Since the beginning of the Church’s documented history, youth education has been a priority. The position was for Associate Pastor of Children and Youth Ministries. After much searching Kerri Sandusky was called to fill the position in February 2012. She held a Master’s in Education Leadership and had earned her Master’s of Divinity from Fuller Theological Seminary. She was currently teaching language arts and English in the Dysart School District.
The Church was honored to assist her through the licensing and ordination process. Her Ordination Advisory Board were representatives from this Church, Parker United Methodist Church, Spirit of Grace Lutheran Church, Spirit Song United Methodist Church, and the Community Church of the Verdes.
After her review they announced, “We highly, enthusiastically recommend Kerri Sandusky as an ordination candidate of the gospel ministry of Jesus Christ.” Her ordination was held October 28, 2012 with speakers from her Ordination Advisory Board.
In 2019 she accepted a senior pastor position in Tipton, Iowa.
A Journey to Remember was the theme for this March 16th and 17th celebration. The Saturday night dinner had special guests, a presentation by the Church historian, church music, a special entertainment by the West Valley Ballet Folklorico Esperanza. The Sunday services were filled with music. Rev. Souers sang Amazing Grace, the Chancel Choir and Carillon Handbells with trombones and trumpets created A Jubilant Song. The offertory was Laudamus Te from Gloria.
The sermon by Rev. Hopely was titled It’s Not Where We’ve Come From, It’s Where We’re Going highlighting the role of a true, inter-denominational community church. Both sides of the Fireside room were filled with antiques and titled 1938 Memory Lane. The logo was the bell tower and two Palm trees.
The keepsake bulletin contained the program for the three services and the history of the church. An anniversary quilt was created depicting the rose window over the altar. Today it hangs in the church.
A series of windows that spell out “House of Prayer for All People” were created in faceted glass and installed in the rafters facing the choir. They were created by Terry Wrasse, Utopian Studios, as a way of shielding the choir from the morning rising sun.
The leaded glass Jesus window began to show it wear from the heat of the Arizona sun. In 2017 Terry Wrasse, from Utopian Studios, suggested the window be removed and preserved for display and the space replaced with more durable faceted glass. The Board chose a design to highlight the “all Christian” nature of the church.
A yellow glass cross is center and prominent. Behind the cross in various shades of blue is a triquetra symbol, also known as the trinity knot. Positioned behind the cross and the triquetra is a red heart, highlighting the love of God that is offered to all people. The window was dedicated on May 7, 2017 in the 9:15 service as The Trinity Window.
In 2016, after interviews with several pastors, Rev. Lynne Kammeraad was invited for the weekend of Hallopallooza and she attended all three services. Rev. Kammeraad’s installation as Associate Pastor was held January 10, 2016.
Pr. Lynne earned a Doctorate of Ministry in Biblical Preaching and her ordination was from the Reformed Church of America. She came from the Holland, Grand Rapids, MI area where her last position was as the senior pastor of the Christ Community Church of Grand Rapids. Speakers represented the International Council of Community Churches and the Reformed Church of America.
With the retirement of Rev. Hopley, the congregation, at a special Congregational Meeting on January 6, 2019, gave a unanimous vote to call Rev. Kammeraad to be senior pastor. Her installation was February 10, 2019 where Rev. Souers gave the Charge to the Pastor and the Church.
In 2019, the church board and council began discussing the need for making improvements to church ministries and programs to meet the needs of the congregation and visitors. A facilitator was selected to assist with the efforts to complete a thorough review all of the church's ministries. A committee was formed and commissioned by the congregation to complete the process, called ReVisioning. Many months of meetings, discussions, and prayers were involved in the process along with thorough research into the needs of the community surrounding the church.
As the process moved forward, yearly goals were established and a means to monitor progress toward the goals was established. The effects of the COVID pandemic caused delays in ReVisioning, but the committee reported back to the congregation in May 2021. The process continues with completion of goals that were established.