Used Bikes for Hart Pantry

If you have a used bike to donate to the HART (Helping At Risk Teens) Pantry for use by the teens of this great organization, please contact Jan Eckstein or Ruth Langford.

Don’t’ worry about the condition of your donation; the bikes are repaired before they are gifted. HART Pantry gets them to our at-risk teens as soon as they can get them refurbished and checked out, sending along a new bike lock with each bike so they are protected.

Thanks as always for your generosity!

Jan Eckstein and the Board of Mission and Outreach

Social Justice Action Team

Seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team has been very active. The team members working on the Immigration/Refugee issue have developed a working relationship with Refugee Focus, a division of Lutheran Social Services. For more than thirty years, this organization has served some of the world’s most persecuted people living right here in Phoenix. Violence and armed conflict chase millions of people from their homes, their families, and their countries, forcing them to seek safety in other countries around the world.

Honoring a proud identity as a nation of immigrants, the United States has welcomed refugees and asylees throughout its history. Every year, the State Department identifies global regions in which people have an exceptional need for protection outside of their home countries. These refugees and asylees are then invited to resettle in the “land of opportunity,” in a nation that has traditionally cherished the value of uplifting the oppressed. Refugee Focus services include:

Pre-arrival housing
Case management
English classes
Transportation services
Employment support
Education service
Women’s empowerment
Immigration services

And here is what Church of the Palms Social Justice Team members are doing to support this effort:

Beth Malmgren – tutoring in finances
Linda Hofmann – teaching English
Kurt Hofmann – mentoring families
Nancy & Richard Mueller – teaching English
Suzanne Boisclair – teaching English
Linda Rouches – working with children

Please feel free to speak to any of these Social Justice Team members to see how you could become involved. The Social Justice Team meets the second Friday of the month at 9:30 in the chapel. All are welcome.

 

Women’s Discussion Group

From Debby Stinton:

I am delighted to host a “Women’s Discussion Group” on Wednesday, December 6th at 10:30 am to chat about what we want as a group going forward. In the past, the group has been a Bible study, but I have been in conversation with some women here in the church, and we were thinking we could expand the discussions to current topics and issues that we have specifically as women. Plus, it is a great opportunity to make new women friends here at the Church.

Social Justice Team update

Seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support!

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team is a vital ministry in and of our church. The very nature of seeking justice infers advocating on behalf of those individuals and classes of individuals that have been marginalized and oppressed. We keep our eyes, ears, and hearts open to the needs in our church, our community, and our world.

We have several action items that we are participating in to become more informed about how we can prayerfully support others and how we can help in other ministries across our community, the state, and beyond. Keep your antenna up for information on issues of interest to members of our church and community such as the genocide in South Sudan, the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, and the topic of “White Privilege”.

If you are interested in justice issues and feel a call to contribute, please come – you are always welcome.

Social Justice team members with full tummies after good food and fellowship at First Watch on field trip to Lutheran Social Services in Phoenix.
Social Justice team members with full tummies after good food and fellowship at First Watch on field trip to Lutheran Social Services in Phoenix.

rummage sale gift certificates

The next best thing to inviting a family member, neighbor or friend to join you in church on Sunday morning is to invite them to the Rummage Sale. And who knows, if they come to the Rummage Sale and meet our wonderful volunteers, they may just decide to try church!

So, here is the deal: Buy a $5 (or $10 or $20) Rummage Sale Gift Certificate and give it to your family member, friend or neighbor. Encourage them to come, have fun, meet great people, and find a new treasure!

Rummage Sale Gift Certificates will be available starting in early October!

Why not just call them immigrants?

by Beth Malmgren
Member, Church of the Palms Social Justice Team

Immigrant; Alien; Illegal Immigrant; Illegal; Refugee; Asylum – we hear these terms everyday through whatever news media we watch or listen to. But, do we understand the meaning? It is my opinion that it is important to know the difference, as “words do matter.”

An IMMIGRANT is a PERSON who comes to a country to take up permanent residence. The need to escape from poverty, to find available employment or to escape natural disasters drives immigration flows.

A foreigner who enters the US without an entry or immigrant visa (one who crosses the border by avoiding inspection or who overstays the period of time allowed per a visa ) may be referred to as an ALIEN; ILLEGAL; ILLEGAL IMMIGRANT, or ILLEGAL ALIEN, UNDOCUMENTED or UNAUTHORIZED. However, these terms are NOT interchangeable. Let’s explore the meanings.

ALIEN is a term used in legal language for a non-citizen resident, regardless of whether that person resides in the country legally or illegally. This term originated from British law and has been a legal designation for foreign-born residents since the Revolutionary era and continues to be used by the Department of Homeland Security and US Immigration and Customs It is used as a technical term in legal documents. Alien is a word that is also associated with extraterrestrial life and is perceived as dehumanizing when applied to immigrants. It is now associated with anti-immigration policies and advocates.

We have all heard the term “the illegals,” a term that makes the immigrant advocates (and me) cringe. Recent years have brought about a push to change the vocabulary to avoid the term “illegal” and in 2013, the Associated Press stated that “illegal” should be used to describe actions, not people, and dropped the term “illegal immigrant” from its pages. USA Today, CA Governor Jerry Brown, and the Library of Congress have joined in removing the term “illegal alien/immigrant.” In 2012, the U.S.  Supreme Court advocated omitting the term “illegal immigrants/aliens”. Justice Anthony Kennedy noted in the majority opinion that “It is NOT a crime for a removable alien to remain present in the United States.”

“We don’t call pedestrians who cross in the middle of the road illegal pedestrians. A kid who skips school to go to Disneyland is not an illegal student. And yet that’s sort of parallel,” said Otto Santa Ana, professor in UCLA’s Department of Chicana/o Studies.

A REFUGEE is a person who has been forced to leave their country in order to escape war, persecution, ethnic, tribal, or religious violence or natural disaster. It is someone who leaves their own country, often for political reasons and who travels to another country hoping that the government will protect them and allow them to live there. Refugee status is a form of protection that may be granted to people who meet the definition of refugee and are of special humanitarian concern to the US. They are generally people outside of their country who are unable or unwilling to return home because they fear serious harm. One may seek a referral for refugee status only from OUTSIDE the US.

SANCTUARY is a place where someone is protected or given shelter and protection provided by a safe place. The concept of sanctuary is deeply embedded in Western tradition (the underground railroad in the U.S., for example). In biblical times, shelter was offered even to those who might have qualified if the crime lacked intent.

ASYLUM – When people flee their own country and seek sanctuary in another country, they apply for asylum – the right to be recognized as a refugee and receive legal protection and material assistance. An asylum seeker must demonstrate that his or her fear of persecution in his or her home country is well-founded. At the end of 2014, there were approximately 1.8 million people around the world waiting for a decision on their asylum claims.

Jose Luis Benavides, journalism professor at Cal State University said “The words that the candidates (we) use frame the political conversation. Using dehumanizing language then makes it easier for people to justify dangerous policies against a particular group. Words really do matter.” Why not just call them immigrants? That is what they are – whether undocumented or not. And, unless one is Native American Indian – we are all immigrants.

You might be in these photos…

of the Inchworms Krazy Kinfolk Class, or the Rummage Sale organizational meeting, or the Fellowship Breakfast!

Please continue to pray for Debby Stinton and family

debby and rick
Debby and her son, Rick

On the morning of Tuesday, August 8, Debby Stinton, our pastoral assistant, learned that her son, Rick Woodford, had been hit by a car and suffered numerous internal and external injuries. Rick passed away on August 22.

A Go Fund Me page was set up for Rick’s medical fund, if you feel moved to contribute.

Please keep Rick, Debby, and their family and friends in your prayers.

Our deepest condolences to Debby Stinton

Debby and Rick
Debby and Rick

Our deepest condolences to Debby Stinton, our pastoral assistant, on the loss of her son, Rick Woodford. Two weeks after being hit by a car and sustaining numerous critical external and internal injuries, Rick passed away on August 22.

The celebration of life service for Rick will be held at Church of the Palms on Saturday, September 2, at 2 pm. Visitation will be on Monday, August 28, from 5 to 8 pm. at Heritage Funeral Chapel, 6830 West Thunderbird Road, Peoria.

May God’s peace flow around and through Debby and others who loved Rick, bringing strength and healing.

Memory Pillows

Have you seen the pillow on the event table in the narthex? When someone passes away, it is great to have a visual reminder of them – something that brings back pleasant memories as you walk by and notice it. A memory pillow is a great and practical reminder.

The Service Project Craft Group will take the shirt or blouse of the loved one who has passed on and make it into a pillow. What a great gift for a friend who has lost a loved one, or for your children who have lost a parent, and for yourself.

See Carol Reynolds or come by the boardroom where we meet each Wednesday from 9 – 11. We’d love to make a memory pillow for you.