Sunday, May 4, 2014

                                                                                                                             May 4, 2014

42695 Washington Street

St. John's Lutheran Church
Palm Desert, California

"Palm Desert is a city in Riverside CountyCaliforniaUnited States, in the Coachella Valley, approximately 14 miles (23 km) east of Palm Springs and 122 miles (196 km) east of Los Angeles....A major center of growth in the Palm Springs area, Palm Desert is a popular retreat for "snowbirds" from colder climates (the Eastern and Northern United States, and Canada), who swell its population by an estimated 31,000 each winter." (Link 2)

Stand alone steeple to St. John's

"On January 13, 1963 St. John's held its first worship service in the recreation center of Palm Desert Country Club.  On July 18, 1963, St. John's was formally organized with 30 charter members.  Ground breaking services were held on Washington Street on November 24, 1963, on a site purchased by the "American Lutheran Church Board of Missions.  On February 9, 1964, a cornerstone laying ceremony was held." (REF.) Distinctive features of the church's exterior are the front cantilevered roof and the tall pyramidal free standing steeple topped by a simple cross. The steeple is called the "Symbol of Faith Tower". (REF.)

Entrance to Sanctuary

The entrance to the sanctuary is on the side of the building.  The doors are framed with rectangles of colored glass: red, green, yellow, clear, and opaque. 
The window above the double doors features a red glass rectangular outline of a cross. 
Stained glass windows at entrance to the Sanctuary

The sanctuary was built with blond laminated beams typical of the 1960's. It originally seated 175, but with expansion now seats 235. (REF.) The tall rectangular side windows reflect their colors of green, yellow, and red in the pale wood surface.  Dark wood ceiling rafters are also exposed.  However, when air conditioning was installed it necessitated an enclosing rectangular white box to be mounted most of the length of the center of the ceiling.

The cross above the altar is lit to give a double shadow.  It, therefore, presents not one, but a trinity of crosses for meditation. (Note photo below.)


At the rear of the Sanctuary is a step-up balcony and the entrance to the Ministry Center.  The Ministry Center, built in 2012, includes meeting rooms and offices for the church staff.

Step-up balcony at rear of Sanctuary

The Fellowship Hall was a separate building behind the Sanctuary that was added to the property in 1994.  The Ministry Center now connects the Fellowship Hall to the Sanctuary. 

Portico to Fellowship Hall

Ministry Center

Visitors are welcome to the two worship services  held on Sunday mornings: traditional worship at 9:00 am and praise worship at 11:00 am.  

Photos: Taken in February 2014 by SW.
Reference: St. John's Cookbook donated by visitor from North Vancouver B.C.,
               Barbara Mayer.


God, be with the persecuted Christians through out the world. Amen

1 comment:

  1. Suzanne,

    I am on the church council here and would like to get permission to use your beautiful photo's of our church on the St John's Lutheran Church Palm Desert Facebook Page. Contact me at