OUR STAFF AND HISTORY
Rev. Ken Heintzelman
Likes: coffee, quiet mornings, and Oreos
Dislikes: mosqutios, pettiness, and moving
Director of Campus Affairs
Likes: people, keeping busy, and the phrase “you are loved”
Dislikes: eggplants, violent movies, and birds in the sanctuary
Director of Spiritual Formation
Likes: introducing people to diverse and off-beat prayer practices, building peaceful and participative cultures, smashing the patriarchy.
Dislikes: being out of coffee or chocolate
Financial Officer and Technology
Likes: Casablanca Lilies, chai tea lattes, and hiking the Arizona trails and mountain preserves
Dislikes: onions, and dishes in the sink
Director of Communications
Likes: Pop-Tarts, puzzles, and the Oxford Comma
Dislikes: snakes, peas, and the fig tree story from the book of Matthew
Facility and Campus Care Volunteer
Likes: music, food, and nature
Dislikes: beets, lazy people, and snakes
Likes: the ocean, Denali Maximum Fudge Moose Tracks ice cream, and family (particularly the grandkids) (don’t tell Carol)
Dislikes: modern jazz, Horehound candy, and maturity
Likes: reading novels, all kinds of music, ice-cream
Dislikes: turbulence while flying, sweet pickles, (yuck), lightning!
Our Great Band
fantastic musical talent!
John Willis – bass guitar
Dave Robinson – guitar
Joe Garcia – drums
Rev. Liana Rowe
Campus Partner Chaplain
Likes: My dog, hiking, and hiking with my dog
Dislikes: Bad driving, mean cats, or mean people
Wedding Ceremony Director
Likes: family, gardening, Weddings at Shadow Rock
Dislikes: cooking, camping, bad drivers
provided each Sunday morning
Karen Jones and Elaine Jones – nursery
Julie Kegor, Taylor Murphy and Brynn Murphy – Growing Place
Our Church History…So Far!
Shadow Rock was founded in August 1973 by Rev. William O. Smith as contemporary church – innovative, experimental, and intentional. Without a church building, worship services and events were held at Thunderbird High School. In March 1974 Shadow Rock became part of the United Church of Christ. Later in 1974 Shadow Rock Preschool opened with Eileen Hoard as its first director. Also that year, ground was broken for the first building (now known as the Education Building). The first worship service in the new building was December 24, 1976.
The 1980’s began with Shadow Rock reaching into the wider Phoenix community. The Shadow Rock Center for the Performing Arts (under the direction of David Wo), the Shadow Rock Epi-Center (offering education classes to the community), and Rebuilding Together were some of our early forays into community development and action. In 1982 a two-year building project began in which four classrooms, a commercial kitchen, bathrooms, and two meetings rooms were added to the Education Building. The 1980s ended with additional building projects: a new sanctuary, Festival Garden (columbarium), and Wall of Celebration
In 1990 Rev. Smith and the Shadow Rock congregation established A Stepping Stone Foundation. In the mid-1990s, Rev. Smith retired and Shadow Rock began a new phase in our development with Rev. David W. Ragan as Senior Minister. Shadow Rock led efforts to establish Family Promise (formerly known as The Greater Phoenix Interfaith Hospitality Network) and also was active in Habitat for Humanity. In 1998 Shadow Rock celebrated twenty-five years of ministry and the tile mural wall in the parlor of the Education Building was completed. In 1999, Shadow Rock became an Open and Affirming church and partnered with Borderlinks to address justice issues on the Mexico/United States border.
The 2000’s brought more change and challenge with the peacemaking and humanitarian work of Assistant Minister Rev. Gene LeFebvre. Also during that time, Shadow Rock became instrumental in the No More Deaths movement. We called Rev. Lori Souder to be our Associate Minister in 2003. In the spring of 2006 Rev. Ragan resigned. After an interim period, Rev. Kenneth Heintzelman was called to be Shadow Rock’s Senior Minister, and he began with us in August 2008.
Since 2008, Shadow Rock has been growing and experimenting, rediscovering our roots and branching out. Here are some things we’re particularly proud of… Ask someone about one of these recent milestones the next time you’re on campus!
- Hosted a booth at the Wedding Expo at Phoenix Pride
- Built a labyrinth and dar-ding (prayer flag line)
- Began a congregation-wide Lenten study called “Journey of the Spirit”
- Re-energized and re-claimed our theological heritage with Profound Journey Dialog, a weekend formation retreat for adults
- Established the Shadow Rock Whole Life Center, a front-porch ministry bringing wholeness and healing to the community through enrichment classes, yoga and wellness activities, and local art opportunities
- Expanded our outreach through space-sharing agreements with other organizations such as Merkaz Congregation, Saint Teresa of Avila Ecumenical Catholic Community, and Kairos Outside, among others
- Became the first Economic Justice Covenant Congregation in the Southwest Conference
- Renewed our commitment to youth development and formation through two mission trips to Best Friends Animal Rescue
- Hosted two national facilitator trainings for Our Whole Lives, a holistic, values-based human sexuality curriculum
- Established a regular schedule for offering Our Whole Lives to middle schoolers and high school students – both for families within our congregation and interested families throughout the north valley
- In 2014, offered Sanctuary to a undocumented migrant from Guatemala and accompanied him through the resolution of his immigration status
History is great, and we are proud of ours. But as a congregation who strives to point ourselves intentionally to the future, we know there is much work left to be done and much more ‘history’ yet to come.
Shadow Rock United Church of Christ
12861 N. 8th Avenue | Phoenix, AZ 85029
Church Office Hours:
Monday-Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.