‘Hope Still Rises’ — Daoud Nassar, Tent of Nations

Friday, May 7th at 9:00 a.m. on “Bridges”

By Beth Moore

Those of you who read our virtual Order of Sunday Service may notice in the weekly prayer list the name of the Nassar family. If you did not meet and listen to the story of Daoud Nassar when he visited us in person in 2018, this is an opportunity to be with him virtually on “Bridges”: to learn of his witness and work, and to offer your encouragement for him and the family.

The Nassars are Palestinian Christians farming their family’s ancestral lands — a 100-acre hilltop site situated between Bethlehem and Hebron in the West Bank. The Nassar family land, purchased in 1916 by Daoud Nassar’s grandfather, is surrounded by Jewish settlements on three sides and the Palestinian village of Nahalin on the fourth. It is on the site of the family farm, called Daher’s Vineyard (named for Daoud’s grandfather), that the family decided to establish The Tent of Nations in 2001: an international center for peace and for building bridges between people and the land.

The farm, located in the West Bank in what is called Area C, (and under Israeli Military control) has no access to running water or electricity. Permits to build on or develop the land in area C are seldom, if ever, granted by the Israeli military authorities. The family has been in the Israeli courts since 1991, resisting attempts by the Israeli government to take their land for which they have documents from the Ottoman period proving their ownership.

Approximately 10,000 international visitors come to the Tent of Nations annually, often as part of a Holy Land Pilgrimage. They listen to the witness of this family, their non-violent resistance to the Occupation, and observe their hope in actions which steward their land in sustainable and life giving ways. Longer term volunteers are also welcomed throughout the year to participate in tree planting, harvest camps, a children’s summer camp, and ongoing farm maintenance activities.

Volunteers and visitors to the Tent of Nations have been a strong support for the family’s work and spiritual sustenance. Since the pandemic, these sources of support are no longer present, and physical attacks on the land have been increasing. Whether you have heard the story before, or are not familiar with the journey of this family, we hope you will join us. We will share a brief video visit to the farm, after which Daoud will share a few remarks. The remainder of the time will be an opportunity for you to voice your questions. Sign in by going to “Bridges” here on our website, and scroll down to the area where the classes are listed with their date and time, and then click on the link.

Mass Incarceration — What Can We Do?

Learn about potential solutions at Breakfast in Your PJs on Tuesday, May 25th at 8:30 am

By Nancy Nonini
Social Justice Action Team—Criminal Justice

Did you know that Arizona has the fifth highest imprisonment rate in the U.S., but is only 15th highest in population? This incarceration costs AZ taxpayers over one billion dollars per year. From 2000 to 2018, our state population grew 33%, but our incarcerated population grew 60 percent. While in recent years, most of the United States’ top incarcerating states have passed meaningful criminal-justice reforms focused on reducing prison populations, Arizona struggles to get any Criminal Justice Reform bills through our legislature.

So what can be done to change Arizona’s mass incarceration rate? According to a UCC resolution, “As believers in Christ, we must abhor and actively battle against any individual or industry which derives profit from human misery.”

Join us to hear John Dacey and Robert Craig of Abolish Private Prisons describe how they propose to create change in our overactive justice system during Breakfast in Your PJs on Tuesday, May 25, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. in a Zoom event accessed on Bridges. Select Bridges in the navigation pane and click on the Breakfast in Your PJs link.

Easter Morning In-Person Worship at The Church of the Palms

Have you reserved your spot for the in-person worship service at 9:00 a.m. on Easter Sunday? The deadline to register is April 1. Click this link or call 623.748.3574 so we can be prepared to welcome you.

This is an outdoor service, so make sure to wear your Easter bonnet! And sunscreen! And, of course, you must wear a mask. Social distancing will be enforced.

Click here for a full list of measures and precautions. And please don’t forget our Easter Blessings Fund in lieu of Easter Lilies this year.

Good Friday “Stations of the Cross” Labyrinth Walk

Friday, April 2, 2021 , 1–3 p.m.

Each person will receive a printed guide for their self-directed walk, for pausing at the “stations of the cross” to read a brief Biblical text and prayer. Volunteers will be available to assist walkers who are welcome to come anytime between 1 and 3 p.m.; the walk to the center of the Labyrinth will take about 30 minutes. Chairs and water will be available. Guides for self-directed walks in the morning or evening will be available in the literature box, as well.

Thanksgiving: Not Just a Meal

As was announced earlier, it has been decided for safety reasons that The Church of the Palms will not serve a meal this year for Thanksgiving. However, we do feel that some of the goals of the activity can still be met.

The goals of The Annual Joyce Spaulding Memorial Thanksgiving Feast:
• Opportunity for ministry
• Provide extravagant welcome
• Remember Joyce and Roy Spaulding
• Have fun

As an opportunity for ministry, we are asking those who are able to consider donating what they would have spent on their Thanksgiving dinner food donation to the church. In turn, the church will give that money to church ministries that feed people. This would include feeding the homeless in our part of the I-Help program and to the HART Pantry which, among other things, feeds at-risk teens.

To make it fun, we will track the donations on a board that represents King Hall. We have calculated that our normal dinner costs about four dollars per person. For each four dollars we receive, we will put a token on the board to represent a diner. Our goal is to fill our imaginary King Hall with imaginary diners. The wonderful part comes later when actual people are fed with these donations.

Though this is not the same as gathering together and enjoying a meal of Thanksgiving, those of us who are able can have the opportunity to give thanks for our blessings by sharing with others. I cannot think of anything that would please the Spauldings more than knowing that hungry people are being fed. Bless you all as we enter the holiday season.

–Wendy Whitlock

Global Pride 2020

Pride won’t be beaten by COVID19 – join us on Saturday 27 June 2020 for the world’s first Global Pride!

Global Pride 2020 is being organised by Prides from across the world. We will have speeches, performances, film and other content from Prides in Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania, and South, Central and North America. A worldwide team of more than 100 volunteers are reaching out to Prides around the world and we’re promising an amazing line-up of performances that you’d expect from a Pride event.

How you can watch Global Pride, wherever you are in the world: All you’ll need is a mobile device like a cellphone, a tablet, or a computer.

The host of Global Pride 2020 will be Todrick Hall, an American singer, songwriter, actor, director and choreographer – famous for his viral YouTube videos including original songs, parodies, and skits. Todrick has spoken openly on what it’s like to be Black and Gay in America and most recently featured on the cover of @Billboard Magazine’s 2020 Pride issue.

Speakers include:

  • Ann Linde, foreign minister of Sweden
  • Carlos Alvarado Quesada, president of Costa Rica
  • Erna Solberg, prime minister of Norway
  • Guðni Jóhannesson, president of Iceland
  • Helena Dalli, European Commissioner for equality
  • Joe Biden, former vice-president of the USA
  • Justin Trudeau, prime minister of Canada
  • Leo Varadkar, taoiseach of Ireland
  • Manvendra Singh Gohil, prince of Rajpipla, India
  • Sadiq Khan, mayor of London
  • Victor Madrigal-Borloz, independent expert on LGBTQ+ rights for the UN
  • Xavier Bettel, prime minister of Luxembourg

Performers include:

  • Adam Lambert
  • Ava Max
  • Bebe Rexha
  • BETTY
  • Betty Who
  • Bright Light Bright Light
  • Calum Scott
  • Conchita Wurst
  • Courtney Act
  • Daya
  • Deborah Cox
  • Erika Jayne
  • Fred Schneider
  • Jake Shears
  • Jordy
  • Kate Pierson
  • KEiiNO
  • Kesha
  • Kristine W
  • Laverne Cox
  • Leann Rimes
  • Leslie Jordan
  • Lucy Spraggan
  • Martha Wash
  • Mary Lambert
  • Max
  • Melanie C
  • Natasha Bedingfield
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Pabllo Vittar
  • Peaches
  • Pussy Riot
  • Pussycat Dolls
  • Rachel Sage
  • Rita Ora
  • Russell Tovey
  • Stephen Fry
  • Steve Grand
  • Thelma Houston
  • Todrick Hall
  • Tom Goss
  • Village People
  • VINCINT

More speakers are being announced daily on the Facebook event page and check out this article, too.

Visit globalpride2020.org/ for more information.

Pride Parking Lot Parade

June is Gay Pride Month!

The Church of the Palms is celebrating Open and Affirming Sunday during the 10:00 a.m. online worship service on June 28, 2020.

Afterward, we’ll have a parking lot parade starting at 11:00 am. Keeping our physical distance, we’ll cruise our church parking lot. Decorate your car, your truck, your golf cart, your skateboard, or your pogo stick and come on down!

There will be popsicles, pride, and good times a-plenty!

Chili Cookoff!

Sunday, January 12 after worship

Mark your calendar and get ready for our next Church of the Palms mouthwatering epicurean event: another world-famous chili cookoff on Sunday, January 12th in King Hall following our Sunday service. You can find the sign-up sheets on the opportunity table in the narthex (or call the church office).

You may sign up to bring chili (limit 12 chefs) or just plan to attend and enjoy a wonderful chili lunch.

You may also sign up to bring cornbread or your favorite chili side dish.

Proceeds go to support the ministries of our church.

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2020

Mark your calendar and please plan on attending one or more of the Week of Prayer services at churches around Sun City during the week of January 20th.
.
The presentation theme this year is: “They Showed Us Unusual Kindness” -Acts 28:2.

The emphasis this year is on all churches demonstrating “unusual kindnesses” to each other and as one to the world in need.

The schedule for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is as follows (the first church listed is the host church, the second church is the supporting church).

Monday, Jan. 20: First Presbyterian w/ St Christopher’s
Tuesday, Jan. 21: United Church of Sun City w/ Faith Presbyterian
Wednesday, Jan. 22: St Elizabeth Seton w/ Church of the Palms
Thursday, Jan. 23: All Saints of the Desert w/ St Joachim & St Anne
Friday, Jan. 24: First United Methodist w/ Shepherd of the Desert

Services: 12:00 – 12:30 p.m.
Fellowship lunch: 12:30 – 1 p.m.

Look for additional details in Sunday bulletins as the Week of Prayer approaches. If you have questions, please contact Pat & John Durbin.