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Our Pastor

Where to Turn for Religious Guidance

Pastor Warren Freiheit
Bishop Emeritus

Pastors Welcome

Pastor welcomes you to Community of Joy Lutheran Church. If you are looking for a church home in Hot Springs Village, we extend a warm welcome and invitation. We worship and serve together, responding to the needs of the community and of one another in Christ's name.

During the process of calling a new pastor, Pastor Warren Freiheit has been called by the Holy Spirit to serve as interim pastor to Community of Joy. Pastor Freiheit, is a resident of Hot Springs Village (HSV). Pastor Freiheit has served congregations in Illinois, and most recently Christ Lutheran in Hot Springs Village as well as Prince of Peace in Hot Springs. Pastor Warren served as Bishop in the Central/Southern Illinois Synod, ELCA in Springfield, Ill. 

Pastor Warren graduated from Wartburg College in Waverly Iowa and then Graduated from Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, MN.

Normal Office Hours:
Tuesday and Thursday - 9:00 am to Noon
Or as needed by appointment

Pastoral/Hospital visits scheduled based on the needs of the church member.

After hours contact: 501-625-2391

...And if you want to get a conversation started - -just say - how 'bout those Vikings? 

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Julie Wesley is a graduate of the University of New Orleans, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.  She is currently a student at Luther Theological Seminary in St. Paul, Mn and a candidate for ordination as a Minister of Word and Sacrament through the Arkansas-Oklahoma synod of the ELCA.  Julie is expecting to earn a Masters of Divinity early in 2025 and to be ordained soon after.


In our congregation, Julie works under the supervision of Pastor Warren to ensure the leadership and spiritual needs of the congregation are met.


Julie’s regular office hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9:00am-12:00pm and by appointment as needed to explore how God is active and present in our lives during our suffering, during our joys, and during the ordinary times of our lives.  


Pastoral Care visits in your home or at the hospital, with or without communion, may be scheduled by calling the church office or by calling Julie directly, 504-343-1294.


Pastoral Care visits are a service available to anyone in need: congregation members, family of congregation members, and members of the larger surrounding community.

Alexa Young, CA

Pastoral Care... and your Family...


When should you call a Pastor?

  • The word "Pastor" comes from a Latin work that means to "pasture" or "feed."  It recalls Jesus as the "Good Shepherd."  The Pastor is called to lead his or her people to feed on God's word and be nourished by the sacraments.

  • There are many times when this happens in daily life or as the congregation gathers for worship.  There are other times when special needs require a Pastor to be present for his people.  To use Jesus' imagery, those times come when one of the sheep has wandered off, been hurt, experienced fear or crisis or encountered death.  These are times when a Pastor's presence is needed most.

  • The Parish Pastor hears Jesus' words to Peter in the Gospel of John...

  • "Simon, son of John, do you love me?"  He said to him,  "Yes, Lord;  you know that I love you."  Jesus said to him,  "Feed my sheep."

When should you call a Pastor?

It is important to call your pastor...

  • When there is a death in the family.

  • When a person is seriously ill.

  • When someone is hospitalized.

  • When you have received bad news.

  • When you are distressed.

  • When you need someone to listen to you.

  • When you wish to have private confession.

When should you call a Pastor?

  • There are times when a pastor can be called other than in emergencies.

  • When you have a life and faith question.

  • When you have a decision to make.

  • When you are concerned for someone else.

  • When you have a concern about parish life.

  • When you are in need of prayer.

  • The Pastor Prays for the Congregation.

  • "I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people," writes the Apostle Paul.

  • The pastor's life is centered in prayer that he or she may be attentive to Christ's ministry among God's people.  Daily, the pastor prays for those in the congregation.

  • First, to those in crisis and secondly, for all in the parish that God might direct the pastor to bring the Word of God in good season.

  • "He who does not pray for the flock is not a true shepherd; intercession is as once an obligation of our office and of love."

    • Wilhelm Lohe


Special Invitations to Your Pastor...

  • The pastor sees an invitation to your family home as a privilege and regards your invitation as a gift.

  • Special invitations might be given to the pastor when you celebrate any of life's special circumstances.

  • Invite the pastor when your family has something special to celebrate such as a Baptism or confirmation.

  • Invite the pastor if you wish to celebrate Holy Communion in your home and give thanks for a special blessing such as a newborn baby or graduation.

  • Invite the pastor when someone in your family wishes to be baptized, to bless their marriage, if a decision has been made, or if you wish a house blessing.

Congregatina Council

COJ Congregational Council

The new members of the council were recently installed.  Here is the full council. 

Council members are: Alexis Funk-president, Dick Coulson-vice president,

Don Gohr/John Keller-Treasurer, Lynda Grasse Secretary, Lance Miller at large, Patti Coffman-at large, Gayle Shaner-at large 

Spiritual Guidance - Julie Wesley and Pastor Warren Freiheit

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