"For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life." John 3:16
"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations." Matthew 28:19
"You are the light of the world...let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven." Matthew 5:14,16
"This is my command: Love each other." John 15b
Reach Out with the Good News of Jesus in a language people can understand because all people matter to God.
Participate Fully with a servant's heart, in mission activities based on our giftedness and passions.
Worship in a way that is inspiring, culturally relevant, participatory, grounded in the Bible, and our best.
Grow as obedient disciples of Jesus by listening to God in faithful study, prayer, and service, by acting on what God tells us, and by training others how to listen and act.
Care for the whole family, all ages and stages.
Share the resources God has given us to steward, with generous and compassionate hearts; giving to God and giving to those in need.
Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ is an association of congregations and individuals who are free in Christ, accountable to one another, rooted in the Scriptures and the Lutheran Confessions and working together to fulfill Christ's Great Commission to go and make disciples of all nations.
See lcmc.net for more information about LCMC
Light of the Desert is one of more than 7000 churches from 90 different countries, from many different denominations and backgrounds who are committed to a singular idea: that inspired, encouraged, and equipped Christian leaders create thriving local churches that redeem their communities for Christ. The centerpiece of the WCA is the annual Global Leadership Summit that brings together by satellite more than 100,000 leaders who want to become better leaders for the sake of the Gospel. Light of the Desert leaders have been participating regularly in the Summit since 1995
See willowcreek.com for more information about the Willow Creek Association.
I attended Augustana College in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated with a degree in Accounting and Business Administration. I worked for Peat Marwick Mitchell as a CPA for six years before attending Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago to earn a Masters of Divinity in 1990.
My hobbies include most sports, playing guitar, coaching my kid’s sports teams when they were younger, and music of all kinds. Hiking with Betsy is the greatest. I also really enjoy basketball, football, baseball, golf, tennis, and jogging. We all enjoy traveling and hanging out with our family and friends. I am an avid fan of the Phoenix Suns, Green Bay Packers, and San Francisco Giants.
Joining the Light of the Desert family in August 2019, Bill Miller has been serving in church leadership in various forms since 1993 when he accepted the role of Campus Coordinator for the Canterbury Community at Arizona State University. In those years Bill supported various lay ministries varying from college groups to high school youth programs, as well as ecumenical renewal movements throughout Arizona and Southern California. Always aware of God's call in his life, Bill and his family began the journey for ordination in 2008.
Graduating from Arizona State University in 1996 (B.S. in Environmental Resource Sciences), Bill has concurrently served in the church while working as a wildlife biologist throughout Arizona primarily with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He completed his Masters of Divinity from Luther Seminary in 2018.
In additional to his current role as the Discipleship Pastor at Light of the Desert, Bill continues to work with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as a Regulator, Leadership Development coach and as a Master Resilience Trainer.
Bill and Judy (his incredible wife and partner in the Gospel since 1996) enjoy camping, sailing and generally being together. They have two amazing children: Isabella, enrolled at Grand Canyon University; and Billy, a student at Desert Edge High School.
Director of Music Ministries
Hello, I am Tamra Duncan, the Director of Music Ministries at Light of the Desert Lutheran Church. I began my ministry here in 2007 but have been involved in church music ministry for the majority of my life.
My roots are based out of Wisconsin. I grew up on a small farm in Pewaukee Wisconsin. My parents were not musical at all but they scraped enough money together to bless my brothers and I with piano lessons. I loved playing the piano and my brothers, well... not so much. I continued taking lessons and decided with the help of my high school choir teacher to pursue music in college. I moved to Florida and majored in piano performance then took a hiatus and eventually graduated from Grand Canyon University with my bachelors in music (emphasis in choral studies and voice) and went on to a master’s degree in music education through ASU. I have been teaching music in the Paradise Valley School district for 15 years. I currently teach choir and piano at Paradise Valley High School.
When I’m not working I love spending time with my husband Jeff and my two dogs. I have 2 grown daughters, Tonya and Kia who fill me with joy and make me so proud. Hiking, biking, working out, reading and traveling are some of my favorite things to do. God has blessed me greatly in doing what I love as a career with people that share the same passion. God is good, All the time.
Administrative Assistant to the Pastor
My life verse is Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” This verse has certainly held true at many times in my life but especially as the Lord led me to worship at Light of the Desert. Thirty years of service in the corporate world was enough for me and God called me to “trust” him for my future – and to devote more of my time to his work. I have served him here at LOD as a volunteer: teaching, leading small groups, and as the Director of Adult Ministries; when the opportunity came to work alongside the staff as Administrative Assistant to the Pastor – that was just icing on the cake. Every day I look forward to seeing what “new plan” God has for me and I am blessed to be a part of this church family.
Co-Director of Children's Ministries
My wife Laura and I first visited Light of the Desert in the summer of 2003 with our children Grace and Sam for Vacation Bible School. We were blessed and drawn by the warm reception of the Light of the Desert Family and within the year we joined the church as members. In September of 2004 our family was blessed with the addition of our daughter Caroline and she was baptized at LOD a short time later. I volunteered intermittently with several ministries at LOD including serving on the church council. After serving on the council I answered the call to teach Sunday School to the 3rd – 5th Graders at LOD. This became a real blessing and source of joy for me. I was blessed with more free time and began teaching more frequently until it became a regular thing. I feel very called and excited about serving as Director of Children’s Ministries.
Outside of the church I was in the hospitality business for 30 years with 25 of those years as an aspiring cook and finally an Executive Chef. The last five years of my career in the hospitality business were as a Clubhouse Manager for a private golf club in Scottsdale, AZ. I am currently a Realtor with Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and enjoying much more free time with my awesome wife Laura and our wonderful children.
My Life Verse is Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Co-Director of Children's Ministries
Hello! I am Kate Gotschall and I am the Co-director of Children's Ministry at Light of the Desert since October of 2018
My husband, Matt and I along with our two girls, Lauren and Emily relocated to the Valley of The Sun in March of 2016 from Ankeny, Iowa. When we first landed in Cave Creek, we visited a few different churches and always came back to Light of the Desert because it felt like home! Teaching is a true passion of mine. I graduated from Creighton University with a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education. I taught 3 years in Des Moines at Christ the King Elementary and then made the move to corporate life, working at Nationwide Insurance. When I came on board at Nationwide, I thought I would become a corporate trainer and ended up in the project world, which I absolutely love! Since my oldest was 2 years old, I have taught Sunday School in one capacity or another and upon joining Light of the Desert I started to volunteer as a teacher. I was absolutely thrilled when asked to join the staff and work alongside my amazing peers, helping to share God's light and Word with others!
In my spare time, I enjoy spending time with my family exploring all this beautiful state offers! I love to cook, bake, hike and enjoy the pool! I am thrilled to be driving distance to the ocean as well as the northern pines! One of my favorite Bible verses is John 13:34, “And now I give you a new commandment: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.
Worship and Student Pastor
Hi, my name is Sarah! I am the Worship and Student Pastor at Light of the Desert. I am grateful for this opportunity to serve!
Light of the Desert has been my church home since 1995 and I am grateful for my second family here. I attended Grand Canyon University for my undergraduate degree (Lopes UP!) and completed my graduate program at Fuller Seminary. In my spare time, I love spending time with my friends and family, playing the piano, and taking every opportunity to be outside...especially to hike.
I cannot wait to see how God continues to use those at Light of the Desert to accomplish His great plan in Cave Creek and the rest of the world. He is so faithful! One of my favorite Bible verses is Philippians 3:8, "Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ."