Thanksgiving Feast

Joyce Spaulding Memorial Community Thanksgiving Feast

The Church of the Palms invites all to join us for our annual Thanksgiving Day dinner!

The meal is free and the event is handicap accessible.

Please call early for reservations 623-977-8359 or use the sign up sheet in the narthex.

Wendy Whitlock has graciously offered to serve as event coordinator; please let her know if you can volunteer or have questions.

Bring-a-Friend Sunday

Sunday, November 11, 10 a.m.

Worship will be followed with a free lasagna and salad lunch.

Meet new people, share worship together, and enjoy a homemade lunch!

Like our rummage sale, this event helps people to learn about the church and to be blessed by the love and welcome that we share.

Bring a friend, bring two, bring a bunch!

Palms people: Use the sign-up sheet in the narthex so we know how many to plan for.

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Champion Recognition: Carolyn Modeen

This recognition is awarded to a person who is a member of our church, active in leadership roles, and active in social justice ministry. The individual  demonstrates a long-term commitment to seek justice on local, regional, and global issues. Her/his actions challenge injustices and effect change through education, advocacy, activism, and fundraising. Finally, the individual demonstrates the belief that everyone deserves equal economic, political, and social rights and opportunities.

The first recipient of this recognition goes to Carolyn Modeen.

Carolyn, a member for over 20 years, has served as Church Moderator, Chair of the Board of Mission and Outreach, initiated sale of free trade items, helped with the monthly fellowship breakfasts and provided leadership for Ecumenical Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Carolyn’s community roles have included: volunteer with Central Arizona Shelter providing clothes for the homeless, participation in marches and rallies for peace and to stop wars. Twice a month she holds up “Peace” signs on Bell and 99th.

Carolyn has advocated for sensible gun legislation, marched for women’s reproductive health rights and has given speeches at Planned Parenthood gathering. She has participated in equal pay gatherings and efforts to correct worker pay disparity. She demonstrated for migrant rights as workers and participated in monthly meetings of domestic violence prevention program.

Carolyn has been an active participant with Grandmothers for Peace and has volunteer at Benevilla since 1984. She regularly gathers signatures to help political candidates have names placed on election ballots and get initiatives on ballots.

Carolyn lives the following scripture: Micah 6:8 … “And what does the LORD require of us but to DO JUSTICE, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.” Well done Carolyn! Thank you for your service!

50th Anniversary update

Those of us who use social media have seen the question, “Where were you on July 20, 1969?” Most of us can give a reasonably accurate account of whether or not we witnessed the lunar landing on that day. I have another question for you – where were you in October, 1969?

From some of the conversations I have had lately, I can tell you that in the fall of 1969, as newlyweds, Sandy and Bob Krueger were setting up housekeeping; Jane Zukowski was a stay-at-home mom making sure her young son, Jim Alexander, got off to kindergarten during the week in Winslow (we will try not to hold that against you Jim); while Carol and Clint Reynolds, with their four children, had recently relocated from California to Flagstaff where Clint was the pastor of the First Congregational Church, a church near and dear to my heart.

Meanwhile, here in Sun City, in the fall of 1969, there was a dedicated gathering of kindred souls, under the direction of Dr. Albert King, also relocating from Calif, who envisioned building a new church. They met weekly in the parsonage, discussing the formation of the first church in Phase II of Sun City. The United Presbyterian denomination, the Disciples of Christ, and the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ worked together helping establish the new church.

So, where were you, specifically, on October 5th, 1969? Any thoughts? I can tell you it was Worldwide Communion Sunday and the first Sunday of worship in Sun City for Church of the Palms. The congregation met in Town Hall North, which I believe was Oakmont Center, for a time, waiting for the completion of Lakeview Recreational Center before the groundbreaking of the building of our current sanctuary.

Needless to say, we are celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2019. The anniversary committee has designed outstanding projects and events as part of our celebration.  The first event is a fundraiser (yes, celebrations of this nature need funding), a Chili Cook Off following worship September 23. A freewill offering jar will be available. Kevin Nicastro and Michael Cullen are leading this event.

We currently have enough volunteers who are cooking chili, thank you. We are in need of salads and condiments such as sour cream and shredded cheese.

Also, please sign up in the narthex if you will be attending so that we can be prepared.

Come with us on the journey ahead. We are looking back at the early years of our church and toward what the next years will bring. We are celebrating the past and embracing the future.

Sandy Znetko
50th Anniversary Chair

Social Justice Team update

Seeking JUSTICE through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support
P. A. L. M. S.

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team, which is part of the Board of Mission & Outreach, is moving forward by addressing major social justice issues of our times.

Using the scripture passage from Micah 6:8, “And what does the LORD require of us but to DO JUSTICE, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God.” As its admonition and inspiration, the team is working hard on being the hands and feet of Jesus in our community and beyond.

Following is a partial list of accomplishments and plans of our team this past year.

LGBTQ Equity

  • Purchased and displayed the rainbow flag.
  • Participated in the Gay Pride Parade. Our Church was very well received, with our “Jesus didn’t reject anyone, neither do we,” banner. It was commented on and cheered for by many parade participants and watchers.
  • Supports, encourages and helps the efforts of Ronn Enzweiler and the Sun City LGBTQ Club to produce tote bags for agencies to distribute to the homeless.
  • Investigating whether gay married couples in AZ can become foster parents.
  • Reached out to United Church of Sun City which recently voted to become an Open & Affirming Church.

Immigration/Refugees

  • Members of the team established a working relationship with Shadow Rock UCC in support of its Sanctuary Program.
  • Developed a long-term relationship with Lutheran Social Services Southwest (LSS-SW) to support its ministry to immigrants including refugees.
  • Kurt & Linda Hofmann assisted in the assimilation process for a non-English speaking refugee Afghan family.
  • Nancy and Richard Mueller provided instruction in sewing and computer programs for refugees.
  • Suzanne Boisclair participated in a training program for the purpose of tutoring youth refugees.
  • Beth Malmgren connected with Arizona Immigration & Refugee Services to see how our church could be of support.
  • Representatives of Church of the Palms are participating with the UCC Southwest Conference in the “Faithful Witness at the Border” program to call attention to the humanitarian crisis of separating refugee children from their parents.
  • Through the Board of Mission & Outreach our church supports the ministries of Solutions Church serving refugees from South Africa.

Palestinian – Israeli Issue

  • Beth Moore, with the help of several team members, organized a fellowship breakfast and, “meet & greet,” dinner. Daoud Nassar from the Tent of Nations outside Bethlehem shared the challenges of seeking to maintain their family farm in the occupied West Bank.
  • The purpose of this project, undertaken by the Nassar family, along with inter-national volunteers from around the world, is to develop and protect the land and create a center for people from different countries, cultures, and religions to come together and build bridges of trust – and hope – and peace. Through their work with women, youth and families from the nearby village of Nahalin and refugee camps in and around Bethlehem, non-violent approaches to peace are put into practice and their motto “We refuse to be enemies” is lived out.
  • The Church of the Palms is planning to purchase trees for the Farm. The team discussed launching a fund-raising program in September/October to purchase trees for the Tent of Nations Farm and generating scholarship funds to assist a representative from our church to assist in planting trees on the farm. Joyce Stoffers mentioned that the purchase and planting of trees also has benefit for environmental issues.

Homelessness

  • Members of the team met with Robert Sanders, Regional Director with LSS-SW, and other City of Surprise community leaders in March regarding IHELP – Interfaith Homeless Emergency Lodging Program. It was proposed to the Church Council in June that Church of the Palms consider being a major player in this program.
  • Our church continues to support ministry to the homeless population through the HART Pantry program and supporting Children First Academy, a school for the homeless in the Phoenix metro area.

Religious & Racial Appreciation

  • Debby Stinton leads the White Privilege Program, Part 1 & Part II.
  • Barbara Arnold presented information on the Code of the Underground Railroad Quilt and the need for the quilt to be protectively encased in order to preserve it and so that it can be permanently hung at Church of the Palms.
  • Plans are underway to establish a relationship with Arizona Interfaith Movement to determine what they are doing to promote religious and racial tolerance and how our team could be part of this effort.
  • The annual Ecumenical Retreat was held in early September and focused on “Time, Eternity and the Importance of Religious Holidays in Judaism, Christianity and Islam.”

Environmental Issues

  • Nancy Tsuchiya and Joyce Stoffers organized a visit to a local recycling company to determine how our church could more fully participate in such a program. A proposal will be going to the Church Council to purchase more ecofriendly materials to be used for social functions in King Hall.
  • George Wall made a presentation to the team on the impact of global warming and how we need to be a voice for this concern.
  • Plans are underway to contact Doug Bland, Executive Director of Arizona Interfaith Power & Light, to make a presentation to our church leadership on how we could become a partner in this effort.

Gun Violence

  • A letter to the editor written and edited by the team was published in the Sun City Independent regarding stopping gun violence.
  • Members of the team participated in non-violent protests in Sun City and Phoenix to stop gun violence.

There are currently 28 members of our church and community participating to one degree or another in our Social Justice Team. The team meets the second Friday of the month at 9:30AM. Our next meeting is Friday, September 14th. Please plan to attend if you have an interest in any of projects being undertaken by our social justice team.

Grief Share

Fridays, 1 to 3 p.m.
September 14 through December 21

For people grieving a death of a loved one.

You can come for one or all of the sessions. (You don’t have to commit to all of them). Each session is a complete lesson in and of itself. Come when you can.

Jack Evans presents: The Palms’ monthly film

Good friend and film aficionado, Jack Evans, will once again be our guide this Fall and Winter for an eclectic and varied line-up of movies.

This season, we have something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue:

September 21st: HAROLD AND MAUDE
Hal Ashby’s cult classic from 1970 about a young man who falls in love with a 79 year old woman.

October 12th: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND
The highly imaginative Charlie Kaufman wrote the screenplay for this Michel Gondry film about two lovers who have erased memories of each other’s existence . A new cult classic that’s postmodern cinema at its best.

November 2nd: THE HOTEL BUDAPEST  NOVEMBER FILM IS CANCELED
One of America’s best filmmakers of the past quarter-century, Wes Anderson borrows stories from the once popular but now obscure Austrian author Stephan Zweig to forge this intricate tale of love and intrigue.

December 14th: THE DEEP BLUE SEA
This destructive love affair set in World War II, features powerful performances by Rachel Weisz and Tom Hiddleston and is directed by the great British filmmaker Terrence Davies.

“My Bag Project”

Our LGBTQ Equity sub-group of the Social Justice Team would like to introduce Ron Enzweiler, a new-ish member here at Church of the Palms, and his ministry “My Bag Project.” Ron is a member of the LGBTQ Club of Sun City and the Sun City Sewing Club. He was featured in an article in the November 2017 Sunviews Newspaper regarding the work that the Clubs are involved in with helping Eve’s Place for domestic violence victims. You can see the article and a sampling of his work on our bulletin board by King Hall.

In conversation with Ron, we found out that he has a wish list of items he needs for his “My Bag Project” ministry. Plus, he would love to have others, who love to sew, join him in this endeavor.

Here is his list:

  • Broadcloth, Seersucker, Corduroy (not too heavy a weight)
  • Duck (the kind of material that can be easily cut by senior arthritic hands) A little dirty is OK
  • NO upholstery material

Ron does have a contact in central Phoenix for crushed velvet, lace, trim items. If you would like to donate to Ron’s ministry or give him an hour of your time, he would love to have you contact him at 480-225-8231. Ron believes that those who are in transition, or homeless, need to have something of their own to carry their possessions in, besides a trash bag, and we believe the same.

Debby Stinton
Assistant Pastor

Ron Enzweiler "My Bags Project" for Eve's Place, Sun City, Arizona