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Community Connections

We have something for everyone at Desert Foothills Lutheran Church and we would love to get you plugged in.  Check out some of the connect opportunities and decide which is the best fit for you.

Community Outreach



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We are so excited to be partnering with the Orphan Grain Train in 2023.  The Orphan Grain Train is a 501c3 Nonprofit Christian volunteer network that shares personal and material resources with needy people in Arizona, America and around the world. Grain Train volunteers gather donations of clothing, medical supplies, food, Christian literature, and other aid to meet real needs. The Orphan Grain Train movement is a loving response to Jesus Christ’s example as a servant and His love for us.  Orphan Grain Train is a recognized service organization (RSO) of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod (LCMS). Many shipments have been in cooperation with Lutheran Hour Ministries, LCMS World Mission, LCMS World Relief, and other Christian ministries.


Starting this Sunday, we will be collecting backpacks with school supplies for those in the Phoenix community.  Items for the collection: Backpacks - non spiral notebooks - pencils - pens - composition notebooks - erasers, sharpeners, crayons - white and colored paper - glue sticks, scissors - colored pencils - washable colored markers - rulers - socks of various sizes (new) - balls.  This helps with the constant need for backpacks and school supplies for school children in situations of need.


How the Orphan Grain Train started...  In 1992, Rev. Ray S. Wilke, pastor of Grace Lutheran Church in Norfolk, Neb., volunteered with a group of Lutherans who traveled to Latvia and Russia to help with a church mission. There they met people with “no hope” in desperate need of spiritual, emotional, and humanitarian aid after the breakup of the former Soviet Union. The Latvians begged Rev. Wilke to help them more after he went home and he promised he would. Wilke envisioned a train that would travel through America’s Midwest, picking up cars of donated grain along the way, until it reached a port from which the grain would be shipped to feed starving orphans in Eastern Europe. Upon his return to the United States, Wilke contacted Clayton Andrews, president of Andrews Van Lines, a worldwide transportation company, and told his story. Together, they founded Orphan Grain Train. “He came to me and asked, ‘Do you think something can be done?'” says Andrews. “I said, ‘Yes, I know how we can help those people.’ I never hesitated and it took off from there.” As it turned out, railroad operating protocol made the original grain train concept impractical, but Orphan Grain Train was born nonetheless. Within a year Grain Train’s first shipment, a container of clothing and quilts, arrived in Riga, Latvia. 

Today more than 3,728 semi-trailer truckloads of food, clothing, medical supplies, and religious materials have been sent to 69 countries and several disaster areas in the U.S. since 1992. All of this is done by volunteers and individual contributors – people who are thankful for their blessings and want to provide a blessing to someone they will probably never see this side of heaven.  Volunteers sort and pack the donated items in our warehouses across the US. Contributors donate money to ship the precious cargoes of hope where most needed. (Eleven dollars sponsors the shipment of one box of aid!) Volunteers at the other end of the journey place these gifts of love into the hands of needy people. We believe that through Christ there is great hope embodied in the efforts of Orphan Grain Train. 

In 2022, OGT opened a regional branch in Phoenix.  Desert Foothills is blessed to have our own Alan Hobratschk as the OGT warehouse manager.  He, along with his wife Celeste, have taken several trips to the Tohono O'O'odham peoples for the OGT.   

The following is an article from the OGT newsletter.


On October 19, OGT’s Phoenix Branch delivered a truck full of donations to the Tohono O’odham Nation in Sells, Arizona. The Tohono O’odham are a Native American people of the Sonoran Desert, residing primarily in the state of Arizona and the Mexican state of Sonora. Tohono O’odham means “People of the Desert.” They have lived in the region for more than 10,000 years. The OGT caravan left the warehouse at 730 a.m. and arrived at 1130 am. A total of 503 boxes were delivered! A group of 5 women and 2 men greeted OGT upon arrival and immediately started to unload the boxes, laughing and chattering as we worked unloading the truck. These folks were so very grateful for the donations. We were honored and blessed to make this much-needed delivery to our friends at the Tohono O’odham Nation.

Orphan Grain Train Ministry Moment Video



Patty Wendel

Count it all JOY! James 1:2

Desert Foothills Lutheran Church


817-307-0206 (cell)

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Operation Christmas Child  Was a Huge Success!

"Operation Christmas child was a huge success this year. Thank you to everyone who participated in packing shoeboxes, participated in the packing party and packing shoeboxes online. We packed more shoeboxes than ever, 362! So many children will be blessed with the gift of Jesus Christ this year. Have a blessed Christmas."

Thank you,

Karen Bird

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DFLC is teaming up with Choices Pregnancy Center

We are excited to announce a new Pro-Life Ministry at Desert Foothills Lutheran Church! The DFLC Pro-Life Ministry will speak up for Life and act on behalf of those who are vulnerable and defenseless. Our primary focus will be to promote the sanctity of human life by providing education and support based on the Word of God.

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Thank you to everyone who made our 2022 Angel Tree program a huge success! We collected $2,660 Walmart and Target gift cards plus family games, lap blankets, adult socks and puzzles. Your generosity will brighten a Christmas for several families this year.

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Foothills Food Bank

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Senior Community Bingo

All of these dates are on a Wednesday afternoon.

March 1 & April 12

From 2:30 - 3:30pm in the Worship Center

Join us as we invite our neighbors from Lone Mountain Memory Care and the community to play BINGO once a month!


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Desert Foothills partners with Pinnacle Presbyterian Church in creating and supporting Sing for Life.

What is Sing for Life Chorus?
Sing for Life Chorus is a community Chorus for those living with various stages of memory loss (early to mid-stage dementia) and their care partners who are living in their homes or chosen communities like our neighbors at Lone Mountain Memory Care. The Chorus is a wonderful way to build community through an activity individuals love to do - SING! Sing for Life is an opportunity for singers to connect by sharing in conversation, laughter, and song. The chorus is blessed to be led by Pinnacle Peak Presbyterian's Choral Director and a music therapist from ASU. Singers sing familiar songs - lots of show tunes and musical hits that are familiar to all. Volunteers are available to assist singers. It brings us joy to see our singers smiling faces each week!

The chorus meets Thursdays at 10 am at Pinnacle Peak Presbyterian Church. We are looking for singers and volunteers to grow the chorus.

For more information, contact Patty Wendel at

New City Phoenix/Barrio Nuevo







We partner with Barrio Nuevo to serve in an under resourced neighborhood in South Phoenix. Our passion is to help this community go from being marginalized to becoming healthier part of Phoenix.  

OurCommunity involvement….

  • House painting - we paint houses of mostly seniors, who live in a truly special neighborhood. We join with over 20 different groups (schools, businesses, churches and individuals) who help out making a difference through painting the exterior of older homes that need a little love. Pastor Dave, who leads Barrio Nuevo, has created relationships with a few painting contractors who provide us with free paint and a local business helps with mixing and re-bucketing our donated paint.  It is exciting to see how lives have been impacted through a paint brush!  Watch for sign up dates.

To learn more visit

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Habitat for Humanity

We will post information as soon as we get new work dates for Habitat for Humanity.


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Foothills Caring Corps

Foothills Caring Corps is very active in the Carefree/Cave Creek community providing services for seniors. Transportation to medical appointments, medical equipment, social activities and meals are just a few of the services provided.

To learn more visit

BibleSticks™ Ministry

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The Military BibleStick is designed specifically to bring God’s Word to the men and women deployed in the U.S. military. It represents hope for our heroes!

It’s a digital player pre-loaded with the Audio Drama New Testament plus Psalms specifically selected for our Troops. It’s small enough to take anywhere they go — bringing hope and comfort through God’s Word when they need it most.

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Homeless Veterans

This new project started during the season of Lent.  We know that there are so many Veterans who proudly served our country that are now living on the streets in Phoenix.  We began a campaign to bring these men and women “hygiene bags”.  In a three week period, we collected enough to make 100 bags.  The bags were taken to MANA House in Phoenix and subsequently distributed to the Veteran’s Outreach Center also in Phoenix.

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At DFLC, we’re committed to serving God where He has placed us.  Here are our current opportunities to serve in the church and in our mission fields:



Altar Flowers

At DFLC we are blessed with lay people who enjoy serving as lector.  Each reads the Scripture, aloud acting as a conduit for the Holy Spirit.  Their great joy, prayer and preparation enriches the worship experience for all.

The congregation and the Pastors feel blessed that our young members wish to be a very important part of our worship services by serving as acolytes. Training is always provided. Acolytes light the candles, receive the offering, and assist with the Sacrament of the Altar. On special Holy Days they will also carry the cross in the processionals and recessionals.


Our ushers warmly greet, provide information and assist those attending our worship services. They ensure the safety, welfare and comfort of all. They direct how we proceed to the altar to receive the Sacrament of Holy Communion.  When we have the Sacrament of Holy Baptism, they assist Pastor and the family.

Offering Counting

Are you detailed oriented and enjoy balancing your check book?  We are always looking for people to help us count, audit and prepare the details for our bank deposit and the details needed to post the contribution details to our contributors.  This is a great way to work as part of a team to fill a very important need for our church and our contributors. Schedule:  Some teams count after the first service.  Other teams meet at the church on Monday during the day.

Altar Guild

The Altar Guild is a group of volunteers who are charged with the maintenance and preparation of the altar and its furnishings each week. The Altar Guild is an open group for all Desert Foothills members and participation is on a rotating schedule. For information about becoming a member of the Altar Guild, contact the church office.

DFLC members are invited to sign-up for flowers in honor or memory of a loved one, or for the glory of God. The sign-up is located in the Church Lobby.

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Welcome Desk

Weekly, we reach out to all those who are visiting DFLC for the first time or as regular visitors. The friendly faces at the Welcome Desk provide answers to questions, directions, and event details.


Greeter teams at DFLC are responsible for setting the tone before and after each worship experience. Greeters answer questions, get to know the community better through individual interactions, and support families getting in and out of our facilities. Greeter teams are open to anyone and serve on a rotating schedule. 


This team takes care of A-Z when it comes to food, drinks, and decor on Sunday mornings and throughout the year. Do you have the gift of cooking, baking, organizing or decorating? Join this team.

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