Synod Congregational Spotlight: Esperanza Lutheran Church


Esperanza Lutheran Church
2601 E. Thunderhill Place Phoenix

Esperanza Lutheran Church has had four primary mission partners, two local and two global:  Habitat for Humanity (22 homes as part of the SE Valley Lutheran Coalition),  the Kyrene Family Resource Center, Feed My Starving Children and the Meera Primary School in Tanzania.  The church also has been a part of Lutheran Campfirmation since the congregation began. In addition, it has shared Beach Camp with Holy Trinity and Desert Cross, as well as an annual Thanksgiving service with Mountain View.

For ten years, Esperanza's worship band director, Dave Coste and Pastor Steve Hammer have written their own Vacation Bible School Curriculum. Pastor Steve develops the themes and the skits, while Dave writes the music that is played at VBS by a youth band. Dave also writes and directs a Christmas-themed musical with a cast of up to thirty children and youth, half of whom come from the wider community. On months with five Sundays, Esperanza offers a liturgical service written in bluegrass style.

Two special organizations within the church are the Children of Hope Child Development Center, now in its 11th year, and the Garden of Eatin' community garden with 19 planting beds. About half of the beds are rented by neighbors not part of Esperanza's worshiping community. The community garden also features a milkweed bed grown to provide a monarch butterfly habitat and a "Compost Castle" to enrich the planting beds.