Celebration Sunday: A Year in Review

Every year, all the congregations of Walnut Creek Church gather together for a special worship service called Celebration Sunday. Not only is the service a time to look back at everything God has done in and through Walnut Creek in the last year, it’s also a time to look to the future.

“As a church, it is important to take a step back from time to time to consider everything God has done,” Pastor Luke Hukee said during this year’s service on November 10. “Looking at where we’ve been helps us to have vision for where we are going.”
Here are a few highlights from 2013 that Pastor Luke presented at Celebration Sunday:
  • All Walnut Creek congregations united under one name, logo, and brand.
  • More than 1,000 children and their families participated in and heard the gospel through our Upward soccer, basketball and cheerleading leagues.
  • For two weeks, 100 missionaries traveled to the Dominican Republic and shared the gospel with hundreds of people at a university campus and throughout the community. A bible study, which formed from our previous trips, is now training local leaders to serve on the campus.
  • We had many opportunities to bless our community and other churches through Jordan Park Camp. The camp was host to many conferences and events, including the Regional Great Commission Men’s Conference, the Parent-Teen Leadership Conference, the Iowa Right to Life book sale, and the Jordan Park Volleyball League, which included more than 600 participants.
  • During Mission to the City, more than 350 people across four locations served more than 70 local organizations and churches in an effort to obey Matthew 5:16: “Let your light shine before men, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”
  • Following Mission to the City, 2,000 people heard the Good News of the Gospel during the Leeland and City Harmonic Concert on our State Capitol lawn.
  • Central City Soccer hosted its 10th season over the summer. More than 450 children on 34 teams were loved and served by 100 college students and young adults who volunteered their time, energy, and hearts. 
  • This summer, we began concerted efforts to reach out to and serve refugees in our city. Volunteers provide weekly English classes at our Downtown location. Nearly 50 adults are now in their second session of classes while their children are taught bible stories and songs.
  • In July, 100 people from our Windsor Heights and Shalom congregations joined in an effort to serve and bless our city through Community Care Weekend. Volunteers served local churches, area recreational facilities, and university students and administration.
  • In September, the South Side congregation had its grand opening. The same weekend, the Downtown congregation began a third service, Saturdays at 5 p.m.
  • This fall, in light of our increasing need for children’s ministries, a second edition of our AWANA Ministry began at our Downtown location with nearly 60 children. Our strong tradition of AWANA at Windsor Heights continues with 80 children and many volunteers. 
  • In our continued effort to encourage and strengthen marriages, we hosted our annual Couple’s Conference. Over the course of two days, 100 couples invested in their marriages with biblical instruction from marriage coaches Chris and Ann Hogan.
  • Just this past Friday, nearly 600 women gathered for the annual Women's Coffeehouse event to share in a time of encouragement, great food and fellowship.
  • God has given us grace to continue outreach ministries at five local college campuses. The Gospel has been going forth, and young people are being discipled to love and serve God.  
  • In addition to outreach events, our church has continued our commitment to prayer. We’ve joined together for prayer and fellowship through several all-church prayer summits.
  • As has been our practice, our community groups are the heartbeat of our church. More than 45 community groups meet around the city each week. Each group provides an environment to form deep friendships and study the Word of God together.
This is just a glimpse at what the Lord has been doing in and through Walnut Creek Church in the last year. It’s so encouraging to remember the ways we’ve been involved in the advancement of God’s kingdom in Des Moines and beyond in one year’s time.

New Pastors and Deacons Recognized

Praying for new pastors Jon Schreiner and Bob Joy

During this year’s Celebration Sunday on November 10, Walnut Creek Church recognized two new pastors and four new deacons to help meet the needs of the growing church.


Bob Joy and Jon Schreiner were recognized as pastors, bringing the total number of Walnut Creek Church pastors up to 10.
  • Bob Joy – Bob and his wife of 31 years, Jo, have been part of Walnut Creek Church since the church was planted in 1984. Bob and Jo have six children. Bob oversees the finances at Walnut Creek and attends the Johnston congregation.
  • Jon Schreiner – Jon began attending Walnut Creek Church in 2002 and served for several years as the college ministries director at Drake and Grand View. Jon and his wife, Jenny, have three children and serve at the South congregation.


Four men joined 24 other men and women currently serving as Walnut Creek Church deacons.
  • Steve Bjurstrom – Steve joined Walnut Creek Church in 2005. He leads worship at the Downtown congregation on Sunday mornings and is also a community group leader. Steve and his wife, Melissa, have two children.
  • Ed Grotzinger – Ed began attending Walnut Creek Church in 2011 after being invited to the church during Mission to the City. He serves as a community group leader and attends the 5 p.m. Saturday service at the Downtown location.
  • Tyler Johnson – Tyler has been attending Walnut Creek Church since 2007. He was part of the Walnut Creek South church plant and currently serves as a community group leader. Tyler and his wife, Chrissy, have on daughter.
  • Oscar Gutierrez – Oscar and his wife, Enriqueta, have been faithfully serving with the Shalom congregation for eight years. They have two sons.