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About our church

A rare sight st john in snowSt John on the Desert is a Presbyterian Church (USA) church serving the Tanque Verde Valley in northeast Tucson, worshipping in the Reformed tradition. We are friendly, mission-minded, fun-loving, and yet serious about being the hands and feet of God in the world.

All are welcome in our Sanctuary, and all are welcome at our Table.

Our rather small size (90+ members) puts everyone on a first-name basis. While our primary purpose is to praise God and live out the lives that Jesus Christ modeled for us, we’ve been known to take in a baseball game, picnic or theatrical production together.

Water balloons at church picnic

Our style is casual, our mood is upbeat and we believe we can make a difference in our community and beyond. Join us and discover how worship can be joyful and how service to others can be fulfilling and fun.

To learn a bit more about our history, click here.

What We Believe

We are a Presbyterian church in the Reformed tradition. Reformed theology is marked by the recognition that our Christian faith needs constantly to be expressed and confessed. We believe God is always leading us to new places with new insights from Scripture.

We believe God created the world good, humans messed up the good creation and God came in Jesus Christ to set things right. We are participants – co-creators – in the restoration of the Creation and in realizing God’s kingdom right here on earth. It isn’t enough to hear the word – we must live it as well. We believe that being in relationship with God means working on God’s behalf towards a world of justice, mercy and equality.

We strive to live in gratitude for God’s abundant grace.

Jesus is “God with skin,” sent to teach, heal and lead us. He laid the foundation for God’s church and walked the earth so that we could know God personally. By virtue of his horrific death, Jesus took upon himself the sins of the world. Through his death we are forgive the consequences of our sins. Through his resurrection, we are promised eternal life.

The Holy Spirit moves through and among us, inspiring, equipping and giving us the courage to do God’s work and to grow in our faith. This Holy Spirit guides us to be a people of peace and justice, comfort and compassion.

We believe in Romans 8:38-39; that nothing can separate us from God’s love through Christ Jesus.

For more information, please visit the PCUSA site.

Pastor Lesley Abrams

Our Pastor Lesley Abrams

Our pastor has been an actress, comedian, writer, college instructor, business owner, and film reviewer.

She is a coffee-drinker, dog-owner, and hiker who loves ballroom dancing and old black & white movies. Her husband, Dean, is her best friend and the love of her life. He likes to call himself, “The Pastor’s Wife!”

Almost 20 years ago, she moved to Tucson. A double rainbow appeared in the sky that day. She should have known something really big was about to happen.

first anniversaryAnd it did: while helping her beloved mother find a church home, Lesley found God. God, she discovered, had plans for her. She became an elder, liturgist and occasional worship leader. She was hired as a Director of Children's & Youth Ministry. She wrote and delivered sermons. And she started the journey to becoming a Lay Pastor, by taking classes through Dubuque Seminary. In July, 2012, she was given the 'thumbs up' to be commissioned, and soon after was called to our church. In August, 2013, she celebrated her first anniversary of what she calls "the exciting and humbling work of being the Pastor at St John on the Desert."


Pastor — Lesley Abrams
Musical Accompanist — Marcia Soriano

Lou Bowers
Ardie Deering
John Deering
Mark Hopkins
Larry Rayburn
David Tabb

Barbara Bledsoe
Carol Mike
Cheryl Nichols
Nancy Roberson
Sheryl Taylor
Eugenia Villafana

Jennifer J. Stewart, webmaster

Email us / (520) 749-3615