Vida Nueva Lutheran Church transition
March 1, 2019
Dear Partners in Mission,
It is with mixed emotions that we need to inform you that on Feb 23, 2019 the Grand Synod Council voted to sell the building that is currently occupied by Vida Nueva Lutheran Church located at 4901 W. Indian School Road, Phoenix AZ. Although the property will be sold, the congregation will continue in a new site. The Grand Canyon Synod is currently working closely with the congregation to find a new worship location.
Since 2017 Vida Nueva has been served by an intentional redevelopment interim, Pastor Jose Valenzuela. During this time, the congregation has been discerning where God is leading them. In this last year and half, it was clear that the costs associated with maintaining the building and campus were beyond the reach of the congregation. Ministry expenses quickly outpaced income and the congregation had to frequently dip into savings to cover additional building repairs and maintenance.
Between ELCA Churchwide support and GCS support, Vida Nueva has received $1.3 million in support since 2003. Churchwide has notified us that 2019 is the last year Vida Nueva will receive support. The GCS Vida Nueva Fund balance is $178,000. At the current spending rate, this fund will run-out in 3 years or less. Vida Nueva’s leadership realizes that it needs to decrease expenses. The decision to move to a new location is not an easy decision, but Vida Nueva to be viable it is a reality.
What does Vida Nueva need now? Your continued financial support so the ministry can continue and make this new transition. The community requests prayers and more prayers. We are encouraged by the mission partners who have already reached out to Vida Nueva to express their support during this time of transition.
We want to invite you to share this information with your leaders in hopes that we can all continue to work together for the sake of God’s mission in the world. Should you or any of the members of your congregation have any questions or concerns regarding these changes, please do not hesitate to contact Bishop Deborah Hutterer (602-957-3223) or Rev. Jose Valenzuela (623-399-3176).
In Christ’s Service,
Rev. Deborah K. Hutterer
Office of the Bishop
Paul A. Gryniewicz
Synod Council Vice President
Rev. Jose Valenzuela