The stone is rolling away!

I have literally been waiting for this moment for a year! It broke my heart to have to go from in-person worship to video; I know you join me in missing our in-person gatherings. I truly believe that I will never, ever, take for granted the blessing of being able to gather in our sanctuary! The good news is that we are almost at the end of our extended stay of being locked in the tomb. The stone is rolling away this Easter!

I am so excited to be able to gather for in-person worship on Easter Sunday. We will gather for worship outside on the patio by the fountain for a 9 a.m. worship, which will be less than 45 minutes in length.

We’ll gather, but we still do need to observe some protocols. Mask up. Please refrain from hugging, etc. The church is also a “No Judgment Zone.” That is, we respect the decisions that individuals will be making for their own safety. Some may, for example, need to stay home for a while longer. We want people to make up their own minds on what best fits their health and safety needs – and then feel good about that decision. Whenever you make it back, I hope you can rejoice with me!

Check out these other Holy Week Worship Opportunities:

  • Maundy Thursday, April 1 on our Bridges platform on the webpage. Our sister congregations of Desert Garden UCC, Sun City Christian DOC, and United Church UCC will be joining us. It will be available starting at noon and be up for your watching anytime on Thursday.
  • Good Friday, April 2 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Labyrinth Walk. Outside at our labyrinths. Easter Sunday, April 4 at 9 a.m. In-person worship at the fountain patio. Call by April 1st for reservations at 623.748.3574. or click on this link.
  • What will the Sundays after Easter look like? I don’t know exactly. But I am glad to be journeying with you. See you soon!

Shalom, Paul

It is an exciting time for us at The Palms

It is an exciting time for us at The Palms. Before we rush head on into the joyous celebrations of Easter, let’s pause and reflect why we have Easter in the first place.

At the Last Supper, Jesus gave us a mandate to love one another. Then washed the feet of the disciples. Soon afterwards, he was broken. We will journey with him in our Maundy Thursday service in which we are honored to host Desert Garden UCC, Sun City Christian, DOC, and United Church UCC and their leadership. Today, April 1, at noon, a worship service will be available on our website. It will move from the Last Supper to Jesus’ praying, arrest, trial, and crucifixion. I hope you make a special effort to watch it.

Then, on Good Friday, April 2, from 1 to 3 p.m. we invite people to come and walk our labyrinths, meditate, reflect, and pray.

Easter Sunday will happen outside around the fountain patio at 9:00 a.m. Visit the website to register or call the church office and let us know that you are coming. While here, please wear your mask and observe social distancing.

It is an exciting time for us at The Palms.

Shalom, Paul

Holy Week and Easter at Church of the Palms

ALL are welcome at these events!

April 14: Palm Sunday. Our Sanctuary Choir will share a musical presentation, Reflections on Holy Week.

April 18: Maundy Thursday 5:00 p.m. We’ll host a community service that will include our sister churches: United Church UCC and Sun City Christian.  Communion will be served.

April 19: Good Friday self-directed labyrinth walk* 12:00 – 3:00 p.m. Bell choir plays at 12:30.

April 21: Easter. Communion will be available at both services:

    • Early Service at 8:00 a.m. Pastor Jim will be preaching from Luke 24:1-12. Our hope is in the risen Christ. Worship will be on the patio.
    • Regular Worship at 10:00 a.m. The story is familiar. Can you notice anything new in the resurrection story? Pastor Paul recently did. He’;ll reveal it during the sermon. Read John 20:1-18.

*More about the Good Friday labyrinth walk:

The “Labyrinths at the Palms” will host the church’s Good Friday service this year. There will be a self-directed walk on the larger labyrinth from 12:00 – 3:00 pm on Friday, April 19th. The Bell Choir of Church of the Palms will play at 12:30 p.m. The smaller labyrinth will also be available to accommodate those using wheelchairs and walkers.

The walk into the center of the labyrinth will have the 14 Stations of the Cross marked on the path. Each walker will be given a guide that provides a scripture reading and prayer corresponding to each of the stations, following Jesus from the Garden of Gethsemane to the Tomb.

Once at the center, walkers will be able to linger in prayer/meditation, and then walk directly off the labyrinth or return to the entrance by the path. There will be chairs available under the tree for journaling or a time of prayer.

Labyrinth volunteers will be available to assist as needed. The guides will be available throughout the afternoon and evening in the literature box near the sidewalk.

Church of the Palms UCC community labyrinths and peace pole