Rev. Len Silvester
Greetings from Lake Como, Italy, where Liz and I are completing our vacation, and I am eagerly anticipating beginning my ministry with you on September 3rd. It will be my honor to help guide you on the journey from what was to what is yet to be … the interim time between Pastor Sam and your next settled pastor. We’ll rely on the Holy Spirit as we learn renewed ways to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.
I am very sad at the loss of Pastor Sam. He was a unique spirit with an astounding personal history, and he will be missed. We’ll take time to process this loss—an important step on our journey.
Here are a few things by way of introduction:
I will be working full-time as your interim pastor. I live in Scottsdale with my wife, Liz, and our 5-year-old chihuahua mix, Olive Oyl. Commuting will be my new middle name as I plan to be on-site with a regular working schedule!
I am from MA originally, just outside Worcester. I was ordained in the UCC in 1975 and served churches in MA and RI before we came to AZ. I was Senior Pastor at Church of the Palms UCC in Sun City for 17+ years, and received the honorary title of Pastor Emeritus earlier this year. (So yes, I am very familiar with the commute!) I retired (sort of) at the start of 2015. In 2018 I served as Interim Pastor a Casas Adobes UCC in Tucson.
Meeting people and talking with them is a joy for me, and I look forward to connecting with as many of you as I can. Please be patient as I learn a lot of new names!
My hobbies include baseball (watching), pickleball, reading, travel, computers and ‘tech.’ I love to laugh.
I look forward to meeting many of you at worship on September 8th,
if not before. Until then…
Onward! Pastor Len, soon-to-be Interim Pastor…
Pastor Len’s office hours beginning September 3 will be Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday from 9am to 4pm, Mondays he will be available from home.
Not long after coming to Desert Garden Church to be our pastor, our beloved Pastor Sam hired a new Business Manager, Sara Givens. Sara has given our church 10 years of loyal service. We are sorry to have her taken away from us due to health concerns, but we rejoice in all that she accomplished in keeping our office running smoothly and helping each of our various treasurers over the years. We wish the very best for Annette and for Sara, who is now with her family in Denver.
We now look to Annette Strangman who has taken the reins of the Business Manager position. She has done exemplary work in filling in during Sara's absence and will now officially be our Business Manager.
Annette has been a member here since 2017. She is originally from California where she raised Arabian horses and also taught computers for many years at Christian Academy. She has many years of bookkeeping experience.
Dennis and Claudia Marsollier
Director of Music
Dennis and Claudia Marsollier head our Music Department. Dennis is the Music Director and handles all those duties except the direction of the Hand Bell Choir. Claudia is our organist and Hand Bell Director. Those of you who were in church on Sunday, September 4, 2016 were treated to piano and organ duets by Dennis and Claudia which really shows us how lucky we are to have them continue the wonderful musical part of our worship services. We are so grateful that they felt that this was the path that God wanted them to follow. I know we all will want to thank them for SHARING their musical gifts with us and SERVING as our Music Team. They do this through the special CARE and LOVE they have for our church.
Margaret comes to Desert Garden Church with over 17 years of church office experience. She is the delightful first face and voice of our church. Margaret is a Phoenix native and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Arizona State University. She worked in financial and customer service jobs before moving to church work. She and her husband Richard have 2 childen and 3 grandchildren. Desert Garden Church is so fortunate to have Margaret in this important position.
Duane Scholler is a guy who can do anything. Not only does he keep the Desert Garden Church buildings and grounds in ship shape condition, he can handle most maintenance activities. Duane has a special skill in overseeing projects to completion. We are so pleased that Duane found our church and we found him. Duane and his wife Ann come to Arizona from Minnesota where Duane worked managed the buildings and grounds for Boise Cascade.
Sundays at 9:30am
Desert Garden United Church of Christ
18818 North 128th Avenue
Sun City West, AZ 85375
Meet our Interim Pastor will be Rev. Len Silvester.
His first Sunday in the pulpit will be this Sunday, September 22.
Join us on Mon. Sept 16 at 10am to hear from The Area Agency on Aging.
Free for all. They will address your questions.