Rummage & Bake Sale right around the corner

October 24–26, 2019

Our rummage sale inventory is a little short this year. Now is the time to go through your closets and donate your unwanted treasures. We’re surprisingly short of furniture this close to our sale.

So, talk to your friends and neighbors and see if they have any good stuff they’d like to contribute to our wonderful sale.

The time to donate your items to the church is Monday, October 21 through Wednesday, October 23. We’ll accept all donations at this time, but the items for the October sale include:

  • Furniture
  • Clothing
  • Christmas / holiday / toys
  • Small electronics
  • Cameras
  • Hand tools
  • Jewelry
  • Crafts
  • Paintings
  • Medical equipment
  • Sports equipment
  • Books / DVDs / CDs
  • Office items
  • Housewares

And, of course, we’ll have our Bake Sale and food services.

So, in addition to generating needed revenue to maintain the quality of our church building and grounds, who benefits from a Church of the Palms Rummage Sale and all that hard work (and laughter & fun)? Here are some of the beneficiaries:

  • HART Pantry, (Helping At Risk Teens)
  • Dysart Community Center (neighbors in need)
  • Glendale Mission (asylees)
  • Justa Center (homeless seniors)
  • Disabled Veterans
  • Downtown Phoenix homeless shelter
  • Navajo Reservation
  • Valley View Community Food Bank & Thrift Shop (serving Sun City and other west valley communities)
  • Charity Recycling (supporting Boys & Girls Clubs)

20% of the dollars generated from the sale go to our Board of Mission and Outreach and all the other organizations they support.

If you can help or have questions please contact one of the members of the 2019 Rummage Sale coordinating team:

John Durbin, Board of Mission and Outreach
Pat Durbin, Board of Evangelism
Judy Jondahl, Board of Stewards

We need lots of help and we would love to have you be involved. Look for Sunday bulletin announcements, future Palm Leaf issues, and posts on our Facebook page for additional information. Thank you all very much!!

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.

Criminal Justice / Prison Reform

For I was hungry and you gave me food… I was in prison and you visited me . . . truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of My family, you did it to Me.  Matthew 25:36

One of the issues being addressed by our Church of the Palms Social Justice Action Team is criminal justice/prison reform. Can you imagine that just receiving a letter at mail call can make you feel special and give you hope for a second chance? Sharing a short letter with one of the women in the AZ State Prison Complex at Perryville lets her know that she is not forgotten.

Red Mountain United Methodist Church in Mesa has the Matthew 25:36 Prison Ministry that includes a pen pal program with women at Perryville. The letters may be short but offer encouragement, hope, and an opportunity to share one’s faith. Just this small interaction can make a difference in the possibility of staying out of prison once released. According to American Journal of Criminal Justice, the normal recidivism rate is 40%, but for people who have penpals, it is only 5%. What a gift! 

We are building a pen pal program here in the west valley at Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church in Glendale. If you are interested in finding out how you might be able to give hope to a woman at Perryville and hopefully start a program at COTP, please contact Nancy Nonini (member of our Social Justice Action Team) at nancy.nonini@cox.net.

Also, look for additional information in upcoming Sunday bulletins on this topic and other issues being addressed by the Church of the Palms Social Justice Action Team.

Seeking Justice through Prayer Action Love Ministry & Support (PALMS)

Ecumenical & Interreligious Retreat

September 3 – 6, 2019 at Chapel Rock Conference Center in Prescott

This year’s retreat will focus on:

  • God’s creation, the evolving universe, and how our traditions instruct us to interact with it.
  • Mysticism, angels, spirits, and their relevance in our individual lives and the lives of our traditions.
  • Interreligious dialogue, understanding, tolerance, and acceptance (brotherhood and sisterhood).

The Retreat includes 3 nights lodging, 3 dinners, 3 breakfasts, and 2 lunches in the cool pines of Prescott. The surroundings are beautiful, and the food is fantastic!  Our featured presenters (see below) are well respected members of their temple, churches and mosque communities. 

In times of extreme stress and polarization in our society it becomes increasingly important to come together as people from different faith traditions to develop a deeper understanding of others and inoculate ourselves against the fear and prejudice that is gripping so many people. Our presenters are well-known and respected in their respective faith traditions for seeking this end. This retreat is a great way to seek brother- and sisterhood and spend the hot late summer days in the beautiful cool pines of Prescott.

Rabbi Nina Perlmutter
Rabbi Emerita, Congregation Lev Shalom Faculty Emeritus, Yavapai College Adjunct Instructor, Prescott College

Rev. Michael G. Hegeman
PH.D, Princeton Theological Seminary Director, Fran Park Center for Faith Life at Pinnacle Presbyterian Church, Lecturer in Religion, Spirituality & Humanities

Imam Anas Hlayhel
Serving the southeast valley teaching and coaching Islamic self-help, Quran exegesis, and youth coaching. Contributing author to Muslim Matters, a popular Muslim blog in English.

Rev. Jim Alexander
Associate Pastor and Music Director, Church of the Palms UCC, Graduate of Grand Canyon University, Founding Artistic Director Valley Women’s Ensemble

Cost of the retreat this year is $295 per person (double occupancy). Extra charge of $65 for single occupancy rooms (limited available).

Complete the registration form for the retreat and return it promptly to Church of the Palms to guarantee your spot.

For more information contact Rev. Jim Alexander jim.alexander@thepalms.org.

Back-to-school is sooner than you think!

Our service to the homeless high school teens served by Hart Pantry dedicates July to gathering school supplies for back-to-school. Here’s the list being assembled:

backpacks
3-ring binders
filler paper (college ruled)
subject dividers
2-pocket folders
composition books
calculators
geometry kits (protractor, compass, ruler)
highlighters
erasers
glue sticks
planner
index cards

The collection deadline is July 31st.

Yes, It Takes a Village

One cannot miss hearing about the U.S. immigration problems—especially in Arizona—as information is on every news medium daily. Who are these immigrants? Why are they here? What is our responsibility for them?

Members of our Social Justice Team (SJT) have been involved in working with asylum seekers (asylees) at the Revolution Church in Tolleson. The Reverend Raul Salgado and his parishioners have been providing food; at least one or two nights’ shelter; showers; clothing and travel arrangements for these men, women and children who have been given approval to seek asylum. They are here upon acknowledgment of a legitimate fear of persecution and have been forced to flee their country because of that persecution, war, or violence. They are brought to this church, and many others in the Phoenix area, in preparation for their continued journey to a relative or friend while waiting for approval of asylum through the courts—which may take from 6 months to several years.

But who are they? Those that we have worked with are from mountain areas of Central America’s Golden Triangle—Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. 90% of those who seek shelter at Revolution Church are from Guatemala and 10% from Honduras. Most speak no English (or very little). They are single mothers and single fathers traveling with one or more children, including infants. They arrive in groups of 50 to 100 disheveled, in need of a shower, and hungry. It’s primarily members of that church who can communicate with them, but unfortunately, they are so very busy preparing food, finding clothing that fits, and arranging transportation to their next location, there is little time for just conversation. Our SJT has provided clothing and incidentals; sorted bags and boxes of clothing by size, gender and purpose; after the shower, searched for clothing that fits the recipient; served food; provided and packaged small packets of food to be taken with them on their next journey; and provided transportation to the airport or bus station.

But, we and about 50 of Rev. Selgado’s church members, are not the only ones who provide help. Volunteers from several churches and volunteer health workers check for fevers and provide meds as necessary while looking for any serious health problems. In addition, several retired doctors bring donuts for them.

Though we do not speak their language and they do not speak ours, it is evident that they proud, thankful for our help, and respond with smiles, hugs, and “gracias” (thank you) for all that is being done on their behalf. Those we have seen are loving towards their children The children are typical of those we all know—fun-loving, can’t resist a ball, and often cling close to their parent. Yes, it takes a village and more, it takes a nation to resolve this problem in a humanitarian way.

…inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me. –Matthew 25:40

God willing, may we continue to be a part of the necessary village.

50th Anniversary celebrations update

Thank you for supporting the fundraising events hosted by the 50th Anniversary Committee.  Our events and donations have allowed us to construct the Labyrinths, add the Peace Pole, and have the beautiful lighted cross added to the sanctuary.  How blessed we are!

The goal of the Committee is not only to celebrate our past, but to embrace the future of Church of the Palms. It is the Committee’s hope that an Associate Pastor Endowment Fund can be created with the proceeds (after giving 20% to Mission).

There will be additional fundraising events in the fall. Our Harvest Fair on October 19th is one of the events,  but we are now gearing up for the culmination of our 50th Anniversary Celebration. Mark your calendars now for Sunday, November 3, 2019. Our worship service will begin at 9:30 that morning. The choir will perform a specially commissioned piece and there will be honored guests. Following worship, we will process to the Sun Dial Auditorium for a celebration luncheon.

We’re looking for sponsors to help make this day memorable. The cost will be about $3000.00 for table settings, programs, tickets, centerpieces, decorations, music, and more.  If you would like to donate, please make a check to COTP and in the memo put “celebration donation.”

We’re also looking for table sponsors:

A full table of 6 is $1000.00. This amount pays for 6 meals and 6 anniversary DVDs. As the sponsor, you’ll receive the centerpiece as well. You can use all 6 seats for you and your church friends, or donate some of the seats for members who could use financial assistance to attend. Payments of $250.00 in June, July, August, and September can be made. Please make your checks payable to COTP with table sponsor in the memo.  Attach a note with the number of seats you would like to donate.

A half table sponsorship of 3 seats for $500.00 is also available. Payments of $125.00 in June, July, August, and September can be made.

Contact a 50th Anniversary committee member if you have questions.