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Weekly Desert Cross Update -

March 1, 2024


Faith and Life with Pastor Andrea


The heavens declare the glory of God;

  the skies proclaim the work of God’s hands.

Psalm 19

Where have you seen glory? This glorious sight appeared on the 202, and it took my breath away (don’t worry, the photo was snapped from the passenger seat!) The purple expanse of clouds just about kissed the mountaintop in the distance. It lasted but a moment, but it had to be captured and shared. I couldn’t wait to show you! It was a challenging day, but glory showed up in this sunset to fill me with wonder and comfort as I felt God’s hands touching us on earth. So many stresses these days, so much hurrying, so much strife. And yet glory shows up. God is with us. 

Some of it is just about noticing. Allowing ourselves to be amazed. Sharing it with others. A section from Mary Oliver’s poem “Sometimes” from her book, Red Bird, comes to mind:

Instructions for living a life:

Pay attention.

Be astonished.

Tell about it.

- Mary Oliver

With so much heaviness around us, be open to the lightness that glory brings. Look for glory in the little things. Keep your eyes and ears open to it. And then share it. Glory reassures us that God is with us. Glory shows up.

Glory to God,

Pastor Andrea

LENT 2024


Lent 3: 

Saturday, March 2 at 5:00 pm Tempe 

Sunday, March 3 at 8:30 am & 10:30 am w/livestream Tempe;

9:30 am Gilbert

Wednesday, March 6: 

Holden Evening Prayer - Tempe 7 pm; Gilbert Soup Supper 6 pm, Worship 7 pm

Lent 4: 

Saturday, March 9 at 5:00 pm Tempe 

Sunday, March 10 at 8:30 am & 10:30 am w/livestream Tempe;

9:30 am Gilbert

Wednesday, March 13: 

Holden Evening Prayer - Tempe 7 pm; Gilbert Soup Supper 6 pm, Worship 7 pm 

Lent 5: 

Saturday, March 16 at 5:00pm Tempe 

Sunday, March 17 at 8:30 am & 10:30 am w/livestream Tempe;

9:30 am Gilbert

Wednesday, March 20: 

Holden Evening Prayer - Tempe 7 pm; Gilbert Soup Supper 6 pm, Worship 7 pm 

Palm Sunday: 

Saturday, March 23 at 5:00 pm Tempe 

Sunday, March 24 at 8:30 am & 10:30 am w/livestream Tempe;

9:30 am Gilbert

Lenten Devotional

Wandering Heart: Figuring Out Faith with Peter

A Sanctified Art has a Lenten Devotional to go along with our theme for Lent. The devotional includes scripture, poetry, commentary, reflection questions, artwork, and notes from the artists. The online devotional even includes music links inspired by Wandering Heart. Just click and listen! 

You'll find a link to the Lenten Devotional below. If you have any questions, contact Denise McClellan at or 480-730-8600.

Wandering Heart Lenten Devotional


📄🔥 Get Ready to Shred-it Up! 🔥📄

Mark your calendars because we're hosting a Shred-a-thon on Saturday, April 20th, at our Tempe campus from 11 am to 1 pm.

Bring all your paper piles, old documents, and files that need shredding. It's time to clear out the clutter and have a blast doing it!

Let's shred it up and protect our privacy together. See you there!

Donut Day

Sunday, March 17, 2024  

During our Education Time

We include a fellowship event each semester as part of our Faith Formation program. We'll gather at both sites for some extra fellowship time so folks of all ages can have some fun and make some connections. 

🐰🥚 Hop into Easter Fun at Desert Cross Gilbert! 🥚🐰

Sunday, March 17th, 2024

10:45 am to 11:30 am

Gilbert site

Get ready for an egg-citing Easter celebration! We're thrilled to invite you and your little ones to join us for a joyous Easter egg hunt right after worship on Sunday, March 17th, from 10:45 am to 11:30 am at the Desert Cross Gilbert campus.

But wait, there's more! We need your help to make this event egg-ceptional. We're seeking donations of candy (non-chocolate preferred) and other delightful treats to fill our eggs with surprises. Please consider contributing before March 10th, and we'll gather to stuff the eggs during fellowship on the 10th.

Invite your friends, families, neighbors, and even strangers to join in the festivities.

Hymn Fest & Potluck

April 21st, 4-5 pm

Desert Cross Gilbert

Join us for a Hymn Fest and Potluck at Desert Cross Gilbert on Sunday, April 21st, from 4 to 5 pm. Enjoy timeless hymns performed by our music groups and a special appearance by the Handbell Choir from Holy Trinity Lutheran Church.

Bring a dish to share for the potluck at 5 pm. There will also be a free-will offering for Sanctuary updates.

Please contact Carolyn Perkins at with any questions.

See you there!

Feed My Starving Children Packing Event

Save the date for a Feed My Starving Children Packing Event. We'll gather at the FMSC packing site in Mesa. Use the link below to reserve your spot.

If you have any questions, contact Denise McClellan at or 480-730-8600.

Feed My Starving Children Registration

A Hearty Thank You

We're excited to announce that our soup barrel runneth over! Together, we've donated a remarkable 168 pounds of food to Kyrene Resource Center. Your generosity has made a significant impact, and the folks at Kyrene are immensely grateful for the support.

Thank you for showing what our congregation can achieve when we join forces.

March Madness Viewing Party

Come gather for good conversation and watch a Round 2 March Madness game. The Riensches are hosting the event on Saturday, March 23rd starting at 4:00 pm. We will have hot dogs and all the toppings, vegetarian and gluten-free options as well, and popcorn. Those attending are encouraged to bring a favorite dish or dessert to share.


Basketball will be on in several areas for those wanting to watch or there will be many areas for just those looking to gather and talk. Kids of all ages are welcome.


There will be a sign-up sheet in both Gilbert & Tempe, please put your name and email on it if you are interested and we will send an Evite to you with all the details!  

Adult Forum

Sundays  9:45 - 10:15 am  

Tempe Community Center Adult Classroom


Sundays  10:45 - 11:15 am  

Gilbert Sanctuary

Meeting March 3

No Meeting March 10--Spring Break

We're choosing a monthly theme based on the lessons read during the worship services. We'll explore the theme by discussing the lessons and using the Adult Playlist posted each month on our Faith Formation Website.

For more information, contact Pastor Andrea at

or Pastor Thadd at

Meditation Group

Tuesdays at 7:00 pm

Tempe Sanctuary

Meeting on March 5


Thursdays at 9:00 am

Tempe Community Center Youth Room

Meeting on March 7

Do you want to try meditation? If so, please join Elaine Kraemer on Tuesday evenings or Thursday mornings. Elaine is hosting weekly meditation groups. Elaine has practiced "passage meditation" for many, many years. She'll share the whys and hows of meditation and help you get started with this faith-growing spiritual practice.

To sign up or for more information, please contact Elaine Kraemer at


Vitalant Blood Drive

📅 Date: Saturday, April 27, 2024

🕢 Time: 7:30 am - 12:00 pm

📍 Location: Desert Cross Community Center in Tempe

💉 Donation Options:

- Whole Blood

- Power Red

🅰 Urgent Need for:

- Type O Negative

- Type A and B Positive

🎁 Rewards Await:

Earn points for prizes with each donation!

🔗 Schedule Your Appointment:

Visit and use sponsor code "desertcross" (all one word)

👤 Contact for Sign-Ups:

Art Krzyzewski will be reaching out to past donors.

📋 Sign-up sheet available in the Narthex at the Tempe site

📧 Email:

Let's come together to save lives and make a difference. Your contribution matters!

March Mission - Community Baby Shower

Sweet babies always need LOTS of diapers! So once again we will be helping Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, as they partner with The Family Resource Center in Mesa to host the annual Community Baby Shower.

Many expectant parents of a new infant have no family support, so the goal is to set them up for success. In addition to workshops, services, and ongoing coordinated care, each family receives a fully stocked diaper bag. The plan is to cover 60 babies with what they need. And that’s where DCLC can help! The list is short, but VERY important. Please consider donating any of these 4 items: 

  • Diapers sz. 1-4 (lots!);
  • Baby toy;
  • Baby rattle;
  • Baby board book (bilingual if possible)

Also, all Hunger Jar donations from March 1 to March 29 will be used toward purchasing items from the list, especially diapers! Place your donations in our designated box in the narthex. Thank you for helping so many sweet babies!

Serve 40

Desert Cross Celebrates 40 Years of Ministry!

In celebration of our 40 years together, let's each commit to serving 40 hours outside the walls of Desert Cross in 2024. Keep track of your volunteer service hours out in the neighborhood. When you reach 40 hours, contact Denise McClellan at or 480-730-8600. We'll announce how many of us Serve 40 at the end of the year.



55+ Planning Meeting

Don't forget to mark your calendars for our 55+ Planning Meeting! It's happening on Thursday, March 7th at 9:00 AM in the Tempe Community Center Adult Classroom.

We'll start with social time over coffee and refreshments, followed by planning our upcoming events and service projects. Plus, we'll pick a game for our next Game Day. We'll wrap up with a time for prayer requests and the Lord's Prayer.

Can't wait to see you there for a great time together!

55+ Event

Organ Stop Pizza

Sunday, March 3rd at 3:30 pm

All are welcome to join the 55+ Group at Organ Stop Pizza on Sunday, March 3rd at 3:30 pm. Organ Stop is located at 1149 E Southern Ave, Mesa, AZ.

Please RSVP to Glenda Friesth by Friday, March 1. A fun time will be had by all!!

Snack & Chat

When you attend one of our Sunday worship services in Tempe, don't forget to stop in at the Fellowship Hall after the 8:30 am service or come a little early for the 10:30 am service to enjoy a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie or two with your friends. You might even make a new friend! We hope to see you on Sunday!

Wise Guys

Mondays at 9 am

Tempe Fellowship Hall

Are you wise? Are you a guy? If so, then you are invited to this fellowship group that meets on Mondays for coffee and conversation.


🍲✨ Join Us in Gilbert for Soup Suppers Every Wednesday During Lent! ✨🍲

On Wednesdays throughout the Lenten season, we invite you to join us at the Gilbert site for Soup Suppers at 6:00 pm, followed by Holden Evening Prayer at 7:00 pm.

All are welcome to attend!

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Dana Hargis via email at

Don’t Trim Your Palm Trees

Please bring your palms to the Tempe church by Saturday, March 21st for Palm Sunday decorations. You're welcome to stay after the 10:30 am service to embellish the Sanctuary. Thank you!

Communion Kits

If you are unable to attend worship in person and would like a communion kit to use as you watch the live stream, you can pick one up from the office in Tempe. We have gluten-free options available.

Volunteer Opportunities

If you are looking to become more involved in our Tempe and Gilbert Faith Communities, please click "Read More" and find out today where you can be of value. You'll find all the needed contact info right there on the page.

We are actively looking for more volunteers in all areas of service.

Read More

Information on Baptism

If you are interested in having your child baptized, reach out to Pastor Thadd at

News Submissions

Do you have a news item, event, or ministry story to share? Please send the information to Joni at by the TUESDAY of the week that you wish to have it advertised.

May the Lord bless you in all your endeavors this week!

For your convenience, we have online giving up on our website or you can use the button that says "GIVE" at the top of this email. As always, we continue to appreciate all who are continuing to support the many ministries of Desert Cross!

You can also simply text the word "GIVE" to 833.636.1502 and complete the payment information. It securely saves your information and makes it possible to donate in 5 seconds once it has been set up!

Lastly, you can scan the QR code included in our live stream services and in the weekly Worship Aid. Giving is easier than ever - check it out!

All financial information is encrypted and stored by's banking partner to PCI DSS Level 1 compliant standards, which is the highest possible rating one can get in the electronic payment processing industry.

Desert Cross Lutheran Church | Gilbert & Tempe | 480-730-8600 |