64° F Thursday, May 25, 2017

Power tools are in order at Spirit in the Hills Lutheran under the new leadership of Pastor Liz Hanley.

Recently of Abiding Savior Lutheran in Cameron, the Longview native was recruited to mission work by Bishop Tiemann of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Southwest Synod, as the first mission developer for the church. She is not afraid to get the gloves out to do what is needed to make the mission succeed at its new location at the corner of Bee Creek Road and R.O. Drive.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do in the next few months,” says Hanley.

In mid-December, the mission moved from its meeting place in the Briarcliff Community Center to a five-acre lot that was formerly the home of Red Falcon Studios, an artist studio and gallery. In that brief time, the mission attendees turned out to clean up the landscape, put up walls and turn the building into a church — all in two weeks time.

At the same time, they were decorating the new building for Christmas as well as raising several thousand dollars for a church on the border of Mexico that was struggling to survive and maintain its stronghold of keeping youth away from drug-related violence.

Too much for a small group? No, they also sent gifts to Brown Santa and continued their donations to the Helping Hands ministry of Spicewood.

By mid-March, church members were taking down walls as attendance grew. Most everyone who attends becomes part of something special — and it’s not too long before the newcomers are moved to join in the building process, too.

“It’s because we believe that God works from the ground up,” says Hanley. “God comes down to us where we are.”

Hanley teaches that the connection with the ground, with our world is important to live out our faith. Two weeks ago, the mission celebrated its third anniversary.

The gloves are on for Easter, for weekly Bible studies, for building a community in Spicewood through becoming a part of the community with yoga classes, AA meeting, bible studies, youth groups and more.

What’s next?

“Maybe something for seniors during the daytime,” says Hanley.

For details, visit www.spiritinthehills.org, call (512) 294-2884 or email pastorliz@spiritinthehills.org.

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