around and explore the ministries and people that make Joy such a special and exciting place. After 14 years as pastor of Joy, I continue to feel the call of the Holy Spirit to joyful mission and ministry among the people of God not only in my congregation but in the greater community. The excitement I feel is generated from the people of Joy who are: passionate, loving, out-reach driven, fun, hospitable to strangers, gifted, Christ-centered disciples. Every day the people of Joy are out in our community making a difference and being God’s hands and voice to others in wonderful ways.

I am a cradle Lutheran and was raised in Minnesota and Wisconsin but my Dad’s job moved our family to Florida just before my senior year high school. I adjusted to life in the Sunshine State very well and my parents and sister still live there. I attended Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC and received a BA in Communications and Master of Education in Counseling. I received my Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Seminary in Columbia, SC.

As a graduate student at Winthrop I met Dianna Bonnett, she was the fun and pretty girl up on the 3rd floor of Bancroft Hall, the residence hall where I was the Resident Director. We were married June 18, 1994 and are blessed to be the parents of teenage sons, Jacob and William. Our boys keep us busy with their school and church activities. We love to travel as a family and especially enjoy Washington DC, New York City, and Florida. Dianna and I love to get away to other parts of the world as well without the boys. Their passports are not up to date and some trips are just for Mom and Dad!

I am a big fan of Chick-fil-a, Chipotle, and El Mexicano and so you can see that I am not hard to please. I love to be at home with my family and my dog, Sadie. I am becoming a fan of Harry’s Law and love to watch reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond.

Welcoming the stranger, building a sense of community among God’s people, and seeing God’s presence out in the real world are passions of mine. I believe that when people experience God in ordinary places and through ordinary people God changes and empowers lives. I look forward to seeing you at Joy, joining together in ministry, and building relationships that matter.

With joy,
Pastor Lane Bembenek