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Wed, June 26

Anderson, Hammit leave big shoes to fill at Emmanuel Lutheran Church

Rev. Kirk Anderson and Brita Hammit, right, receive memory books filled with letters, drawings and remembrances from the congregation from event co-chair Nance Busboom. (Courtesy photo)

Rev. Kirk Anderson and Brita Hammit, right, receive memory books filled with letters, drawings and remembrances from the congregation from event co-chair Nance Busboom. (Courtesy photo)

Emmanuel Lutheran Church in Prescott Valley celebrated the 25th anniversary of its Congregational Charter on Saturday, along with saying goodbye to two key staff members.

The “Emmanuel Celebration” was a full house, welcoming members and guests from the past quarter-century to recognize the anniversary, the retirement of Rev. Kirk Anderson, and Faith Formation Director Brita Hammit’s move to the Phoenix area.

Emmanuel had its first worship service Sept. 23, 1990 in Prescott Valley and chartered on Sept. 20, 1992. The church, part of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, opened its present worship facility on March 2, 2003.

Anderson retired after 45 years as a pastor, the past 19 years at Emmanuel. Under his leadership, the church multiplied and found its DNA in community service. Guests attending to honor his retirement included his brother Eric and sister-in-law Marti, sons Tyler and Alex, seminary classmate John Jorde and his wife Sally, and former members.

Hammit is moving to the Phoenix area to continue her work in ministry. Her husband, Dallas, already works in Phoenix as the State Engineer for the Arizona Department of Transportation. Both of the Hammits’ children, Britton, who is in graduate school, and Joffrey, a freshman at Grand Canyon University, joined their parents for the event.

Emmanuel now begins the call process for a new full-time pastor. Rev. Sarah Birdsall Isakson, most recently from churches in Benson and Willcox, Arizona, will be serving as interim pastor at Emmanuel from October until a permanent pastor starts.

Innovatively, Hammit chose more than a dozen “champions” in the congregation – volunteers to assume every aspect of her Faith Formation job. That way, within the year, the future permanent pastor can hire another staff member who complements his or her ministry strengths. These champions started their responsibilities Wednesday, with Hammit’s departure.

Emmanuel Lutheran Church, 7763 E. Long Look Drive, Prescott Valley, has worship services at 8:15 a.m. (blended traditional) and 10:15 a.m. (blended contemporary) each Sunday.

Emmanuel is a Reconciling in Christ church, with an inclusive welcome to all: We are an inclusive faith community that seeks to live the Word and Way of Christ’s unconditional love. This means that, like Christ, we believe each person is a beloved child of God regardless of shape, size, economic status, religious background, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender identity, or anything else that could divide us. We give thanks to God for the unique identities with which we are created, and have found here a fellowship of believers that accepts us just as we are. Come worship with us and enjoy full participation in all aspects of our life together, including baptism, confirmation, communion, marriage and burial.

For more information, contact the church at 928-772-4135.

Information provided by Emmanuel Lutheran Church

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