St. Joyce of Nephi: Saint of Potlucks and Celebrations
St. Joyce began life in the small rural town of Nephi, Utah. She grew up as LDS girls do, attending Primary, then Young Women, then Relief Society. It was in her calling as Homemaking Lesson Leader that she found her true calling – planning and supervising potlucks and celebrations. Her abilities grew quickly as she discovered she had magical intuition to know which dish to bring to every potluck, and how to plan just the right menu with just the right decorations for important family gatherings like Thanksgiving, Christmas, baptisms/confirmations, baby blessings, priesthood ordinations, and birthdays. People began asking her advice, and her gifts were soon recognized by both the Bishop and Relief Society President. She was charged with planning the semi-annual Ward Dinner.
It was in this capacity that she performed “The Miracle of the Perfect Ward Dinner.” At this dinner everyone had food choices that they liked which also miraculously appealed to all dietary requirements and allergy constraints of the entire congregation. Every dish was served in the right quantity and at the proper temperature from iced to warm (but not too warm). There were even leftovers! The centerpieces were just wide enough and just high enough, the red punch contained the perfect amount of bubbling fruit juice, and there were even Jell-O desserts in colors other than green. The line for the food flowed flawlessly, children were perfectly well-behaved, everyone ate with perfect manners, and there were even cloth napkins to adorn the tablecloth-covered long tables. People stayed to clean up, and the brethren were happy to put the tables back under the stage in the cultural hall. People even took home their nearly empty potluck dishes, as all were perfectly marked with masking tape and permanent marker prior to the event. No one has ever experienced a ward potluck dinner like it since that magical night – even in the Utah heartland.
As Patron Saint of Potlucks and Celebrations, St. Joyce loves to lend her energy and support when properly invoked. She will happily send her expertise and creativity to help women plan potlucks and celebrations of any size – from Stake dinners to family gatherings. She will gently inspire the perfect color scheme, just the right menu, a socially appropriate invitation list, and the most appealing decorations for your celebration or event. She is especially fond of helping those who are planning celebrations for the first time, particularly when critical or gossipy family or ward members are involved. St. Joyce delights in helping even novice celebration planners create an event to impress. Her favorite color is harvest gold and offerings of color swatches and pictures cut from magazines like “Better Homes and Gardens” or “Country Living” gain special favor. Her day of celebration is the day after Thanksgiving, this Saint’s day of rest.
Artwork by Heidi LaMoreaux – Mixed-media assemblage using a vintage cheese grater as a base. The cup on the left is a vintage measuring cup which can be filled with different decorations as appropriate for each specific celebration.