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1:32 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church thanks community

Divine Savior’s kitchen crew.

Divine Savior Photo

Divine Savior’s kitchen crew.

Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church

KINGMAN - Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church wishes to take this opportunity to thank the community for its support and report on its seventh year serving the religious needs of Kingmanites.

The church held its first mass on Jan. 10, 2010. It’s grown under the leadership of Fr. Leonard Walker.

Walker has been an ordained priest for over 40 years. The opportunity presented itself for him to start his own church in 2010, and thus began Divine Savior. In the beginning the small group of worshipers met at the King’s Inn conference room. A move to Trinity Church in downtown Kingman allowed for a more traditional church setting.

Trinity Episcopal’s pastor, Rev. Phil and its membership have been extremely generous in sharing their beautiful and historic church facilities. Scheduling a new church’s service around Trinity Episcopal meant Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church would be holding its mass on Saturday afternoons. The members voted for a 3:30 time to allow those traveling great distances to arrive home before dark.

This year has been a year of growth and outreach. Membership has increased nearly a fourth since the start of the year. Significant events include the beginning of a choir under the direction of Mary Yuse-Miller.

Since its inception, Divine Savior has held regular church meetings. As the church has grown so have the number of meetings. The first few years saw a single annual meeting. Then biannual meetings. And this year is the start of tri-annual meetings. These meetings are a time to socialize as well as conduct the business of the church since a potluck lunch always precedes the meetings.

An important part of every meeting is the treasurers’ report. A full financial disclosure is distributed and discussed along with suggestions and input on church’s activities.

One change voted this year was to move the majority of charitable efforts from AmeriCares and International Medical Corps to serve more local needs. Cornerstone Mission is now the church’s hands-on-charity. Members don their DSICC aprons, roll up their sleeves and prepare and serve meals monthly at the mission. Church members also volunteer in Cornerstone Mission’s store. Over the past 12 months church members had made in-kind material donation to the mission in the hundreds of dollars. Additional charitable giving was forwarded to AmeriCares and The Friends of Haiti as part of their hurricane relief efforts. The church has also provided food, clothing, and even shelter directly to the needy.

Divine Savior’s pastor has officiated at numerous weddings, funerals, and baptisms in the beautiful interior of Trinity Church. During 2017 these ceremonies have ranged from intimate family-only ceremonies to large crowds requiring chairs to supplement those filling the pews.

In addition to these occasions, Fr. Leonard has been active in Kingman Unified Pastoral Association (KUPA). As a founding member of KUPA, Fr. Leonard has participated in the annual Blessing of the Animals. For the past five years in October, clergy from Trinity Episcopal, Grace Lutheran, and Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church have bestowed blessings on an array of pets to recognize St. Francis of Assis, the patron saint of animals.

KUPA’s ecumenical presentations to the Kingman community have been well-received. Divine Savior has been a part of these gathering except for the most recent service held Oct. 29. Fr. Leonard was called to Phoenix to officiate at his goddaughter’s wedding.

Christmas is a busy time of year for the church. As in years past, this December will find our church joining clergy from Trinity Episcopal, Grace Lutheran, and St. Johns Methodist churches in presenting a special service called Blue Christmas. Those experiencing loss will be welcome at 5 p.m. Dec. 17 at Grace Lutheran.

For the past three years celebrating the meaning of Christmas, a large nativity has been erected on a high point on Hualapai Mountain Road. This year enhanced lighting will allow the scene to be more visible.

Recently the church received a great honor. At an October mass, Fr. Leonard was appointed Vicar-General of The National Catholic Church of North America. Bishop Sue Provost was in town to bestow the honor.

At the same mass she announced the national gathering of TNCCNA will take place in Kingman next year. Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church will be host church for Synod 2018 scheduled for the end of April.

Indeed, this year has been one of significance to Divine Savior Independent Catholic Church.

Fr. Leonard made this statement:

“We have a great membership and are so pleased with the start of our own choir. Mary has led the choir from a single opening and closing song to directing all the music during mass. Many have stepped up to meet the challenges of a growing church. Co-treasurer’s Rick Neath and George Francuski do a fantastic job of not only keeping the books but of informing the members. They allow themselves to meet with any member at any time to review the finances. That’s admirable. And I can’t say enough about Muriel, Denise, Karen, Fr. Andre, Richard, Bill and Linda and so many others who help in so many ways at making our church the well-functioning, very inviting, and accepting church that it is. We look forward to our eighth year and again thank all those attending and supporting our church. God Bless.”