See Who Is Supporting
Spirit in the Desert?

Spirit in the Desert Stakeholders

If you would like to consider becoming a Stakeholder, one of the Stakeholders or a member of the Executive Staff would be happy to visit with you. Contact Eric Simonson, Executive Director at 480-488-5218 or Email him

Read Our Stakeholder’s Motivational Stories:

Jayne Baker lives an active life. She said, “When doors present themselves, I walk through them. When someone says ‘Would you like to… (fill in the blank) … I usually say yes.”

ken & joyce bash

Ken & Joyce Bash, “Passion For Serving”

Joyce said, “The Center has a unique ability to make a significant difference in individual lives and in the community.” Ken added, “The Healing of Memories retreat for veterans and first responders, the Boundless Compassion retreat, and the many other programs would not be the same experience in a meeting room at the Westin. Spirit is a special place of healing and renewal for people of any background.”

randy beard

Randy says his motivation for giving to Spirit in the Desert is his desire to be a part of Spirit’s way of touching lives with healing and reconciliation. He also wants to support the retreat center’s vision of expanding the number of interdenominational, religious, and non-religious groups it serves.

Lorna Breiter

 “I began to realize I had an adequate amount of money for my own needs, and Spirit in the Desert is one of the faith organizations for my stewardship. What I have is a gift from God and it is incumbent upon me to share it.”


Richard and Nancy Christiansen,  A Special Feeling for Veterans

“Both of our fathers were in World War I, three of Richard’s brothers served in the military, and a cousin of mine gave his life in Anzio, Italy during World War II. We have a special feeling for our veterans and we want to make it possible for veterans to take advantage of the Healing of Memories retreats.

mary and dennis dahlen

“Stories motivate us. When we hear the stories of transformation about people attending Spirit in the Desert, our motivation to support the Center remains strong and rewarding.”

paul and louise evensen

Paul and Louise Evenson, “Supporters Since 2008”

The Evensons are one of many Shareholder couples and individuals who Spirit in the Desert can count on for continued support.

bob and nancy hutson

Bob and Nancy Hutson, “Supporters from the Beginning”

Bob served as Chairman of the Board for six years and Nancy participated in meetings and retreats for members of their congregation. Nancy’s retired parents from Wisconsin also served as retreat center live-in hosts for several years during the busy winter months.

ted & Marietta Johns

Ted and Marietta Johns, “Giving is Spiritual Renewal”

The Johns are excited about the annual increase in the number of guests from all over the world who experience renewal as they connect with nature, God, and each other.  Asked what motivates their support and generosity, they both said, “It is inside of us; giving is spiritual renewal.”

alice lucke

The first time Alice Lucke of Richfield, Minnesota attended a Lutherhostel retreat at Spirit in the Desert Retreat Center in Carefree, she said, “I found it to be a wonderfully peaceful place and it made me feel at peace; I was warmly welcomed, and I felt I belonged there.”

david and muffy tiede

The Tiede’s support Spirit in the Desert because people of all faiths and backgrounds experience hospitality in a retreat setting and find renewal, reconciliation, healing, and transformation.

carol toensing

Carol signed up for her first Lutherhostel retreat in 2010. She said, “It was an awesome experience. I had never been to a Bible camp as a child, and I was blown away by the desert setting, friendly people, the Bible studies, and the music.”

howard and mary wennes

Howard and Mary Wennes, “The Original Stakeholders”

It took a great deal of effort to organize the retreat center, develop programs, and find donors for more buildings. Mary and Howard were involved every step of the way turning the gift into the reality of a retreat center.

John and Eleanor Yackel, “Sharing and Supporting Each Other

 John said, “Jesus was all about justice. When I attended retreats at Spirit in the Desert, I had a feeling of belonging to a community of people from all walks of life, sharing and supporting each other.”

“I am in awe of how God leads us to serve where we are needed. I am passionate about the hospitality and resources that Spirit in the Desert gives our guests so they can experience renewal, reconciliation, healing, and transformation.”

About the Stakeholders of Spirit in the Desert

Investing in and inspiring others in their generous support of Spirit in the Desert

Members of The Stakeholder Council are donors who have a heart for the mission of Spirit in the Desert and covenant to:

  • Make their own investments at the upper levels of Wings in the Desert with an annual gift of at least $5,000.
  • Invite others to join them as Stakeholder Council Members.
  • Consider joining The Simeon & Anna Society through their legacy gifts.
  • Gather at least once each year in advance of the Annual Meeting of the Board of Directors to be briefed and offer their counsel on the strength and effectiveness of the ministry of Spirit in the Desert.

When you come to Spirit in the Desert, you sense this has been an indigenous “holy place” for centuries, long before land titles of “ownership.” Even now, this place is held in trust by a local, national, and inter-national network of participants, presenters, donors, board, and staff; Lutheran, ecumenical, inter-faith, and seeking.

All are stakeholders in the shared mission of renewing people’s callings in the world. The members of the Stakeholder Council advise the Board and advance the mission with annual investments of $5,000 and more.

Once again, all are welcome!
~ Pastor Ted and Marietta Johns, Co-Chairs

If you would like to consider becoming a Stakeholder, one of the Stakeholders or a member of the Executive Staff would be happy to visit with you. Contact Eric Simonson, Executive Director at 480-488-5218 or Email him

The Simeon & Anna Society of Spirit in the Desert

Creating a Legacy of gifts for the long-term benefit of Spirit in the Desert Ministry

Spirit in the Desert was founded through the legacy gifts of a family with a vision for the blessing this retreat center would be for generations after them.

Simeon and Anna saw God’s light to the nations beyond their years. (“My eyes have seen!” Luke 2:30).

Members of The Simeon and Anna Society have made planned gifts in and/or documented their estate commitments to sustain the mission of Spirit in the Desert for generations to come.

The Board of Directors will honor these legacy gifts for the long-term benefit of Spirit in the Desert.

The names of living and deceased members of The Simeon and Anna Society will be inscribed in the Estrem Center and published in each Annual Report of  Spirit in the Desert.