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February 2010

Why are we here? This month; Pastor Mark: Why are we here? Team Impact: Living, Loving and Leading in Christ Until the whole world hears: The Glory of God and the joy of the nations Team Outreach What does Convoy of Hope do? Labor for your neighbor: Valley View Community Food Bank In the Family Room: Meet our newest Member Just around the corner: This month @ DC3 ReCharge is coming! Are you ready for it?

Desert Cross is

“Reaching out, Touching lives and Changing this World�

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Our beginning. . . Desert Cross has a rich heritage and long standing tradition. What is today Desert Cross was once known as Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church. This all began in 1929 when Mr. Kiichi Sagawa came to a life changing faith in Jesus Christ and began a Sunday School in his home in Tolleson. That Sunday School was later relocated to the Japanese Language School on the corner of 43rd Avenue and Indian School Road. In 1932 the church was officially organized and dedicated on May 8, with Rev. J. A. Kashitani who served as our first pastor. Our present sanctuary was built in 1964 on land that was donated by Mr. Kiichi Sagawa. The original buildings were moved from their original locations and placed on our current church property. As time moved forward the world around the church was changing and now Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church was changing too. In 2007 the name of the church was changed from Phoenix Japanese Free Methodist Church to Desert Cross Community Church. This new name is more reflective of the wonderful diversity of the family we know and enjoy at Desert Cross. Today we are a multi-generational, multi-ethnic church family. We are a church family with a wonderful past, and a promising future. Come join us as we work together to advance the Kingdom of God into the lives of many people.

Welcome Home! Come join us this Sunday @ 10AM for exciting worship, great bible teaching in a warm family atmosphere. Bring the kids—there’s something for everyone!

Desert Cross Community Church 602-278-0917

4143 N 43rd Ave,

Phoenix, AZ 85301

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Why are we here? Why are we here? A lot of people ask that question – why am I here? What’s my purpose? Does my life have any real meaning? All reasonable questions no doubt, but they focus on ‘me’, which seems to be an American cultural mental block. Me - I - Self. I think this is even a barrier for those of us in the church today. Hear me out. I fear we get too caught up in what’s going on in our lives, our families, our kids. Running to T-ball, soccer practice, games. All good things mind you, but are they really why we’re here? Are we on this planet to focus on what’s important to us? Or what’s important to God? Now don’t get me wrong, I know that our families are important, and even more important to God than we will ever understand this side of heaven. But what I’m asking is this, are we focusing too much on our own things, our own interests and not enough on the big things that touch God’s heart? In the Old Testament, God challenged his people to keep in mind and to carry out their responsibility to others; the widow, the orphan and the stranger in their gates. In the New Testament, that didn’t change at all; Jesus actually kicked it up a notch. Right before he left the disciples, he told them why they were being left behind, and what they were to do. You will be my witnesses. But what does that mean? Simply, it means we will take the message of grace, and we will be the message of grace. We will take it with us everywhere. That’s why we’re here. We take it to work, to school, to play, etc. - you get the idea. That’s why Jesus didn’t take the disciples with him when he left. And that’s why you and I are still here today. We are to be the message. And we have two great opportunities to take the message to the world in the next few weeks. How will you be the message of the gospel? There are two great ways. You can be part of our outreach team at Convoy of Hope on Saturday Feb. 27 from 10 – 2. You can be part of our outreach team working in the children’s booth at the Matsuri – Festival of Japan on February 27 & 28. These are incredible times for us to be the real reason why we are here. To reach out to others with the love of God and the message of grace found only in Jesus Christ. Why are we here? To be the hands and feet, to carry the message to a world that still needs to hear. That’s why we are here.

Pastor Mark

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Team Impact — Children & Youth Ministry

Let Us Pray! It’s amazing that we’re already a month into the New Year! In Team Impact it has definitely been a time of learning. January has been focused on learning about prayer. As it says in the song “Let Us Pray” by Steven Curtis Chapman, “Let us pray let us pray, everywhere in every way, every moment of the day it is the right time. Let us pray without end and when we finish start again, like breathing out and breathing in, oh let us pray!” We can pray anytime, anywhere, about anything! In addition to learning this song and the importance of prayer, the children of Team Impact have learned their first memory verse, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God”. Philippians 4:6 Going into February, we will be focusing on the Love of God. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” John 3:16. So much focus is put on Valentine’s Day and the world’s version of “love”, but with Valentine’s Day falling on a Sunday this year we’re going to spend a little extra time learning about that different, very special kind of love that God has for us! Aside from all we’re learning from God’s word, January 30th was our first Team Impact Fun-day! We had great time with a Kidz Cookout at Sahuaro Ranch Park. Check out our pictures on the facing page. Please continue to keep Team Impact in your prayers as we learn more about the Love of God and how to share that love with others. Looking forward to all God has in store, Stephanie Cartwright Team Impact Leader

You know you can listen to a podcast of all Pastor Mark’s weekly teaching, right? Did you know that soon we will offer video podcasting? Keep your eyes on

Team Impact — January Fun Day @ Sahuaro Ranch Park

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Until the Whole World Hears

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Desert Cross — A local, global outreach

The Glory of God

Where is your mission field?

and the joy of all the Nations

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless His name; tell of His salvation from day to day. Declare His glory among the nations, His marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; He is to be feared above all gods. (Psalm 96:1-4) The psalmist reminds us that we were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. First thing we notice is what the psalmist says in verse 4; “ For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised…” this is our first motivation for proclaiming the good news of His salvation to all the nations. That is to say that our God is worthy of our praise and therefore we should long to see the nations worship Him. Our hearts should long to see Him get the honor and praise and the glory that He deserves. The psalmist’s heart cries out in verse 1 and 2 “Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.” The second thing to notice is that the palmist wants the nations to enjoy God forever. So the second motivation for proclaiming the Good news is the joy of the nations. He goes on in verse 11 to say “Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;” As the psalmist desired for the nations to rejoice, so we should desire to constantly praise Him. We praise Him for saving us and through the testimony of our lives others will also enjoy God forever. So, what will you do this year to bring glory to God and joy to all the nations?

Stay tuned for more ways you can get involved…. Contact Lincoln at

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Team Outreach - Be the hands and feet of Jesus to the world

What is Convoy of Hope ? Convoy of Hope ( Helping Others Prepare for Emergencies ) exists to feed millions of people in need, in the United States and around the world through children nutrition initiatives, city wide outreaches and disaster response. Each year they host up to 50 community events, with the help of an army of volunteers, giving away free groceries, job and health fairs, hair cuts, children's activities, and a prayer tent. Convoy of Hope has adopted a Guest of honor principle - to unconditionally love and accept each guest with out regard to age, race, physical appearance or spiritual condition". Desert Cross has been blessed by God to be able to participate in the community event being held on February 27, 2010 at Grand Canyon University. There are two ways in which we can help Convoy of hope. You can volunteer your time on February 27. You can also participate in the "One day to feed the world " program. This is a money donation program that asks for you to donate one days wages. Convoy of Hope also has several other programs. There is a nutritional program for children. "Seeds of hope" is a sustainability program that provides families of third world countries with packets of seeds along with educational literature teaching them how to farm so that they are able to feed and sustain themselves. Convoy of Hope also has a water filtration program. They go in to poor countries and install bio-sand water filtration units that provide enough water for an entire family to have safe water every day. These systems are made out of rocks and sand, so they require no up keep which means no added expense. $30 is the average cost for Convoy of Hope to bring a life time of safe water to a third world family. The time and money each of us spends to help Convoy of Hope will turn into food, clothing and basic necessities. Your efforts will touch the lives of some many people in need, not only here in our community but around the world. Lets go out and be the hands and feet of Jesus. What will you do?


Contact Melissa at for more details.

Labor for Your Neighbor Day @ Valley View Community Food Bank

Together, we really can make a world of difference in the lives of others...

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What is truth? Is it subjective? Is it relative? Does it change? Is there really anything that could be called absolute truth? The truth is out there. And it’s coming to Desert Cross. Come join us as we embark on a discovery of truth. We will be offering the Truth project this spring in our Sunday evening Diggin’ Deeper Discipleship Class.

can. u o y t a do wh , t ame o n g : t s e s u i v ’ s r u e h o J In hat y y of C d w o e b s u e h , Be t u are o y e r e h Start w

Shoebox Ministries—an ongoing need... It’s common to feel the need to help others at Christmas. The season gets us in a giving frame of mind. But the reality is that life on the street is a 24/7, 365 way of life for many homeless people in Phoenix. The needs of the disenfranchised were always on the mind of Jesus. They should be on ours as well. So, what can you do to make a difference in the world of our many homeless in Phoenix? You can give dignity to our homeless by supplying the simple basic necessities of life. We need your giving of toiletries, socks, Guidepost and Reader’s Digest are needed. Thank you for your support to help those in need. The Shoebox Ministries boxes are in the Fellowship Hall next to the kitchen.

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The Family Room New Family members at Desert Cross

Special congratulations to Kenji & Cary Murikami on the birth of their little girl Kayla Elizabeth!

Kayla was born three weeks early, but is doing well and growing every day. Can you guess who got to hold the baby ?

You know you can listen to a podcast of all Pastor Mark’s weekly teaching, right? Keep your eyes on

We’re going to Matsuri and we need your help in the children’s booth. This is an outreach event to those who will attend Matsuri. See Diane Komatsu to sign up and help with this event.

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Just around the corner .. coming Soon to Desert Cross Sundays: Diggin’ Deeper Discipleship every Sunday @ 5PM. Tuesdays: Life Journey Groups at Pastor Mark’s and Dorothy Tanita’s at 7:00 p.m. Fridays: Ephesians Bible Study at Church, 7:00PM. Bible teacher Lincoln Solis. Feb. 7: New Service time begins — 10 AM Feb. 14: Prayer Warriors meeting, 8:00AM Feb. 14: Women’s Ministry fund raiser breakfast at 8:30 AM Feb. 27-28: Matsuri Festival of Japan — Heritage Square Park Feb 27: Convoy of Hope Outreach event — Grand Canyon University

Save the Date! Join us for our Passover Seder $12.50 per person March 23 rd @ 6PM

nging this a h C d n a es, uching liv o T , t u o g “Reachin Phone: (602) 278-0917 E-mail:

Visit us on the web @


Desert Cross Community Church 4143 N. 43rd Avenue Phoenix, AZ 85031

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ReCharge — the name says it all. ReCharge is a time to get away and slow down. To be with your church family and friends. To let the noise of the city fall away and hear God speak to you. To you. To refresh your heart, and recharge your spirit. Once you’ve been to ReCharge, you don’t want to miss it. Just ask anyone in this picture. Plan now for ReCharge 2010, October 22-24, at beautiful Emmanuel Pines Camp, in the mountains outside of Prescott, AZ.

Visit us on the web @

Desert Cross February 2010 E-zine  
Desert Cross February 2010 E-zine  

This is the monthly online ministry magazine of Desert Cross Community Church in Phoenix, AZ