The Missional Church – Director’s Page

Welcome to the web page of the Director for Evangelical Mission! Along with the original material on Mission Tables, I have added three new sections. Each new section relates to one of the three Synodical Mission Tables organized in 2012.

Our three synodical mission tables have been hard at work to provide resources and encouragement to the congregations of the Grand Canyon Synod. Their focus is on mission planning, mission partnerships and growth in stewardship planning.

One of our goals is that every congregation creates and maintains a mission table to support and grow their missional outreach. The Mission Table section introduces congregations to mission tables and offers many resources for your congregation.

In Christ,
Rev. Miguel Gomez-Acosta


1. Reforming for Mission Table
The purpose of our table is to grow the Kingdom of God in existing congregations.  Our current focus involves a planning workshop to provide tools for developing a Congregational Mission Plan. These tools include: Theological Reflections, Visioning, Goal Setting, Zip Code Analysis and Asset Mapping. The team is also willing to coach congregations who are open to this process.

Team Members:  Mike Johnson, Evan Rogers, Rev. Kevin Ruffcorn, Rev. Glenn Zimbelman, Dr. Janice Zimbelman, Rev. John Schaumburg

Helpful Books
Living Lutheran, Renewing your Congregation by Dave Daubert

The Great Permission, An Asset-Based Field Guide for Congregations by Bob Sitze

The Power of Asset Mapping by Luther K Snow

Transforming Church by Kevin G. Ford

Christianity for the Rest of Us by Diana Butler Bass

Mission Partner Resources
Partnership Brochure
Mission Partner Letter of Support – 2016
ELCA website

2. New and Renewing Mission Table
The New and Renewing Mission Table has several assignments. Our work is to identify areas in the synod for new mission starts, either Congregations under Development (CUD’s) or Synodically Authorized Worshiping Communities (SAWC’s). In addition to new starts several of our congregations have entered into “Redevelopment”.

Covenant, Quartzsite, AZ
House of Prayer Rock Point, AZ
Iglesia San Juan Bautista, Tucson, AZ
Vida Nueva Mission Profile, Phoenix, AZ
La Primera Mission Profile, Mesa, AZ
La Sagrada Mission Profile, Scottsdale, AZ
Maricopa Mission Profile 2015, Maricopa, AZ
Native American Urban Ministry, Phoenix, AZ. (Click here to be redirected to the Native American Urban Ministry webpage.)

Mission Videos from the 2015 Synod Assembly

Crossroads Lutheran Chapel, San Tan Village in Pinal County is a congregation under development.

La Sagrada Familia, our largest Latino ministry meeting in Northeast Phoenix with over 500 in worship each week, is seeking partners to help construct a permanent facility on their land (fully paid for).

Native American Urban Ministry, housed at Grace Lutheran, Phoenix. Pr. Mary Louise Frenchman is building a foundation to revive the Lutheran connection in the Native community through the Phoenix Indian Center, Phoenix Indian Medical Center, and Indians for Wellness and Native Connections.

Reformation, Las Vegas, the oldest Lutheran Church in Las Vegas, is in re-development under Pastor Jason Adams’ leadership.

The Welcome Home video combines all videos listed above

Grant Application Process
In September 2015 the Grand Canyon Synod initiated a new approach to the Grant Program of our GCS Outreach Fund. All congregations, new ministries and special ministries of the synod are now eligible to seek a grant for an outreach PROJECT or sustain the MINISTRY of one of our new starts or redevelopment congregations. (See below for an explanation of the grant categories.)

Due to the faithful and generous “end of life” gifts from congregations that have completed their congregational ministry during the past two decades there are funds available in our GCS Outreach Fund to support mission PROJECTS plus new and renewing MINISTRY. For more details on the new grant program, or to complete an application please visit the following web page “Grand Canyon Synod Grants Program”.

Again, this year we are expecting more grant applications than funds so the grant process will be competitive.  Due to the annual limits of the Outreach Fund grants may be partially funded or denied. To ensure your application will be reviewed by the Grant Committee remember to submit your application by the stated deadline and answer all questions on the application.

Project Grant
Organized congregations may submit a PROJECT grant for a specific, new project that meets one or more of the following mission goals:

Please note: the Warner Trust funds have been incorporated into this new grant process. There is not a separate grant procedure for these funds.

At the conclusion of the grant period a Project Report Form is to be completed providing a summary of the goals achieved with the funding in addition to the ELCA Annual Congregational Report.

Ministry Program Grant
This grant application is for ministries that are New Starts or a Congregation in Redevelopment and have been previously approved by the Grand Canyon Synod New & Renewing Mission Table to apply for grants.

Within one year of receiving a Ministry Program Support Grant the congregation must submit the ELCA Annual Congregational Report. Failure to submit the appropriate report may result in future grant funds being held.

Please go to the new web page for more details.  If you still have questions, please feel free to contact Kim Stevens (, 602.957.3223.

3. Stewardship and Mission Support Table
The Mission Table for Stewardship and Support seeks to glorify God by assisting individuals and congregations to identify, develop, and use their resources to further the kingdom of God on earth.  Currently, our major area of focus is a program entitled Ventures in Growing Stewards. Ventures is a 4 part workshop series open to all congregations to assist in developing a stewardship team, a year around stewardship ministry, and provide proven ways to increase generosity. (Contact Janis Richert for more information at You are welcome to join our Mission Table gatherings at any time.

Resources for Stewardship
GCS website
ELCA website

Books on Stewardship
Cavanaugh, William T., Being Consumed: Economics and Christian Desire. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2008. A thought-provoking book that names the addiction our society has toward consumerism. We desire what we do not have, but God has given us more than we need.

Christopher, J Clif. Not Your Parents Offering Plate. Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2008. A good read for any stewardship team who wants to name and understand the changing trends in congregation life and giving.

Lane, Charles R. Ask, Thank, Tell: Improving Stewardship Ministry in Your Congregation, 2006. Probably the most read practical book by Lutheran pastors and stewardship leaders.

Powell, Mark Allen. Giving to God: The Bible’s Good News about Living a Generous Life. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2006. Read Powell’s book for a renewed theology in grasping what it means to be a steward. The book is packed with biblical quotes and insight which can assist in preaching and teaching.


ELCA Mission Planning Resources

Mission Table Basics

Mission Table Talks

Theological Reflections

Mission Table Prayer

Bibliography for Mission Tables

Missional Stories from Congregations

Missional Web Sites