About Us (5)
Message from the Rector
Thank you for visiting the Church of the Transfiguration website. The Church of the Transfiguration is a faith community of people celebrating different understandings of the Christian faith within the Episcopal Church. We attempt to live out our call to be the body of Christ in the world, and we welcome you to join us in our endeavor to "Let all who enter here be received as Christ."
As the ministry leader of the church my goal is to encourage and challenge people to find a closer relationship with God through vibrant worship, studying scripture, and helping others in a supportive community of fellow seekers. It would be my pleasure to get to know you personally and answer your questions about our community. I hope that you will give us a try by worshipping with us as your schedule permits. Please call the church at 480-986-1145 if there is any way in which I may be of assistance. I hope to see you soon!
The Church of the Transfiguration is very active in outreach. Our members of the church share their time, talent, and gifts with those in need. You are invited to support these various ministries. Some of the outreach that we support is listed below:
- Brinton Elementary School – We provide school supplies to the local elementary school. We also have an angel tree at Christmas to provide gifts for numerous children whose families don’t have the means to provide gifts for them.
- Project Help – An Apache Junction Unified School District program designed to meet the needs of students whose economic condition may affect their general welfare and opportunity to attain educational success. We provide school supplies and backpacks to those in need.
- Apache Junction Food Bank – Food is collected weekly and taken to the Apache Junction Food Bank to feed those in need.
- Chile Garden - Our parishioners grow and process chile peppers from our garden and sell them to fund church outreach including food, scholarships and refugee support.
- CAAFA - Community Alliance Against Family Abuse is a community oriented organization that saves lives and prevents violence. Our donations support the needs of their clients.
- Million Meals – Our community supports several food bank distribution agencies such as Genesis Project, Wings of Hope, Apache Junction Reachout and CAAFA.
- Boys and Girls Club of East Valley - We provide financial support for the after school programs for children.
- El Hogar Elementary School - We support a family of three children attending El Hogar Elementary School in Honduras. These children live in this safe environment and get an education with skills that will allow them to become employed upon graduation.
The Crazy Chile Farm was formed in 2014 to support the food relief programs of Transfiguration Episcopal Church. We live in a State where hunger is endemic. In Arizona 1 in 4 children, 1 in 5 adults, and 1 in 6 seniors are at risk for adequate daily food. Our response was to create an all-volunteer non-profit farm growing a 400 year-old un-hybridized landrace chile pepper. Chile was selected because spicy foods are a trending item in high demand in the gourmet market and, fortunately, grows quite well in our low desert climate.
Since its inception, profits from the sale of our chile powder have been used to support our local community, by funding food distribution agencies of the Feeding America Food Bank system. We also fund programs in our local public school systems to support underfunded students, food support for a large women’s shelter, and other outreach programs at Transfiguration and in The Episcopal Diocese of Arizona. In 2016 over $5600 was provided for outreach. Likewise, the 2017 crop got off to an exceptional start, and in March and April we were able to provide over $1000 in grants to Million Meals, Project Help, and Lutheran Social Service’s Refugee Focus Program. But then we hit a “speed bump”.
In early May, we picked over 150 pounds of ripe chiles—a record for that month. Yet by the end of the month it had become apparent that about 80% of our only field was inexplicably near death. After examination of our fields by U. of A. Cooperative Extension and an independent agricultural laboratory, our crop was diagnosed with Verticillium wilt, a fungal infection causing irreversible vascular failure in chile peppers and other members of the Solenacea family (tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants).
Nevertheless, while the harvest was down, it did not disappear. We continued to produce enough revenue to cover our operational expenses (including our water bill!) for 2017. And by working with our sister program, A Million Meals for our Neighbors and our summer parishioners, we were able to provide funding for 27,500 pounds of food for Hurricane Harvey relief—an extraordinary project that gained us national recognition!
Our current objective is to recover our revenue base, to enable us to provide even more food support in our local community, and additional funding for disaster relief food. To that end, we recently opened a second growing field. This will enable crop rotation between Field #1 and Field #2 to reduce pathogen build-up in our soil, give us the space to diversify our product offering with different crops, and increase the size of our harvest. If you haven’t seen it yet, Field #2 is located behind the Parish Hall on what used to be a dirt parking area. “Ripping” the new field was a project. We owe a huge debt of gratitude to Bob DeSpiegelaere and Liz Farmer for renting a John Deere Tractor and doing the initial plowing. We also are indebted to Laura Ward and her manager Todd for initial disc and plow work in the new field with her team of Clydesdales, and continuing to bring the horses back for additional work.
In November, The Farm was invited to participate in an agricultural funding program called “Seed Money”. We subsequently earned $800, which will permit us to buy a greenhouse to enable our farmers to start our own seedlings in an "all-weather" facility. This will give us better control of our seedling production, higher volume, and better quality seedlings. Currently seed flats are sent home with individual farmers in January, with sometimes disappointing results. Having our own greenhouse will also allow us to recover more rapidly if we are afflicted with transplant failure or pathogen attacks. If this project is successful it will allow us to gain at least a month on our growing season, lengthen our harvest time, and hopefully enable a 20% to 25% increase in annual revenue.
As we move into the first quarter of 2018 we give thanks to all those who have encouraged and supported our “sometimes fumbling” efforts. The love, patience and enthusiasm extended to us by the clergy and people of the Episcopal Diocese of Arizona and of The Church of the Transfiguration in Mesa has been extraordinary. We are also especially thankful for the help and information provided by U. 0f A. Cooperative Extension, the Arizona Dept. of Agriculture Advisory Council on Food and Agriculture, the Association of Community Gardeners of Maricopa County, A&P Nursery, Native Seeds/Search, Tenth Generation Farm in Apache Junction, and David Archuleta, the Farm and Ranch Mgr. at the New Mexico State University Center for Sustainable Agriculture in Alcalde NM. But, most especially, we thank our own volunteer chile farmers for their tireless energy, extraordinary insights, and constant efforts to improve our processes, our service, and the quality of our products. Our hearts have been truly touched!
A bit of background of your altar guild director: I was baptized, confirmed and married in the same church. During my youth the only time I ever saw a woman in the sanctuary was when I saw the altar guild preparing the altar. In those days, there were no girl acolytes, no female lay readers, no female chalice bearers or lectors, and no females were ordained as priests. When asked to be on the altar guild 25 – 30 years ago, to my mind I was following in my mother’s and grandmother’s footsteps. I was living out a legacy. This is what the women in my family did, they served on the altar guild. That heritage was my connection and my motivating force. It was a good time to be in the altar guild in the early 1970’s. It was a time of change; the church had a trial prayer book; the altar was moved from the wall; the priest began to face the people. The holy Eucharist became normative for worship. I learned a lot at the time, “I am lucky to be born when I was born! I’m having a really good time learning, something that my mother and grandmother didn’t”.
Our Altar guild has an annual bake sale, along with other get togethers and we love it. (and we don’t wear gloves and hats). There is not a business meeting at these sessions, though Fr. Bob will join us often. He may quite often have a request and we have never turned him down. He always tells us how very grateful he is for us.
In the early days of the church, the duty of caring for the altar and sanctuary was the concern of the priests and attendants. Nuns now do the work in certain parts of the world. Although the altar guild was primarily a women’s ministry, members today are of an age and gender.
The Altar Guild was an important element in the following celebrations during the course of 2017. Memorial services, some for our members or their family member, confirmation, memorial service for the Vietnam veterans (which we have many within our congregation), the usual services for Lent/Easter and four Christmas services; on Christmas eve 9:00 a.m., 4:00 p.m., 10:00 p.m. and a morning service on Christmas day. We were so blessed this year, as there was a very special five year old young man, who wished to have his lego man given to baby Jesus as his gift to him. Needless to say, we were all so touched by this love for Jesus.
Altar guild is also the flower guild, being sure flowers are on the altar for those who request them for: anniversaries, thanksgivings, memorials, birthdays, etc. There is a flower chart on the bulletin board in the narthex that you can view at your leisure and select any date you wish. There can be more that one person on any given Sunday. Our meetings are held monthly, normally the first Saturday of the month at 11:00 a.m. in the church. Meetings last one hour. The meetings are informational and for preparations needed for our Sunday services. There are special church seasons that require us to come together for seasonal preparations.
Should you wish to join our ministry, you would be serving with a partner once a month at either the 8:00 or 10:00 whichever is your choice. We are a ministry that enjoys working together and lovingly preparing the Lord’s table for the Eucharist celebrations and other services. We look forward to having you be a part of our Altar Guild ministry. At our bake sale we cleared about $450 and these funds are used to purchase linens, wine, silver vessels and any other item needed.
Respectfully submtted, Ruby A. Seyffert, Altar Guild Director
The St. Teresa of Avila Chapter of the Daughters of the King was reestablished at the Church of the Transfiguration in 2014. The current officers are Lynn Whayne Graff, President, and Miriam Waddington, Secretary.
We usually meet monthly at 10 a.m. on the same Saturday that the Episcopal Church Women meet. Membership has been stable. The only change occurred when one person moved away. We now have 10 members.
Five of our members attended the annual Daughters of the King Province VIII Spring meeting at Litchfield Park. We learned about other Chapters and their work here in Arizona. The program centered on the Navajoland Area Mission, the churches there, their development, special projects and plans. The communion service was done with Native American influence in the processional, the readings, the sermon and the music.
The focus of the Daughters of the King is prayer, service, and evangelism. Prayer concerns for the church or individuals are discussed at each meeting. The Daughters pray for these needs throughout each month. Our service has centered on providing receptions, following funerals, memorial services or special events. There were seven such events during 2017. We also strive to support the minister in his work.
Our vision as Daughters is to know Christ, to make him known to others, and to reflect God’s love throughout the world. As an order we undertake a Rule of Life which includes a Rule of Prayer and a Rule of Service. We fulfill these vows by praying daily and seeking to do God’s will as service to Him each day.
Respectfully submitted, Lynn Whayne Graff, President