Heavenly Glory

11-01-2021NewsletterDeacon Dave Knebelsberger, Provisional Coordinator

Brothers and sisters,

We have a wonderful gathering planned for tomorrow afternoon! Not only will we celebrate All Saints’ Day with the children processing in with the Heavenly Branch banners, but we will also have four couples from the Formation District make their Underway Commitment with the hope of going Full Covenant at our next Convocation! Most of these couples have been with us for several years, so this will be exciting to have them make this commitment as we are joined together with our Heavenly Branch! Instead of having a party at the Center after the gathering, there will be an All Saints’ Day celebration and procession in the neighborhood starting at 6:00pm at the Spenla’s house followed by drinks and cookies in our driveway. I hope you can all make a special effort to attend this very special gathering and celebration afterward!



10-08-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, AZ Branch Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters,

I think if someone asked my wife Pam what Jeff needs to change most about himself, I bet she would say he needs to be more patient (among other things). I must admit that I am not a very a patient person. I dare say I am not the only man reading this that will admit to this character flaw, but that doesn’t relieve me of the need for improvement in this area. I am sure there are many root causes to my lack of patience, but as I was praying recently, 1 Corinthians 13 came to mind, particularly verse 4:

“Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;" (1 Corinthians 13:4, RSV-CE)


47th Anniversary. The World is a Very Different Place

09-24-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, AZ Branch Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

We are celebrating our 47th year as a community this month! In August 1974 the Lebeaus, Jones’ and Fr Larkin sign the first limited covenant for People of Joy - the Arizona predecessor of City of the Lord. Let us all rejoice in the Lord’s faithfulness to us as he has sustained us as a people through many trials and joys throughout the years. One thing is for certain; the world is a very different place now than it was in 1974!



09-10-2021NewsletterJohn Hoyt, Provisional Coordinator

Spoiler alert! I’m about to use the “R” word. If you don’t want to hear “Re-founding” stop reading now… oops I guess it’s too late! About six years ago, the Lord began to speak to us prophetically about a time of community spring cleaning. Prophetic words such as “Renew My City” and “Travel Lightly” called us to examine our life together. We were called to strengthen that which is lifegiving and shed that which was holding us down. In short, we were called to re-found our life; and we did! Our re-founding was not an exercise to complete, and cross off our list. No! Our re-founding was for a purpose, I like to call it “So that…”. We re-founded so that… “So that this city shines upon a hilltop as a bright beacon – a beacon of hope, a beacon to follow, a beacon to welcome those lost and those who want to come home” (‘Renew My City’, 2016). In our re-founding we called it “Vibrant Community Life”.


Building the Kingdom is an Adventure

08-07-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, AZ Branch Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

One of the readings at Mass this week was from Numbers 20. In Numbers 20 Moses was told by the Lord to “speak” to the rock in the desert to bring forth water for Israel:

“Take the rod; and you and your brother Aaron assemble the congregation and speak to the rock before their eyes, that it may yield its water. You shall thus bring forth water for them out of the rock and let the congregation and their beasts drink.” (Num. 20:8)


God's Mercy

07-24-2021NewsletterSteve Beguhl, Provisional Coordinator

Brothers and sisters in Christ,

As I was praying about what to write this week, my conversion story came to mind. I hear God speaking to me through songs and scripture. So through this letter I will try to give you a brief synopsis of Gods mercy in my life.

I was raised Catholic, went to a Catholic school through eighth grade and onto a public high school that my father taught at and my mother was a substitute teacher. My father was not Catholic, but always attended church with us. (He did convert to Catholicism after 30 years of marriage). I have four sisters and one brother. I never left the church, but my path took me on many side roads of self destruction. Needless to say, I was more than a handful to my parents.


Overwhelm Each Other With Love, Prayers and Support

07-10-2021NewsletterDeacon Dave Knebelsberger, Provisional Coordinator

Brothers and sisters,

I received this text on Sunday morning from Peter Walterscheid:

“Guys, I stumbled onto Ecclesiastes 3 this morning. Verses 1 &2. Look it up. That’s where we are this week!”

Of course, I was curious, so I looked it up. Here are those two verses:

“There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.”


GLG Takeaways

06-26-2021NewsletterJeff Looker, AZ Branch Senior Coordinator

Brothers and Sisters:

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer!

Usually, summer slows down a bit for the community, but this June, “post-pandemic”, it seems like we have been very busy! We had our June General Leaders Gathering (GLG) on June 5th here in Tempe with over thirty leaders and guests from formation district, our Albuquerque outpost and all our California Branches in attendance. We came into the weekend with an open agenda, ready to hear from the Lord about what His plans are for us going forward as a community. Afterward, I asked the attendees what their takeaways from the weekend were, and it was a surprising variety of answers. It seemed the Holy Spirit revealed a different piece of a bigger picture to each attendee, so that all together it formed a complete picture. It’s amazing how much God loves reminding us how we are a “Body” made up of many members and we are not complete without each other! (1 Cor 12:12)


Become Like Children Again

06-11-2021NewsletterTom Pivonka, Provisional Coordinator

Growing up in Durango Colorado, summer was heaven on earth for me. We were blessed to live in a small town, we knew everyone, and everyone knew us, at least our last name - “isn’t that Doc Pivonka’s son?”. We had total freedom; one rule: be home before dark! In a small town with a bicycle, you could go anywhere, and do anything. No fear, not a care in the world. There were some areas that we knew we shouldn’t go, and we “generally” avoided them.

When did life change? When did fear enter the picture? When did the worries of life start to bog us down? Was it all at once, or was it just one worry, one anxiety, one small thing at a time? As I look back, it can be hard to remember those worry free childhood times.


“Do not abandon yourselves to despair. We are the Easter people and hallelujah is our song!” - St. Pope John Paul II

05-01-2021NewsletterDeacon Dave Knebelsberger

Brothers and sisters,

Happy Easter!! We are just past the halfway point of the Easter season, so it’s still time to be celebrating and rejoicing in the great news of the Resurrection!! I love the Easter season not only because I take a break from the fasting that I normally do the rest of the year, but also because the readings from Mass are from the Acts of the Apostles. There are so many great events that took place in the life of the early Church, and they are all done by regular people like you and me. This one line from Acts sums it up: “Awe came upon everyone, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles” (Acts 2:43).