We are now officially 50! A recap.

The first Sunday of worship for Church of the Palms was World Communion Sunday, October 5, 1969. We are now officially 50!

We ended our year of celebration on November 3, 2019 with the triumphant worship and our anniversary luncheon. To recap what we did this past year:

  • A Chili Cook-Off, two Bingo parties, and a Cookie Bake Sale.
  • We dedicated not one, but two labyrinths. A most unique Peace Pole graces the center of our labyrinth.
  • We honored Len Silvester as our Pastor Emeritus and celebrated our personal roots.
  • A number of us, including non-member neighbors enjoyed an Afternoon English Tea
  • Easter Sunday the beautiful stained glass cross which now hangs in the back of the sanctuary, was unveiled.
  • We received brand new pictorial membership directories.
  • A beautiful, original banner has been hung in the sanctuary.
  • Throughout the year we had an opportunity to purchase exclusive 50th anniversary tee shirts and embroidered shirts.
  • We participate in the Amazon smile and scrip gift card programs.

The 50th anniversary committee is extremely thankful for everyone who engaged in and rejoiced with us during this year of celebration.


I-HELP: Church of the Palms Provides Relief to the Homeless

Over a year ago our Social Justice Action Team was exploring ways to address the growing homeless population in our corner of Maricopa County. We learned of a program that was being used in Avondale and four of our members went to see the program in action at the First Baptist Church.

The program was I-HELP run by Lutheran Social Services and it was having success, twelve homeless people at a time. LSS provided the staff and resources for the program; churches provided housing and food for the guests for up to 90 days until they were settled in their own housing. It was not a short term solution, like a soup kitchen or a shelter, but an intentional effort, focused on adults who had lost their housing through some bad fortune and needed temporary help to get back on their feet.

With the blessing of the COTP staff and the church council, members of the Social Justice Action Team began conversations with LSS and the city of Surprise, offering to be a host church should an I-HELP program be developed in the North West Valley. LSS acquired the grant money needed to staff the program, other churches were recruited to host and the program was launched on Sunday, October 27, 2019.

A twenty member I-HELP Committee at COTP has been working for several months planning and preparing to host I-HELP every Monday evening beginning 10/28/’19. Many volunteers have already committed to drive the bus, provide food and stay overnight in addition to financial support.

Church of the Palms will make a difference in the lives of our neighbors who ‘need a hand up, not a hand out’. It will also be a blessing to our volunteers who show generosity and hospitality to our guests, a win-win endeavor.

One of a kind, handmade gifts

Instead of gift shopping at a big box or department store, have you considered giving one of a kind, handmade gifts to your loved ones and friends? The Service Project Craft Group has a table of goods for sale in King Hall on Sunday mornings. They can also accommodate special gift requests or you can purchase gift certificates so your friends can select their own items.

If you are “crafty” and would like to use your skills to help others while you enjoy the fellowship of other crafters, consider joining the group on Wednesday mornings at 9:00 a.m. Bring your skills, ideas or use some of ours. We provide materials/craft supplies and even have sewing machines you can use.

Educational and spiritual growth opportunities

The Church of the Palms offers several educational opportunities to assist folks in their spiritual journeys.


Currently until Oct 21, “Embracing An Alternative Orthodoxy: Richard Rohr on Legacy the Legacy of St. Francis”

Oct 28-Dec 16, “The Great Spiritual Migration” led by Max Klinkenborg


Currently until Oct 21, Exploring what it means to be a Christian today, from the book “The Heart of Christianity” by Marcus Borg

Oct 28-Dec 16, “Living the Questions” led by Linette Stenberg


Continental-style breakfasts follow a speaker and program. Bring a friend or neighbor. Freewill offerings accepted to defray the cost.

  • October 8: Medicare Choices
  • November 12: Wills, Trusts, and Estates
  • December 10: A Christmas party

INCHWORMS (Tuesdays, 10 – 11:30 a.m.)

Nick Nichols leads the class “Painting the Stars”

COSMIC CHRISTIANS (Tuesdays, 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m.)

This energetic group reads and discusses progressive theology
and its perspective on contemporary issues. Continued study of “Becoming Wise” by Krista Tippet. This class is led by Linette Stenberg.

JUMP START (Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m.)  on hiatus until September

Bring a light snack to enjoy. John Durbin, director of our Social Justice Action Team, leads this class.

JACK EVANS PRESENTS: The Palms’ monthly film

Check the upcoming features here.


Check the upcoming features here.


(currently on hiatus)

SUNDAY MORNING DISCUSSION (8:30 AM -9:30 AM) currently on hiatus.


The Palms is ready for the launch of I-HELP Northwest Valley

A 20-member I-HELP committee at Church of the Palms has been working hard for the last two months to get ready for the October launch of I-HELP Northwest Valley. I-HELP (Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program), a program of Lutheran Social Services, is designed to help the growing numbers of working people who have lost access to affordable housing.

The 90-day program helps the men and women in the program develop a life plan that restores them to permanent housing. They are assisted by a full-time caseworker from LSS, to locate the resources needed and keep them on task for the 90 days or less.

As a supporting church, COTP will be providing housing, food, showers, and laundry every Monday night to the 12 women and men in the program. The program is for adults over the age of 18, not for families with children. Five other churches in the Surprise, El Mirage and Sun City communities are also hosting churches.

The COTP committee, led by Max Klinkenborg, has Laurie Cathey as food coordinator, Vickie Ashenbrenner coordinating nighttime monitors and John Durbin as transportation coordinator. Sharon Astle is our secretary and Mike Astle is the treasurer. The Service Committee has purchased sheets and prepared them to fit our mats. The program runs with volunteers and there will be signup sheets in the narthex.

There is a cost to being a host church and we are trusting members and friends of COTP to help with in-kind gifts of food, toiletries, and laundry soap and cash gifts designated for I-HELP.

Service Project Craft Group update

Seat belt covers, baby blankets, shawls, adult bibs, children’s quilts, walker bags, aprons with a butterfly on the bib, and lap size afghans/quilts. These are just some of the items on our tables in King Hall. ‘Twiddle Mitts’ for those with dementia to keep their hands busy, are still a popular item. Our inventory changes weekly. If there is an item or color or design you prefer, let us know, we can probably accommodate your request.

We have a beautiful quilt available with a dark green border, made from pieces Joyce Spaulding put together.

We’ve finished 150 soap holders for HART and are now working on special sheets for the sleeping mats of our “I-HELP” guests who will be coming soon.

Whatever sort of crafts you do, whether at home or here at church, we’d love to have you join us on Wednesday mornings from 9 -11 in the board room!

Carol Reynolds, team coordinator

Grief Share

Fridays, 1:30 to 3:30 p.m.
September 6 through November 29

Expressing sympathy is always difficult, but all we can say is how sorry we are and want you to know we care. The journey of grief is a painful process, and you do not need to walk it alone. We would like to encourage you to come to the special seminar and support group offered here at Church of the Palms called GriefShare.

The materials in the support group specifically address topics and issues for those who are grieving the death of a loved one, be they spouse, child, sibling, parent or friend. GriefShare meets weekly for 13 sessions. You will find this to be a place where you can be around people who understand the pain of your loss. You will be prayed for and learn valuable information that will help you through this difficult season of your life.

If you are not experiencing the loss of someone special but know someone who would benefit from this support group, they are welcome no matter their religious beliefs or whether they attend services at Church of the Palms.

Our next GriefShare group resumes Friday, Sept 6, at 1:30 in the boardroom at Church of the Palms. We hope you or someone you know will consider joining us.

Contributions for asylum seekers

The Social Justice team has found a new group helping asylum seekers, so we can once again accept contributions. We will be working with Lutheran Family Services through the Glendale Mission and Ministry Center, under the auspices of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). They can accept over 200 asylum seekers per week.

As before, small and medium men’s and women’s sized clothing and children’s clothing is needed. Small-sized shoes for adults and almost any size of children’s shoes are appreciated.

The following snack items are needed: granola bars, fruit snacks (Mott’s or Welch’s), and small packages of cookies. Peanut butter crackers are NOT needed because we have learned that peanut butter is not part of the diet of most of the asylum seekers.