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.

The Evans Bell Conversion

The Evans Bell Conversion will perform an excerpt from their program of spoken word and music entitled “Meditations Traveling Towards the Setting Sun” at The Palms’ worship service on Sunday, July 8 at 10 a.m.

Their program is set around a journey that was taken during the last Lenten season. This trip through South East Asia inspired this collection of work that is an attempt to intertwine the ancient rhythms of eastern religions with our own continuing exploration of spirituality in the cosmically focused 21st century.

This is a free event and open to ALL. No tickets are needed.

Jack Evans has been performing spoken word in the Valley for 40 years. He has performed from coast to coast and was the UCC Southwest Conference Official Poet Laureate from 2011-2015.

Tom Bell is a classical guitarist and composer who has been playing and performing for over 40 years. Initially in local bands and over the past 20 years as a solo artist.

HART Pantry collecting goal 2018

HART Pantry July/August food items needed:

Apple sauce cups or fruit cups
Vegetable cups
Fruit juice packs like Capri Sun 100% Juice
Carnation Instant Breakfast packets

Back-to-School Needs List:

Backpacks – high school size
Calculators
Rulers
Compass and protractor kits
3-ring binders (1 1\2 inch minimum)
Composition books
Pens, pencils, colored pencils, sharpeners, erasers
Assignment/calendar books
Single and multiple subject notebooks
Pocket folders
Glue sticks
Highlighters
Scotch tape
Tissue packs and wipes
Reusable water bottles
Men’s ankle socks medium, large extended sizes
Women’s socks shoe sizes up to l0
Gift cards for Walmart or Target
Men’s/women’s deodorants

Backpacks to be packed by the HART team from a consortium of churches the end of July and sent to schools in time for opening of schools in August.

Please bring your purchased items to church and put them in the Hart Pantry back-to-school bin. These donations are tax deductible.

Underground Railroad Quilt

From The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team:

Working together despite differences of opinion and world views has been a hallmark of American history and is certainly true within the United Church of Christ and even right here at Church of the Palms.

It is fitting, then, that the beautiful quilt displayed on the west wall of King Hall represents people, our people, working together, despite very different opinions on the final product, calling attention to a time in US history marked by conflicting views and very different perspectives on what and who should make up the fabric of our country.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team dedicated to: “Seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry, Support” (PALMS) thanks all of those involved in this project and hopes that all will admire its beauty and see it as a symbol of pulling together and a labor of love.

The quilt, a brainchild of Barbara Arnold, beautifully assembled by the dedicated ladies from our Service Project Craft Group and framed by Ron Schultz, tells a story of the Underground Railroad – the Negro slaves fleeing the south during abolition. The quilt represents a people’s quest for freedom, dignity and respect and the risks and rewards of pursuing those noble goals. Each of the squares in the quilt represents a code symbol for those seeking safety known by them and those desiring to help their fellow human beings.

New Member Orientation

Wednesday, June 13, 3:30 p.m.

Q & A / Orientation Session followed by a light supper

If you are a visitor and would like to join the church, or just learn about:

1. Church operations (boards, committees, helpers)
2. Choir / bell playing
3. Bible study / classes
4. Planned events
5. Mission projects
6. Rummage Sale participation
7. Health-minded groups
8. Social and friendship groups
9. Physical activity groups
10. Church bus; golf cart

…and more!

Please add your name to the sign up sheet in the narthex.

Shop with Amazon Smile and support The Church of the Palms!

Amazon Smile is a simple and automatic way for you to support the Church of the Palms every time you shop on Amazon, at no cost to you.

When you shop smile.amazon.com, Amazon will make a donation to the Church of the Palms.

To register at Amazon Smile:

1. Go to smile.amazon.com.

2. If you have an Amazon account, sign with your ID and Password.

3. If you do not have an Amazon account, click on create an account and follow the instructions.

4. In the Search box, enter Church of the Palms United Church of Christ and click.

5. Check Select for the Church of the Palms United Church of Christ, Sun City, AZ.

Now you’re all set!

In the future sign into Amazon Smile, not Amazon, when you shop.

Next Steps in Discerning COTP Involvement with the people of Israel/Palestine

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Action Team has begun a conversation on ways we might continue to learn about and engage with the people living in Israel/Palestine.

75 COTP members attended the fellowship breakfast in March at which Daoud Nassar spoke (founder of the Tent of Nations outside of Bethlehem). 20 members participated in a four-week study group held in the spring of 2017. We would like to continue to build on the interest and support expressed by congregation members to these two events. The team came up with three possible ways of continuing our learning and ministry in this part of the world. (There may be others and you are welcome to suggest them.)

Please take a minute to email Beth Moore at ebmoore1@live.com to let her know if you are interested in any, or all of the following. Your response at this time is not a final commitment, but a way to hear from those of you who have an interest. Please include your full name in your email.

Learning
Engaging in additional learning opportunities about Israel/Palestine. For example a four week study using a text/written materials, or a DVD / film followed by discussion.

Advocacy
Being part of a group to receive email updates from Beth on events in Israel / Palestine (approximately monthly) with a request to take “action”. This usually means making a call to congressional representatives to express your opinion / thoughts about the issue. Often “talking points” are provided if you wish to use them.

Travel
Participation in a 10 -14 day trip to the Holy Land that would include opportunities to hear from both Israelis and Palestinians about their search for a just peace, as well as visits to some of the historical holy sites. This would also include a visit to the Tent of Nations with opportunities to volunteer. Timing to be decided but could be Fall of 2019 or Spring of 2020.

Fundraising
Contributing to or helping to raise funds for a special gift to the Tent of Nations – for example olive or fruit trees, or a piece of equipment they need. This might be done in conjunction with a planned trip and could be taken by the group travelling to the farm.

Meet the Moderator

Judy Pinter

Hello to all my Church friends!

Most of you know me, but some of you are new.  I’m new too, because I am the new Moderator, and I hope to represent well the Church that I so love.  I will be learning as quickly as I can what is expected of me, and I would like to surprise…in a good way!

 

Many of you know that my past religious history was Catholic.  After I left the Catholic Church, I was Mormon for five years.  Then there were decades of being a Christian without a home.  When my husband and I decided we wanted to belong to a church again in 2011, I needed a church of love, not a church of judgment.  And that is what we have.  The Church of the Palms is welcoming and loving and aims to help us be the Christians we want to be.

If ever you have a concern, a wish, an idea, a problem, please seek out me or one of our Members-at-Large or any board member.  We are here to work with you to keep our Church open, welcoming, and loving.  This Church has made me want to be better.  This Church has shown me how to look at people in a different way.  Thank you to all who have shined a light of example to me.  Thank you for giving me a challenging opportunity.  Thank you for being so accepting of all people. Thank you for being “HOME”.

Judy Pinter, Moderator

Member and Associate Member Emergency Contact Form

Please click this Emergency Contact and Information Form and print it out. Complete as much of it as you would like and bring it to the office. This form will be used by our Pastoral Staff and Administrative Staff to keep in touch with you.

The information you provide will:

  • Help us help you in case of an emergency
  • Indicate your interests and your willingness to help The Church of the Palms reach out in ministry
  • Help us know how to minister to you