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The name Desert Streams is taken from the book of Isaiah, which is found in the Old Testament. Speaking a word of hope to a weary people, Isaiah says, "waters shall break forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert" (Is. 35:6). We believe that God loves us and that God will refresh us and renew us with living water. As our friends, relatives, associates and neighbors observe what God is doing in our lives through this living water, they too will want do discover Desert Streams.
The name Desert Streams was also chosen because of our location. The community of Surprise is located in the Valley of the Sun—the desert. Every day we are reminded of the dry conditions of the land in which we live and of our absolute dependence on water.
We are an RIC (Reconciling In Christ) partner.
In response to the overwhelming love of God, we stand in awe of the wideness of God's mercy. In faithfulness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, mindful of our Lutheran emphasis on grace, and rejoicing in the celebration of our shared baptismal journey, we welcome as members of our extended family all those who have ever felt excluded by the Church because of their race, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, physical or mental challenges, financial resources or family status. As followers of Christ, all members of Desert Streams Lutheran Church are compelled by the Gospel to seek reconciliation and wholeness in a world that is all too often an unloving place. Therefore, rejoicing in God's abundant grace, we extend a special welcome to all. Whether LGBTQ, whatever country of origin or ancestry, whether believer, doubter or seeker; in Christ's love we welcome all people so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we can work together to usher in God's reign of Justice, peace and mercy.
Desert Streams is affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). When you finish here visit the ELCA website where you can find information about our beliefs, understanding and practice. The ELCA is the largest body of Lutherans in the United States with over 5 million members in 10,760 congregations.
Conception (December 2003-August 2004): From the very beginning, the focus of Desert Streams Church has been on outreach. We publicized our presence, and began to meet and learn about the residents of Surprise during this stage. Through direct mail and personal visits, we invited interested neighbors to join us in this adventure of faith. Oasis (Small) Groups Phase (June - September 2004): As people became interested, we provided opportunities to meet in small groups for fellowship, worship, study and prayer.
Worship Launch (September 2004): Public worship began on September 12, 2004 at the Chaparral Center in Sun City Grand. We began with two worship formats, a spirited traditional service and a contemporary praise service. Our goal was to make worship at Desert Streams culturally relevant, uplifting, and invite participation by all present. Worship at Desert Streams sought to engage all the senses through drama, spoken word, video, music, dance and the arts.
There are literally hundreds of people all across the United States who are behind the birthing of this new faith community. Through generous offerings and intentional prayer, members in congregations across the country have provided seed funds through the ELCA's Division for Outreach and the Grand Canyon Synod to support this congregation. In particular, three nearby congregations have taken on the role of Mission Founders providing significant dollars over a five-year period to birth this new ministry. These Lutheran congregations are Spirit of Grace, Sun City Grand; and Lord of Life, Sun City West. The Lutheran Thrift Shop in Sun City is also providing significant funding for Desert Streams Church.
We want to become a healthy congregation continually reaching out to the community of Surprise and firmly committed to our mission statement: "Inviting everyone to a new life in Christ, a deeper relationship with Christ, and spirit filled service for Christ." As Desert Streams grows, we will develop new ministries for families, singles, youth, and children. Our emphasis will be on worshipping in a vibrant, uplifting manner, establishing authentic community through small groups, and making a positive, loving impact on the lives of people around us through the development and use of our personal, unique gifts and talents