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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Apple sauce cups or fruit cups
Fruit juice packs like Capri Sun 100% Juice
Carnation Instant Breakfast packets
Back-to-School Needs List:
Backpacks – high school size
Compass and protractor kits
3-ring binders (1 1\2 inch minimum)
Pens, pencils, colored pencils, sharpeners, erasers
Single and multiple subject notebooks
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
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.
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.
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 email@example.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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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”.
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
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!
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, 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.