Our deepest condolences to Debby Stinton

Debby and Rick
Debby and Rick

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.

Memory Pillows

Have you seen the pillow on the event table in the narthex? When someone passes away, it is great to have a visual reminder of them – something that brings back pleasant memories as you walk by and notice it. A memory pillow is a great and practical reminder.

The Service Project Craft Group will take the shirt or blouse of the loved one who has passed on and make it into a pillow. What a great gift for a friend who has lost a loved one, or for your children who have lost a parent, and for yourself.

See Carol Reynolds or come by the boardroom where we meet each Wednesday from 9 – 11. We’d love to make a memory pillow for you.

The Palms Community Photo Album

The Church of the Palms has some enthusiastic photographers! Whether you take great photos, or enjoy viewing them, click on over to our new Community Photo Album. There you can upload your photos of church events and view those by others.

You will need to be logged into your Google account in order to participate. If you don’t have one, no problem – simply go to google.com and create an account. It’s easy!

Then…

Click HERE to get started!

 

Raising the Rainbow Flag Ceremony Photos

Church of the PALMS Social Justice Team:
Seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support

The rainbow flag represents affirmation of our Church’s commitment to be Open and Affirming and to show our support for the LGBTQ community.

The flag is commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. The colors were determined to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet).

This flag is a statement of welcome. We welcome the LGBTQ community, friends, and family.  But it is more than just that – it is a symbol of welcome to one and all.

Pastor Paul’s statement in worship:

The Social Justice Team raised a rainbow flag this morning. While some rejoiced with the raising of the flag, others raised a voice of worry and concern. I want you to know, I have heard both voices. No matter your opinion, I will listen.

A rainbow is a symbol that makes a powerful statement about who we are. Some, I am sure, will reject that openness and that affirming approach. Our own experience in hanging our rainbow banner, last summer, has been extremely well-received. The rainbow flowers around the fountain, while battered by the monsoon winds, remain spinning and showing all who enter of our extravagant welcome. Please know that the Social Justice Team and I are not naïve.

When considering this step in faith, we contacted other congregations to get their real life experiences. I contacted several clergy friends within the UCC and the Disciples. Most said, they have only received good comments.  The worst that was reported was from our friend and former Interim Pastor, Jim Meadows.  I had lunch with him this very week. While supporting our move, he reminded me of his experience:  In 15 months, Shepherd of the Hills UCC has had three flags stolen.  Each time Jim just put up a new one. We are not naïve. I expect ours, one day, to be stolen. And if that day happens, (maybe I should say, when that day happens), we will follow Jim’s lead, and put up a new one, again and again.

That fear that some have over this, is just a glimpse, a sliver, of what some people deal with 24/7, 365 days a year.

Because, I also know to be faithful to our call from God, we must have a heart, use our brains, and we must muster up some courage.  Rather than living as though we are untouched by faith, let us be the citadel against bigotry. Let us be bold examples for our neighbors of what faithful living looks like.  And let us not shrink and hide from our responsibility to be God’s palms reaching out with love and acceptance. Let us not let fear mongers frame the moment, but rather let us live these days and let us define the moment as an expression of what it is – the rainbow is God’s promise to one and all of love, grace, and acceptance.

PHOTOS FROM OUR CELEBRATION on August 6, 2017:

Thank you Dott M for sharing these photos with us!

Thank you Nancy T for sharing these photos with us!


Photos submitted by Janet H.

                    

 

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.

Ride the Palms bus to worship

Ride the Palms bus to worship!
Ride the Palms bus to worship!

To arrange your ride to worship or to ask questions, call Mary Kennicott (623-249-8999) by Friday at noon. You will receive a call back by Saturday. Your friends are welcome to ride the bus as well. 

 

 

 

Easter Pop Quiz

Okay, my friends, it is pop quiz time. Here is a set of questions from yesteryear. Enjoy!

Easter I. Q. Test

Instructions:  this is an “open book” test.  Place an “x” on the line if you think the answer is Biblically correct:

1.  The woman/women who went to the tomb was/were:
____a. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary
____b. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, & Salome
____c. Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Joanna & others
____d. Mary Magdalene

2.  The time of early morning was:
____a. When the sun had risen
____b. While it was still dark

3.  At the tomb was/were:
____a. An angel     ____b. A young man
____c. Two men    ____d. Two angels

4.  The reaction of the woman/women was one of:
____a. Amazement, astonishment
____b. Fear and trembling
____c. Great joy

5.  After leaving the tomb, the woman/women:
____a. Told the disciples    ____b. Said nothing to anyone

6.  The reaction of the disciples at first was that:
____a. They didn’t believe the women; seemed an idle tale
____b. Peter & John went immediately to the tomb

7.  Jesus first appeared to the disciples:
____a. In Galilee, on a mountain
____b. In an upper room in Jerusalem

8.  Jesus seemingly last appeared to the disciples:
____a. On a mountain in Galilee
____b. On a mountain in Bethany (or just outside Bethany)
____c. By the Sea of Tiberias

9.  The gift of the Holy Spirit was given to the disciples:
____a. Before Jesus ascended; in the upper room he breathed on them
____b. After Jesus ascended, on the Day of Pentecost

10. We have many details about the crucifixion and death of Jesus.  Which Gospel writer gives the most details about the actual Resurrection of Jesus from the grave?  Which one best describes what happened when Jesus rose from the dead?
____a. Matthew  ____b. Mark   ____c. Luke   ____d. John

The answers are found in Matthew 28, Mark 16, Luke 24, John 20-21, and Acts 1. In questions 1 through 9, all of the choices are correct, and in question 10, none are correct, since none of the Gospels describe the actual Resurrection of Christ;  only what happened afterward.

The first mention of the resurrection comes from the Apostle Paul in his letters which were written decades before the Gospels. He fails to mention an empty tomb. It was the living presence of Christ of which he speaks. And for me that’s what matters most – the living presence of Christ which is alive in you and me, in the church, and throughout the world.

Shalom, Paul