GriefShare: Surviving the Holidays

Help and hope as you navigate the Christmas season

November 17, 9–11 a.m. at Church of the Palms

Wondering how you will survive the weeks surrounding Thanksgiving and Christmas? Are you dreading these holidays, knowing that everything has changed and that happy memories from past years can’t be recreated?

Our Surviving the Holidays seminar is especially for people who are grieving a loved one’s death. You’ll learn:

How to deal with the many emotions you’ll face during the holidays
What to do about traditions and other coming changes
Helpful tips for surviving social events
How to discover hope for your future

We know the holidays can be a difficult time after the death of a loved one and so we are offering this program to support one another.  If you feel the need and want support during this time, please join us.  Sign up on the sheet in the narthex.

There is no charge for this seminar. Check-in and continental breakfast will start at 8:30. A sign-up sheet is available at the church or you can sign up through GriefShare.org/holidays.

Surviving the Holidays is sponsored by the GriefShare program and affiliated local GriefShare groups. GriefShare is a 13-week grief support group offered by local churches. GriefShare is non denominational and open to people of all faiths, as well as those who do not practice a faith. You do not need to be enrolled in a GriefShare group to attend the Surviving the Holidays group. Everyone is welcome!

Watch an excerpt from the Surviving the Holidays video:

Here’s what happens at a Surviving the Holidays seminar

A Surviving the Holidays event lasts for about two hours. You’ll be welcomed by warm, caring people who understand what you are going through and who want to help. During the seminar, you will:

  1. Watch a 40-minute video, filled with practical holiday survival tips and the real-life stories of people who have navigated the season after their loved one’s death.
  2. Hear other seminar attendees explain how they are dealing with the holidays.
  3. Have the opportunity to share how grief is affecting you. (No pressure—this is optional. We want you to feel comfortable.)
  4. Receive a personal copy of the GriefShare Holiday Survival Guide.

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.

Homeless Ministry in Sun City and the West Valley

Most of us take a lot for granted, including a permanent address, a place to lay our head at night, a place we call home. But an increasing number of people are homeless across the United States, in Arizona, in Maricopa County and in our own communities. A recent newspaper article reported the number of homeless in Glendale doubled over the previous year and Surprise, that counted no homeless as recent as 2014, is identifying a homeless population, albeit small, but very visible and of concern to many residents.

What is the face of the homeless? From data gathered in January of 2017, single adults account for 72% of the homeless population; men make up 64% of that number. Families represent 27% of the population. In Maricopa County 35% of the homeless were over 45 years of age; 6% were over 62, up from 4% in 2015.

The Social Justice Action Team is seeking ways for our church to be a leader in addressing this growing concern in Sun City and the West Valley. Members of the committee have been in conversation with Lutheran Social Services of the Southwest, the sponsors of IHELP (Interfaith Housing Emergency Lodging Program). Team members have visited an active IHELP church and have shared information and a timeline with the Church Council.

IHELP is a working program that provides case management, life planning, finance counseling, job search and preparation, employment services, health care referrals, vital documentation assistance and enrollment in public benefits through LSS staff supervision and guidance. Individuals in the program have 90 days of shelter and meals at no charge. The goal of the program is to move persons from homelessness to self-sufficiency. Multiple churches provide places of shelter and a meal; a Lutheran Social Services case worker implements the IHELP program and provides the services.

At this point the SJAT has more questions than answers. As we continue to develop a plan of action and work in cooperation with other churches to address the needs of the homeless, be in prayer for the homeless and those who provide shelter/food to meet their daily needs. For more information on this project please contact: Max Klinkenborg maxklink@yahoo.com.

Sew what?

Do you sew?

If you enjoy using a sewing machine, the Service Project Craft Group would love to have your help. There are several items that those who come to our church use regularly including walker bags, neck cooling wraps, and adult bibs. We have the patterns and material – we need someone to sew them!

Come on in from 9 a.m.. to 11 a.m. Wednesday mornings to pick up supplies, sew at your leisure at home, and bring the projects back whenever you they are ready. If you can’t come in on Wednesday a.m., call Carol Reynolds and we will make arrangements for other times.

Thanks for your help!

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.

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team Launched

At the March 18th, 2017 Church Council meeting, unanimous approval was given to establish the Church of the Palms Social Justice Team. The work of this team will include the following activities:

P (Prayer)
A (Action)
L (Love)
M (Ministry)
S (Support)

Each of these activities is an important as the next. So there is a place for anyone interested in social justice on this team.

According to Chris Marshall, author of the book Biblical Justice, “Social justice doesn’t happen by accident. It requires focus, dedication, and commitment. Because of God’s commitment to justice, there is always hope for positive change.”

As an extension of the Board of Mission and Outreach, the Church of the Palms Social Justice Team recognizes that the obligation of social justice falls upon the individual, but that individuals cannot fulfill the obligation alone. Rather, they must work in concert with others, through organized bodies, as a member of a group whose purpose is to identify the needs of society, and, by the use of appropriate means, to meet these needs locally, regionally, nationally, and even globally.

At its initial meeting on April 12th, a number of potential social justice issues were identified by the team for further investigation and possible
action planning. A Social Justice Team planning retreat will be held on Saturday, May 20th at the home of Pam & Paul Clark from 12:30 to 4:30 PM.

Look for further announcements in Sunday Bulletins regarding potential social justice issues and further details on the May 20th planning retreat. Or feel free to talk to Pat or John Durbin, Pam or Paul Clark, Jan Hutchins or Amy Alves, Kurt Hofmann, Debby Stinton, Eona Schulz, or Pastor Paul.