Our Mission & Vision
The mission of Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church is to:
”Love God, Grow Together and Serve the World”
Our church vision is:
Cross in the Desert is “Where God’s Love Transforms Lives”
Check us out in person:
Cross in the Desert United Methodist Church
12835 N 32nd Street; Phoenix, AZ 85032
Phone: 602-992-1960 Fax: 602-992-1967
Our leadership team recognizes the authority of God, and realizes that we are shepherds who serve under the Chief Shepherd, Jesus Christ. We desire to devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the Word. Our passion and goal is to equip the believers for the work of the ministry until we all attain maturity in the fullness of Christ.
Zechariah 4:6b has been my life’s verse: “‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty.” That the grace of our Lord has been with me throughout my life has been apparent to me from my earliest memories. Born into a Czech family and community, language initially became a stumbling block when I started the First Grade. Not being able to communicate with anyone on the first day of school or being able to learn in English became a real challenge! I remember an Elementary School Teacher exclaiming, “if he makes it through the Eighth Grade, it will be a miracle!”
My mother, who was denied an education, became by greatest advocate and encouraged me to study and work hard in school, although this was not reflected in my grades. By the Eighth Grade I had caught up with my colleagues – yes, it took that long to learn English because there was no instruction. I just had to pick it up as I went along.
I thought I was on my way when in the Ninth Grade it was mandatory for everyone to take French! Four years of French in High School and then in College should make anyone fluent but I had only gained Intermediate status at best. I graduated with a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Saskatchewan and just after my 23rd birthday landed a job with Senator Argue (yes that was his name!) on Parliament Hill, in Ottawa, Canada. I spent two thirds of my time in Legislative research and one third as his Administrative Assistant. Now, I thought, I’ll get to use my French. Wrong! Quebec French was not much like what I came to know. It took a couple of years just to get onto it. During that time I attended a Methodist Church in Ottawa and was led by the Lord’s Spirit into ministry. So, after four years, I resigned my job and attended Asbury Theological Seminary in Kentucky. There I met people from all over the world speaking all kinds of languages – even English from Georgia and Texas – took a while to understand those accents!
Once in Seminary, I had to take Greek – another language – you have got to be kidding! Now I’m glad I did. Hebrew was optional. Now after all these years, anyone might think that languages are easy for me, but they’re not. I still struggle. I graduated from seminary with an emphasis in theology, missions and education. Further graduate study was in the area of the Sociology of Religion. But perhaps all this language was not a loss after all. I have been able to assist in mission work which started with India and Nepal, then Mexico and now I’m active in Central and Eastern Europe. The latter opened up after 1990 and I enjoy assisting the United Methodist Church in rebuilding congregations in that part of the world. I’ve learned so much about the people there; their joys and their struggles. But the Holy Spirit has also a sense of humor. To date, I’ve taught many English Classes in the Czech Republic! Me, teaching a language – now that is ironic. But another verse has come to mean a lot to me, I Corinthians 13:1, “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.” I’m still trying my best to respond to this grace for you see, my name is Miloslav which cannot be translated into English but means, “the glory of love.”
Pastor Lenore Renfro
Director of Children’s and Family Ministries
A minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, I was called into the ministry to preach; and teach the message of God’s Grace to the world on January 1998. I knew I was called to serve at the early age of 5.
I graduated Magna Cum Laude from Shaw University in Raleigh NC, May of 2002, with a major in Religion and Philosophy, and a minor in Philosophy. From there I received my Masters of Divinity, and Master of Theology Cum Laude, from Hood Theological Seminary in Salisbury NC, May of 2007.
I received my first appointment in the Western North Carolina Conference of the United Methodist Church June of 2002 and served as pastor through 2009. I was on the Elders track within that conference.
At the end of the conference year of 2009 I relocated back to Phoenix, AZ to be with my family. I am still pursuing the Elders track within the Desert Southwest Conference of the UMC.
I now serve at Cross in the Desert UMC as Director of Children’s and Family ministry which has opened up new and challenging opportunities. I also chair the committee of Congregational Care, and teach the Adult Academy Sunday school class.
I enter my day of rest at 12:00 noon on Sunday to only begin again on Monday.
Director of Junior and Senior High Ministries
I’m kind of a big deal. In fact I have many leatherbound books and furniture made of rich mahogany. My middle name is Preston.
But enough about me, here’s the good stuff.
I am passionate about serving Jesus and all things fun. I have been working in youth ministry for around 8 years. I first started by volunteering for Young Life and actually grew up in this youth group at CITD. I never thought I would have this position and it is a blessing and privilige to be a
part of this awesome community.
In a few weeks I will officially have a Bachelors’ Degree in Elementary Education and a minor in Biblical studies from Arizona Christian University.
Other things of importance that I would like to point out… I like Cheeze-Its (not the flavored stuff, only original), Cholula Hot Sauce, playing guitar in the worship band, naps, and jello-wars (if you haven’t heard of it, come and check it out!).
I am also a movie enthusiast, one that might even rival the mighty Tony Smiths knowledge.
I love baseball and Mexican food (not at the same time however it is a tempting combination).
Stay classy Cross in the Desert!
Cross in the Desert UMC is my second home. I moved to Phoenix in 1982 and have been worshipping and praising my Lord here since. The Lord has blessed me with two daughters, and a granddaughter. and I am thankful that my oldest, her husband and my granddaughter attend Cross in the Desert. I have served the Lord here in many ways and am currently Finance Secretary. One funny story I would like to share with you is that when my family moved to Phoenix, I asked a neighbor where the closest Methodist Church was and she told me there is one at the corner of Sweetwater and 32nd Street. I just lived around the corner at the time and could hardly believe it. I said, “You are kidding, I thought that was a school.” At that time the Sanctuary had not been built, and there actually was a pre-school on the campus. But I was excited to realize there was a church so close. I have grown in my faith here and have gotten to know many different people who have loved and supported me through this journey that I continue to walk, learning more and more about our wonderful Savior, Jesus Christ.
I find it hard to believe, but I have been secretary here at Cross in the Desert for eight years. It is my “God Thing” job. I am blessed because I believe this is exactly where God wants me to be.
I very much enjoy the freedom I have to interact with those who come to the office; whether it is to give them a hug, pray for them, show them how to use the copy machine, or just listen or hold their hand.
In 1975, during a very low period of my life, after rejecting Jesus for many years, I got down on my knees and asked God to make Jesus real to me and He did. Wow! Did He ever. I became a new creation in Christ and my life has never been the same. I became a “child of God” a “Christian.” At that time, I had four children, and we were poor – welfare poor. God let me know that if I would trust Him, He would help me through one day at a time and I believed Him and He has been helping me one day at a time ever since. My prayer for many years has been that I would have enough money to buy food, pay bills, and some day have money to give away. He has answered that prayer beyond my wildest dreams.
I teach the 9:30 am Wednesday Bible Study here at Cross in the Desert. It is the highlight of my week. It is where I am able to share the love of Jesus and rejoice in the Christian growth of those attending. They are a Blessing to me and to the Lord.
I live with my mother; Frances Dilsaver – a member of Cross in the Desert for many years, and my daughter Julia. The Lord has blessed me with 4 children, a son-in-law, two daughter-in-laws and eight grandchildren all of whom I love dearly and I believe they love me. God is good, all the time!