"The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is one of the largest Christian denominations in the United States, with about 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
We are the church that shares a living, daring confidence in God’s grace. For us, as the ELCA, this faith comes through the good news of Jesus Christ and gives us the freedom and the courage to wonder, discover and boldly participate in what God is up to in the world.
We are a church that is always being made new, and at the same time, is deeply rooted in Scripture, Lutheran theology and Lutheran confessions. We are also rooted in the vibrant, diverse communities and rich histories of our congregations. It’s through these roots that the Holy Spirit guides and nourishes us so that we can be a church that is both resilient and always new.
We welcome you to join this community of faith — the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — regardless of your age, race, gender, life experience, complexities and questions. You have a unique story that can only add to the richness of the larger story that makes up the ELCA. There is a place for you here!"
In November 1982, Pastor George Bement came to Grand Junction to begin a new Lutheran congregation to serve the east end of the Grand Valley. Our first worship service was held January 30, 1983, in the cafeteria at Clifton Elementary School, with more than 70 persons attending. On April 24, 1983 Bishop Wayne Wiessenbuehler presided over the official organization of the newly formed and named congregation. The first constitution was adopted, officers were elected and 93 charter members received.
On August 16, 1984, 4 acres of land was purchased at 3133 F Road. Construction began in July, 1985 and our first worship service was appropriately held on Thanksgiving Eve, November 27, 1985. When the building was dedicated on December 15, 1985, we had grown to 180 members.
In 1988, Pastor George left to serve a congregation in Hawaii, and we called Pastor Paul Erbes to serve as our pastor. Pastor Paul accepted a position as director of the Jacob Center, a correctional center for youth in Grand Junction in 1992. Pastor Ron Powers began ministering to our congregation on August 30, 1992.
We continued to grow in membership and began to feel the need for a larger facility. After congregational surveys, much prayer, and discussion we developed plans to remodel and add on to our existing building. In November, 2000, the members voted to begin fundraising for expansion and in August, 2010 we dedicated our new Fellowship Hall, kitchen and 4 classrooms.
After 21 years of service to Shepherd of the Valley and the Grand Junction community, Ron Powers left to pursue other ministerial activities. Pastor Scott Stein served as an interim minister during the transition time, and later, Tom Lee served as a Bridge Pastor.
After more than two years of transition, without a full-time pastor, Shepherd of the Valley Lutheran Church is so pleased to welcome Pastor Kaila Armbruster.
Meet Pastor Kaila
Pastor Kaila Armbruster was born and raised in Phoenix Arizona. She went to college at California Lutheran University and received a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts. She then, having felt the call to ministry since she was 16, went to Seminary and received a Master of Divinity with an emphasis in Environmental Ministries at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Pastor Kaila spent six months studying in Germany where she studied Martin Luther and the history of the Reformation.
She has been ordained for four years and feels passionately called to walk with people in their highest of highs and lowest of lows and meet them where they are at in their lives and show them God's love. She loves to laugh and be true to herself, others and God because that's how God made her to be. Family is very important to Kaila. Pastor Kaila and her husband Carl and their daughter Ilaria, love the outdoors, being in creation, surrounded by God's beauty and grace. They feel so blessed to be a part of the Shepherd of the Valley family.
Pastor Kaila also loved being barefoot and worships barefoot because, after all, we are on Holy Ground (Exodus 3:5).