The Year was 1980
It was against a backdrop of pop culture, technological breakthroughs, exploding population growth, politics and commerce that a pathway of blessings began for Risen Savior Church & School.
3M introduced its latest product called Post-It Notes.
A gallon of gas cost $1.19.
Intel began manufacturing the Intel Pentium processor set of products in Chandler, Arizona, where the population reached a new high of 30,000.
Ronald Reagan was elected President of the United States of America.
Then, just a few days later on Sunday, November 30, 1980, nine people gathered at the home of Herb and Lil Ebert for the first worship service which was conducted by Vicar John Raddatz.
A Pathway of Blessings Begins
Beginning March 15, worship services were moved to the newly-constructed All Faiths Chapel in Sun Lakes. A drawing was held to determine the worship time for all congregations using the Chapel, and we drew 7:15 am. The rent was $75 each month.
In December, the Mission Committee was formed focusing on the world, the United States and local projects.
In September, worship services were moved to the newly-built St. Stephens Catholic Church. Attendance increased when services were changed from 7:15 to 8:30 am.
Fast Forward to 1992
Euro Disney opened in France.
A text-based browser was introduced to the public marking the beginning of the World Wide Web.
DNA fingerprinting was invented.
Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show for the last time after ruling late-night television for 20 years.
A first-class postage stamp cost 29 cents.
Ministry Takes Shape
By 1992, Fellowship became a priority among members of our growing congregation. The women’s Fellowship Circle was eventually chartered as the LWML of Sun Lakes Lutheran.
Sun Lakes Lutheran became a mission congregation under the auspices of Epiphany Lutheran Church on March 21.
In June, the church rented an apartment on Fairway Boulevard (east of Riggs & Sun Lakes Blvd) to serve as a church office.
Pastor Harold Teuscher was installed on October 18, 1992.
The first children’s Sunday School took place in the Poker Room at the Sun Lakes Country Club. At the same time, the Bible study group met in the Sundance Room at Cottonwood.
The church’s constitution was adopted December 15, 1993, and later revised in November, 2005.
1996 & 1998
On April 11, 1996, voters approved the purchase of 3.42 acres from the Pacific Southwest District for $253,000. Then on February 10, 1998, voters approved the purchase of .853 acres from Ed Robson for $43,000. These two properties comprise the current church, school, offices and meeting rooms.
Membership increased to over 350 people. In December, 1998, voters chose Risen Savior as the new church name which became effective immediately.
Voters adopted building plans in February. Building began on Palm Sunday, March 28, as the “Forward in Faith” ceremony featured groundbreaking with a farmer’s plow.
A New Millennium
Apple Computer released the iPod.
The unmanned solar aircraft Helios reached a record height of over 18 miles above the earth.
A gallon of gas cost $1.46.
Wikipedia, a Wiki free content encyclopedia, went online.
Chandler Fashion Center opened.
Moving into a New Era
The first worship service was held in the new church on Easter Sunday, April 1, 2001. Harvey Zehnder, then property chairman and later president of the congregation, was handed the key and opened the door.
The beautiful new facility was dedicated on May 6.
The Memorial Garden was opened.
2002 – 2003
In September, 2002, Risen Savior’s Pre-School opened its doors with a mission to “Connect Children to Jesus.” By 2003, six additional classrooms needed to be built.
By February, 2004, 188 children were enrolled in the Pre-School and Kindergarten. In 2007, a second story was added as well as a computer lab.
On March 1, 2004, The Perfect Place began providing respite for caregivers in a safe, structured social environment for older adults.
In February, the voters of Risen Savior approved the creation of a Foundation through which members can express the deep gratitude for God’s many gifts and blessings to them.
A Lutheran Braille work center was established where trained volunteers print the Old Testament book of Leviticus helping the visually impaired “touch the promises of Jesus.”
The four percent yearly growth in attendance increased to seven percent in 2011.
Risen Savior’s new discipleship process called “Worshiping, Growing, Serving” was created.
A New Season
Michael Phelps won his 19th Olympic medal becoming the winningest athlete of all time.
Individual spacecrafts arrived at their final destinations (after the Space Shuttle flew for the last time in 2011).
Barack Obama was elected President of the United States, and Windows 8 was released.
The population of Chandler reached more than 240,000 as the City celebrated its 100th Anniversary.
Onward and Upward
From January 1 to Easter, attendance increased by 10.3 percent.
Reformation Sunday marked Risen Savior’s 20th anniversary celebration.
In December, church members voted to purchase 5 acres of land along with a vacant bank building from Ed Robson for $1.8 million. A new horizon opened allowing the members of Risen Savior to Connect People to Jesus and reach the community.
On Easter Sunday, members of Risen Savior looked to the future pledging $1.95 million dollars to the Pathway Stewardship Campaign.
A sixth grade class was added to Risen Savior Elementary School in the Summer of 2013.
On August 18, members unanimously voted to call Rev. Ronald Burcham as their new Senior Pastor. His Installation Service was held October 20 and his first sermon at Risen Savior was preached on Reformation Sunday, October 27, 2013.
The former bank building became home to The Pathway Center which was dedicated on Sunday, March 30. It is more than just a building. The dedication marked the beginning of a new season in our growing ministry of Connecting People to Jesus.
Due to low enrollment, the Board of Education concluded that Risen Savior will no longer offer elementary classes.
In May, members unanimously voted to call Joel Endicott as the new Director of Worship. Joel was formally installed during worship services on Sunday, June 29, 2014.
The Church Office moved to beautiful new office space in The Pathway Center on Friday, July 11.
In October, members voted unanimously to call Rev. Mark Hoffmann as their new Associate Pastor of Congregational Care. Pastor Hoffmann was formally installed on Sunday, November 9, 2014.
Ministry teams continue to thrive. The Quilters group makes six to nine quilts weekly to send to people in need around the world.
The patio is alive with fellowship where an average of 16 dozen donuts are provided every Sunday. The Fellowship Committee has responsibility for the kitchen, coffee hour and rummage sale. It also sponsors the Father’s Day Pancake breakfast and Christmas dinners.
The Landscaping group meets on Thursday mornings when they can be seen mowing grounds, trimming bushes and pruning roses.
God has a perfect plan and we’re excited to see where He leads!