“Our Evolving Story: Integrating Religion and Science” Retreat at Church of the Palms

February 22–24, 2019 at Church of the Palms, $25

“Our Evolving Story: Integrating Religion and Science” Retreat is coming to the Northwest Valley and will be held at The Church of the Palms. It’s coordinated by the Lifelong Learning Board who has contracted with Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP for a weekend presentation.  Sr. Sharon’s ministry has focused on the new Cosmic Spirituality and Eco-Spirituality. She is recognized nationally and internationally as a teacher and preacher on this topic.

Program schedule: Friday, February 22, 6–8 pm with reception to follow and Saturday 9 am–3:30 pm (lunch/breaks included).  Sunday morning Sr. Sharon will be speaking at Church of the Palms.

Tickets are $25; pre-registration is required as there is limited seating.

Registration is open! Tickets are available online for your convenience; click HERE to purchase.

OR click here for a paper registration. You may also register at Church of the Palms in person.

Sr. Sharon has shared an outline for the retreat:

Title: “Our Evolving Story:  Integrating Religion and Science”

We are in the midst of a cosmic shift in understanding who we are as persons, as people of faith, as a human species. What is this newly emerging consciousness? What does it teach us about who we are, how we are related to the whole, and how we image Holy Mystery? Using The Cosmic Story as our context, we will find inspiration and hope as we explore and reflect upon its deeper meaning.

Friday evening, 6–8 p.m.: An introduction to the weekend, speaking about Story, its power and role in the evolution of our species.

Saturday, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m.: Two sessions with time for reflection and sharing. Includes breaks and lunch; if a vegetarian lunch is desired, please email or call 623-977-8359.

Part I  Evolutionary Consciousness (what it is, what characterizes it, what its implications are for understanding who we and where we are going).

Part II Exploring the two particular universal powers of cataclysm and emergence (where we find currently find ourselves embroiled) and the promise and hope they offer.

Sunday, 10 a.m.: Sr. Sharon will speak at the Palms’ worship service.

Below is the biographical information for Sr. Sharon Zayac, OP and URL links to hear her speak and review her work as Founding Director of Jubilee Farm for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, IL.

Sr. Sharon Zayac – a Dominican Sister in Springfield, Illinois – was founding Director of Jubilee Farm, her congregation’s 164-acre center for ecology and spirituality located near Springfield, Illinois.  A writer and lecturer, she speaks on many ecological topics, but her passion is sharing the Universe Story and its implications for life and faith.  Her book – Earth Spirituality: In the Catholic and Dominican Traditions –  which compares Judeo-Christian traditions that cause a disregard for nature as well as those that support a respect for Earth. The book focuses on evolutionary consciousness as an emerging worldview.

Jubilee Farm Center for Ecology and Spirituality is a sustainable farm developed under the leadership of Sr. Sharon.  The farm’s ministry is grounded with the philosophy of sustainability that is foundational to this ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois. The farm was purchased in 1999 to “honor the Year of Jubilee and its biblical injunction to let the land lie fallow, to honor Earth and support the delicate bioregion.”  “Climate change isn’t a political issue; it’s a faith and moral issue,” states Sr. Sharon.

The farm is a spirituality and ecology center where they raise llamas and alpacas, grow chemical-free fruit and vegetables, and offer walking trails, a labyrinth a retreat house, and education programs open to the public.

She participates in The Climate Project, which has trained 2,500 volunteers in the United States, Australia, Canada, India, Spain and the United Kingdom to lead presentations about climate change. Sr. Sharon is a member of Sustainable Springfield Illinois Inc’s Board of Directors. She received the “2018 Outstanding Member Contribution to Sustainability Award” from this organization.

She has presented across the United States and in Europe, New Zealand; and returned to Ireland this summer to continue presentations on this topic. Read more.

Moral Compass: Responding to Climate Change video (45 min)

Thank you for your time and attention to this lengthy article. Church of the Palms is looking forward to this wonderful event!

2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Representatives from 10 Sun City congregations have come together to plan the 2019 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. With the Graymoor Ecumenical & Religious Institute (geii.org) providing materials and guidance, these 10 churches have been conducting the Week of Prayer in Sun City since 1999.

This year’s them has been selected and finds its origins in Deuteronomy. “Justice, Only Justice, You Shall Pursue” (cf. Deuteronomy 16:20) was chosen for its powerful message of promoting truth, equality, and unity.

Week of Prayer services are from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m., with a fellowship lunch following until 1:00 p.m.

Schedule and locations:

Monday, January 21: at Church of the Palms, 14808 N Boswell Blvd, with St. Joachim & St. Anne (Prayer for justice)

Tuesday, January 22: at St. Elizabeth Seton, 9728 W Palmeras Blvd, with First Presbyterian (Prayer for honesty)

Wednesday, January 23: at Faith Presbyterian, 16000 N Del Webb Blvd, with United Church of Sun City (Prayer for the health of the environment and to live more simply)

Thursday, January 24: at Shepherd of the Desert, 11025 N 111th Ave, (Prayer for the end of exploitation of the poor, women, and children)

Friday, January 25: at First United Methodist, 9849 N 105th Ave, with St. Christopher’s (Prayer for the hope in Jesus Christ who is the light of the world)

Christmas Eve Candlelight Service

Monday, December 24 at 7 p.m.

Experience Christmas Eve in word and music as we prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus. The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service features carols, communion, readings, and the music of our choir and handbells.

All are welcome; no exceptions. Bring family, friends, and neighbors.

Educational and spiritual growth opportunities

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

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


On November 26 (through January 14 with a break from class on December 24 and 31) Nick Nichols will lead us in discussing the DVD, “The Power of Myth” by Joseph Campbell.

On January 21 we will begin a continuation of the class on “White Privilege” which will take us through April 15 (no class on Feb. 11 or March 18).


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

On January 8, Susan Herschberger will present “Scientific Hucksters.”

INCHWORMS (Tuesdays, 10 a.m.)

Led by Mary Whitlock, this group pursues a book discussion. In December, we’ll begin inching our way through How to Read the Bible Today by N.T. Wright.

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

This energetic group reads and discusses progressive theology
and its perspective on contemporary issues; facilitated by Kay Klinkenborg.

We began a new book, Coming Back to Earth: From gods, to God, to Gaia by Lloyd Geering, on Tuesday, October 23rd. Geering takes us on a journey that explores the evolution of religion and the history of the Christian faith as we encounter new understandings of our faith in the face of the ecological crisis which has been said to be the most important problem humans have ever had to face.

JUMP START (Tuesdays, 3:30 p.m.)

A lively discussion of next Sunday’s Scriptures. Fellowship, study, and discussion of four Bible passages assigned for the upcoming Sunday’s worship service from Old Testament, Psalms, and New Testament. Bring a light snack to enjoy.

JACK EVANS PRESENTS: The Palms’ monthly film

Stay tuned for more information.


(currently on hiatus) October 14—January 20: no afternoon class

Fellowship Breakfast

Tuesday, January 8, 2019, 8 a.m. TBA

Tuesday, February 12, 8 a.m.

The Stones Cry Out: The Story of the Palestinian Christians

Christians have lived continuously throughout the Middle East for 2000 years. They’re the descendants of those early followers of Christ. Yet few are aware of their continuing existence there. It’s important that people understand the living aspect of Christianity in Palestine. That it’s composed not only of the “dead stones” of archeological sites, but of living people, practices, resistance to occupation, and steadfast hope.

Church of the Palm’s Social Justice Team will sponsor the February Fellowship Breakfast – Tuesday, February 12th at 8 a.m. Using a recent video, we’ll focus on both the history and present of Palestinian Christians. In addition, Beth Moore will provide an update on the Nassar families international peace work at the Tent of Nations – outside of Bethlehem.

Be sure to sign up for this event in the narthex or by calling the church office!

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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!