Streams in the Desert Lutheran Church has been serving God in Tucson for 50 years. Streams is a congregation of the Grand Canyon Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The congregation formed in 1955 when Rev. Garrett F. Genszler preached his first sermon here entitled "Streams in the Desert" based on the words of Isaiah the prophet. It was from this sermon title that the name of the congregation was eventually chosen.
The current Sanctuary and offices were constructed in 1974. The old Fellowship Hall was constructed in 1981 and the new Fellowship Hall was finished in 1995.
Within the Fellowship Hall building, there are two kitchens, one of them a full commercial type. There is also a library, a nursery, several youth rooms, a choir and music room, and with the use of partitions up to 14 classrooms or meeting areas of varying sizes. Movable partitions enable the fellowship areas and classrooms to be combined as needed.
The large capacity of the Fellowship Hall has enabled Streams to serve as a community resource by providing space for a number of organizations to hold their functions, such as CPR classes held on a monthly basis and the annual Nordic Fair. Stay tuned for information about sevices offered at Streams through Lutheran Social Ministries.
The congregation of Streams in the Desert is a wonderful group of people of all ages. Some have attended Streams since its inception in 1956. Our most recent statistics from a church survey done in September of 2004 show a current membership of about 550 in approximately 300 households.
The neighborhood is densely populated, highly dispersed and highly diverse. Moderate growth is occurring from older established households to younger, nontraditional family structures. The predominant age group in this area is 23-43 and the educational level is considered very high. Fifty percent are young (singles and couples beginning career life) and fifty-seven percent are single (male or female either never married, divorced or widowed).
The neighborhood has a somewhat high level of ethnic diversity with African Americans as the fastest growing segment of the population. The lifestyle group would be considered “young and coming” with a tendency to be more concerned with the basic necessities of life as opposed to family or community problems, hopes and dreams, or spiritual matters.
Our goal at Streams is to reach out into this neighborhood and "To share God's Love with everyone."
Here's how members of Streams feel about their congregation.
QUESTION 1: Why did you join Streams in the Desert?
Most of our members joined Streams because it was welcoming and friendly, they liked the Pastor, or were invited by friends, neighbors, or family. Members were also attracted by programs such as those for children and youth. A number joined because it was close to their home or because family members attended. The music and Praise Band attracted many to join and several mentioned they joined because the church was Bible based and they felt the presence of the Holy Spirit.
QUESTION 2: How does Streams support your faith growth?
Members of Streams generally feel that small group ministries and programs have been the most important support of their faith growth. Of those, Bible Study is by far the most mentioned, then Sunday School programs and the overall variety of opportunities available to serve and grow. A number appreciated being challenged to grow. Sermons are also an important aspect of faith growth for Streams members, especially in terms of sermons with a biblical focus. A general attitude of caring and friendliness has been very important to our members, as well as the sense of openness and acceptance of everyone. Many are nourished by time spent in fellowship.
QUESTION 3: How are we meeting one another’s needs at Streams? Streams members report their needs are being met through service and participation in a number of ministries, most notable youth groups, family events, Stephen Ministry, Sunday School and Bible Studies. Financial giving was also recognized as a way we meet one another’s needs. Fellowship is very important, for example small group fellowship and visiting between services on the patio. Members appreciate when we are caring and forgiving toward one another and support one another in our unique needs through prayer, service and the sharing of resources. The pastors are seen as playing an important part in meeting our needs, especially through visitation.