2024 Reflections from Our Pastor

Dear Mission del Sol Community,

Grace and peace be with you! We have been together for four years and in many ways we have settled into our stride together. We care for each other through all the big and little things. And we are figuring out what it means to Reach Out with Active Hands and Loving Hearts within Mission del Sol and in the community. When you look at this year, you can tell God is doing something amazing here. Thanks be to God!

This year, the Elders and Deacons met and decided they wanted to focus on building community within our church body and in the neighborhood. I am proud of us. We have tried new things, retired some others, experimented with others. You will see the ways we created community highlighted below, but it was everywhere! The Holy Spirit has been hard at work doing awesome things in our community. Just look around, read the short reports or watch the photo videos below that tell about the community of Mission del Sol.

A special thanks goes to our staff for all their hard work, their time, attention to detail and determination. We could not do it without all of us together. 

You will see the report is broken into the four areas of our ministry: Serve, Grow, Connect and Give. Under each area there is a short summary of our activities, our focus on the vision statement and some hopes for the coming year. Make sure you take a few minutes to watch the highlight videos of some of our ministries. Below you will find a link to the agenda for our Congregational Meeting on May 19, 2024. You can join in person or via Zoom in the link below.

At the meeting, we will vote on the pastor's terms of call, a slate of nominees, and hear a few updates from me and other leaders about the future. We will also hear a report from the Finance Commission about how we ended 2023 financially, get an update on the Vision Campaign and present the 2024 budget. Please contact me  if you have questions about anything we are talking about.

I want to thank the Nominating Committee for their diligent work in filling our open spots for leadership. Please thank Greg Allemang (Chair), Bill Gunther, Diane Seller, and Jayne Prohaska for their work. You will note below we still have some openings for leadership. If you might be willing to serve, please contact me or Greg.

I hope you have found God in the life and ministries of Mission del Sol. Thank you for your patience, grace and ideas as we follow God's call for us. We all play an important part in our community. Thank you for sharing your gifts. See you at the meeting!



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Serving God and others is at the heart of what community looks like. Every time we join in another mission project or walk alongside another in our church or community we join in God's community. 

Together we have reached out to serve our community in mission in a variety of ways: collecting more than 100 pounds of food for St. Mary’s Food Bank each month, packing sack lunches for East Valley Men’s Center, four weeks of families joining us from Family Promise, a Youth Mission Trip to Utah, I-HELP, or our collections for the Kyrene Foundation including 700 undies and 500 pairs of socks from our most recent drive. We have reached out to a lot of lives and they have reached out to us. What is so great about these projects is that we have helped others but also the volunteer base has grown for each of these projects. 

Last year, we announced that we were applying for our 501c3 status for Casa del Sol Affordable Housing and in June, only one month later, we received our status update. We feel strongly that God is calling Mission del Sol to provide affordable housing to individuals and families in the surrounding community of Mission del Sol. Since then, it has been a slow but steady pace forward of having conversations, meeting with experts, applying for grants and learning that this work requires diligence, time, patience and community. During the Congregational Meeting, you will hear about opportunities to help us share this vision with others, give directly, donate through the tax credit, or share your Fry's rewards with Casa del Sol. Please continue to be in prayer for this ministry. We can't wait to see what God is doing in and through this important work for the community. 


  • Elders

    Liz Cazel, Class of 2026 - Elder for Christian Education (2 Year)

    Bill Gunther, Class of 2027 -  Elder for Facilities (3 Years)

    Gordon Parnell, Class of 2027 - Elder for Finance (3 years)

    Steve Rowe, Class of 2027 - Elder for Facilities (3 Years)

    Susan VandenBerg, Class of 2027 - Elder for Human Resources (3 Year)

  • Deacons

    Matthew Bruggeman, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

    Hilary Cummings, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

    Dorothy Hanson, Class of 2025 (1 Year)

    Jeanette Parnell, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

    OPEN, Class of 2027 (3 Year)

  • Nominating Committee

    Karen McDaniel, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

    OPEN, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

  • Human Resources

    OPEN, Class of 2027 (3 Years)

Our first community starts with our relationship with God. We have worked on growing that relationship through engaging sermon series, special services, Lent and Advent bags, devotionals written by our Elders, Deacons, Staff, Pastor and Members, Vespers services, Worship in the Park, Blessing of the Animals, Lenten Art projects, and Soup Suppers. It is through the steady faithfulness to these projects that we have deepened our life with Christ. Thanks be to God! 

Our music ministries have created community, too! Each week they share their gifts and their hearts with us through worship. Thank you to Smith Graham, our Music Minister for the weekly musical leadership of the Mission Bells, Mission Chorale, and Heart and Sol Worship Band. We also welcomed Juhee Park onto the staff who tickles the keys beautifully. The most exciting news from the music ministries is the new piano that we purchased this summer! We hosted two concerts on the new piano for the public (featuring Juhee and friends) bringing community to our space. They were inspiring! Thank you to all who helped make them happen! 

From our youngest kid to our oldest member, there has been a way for folks to grow in their faith through Christian Education. During regular Sunday School for our elementary kids, adults and C.R.E.W youth group gatherings, we have had opportunities to deepen our faith by asking tough questions and learn more about the Bible. We also held our Advent Festival and the EGGstravaganza as fun opportunities for us to learn about God during the holy seasons of the year. We hosted a new adult education opportunity called Insights where folks gathered to learn and think together. We continued to think about our community through the lens of justice issues, particularly related to poverty, as we engaged in discussions during our monthly Social Justice Book Group. 

These core activities help us to really be able to reach out with active hands and loving hearts. I hope you had a chance to participate in some of them. If not, make sure you make space for community this year!

We don’t just reach out with active hands and loving hearts beyond our community, but within the church community, too. This year our connections have only deepened and grown. We hosted our annual Fall potluck, special hospitality gatherings and regular coffee hour after church. We gathered for church work days, sent fun Sunshine Boxes to our college students and homebound members, and gathered in small groups. We hiked throughout the valley, met for Wednesday Morning Book Study, Yoga Classes, and Monthly Happy Hour. We also started serving homebound communion again, which has been life-giving to our homebound members! These moments of community have helped us connect to each other and it is good!

We also celebrated 10 new members joining our faith community and we grieved the loss of 3 of our beloved members. Our community continues to grow and change with each of those who are with us one gathering at a time. God is creating our community. 

We also have been reaching out to connect with the community so that more folks know about who we are and what we are about. We hosted our third Annual Block Party and welcomed several groups onto our property including the Community Choir of Arizona and the Troop 285 Boy Scouts who both joined us in worship! It is great to have folks reaching out to gather on our campus regularly! 


Thank you for reaching out with active hands and loving hearts to give of your time, talents and financial resources this year! Thanks for being a part of this community. We ended 2023 well, as you can see from the reports below, even though we had major expenses due to 7 air conditioners going out this past summer. We hope this coming summer won't be quite as bad! We were able to give our staff raises this year, add funding to our budget for important growth ministries and continue our search for the right Christian Education Director. Although we continue to search, we have not yet found the right person. Please pray for the right person at the right moment to help us create a strong community among our youth, kids and families. 

We are grateful for Dominic Fenton’s work in the background to keep our campus clean and ready for all of our activities so that community can happen. As well as the capable and faithful hands of Jennifer Grimes, our Office Manager, for her dedication, welcoming presence and faithfulness to our ministry that starts everything with community. Each of our staff give of themselves by reaching out with active hands and loving hearts. We couldn’t do any of this without the two of them. 

We are grateful for the new piano we were able to purchase this past summer. It has been an added benefit to our space. The old piano top was used to create a new organ bench for Juhee!


We completed our pledges for our last Vision Campaign. We ended the two year pledge campaign without reaching our goal. Our pledges totaled $227,990, but we are close and hope that by the end of 2025 we will meet our $300,000 goal! At the completion of our first two phases of this campaign, by the grace of God and the generosity of the Mission del Sol community, we receiving donations totaling $587,000. This allowed us to reduce our mortgage, meaning as of December 2023, our mortgage is now down to $548,000! We expanded our mission program and created a building maintenance fund with $73,400 designated to each of these areas to help us create community. 


As you can see from the above activities in our Serve, Grow and Connect areas, we are also sharing our time and talents with each other. A special thanks goes to all our leadership rolling off our leadership teams, including Elder Fred Huff, Elder Larry Langer, Elder Debi Law, Elder Liz McKenna, Deacon Audrey Dieken, Deacon Maria Richards, Deacon Bob Rimer, Deacon Todd Whittard. We couldn’t do it without you!

Below please find the Financial Summary for 2023 and the Budget for 2024. Please contact Steve Rowe or Gordon Parnell through the Church Office with any questions.

2023 Financial Summary

2023 Summary of Funds Report

2023 Approved Budget

(Click here to read previous Annual Reports)