May 2015 Breeze - Desert Palm United Church of Christ

Volume 36- Number 5 Published Monthly
Desert Palm United Church of Christ
Interim Pastor: Elice Higginbotham
1230 East Guadalupe Road
Phone: 480.831.0065
Tempe, AZ 85283-3932
Fax: 480.755.4810
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Tuesday thru Friday
Telephone: 480.831.0065
Fax: 480.755.4810
Desert Palm Caregivers: M-F, 9-5, Phone: 480.831.0065
Email for Pastor Elice Higginbotham: [email protected]
Email for Amanda McFarland, Church Office: [email protected]
Moderator: Mark Williams
Clerk: Shawn Neidorf
Financial Secretary: Cindy Jewett
Treasurer: Linda Thornton
Christian Education: Marie Parsey
Church Development: Pat Lantrip
Community World: Linda Stewart
Financial Affairs: Winnie Brennan
Facilities Management: Richard Simon
Fellowship: Amy Gibson
Spiritual Life and Worship: Becky Klein
Youth Member-at-Large: Katarina Wetzel
Interim Pastor: Elice Higginbotham
Associate Pastor: Michael-Ann Veziroğlu
Pastor Emeritus: Don Arey
Administrator: Amanda McFarland
Office Volunteer: Cyndi Carver
Nursery: Kristin Wetzel
Minister of Sacred Music: Jon Sywassink
Pianist: Claudia Bloom
Next Breeze Deadline is May 22nd. Please send your articles to
[email protected] with Breeze article in the subject line. Thank you!
Dear Desert Palm Family,
Grace and peace to you in this blessed season of Resurrection!
I always feel that it’s important to remind ourselves at this time of year: it is
still Easter! We celebrate the event of The Resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday.
But we continue to live resurrected lives whenever and wherever we encounter Jesus
or the way of life that Jesus taught us – which is why, when we look at the heading
each Sunday at the top of our church bulletin, it says “the ____th Sunday in Easter.”
Resurrection Time continues. Our lives are resurrected, over and over again, day
after day, as we are touched by, and share, the spirit of love, forgiveness, welcome
and justice that Jesus represents.
The stories in our weekly Bible lectionary for this season are nearly always
about the way that first Christian community grew, spread and became organized
following the experience of Resurrection. In time, a small, rather odd and
marginalized sect became organized into recognized communities, and the
communities into larger institutions – churches that ultimately became the worldwide Christian church we know today. It is interesting to see, in the earliest
documents about those new churches that are preserved in our scriptures, that these
congregations underwent differences and divisions, suffered crises of leadership,
struggled to understand and interpret the meaning of faith and how to apply it to
daily life, and yet continued to celebrate Christ’s presence and God’s work among
them with a wonderful variety of styles and expressions. Does this sound timely and
Included in this issue of THE BREEZE, are reports/reflections from some of
your elected delegates to our own contemporary manifestation of that Christian
institutional church, the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. Our
Conference, which includes over 45 United Church of Christ congregations and
churches-in-formation in Arizona, New Mexico and El Paso, Texas, gathers
annually. At those annual meetings, we both do the institution’s business – receive
reports, make financial decisions, elect officers, set policy – and draw inspiration
and enlightenment from each other’s experiences and from that of representatives of
our own national or international ministries, and from ecumenical partners engaged
in our common work of faith.
Your delegates give their time and energy in the spirit of Resurrection. They
go to gatherings of our Conference to be your voice in the larger gathering of our
church institution, and to bring back to you what they learned, what inspired them,
what caused them to question. They represent Desert Palm’s understanding of itself
as part of a larger community that shares the Resurrection experience and seeks to
make it manifest in not only one congregation’s life, but in the world around us.
Please read about your delegates’ experiences. Ask them questions about
what happened at Annual Meeting, and how they reacted to it. Think about how
being part of a larger church community might affect how we, the Desert Palm
family, can continue to be Resurrection in our own setting of ministry here in south
Blessings, in Christ’s service,
Annual Meeting of the Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ
April 17-18, 2015 Church of the Red Rocks, Sedona, AZ
I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Sedona as a delegate for Desert Palm United Church of Christ at
the annual Southwest Conference UCC meeting. It is impossible to be surrounded by the splendor
of Sedona and not consider God’s hand in all creation! The keynote speakers were truly uplifting
and inspiring to listen to. As a parent and a grandparent, I am pleased that the UCC is taking strong
steps in advocating for action on climate change. I hope we can join together in finding ways to
support this effort individually, and as a faith community. Blessings to all!
Denise Jurgens
I was for a second time honored to represent Desert Palm UCC at the annual meeting in Sedona.
Seeing certain people I had met last year and making new friends from fellow congregations in
New Mexico and Texas, as well as spending quality time with people I see every Sunday and
getting to know them on a deeper level was heartwarming. It is always interesting and informative
to see how other churches work, their differences and similarities, how their respective governing
bodies are organized and how their worship is based. Just as one can count on a Big Mac being
identical no matter where it’s purchased, this escapee from the Catholic faith knew that every
“Mass” is pretty much the same no matter who the celebrant is or where. It is so spiritually
refreshing to know that that in our denomination, worship can be and is dynamically different from
place to place, all the while maintaining a sense of close relationship to our creator.
Much was celebrated and honored during these two brief days. The retirement of Holly
Herman and the acknowledgment of everything she has accomplished for the SWC was
recognized several times, as well as the outgoing moderator. Many business items were discussed
as usual and the recognition of the various church members of the conference was celebrated. Of
course, John Dorhauer and his election to the post of minister and president of the national
assembly was a focal point. John gave several talks and sermons which were compelling,
heartwarming and simply awesome. One expected nothing less from John. He will be sorely
missed at the SWC.
These two days were special for me. Climate change, a very serious issue of social justice,
is a hot point with me and was the theme of this year’s meeting, specifically “Restoring Creation”.
Anyone who follows me on Facebook knows this. We were blessed with three guest presenters
that were full of knowledge, expertise and passion about the subject and because it is an issue close
to me, I chose to attend these workshops. Our speakers were the Rev. Jim Antal, a brilliant
scientist and also the President of the Massachusetts Conference of the UCC. Also, Doug Bland,
the pastor of the Disciples of Christ church in Tempe and Sister Joan Brown, a Catholic Franciscan
Sister who is the executive director of New Mexico Power and Light. This portion of the weekend
was truly an interfaith effort, full of humor, wisdom, penetrating truths, compassion and hope.
These three individuals gave such compelling presentations and were so full of information that I
came away with whole new perspectives. I thought I knew a lot about what humanity is doing to
this earth, but in reality, I knew very little. I certainly had little idea of what can be done. My
reflections following will be an aggregate of everything I heard from these three brilliant folks.
I want to start by summarizing two key issues that go beyond the very complex concern of
climate change or any other single crisis our world is enduring.
The first is whether or not politics and social issues have a place in the pulpit. I am here
personally adding another layer to that question: do these issues have a place in general discussion
among all of us lay persons? The answer is a resounding “yes” to both. It has been the tradition
that ministers avoid these subjects, particularly politics, like the plague. They are uncomfortable
conversations among us all. However, because humanity is in a critical, teetering state, we had
better hear plenty from the pulpit; we had better start the conversations among ourselves and keep
them ongoing if we are to find solutions to serious matters that have deteriorated exponentially and
already affect our daily lives. The answers are “yes” because our own perspective of Christianity
must move away from one of “personal salvation” to that of “communal salvation”. The core
meaning of our faith must shift away from our individual selves to a greater sense of real and true
responsibility to each and every fellow human being and, perhaps even more importantly, to every
future generation of unborn souls. Future generations are as much our neighbors as those alive
right now living next door. We can no longer be concerned solely with the here and now. The
world needs a new moral trajectory and the church needs a new vocation. Our vision of life needs
to reach out to our great grandchildren and beyond. Now think about this for a moment. I do not
suggest abandoning any thought for ourselves. However, I am saying that if the target of our
thought process and thereby our actions is the health of our planet, the condition of everyone
around us and the world we leave for the future, our personal salvation will fall into place.
This shift in thinking, this new approach to the kind of Christianity we practice will result
in a repurposed church, one that really is doing the work of God. This change will create a new
church where the divine and the human can meet one another in a way that has never been. We as
progressive Christians do not believe in a vengeful God. We believe in a God full of nothing but
love that does not require us to suffer in order to achieve salvation. So let’s find a new way to
welcome that divinity into our community. To achieve that, we’ve got to engage fully in
conversation from the pulpit all the way to our dinner tables. Aside from the kingdom of God,
Jesus spoke more about money, greed and politics than any other subject!
The second issue is that of our expressions of Christianity – in our world today. It was
suggested, and I quote Jim Antal, “New normative expressions of our Christianity need to be civil
disobedience and divestiture from fossil fuels.” Holy Are You Out of Your Mind?, Batman! You
read that correctly: civil disobedience and separating ourselves from fossil fuels. Is this guy crazy?
Not really. Let’s look at history for a moment. There have always been huge issues facing society
and if you really examine their stories closely, you find that ultimate change was instigated
repeatedly by the engagement and activities of faith communities. It was church people like us that
brought about protests, ultimately eliminating apartheid in South Africa. It was religious groups
like ourselves that marched and handcuffed themselves to the White House fence that supported
the civil right movement. It was through the faithful that marriage equality is on its way to
becoming a world-wide reality. There are hundreds more examples. Am I willing, at my age, to go
to jail for a day or two to take part in peaceful protest? I’m, not sure, but I most certainly do get the
The fossil fuel divestiture subject deals directly with the matter of climate change. It took
the earth 65 million years to create a carbon particle ratio in our atmosphere of 250 parts per
million (ppm). In the last 200 years, we have poured enough pollution into our atmosphere to raise
that ratio to 400 ppm. The amount determined to be sustainable without damage to human life is
350. If unchecked, that ratio will be 800 ppm in 15 years. In other words, if we do nothing to
change the way we are treating our planet, we’ll need masks to breathe in 15 years. In ten years,
every glacier will be gone. Another quote from Mr. Antal to the preachers in the audience: “If
you’re not preaching climate change from your pulpits at least once a month now, in 15 years
you’ll be preaching grief every Sunday; grief for the world we have lost.” Now that’s some pretty
hefty language. The natural extension to everyone is that if we’re not engaged head on in this
conversation now, we’ll be mourning our uninhabitable world before we know it.
The consensus among scientists is that the earth has past the critical point of no return. Life
as we know it now will not continue into the future. Things are going to change. So, part of our
discussions needs to be what kind of world we are going to create. As I write this, there is
approximately $22 trillion worth of fossil fuel left in the earth which CANNOT be taken – if there
is to be a world that can sustain life at all. Tell that to big oil that has no sense of responsibility to
future generations and let me know how it goes for you. No, as much as possible, each person,
each family, each company, and every church community needs to reduce its relationship with
fossil fuels. So I put out to the Desert Palm community the following questions. Have we
investigated installing solar panels? Have we ever thought about turning all of our empty land into
community gardens? Have we made sure our investments are NOT in any company that deals in
fossil fuels? I don’t know those answers, but I hope I will hear them soon. I hope a discussion
begins soon about these matters that includes everyone. I hope someone asks these questions in
every faith community. At the meeting, I was given a full set of instructions for churches to begin
the process of divestment. Who wants to see it?
I would love to hear earnest discussions about stopping the ownership of nature. The earth
does not belong to us and we need to give it back to God. We need to discuss what hope looks like.
We need to dive headlong into action that that will serve as an example to other churches and the
rest of the world. What is our place in this very uncertain future? Humanity has so many burdens
today: the way we treat our children, the poor, the elderly, economic inequality, education, and the
list goes on. I do not suggest in any way that we should abandon one for the other. I only suggest
that they will sooner or later become moot issues if there is not a healthy planet that sustains the
lives affected by them.
Thank you.
Michael McCall
The annual meeting of the Southwest Conference largely focused on climate change and
appropriate responses to it. I must confess that this is not my favorite topic. I reuse and recycle
things and am mindful about what I buy. I consolidate trips and carpool as much as is feasible. I
"get" the issue of climate change intellectually, but it does not resonate with me in a more hearttugging way. Perhaps because of that, I found some of the SWC presentations somewhat off
putting--at times too scolding, too dismissive, too preachy. I am going to try to remember how I
felt during those presentations the next time I'm talking with someone about an issue that is more
resonant with me and less settled or resonant with the other person.
There were sessions on other topics, including one on immigration related issues. Tyler
Connoley, pastor of Silver City UCC in Silver City, NM, gave a presentation on DACA and
DAPA, programs meant to help undocumented immigrants (specifically those brought here as
children and the parents of American children) and how UCC churches could help people who
could be eligible for these programs. Options include offering micro-grants or micro-loans to
immigrants (possibly through a legal aid organization) to cover application fees; hosting
information clinics or legal clinics; writing op-eds and engaging in community education about
these programs and related immigration issues. Connoley serves as the conference's immigrant
care coordinator and works with UCC churches on immigration-related efforts.
Shawn Neidorf
This was my first experience attending the SWC Annual Meeting. What an incredible
experience it was! The time in fellowship, worship, business sessions, workshops and the
celebration of those reaching ‘anniversary’ or highlighted moments in their careers was all so
I would like to focus on the workshop that I attended. It was called, “The 200 Block
Sanctuary.” The session was directed by the Rev. Ted Elsenheimer and his wife, the Rev. Nancy
Elsenheimer. They are the ministers of the Ktizo (Ka TEE zo) UCC in Phoenix. This is a church
that has grown out of a need to look beyond the walls of the church and to partner with their
community and other outreach groups. They have made a conscious decision to be responsive to
their community’s needs. One of their developments is working on gardening projects, both at
their site and with teachers and students at school locations. As their gardens grew they created a
Farmer’s Market that they host each Sunday morning. They also have done tutoring sessions,
assisted in clothing and food banks and have traveled to Nicaragua to assist that community in
obtaining clean water and electricity.
This type of ministry is not the typical, ‘you have a beautiful location, and they will come.’
Rather is is reaching out to that wider sanctuary that is all around each of us, and finding out what
they would like to see the church do. It is more about action and fellowship in the day to day
world where you can help others in need. To gather the information as to what the community
wants, Rev. Ted and his congregation have gone door to door to talk to their ‘200 Block
Sanctuary,’ sharing about their church and handing out a pamphlet. Ktizo does have a reflection
time and a family service every Sunday, as well.
It was an inspirational gathering, as everyone at this workshop was looking for help in
‘growing their churches.’ Music is another attribute of their programming, and we were fortunate
to hear their young person band called the “Fearless Welcome,” at the concluding worship service.
They were awesome, as was the conference!
Marie Parsey
When I went to Sedona on Thursday, April 16, I was given the privilege to attend the
Moderator-Pastor Dinner with Pastor Elice as a lay leader from Desert Palm. It was a nice time of
fun and fellowship. Thank you Mark and Elice.
Financial reports, other related SWC ministry teams, and welcoming three new churches
comprised the morning business on Friday, April 17. The SWC had a net loss of over $14,000 in
2014, most of which was due to failure to reach the budgeted target for special Fundraising events.
$1,337 was received and $12,000 had been budgeted. In 2015 $25,000 is budgeted for
Fundraisers. Both offerings at the Annual Meeting itself will support the Conference Minister
Search Fund.
In the afternoon I attended the Arizona Faith Network/AFN workshop with the new
Executive Director, the Rev. Erin Tamayo, as the presenter. She provided a PowerPoint overview
of AFN. The Mission statement is to bring together People of Faith will now be under the
inspiration of God, as a bridge of understanding and action – “Being Together, Talking Together,
Acting Together.” The AFN (formerly the AZ Ecumenical Council) is now reorganizing as an
interfaith organization. Erin introduced AFN’s Mission Imperatives: Civil Discourse and
Community Transformation. Using scriptures, and to voice our support for the proposed One PHX
ID initiative, we went into small groups and modeled a constructive dialogue leading to action.
Our responses to this model were used to send a letter to the Phoenix City Council Members on
this initiative, with each person given the opportunity to sign up for their name to be used in the
letter. (A copy of the letter is on the Community/World bulletin board).
The Commissions of AFN are Theological Dialogue Commission, Commission on Public
Policy and Earth Care Commission. Since the Annual Meeting, I have been invited to join the
Commission on Public Policy which I expect to do. Elice and I had met with Erin previously to
discuss possible Desert Palm church support, and individual support, to the new AFN. At that
time, Elice and I expressed the hope to invite Erin on a Sunday morning for preaching and an
after-church forum. Desert Palm supports AFN through our annual Community/World budget.
Michael-Ann has represented the Southwest Conference in the transitional planning process of
moving from the Arizona Ecumenical Council to the new Arizona Interfaith Network.
When the Annual Meeting reconvened as a whole for the afternoon business session, a
highlight was the Conference Minister Transition plan. In the wake of the announcement that our
Conference Minister, John Dorhauer, has become the candidate for General Minister and President
of the United Church of Christ at the national level, to be voted this summer at General Synod, our
Conference Executive Board is preparing to have a Designated Conference Minister in place by
The Saturday morning business session brought the significant report of the Office
Manager, Holly Herman, who reported the transition plans for her position and that of Barbara
Decker, secretary to the Conference Minister, as both will be retiring within the next year. For
some time now, Holly had been expressing at various SWC meetings that she expected to retire in
the next year or two. The finality is now here! A job description will be posted in the next month
or so. The plan is to have a year’s overlap, with the new person experiencing a one-year cycle in
the life of the SWC.
On Saturday morning I attended the Justice and Witness Ministry Storytelling Project
workshop. The co-chairs for the Conference’s JWM team are the Rev. Andria Davis and Logan
Marshall. Their focus is facilitate connections and to share the stories of justice work in our
churches. Representatives of three churches told their stories. It was interesting to hear other
stories and to note the similarity in our concern for those who so desperately need a caring faith
community, and to see how churches are making a difference in their lives. Personally, I was glad
to be able to clarify the networking emphasis, as we’ve greatly needed ways for those of us
involved in local church JWM to share information and advocacy resources
The Saturday afternoon session had many presentations. Among others, our Don Arey was
honored for 50 years or ordained ministry. Congratulations to Don! Once again, Desert Palm was
a recipient of a ‘7 for 7’ Certificate – one of our Conference churches that participates to all five of
the annual special offerings of the United Church of Christ, plus the two Conference-wide special
offerings. There are now 27 of 50 SWC churches that are ‘7 for 7.’ It was also reported that SWC
is one of two Conferences nationally that has 100% of churches returning their Annual Reports.
Thank you to the DP team that completed this important report! Three new Open and Affirming
churches were thanked for having made that commitment in the past year. Announcement was
made of next year’s Annual Meeting site, which will be Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix.
In closing I wish to express my gratitude for the opportunity and privilege to serve as a
Desert Palm Church Delegate for this year and many other previous years.
I will use take this opportunity for my final Mission Planning Board Representative report.
I missed my final meeting in March, as my husband Jim had just undergone surgery.
Unfortunately, I was overlooked in receiving the minutes until after the SWC Annual Meeting,
which meant I was unable to share what were to be many of the events and details at the Annual
Meeting, an important contribution the MPB Representative brings to the Delegates representing
the local congregation. I have expressed to the DP Nominating Committee the importance and
priority of the MPB Representative being a Delegate to the SWC during his/her tenure as a
Representative. According to the Conference’s rotation process, our next representative is to be a
layman. In addition to a written report for the BREEZE, I think it also might be beneficial to the
church and the representative to report directly to the Church Council and even perhaps a Moment
for Mission for the congregation. I think this is important for the future, given the transition of the
complete SWC staff, plus the funding issues of the SWC.
Thank you again for the opportunity to serve as a church delegate and your laywoman
Mission Planning Board Representative. It was a joy to be a part of such a smart and interested
group of DP delegates and getting more acquainted with them.
In gratitude, Jo
Church Development
We need to be sure to put out our welcome podium with visitor
sign in sheet. We have not been doing it on a regular basis,
which means we haven’t been able to send letters to our visitors
inviting them back. The letters are very much appreciated by
our visitors and they encourage them to become part of our
Desert Palm United Church of Christ Family.
Thank you!
Patty Lantrip
$ 177,389.00 – Total of 2015 pledges – 73 accounts
$ 48,877.51 - Pledged receipts as of 3/31/15 (27.5%)
$ 44,347.25 - Pledged amount anticipated (25% of year)
$ 4,530.26
37 accounts (51%) were fully paid at the pledge level.
21 accounts (29%) paid in excess of the annual pledge level.
15 accounts (20%) paid an amount lesser than the annual pledge level.
$7,060.00 - Unpledged receipts through 3/31/2015 (as against $26,000 budgeted for the year)
$723.41 – Loose Plate receipts through 3/31/2015
Special collections in March:
$1,525.75 – One Great Hour of Sharing
$733.00 – Spread the Word
Thanks to all for your continuing support and stewardship of Desert Palm’s mission.
Cindy Jewett, DPUCC Financial Secretary 3/9/2015
April 14th, 2015 Council Meeting Highlights
Council opened with reminisces of David Butler.
Council unanimously approved allotting $5,000 of capital campaign funds to purchase
playground equipment from Cedar Works for the outdoor play area off Mission Hall.
Council also discussed plans to paint the exterior of the church. By consensus, council
decided to have both the exterior of the building and the roof painted; this can be accommodated
within the $10,000 already allotted for the painting. Audrey Penner, Gloria Fox and Lois Arey will
be asked to serve as an ad hoc paint committee, along with Richard Simon, discerning options for
a roof-and-building paint combination. The committee would then receive input from the
congregation and choose a color combination.
Council also discussed how to decide what to do with remaining capital campaign funds.
By consensus, council decided to ask Becky Klein, Shawn Neidorf and Rebecca Bond to work on
soliciting priorities for how to spend (or save) the remaining money. Shawn will design a survey
(online and on paper) to collect this feedback later this spring.
Finally, the annual meeting date was set for June 14.
Shawn Neidorf, DPUCC Church Clerk
The Music Committee reports that after an extensive search of current and former Chancel choir sopranos
in February; there remained a shortage of sopranos. A decision was made for the temporary hiring of a lead
soprano for the Chancel Choir from February through May. Funding for the position comes from donations
to the Music Designated Fund and not from the general budget Music funds.
Linda Stewart
*****Please note: Ministry Group Annual Reports are due by May 17, 2015.*****
Linda Thornton
DPUCC Treasurer 480.296.3981
Victory Place
Sue Truax has volunteered to be our newest Victory Place contact. She will be
taking any items/clothing/shoes/toiletries down to the Victory Place site off 7th
Street, south of I-17 when necessary (and we hope that is often!). If you need to
contact her to let her know you are bringing in items, please call her at 602-7430293. Or, you may deliver them at church with Victory Place clearly displayed.
Thank You Sue!
Patty Lantrip (previous volunteer)
Since there has been on-going information on the JWM Team supporting
the postcard event initiated by the Children’s Action Alliance, I will share with you the process
and dissemination of the information. The postcard “blitz” as it is being called was given
approval by our interim pastor and enthusiastically supported by the JWM Team. Patty Lantrip,
JWM Team member provided information to the Church Council as well. Because of the timing
of the SWC Annual Meeting, it was requested the SWC/JWM Team announce the event. They
expressed their inability to do so. However, Holly Herman provided us table space for flyers and
postcards. We distributed approximately 70 postcards.
The flyer and information was distributed to our network consisting of Unitarian
Universalist, National Council of Jewish Women, Widening the Welcome Coordinator, Arizona
Faith Network, many churches of the SWC and education friends.
A comment recently made was we need to be doing voter registration and getting people
to vote in order to have an impact on the AZ budget. While I agree with this statement, in
reflecting as to the worthiness of our efforts, as a person of faith, I think of the New Testament
with Jesus and the disciples being examples in speaking out on behalf of justice for people. They
were outsiders and not part of the governing authority yet this did not deter them. Our circle
keeps widening as people of faith. If nothing else, the mounds of postcards delivered to the
Governor will carry the message that people of faith do care and we are paying attention to laws
and policy making decisions.
Thank you for your support and signing a postcard.
On behalf of Justice,
Jo Vredenburg
Postcard Blitz
The legislative session is over, but we can’t let the
grassroots protests about the bad budget decisions
disappear. Write a short message to Governor Ducey
today and join other Arizonans like you who want a better
state budget for a brighter Arizona future. Together, we
can keep the issues bubbling in the news and on social
media - and building pressure for future change.
Governor Ducey and the state lawmakers who voted for
the new state budget said they had to make painful cuts
to child safety, education, and family security because
putting the budget into structural balance is a top priority.
But those same lawmakers immediately passed new tax
cuts that will clearly and deliberately move the budget out
of balance – without any plan to strengthen education for
our future.
Now is our time to speak up loud and clear to tell our
leaders to stop the tax giveaways and put more money
into education. Join parents and grandparents, foster
parents and teachers, seniors and millennials, business
and community leaders, congregational committees and
civic volunteers around Arizona to make our voices heard.
1. Get a postcard with an Arizona picture; you can find them at any neighborhood drugstore.
2. Write a short message to Governor Ducey.
3. Sign your name and address.
4. Stamp and send the postcard to Children’s Action Alliance at 4001 N. Third St. #160, Phoenix AZ 85012
5. We’ll join with other community groups to deliver these citizen messages to the Governor with the media
Don’t wait. Send us your postcard by May 8th.
Your message to the Governor can include:
 Invest in kids and education now
 Stop the tax giveaways
 Fiscal responsibility depends on both sides of the ledger
 Arizona’s economy depends on educational success
 Arizona families need a better budget
 Stop skimping on child safety
 Children are not a special interest
Stewardship Message
Taking the Long View
“And remember, I am with you always”
Matthew 28:20
These last words of Matthew’s gospel have encouraged and comforted millions of
Christians over two millennia. In times of challenge and pain, of doubt and despair,
we are called to remember, and we remember that Jesus promised to be with us. We
celebrate that presence in Holy Communion and whenever two or three are gathered
in Christ’s name. The church is the living reminder to us of Jesus’ words; the
community holds the memory when we struggle; the community holds us when we
need holding, vicariously being Jesus for each other.
While loving one another and embodying Jesus’ love for one another often involves
very specific times and people, we also need to take the long view. If we hope that
our role in helping Jesus keep his promise will continue long after we die, then we
need to think about how we can help Desert Palm sustain itself for the long haul.
There are many ways to do this: pledge and keep your annual pledge; include Desert
Palm in your will; contribute to one of Desert Palm’s endowment funds or start a new
one. As our endowments grow, we are more able to reach out as Jesus’ presence both
inside and outside our walls. Jesus will be with us always; will Desert Palm continue
to be Jesus’ hands, feet, and voice in our community in the long term?
Adapted from a message by Rochelle A. Stackhouse, Senior Minister of The Church
of the Redeemer, United Church of Christ, New Haven, Connecticut.
God is still speaking,
Christian Education
9:00 AM -12:00 PM
“In God we live, move and exist.” Acts 17:28a:
“At G-FORCE VBS, our kids will explore how to put their faith in action.
We will experiences God’s unstoppable love and discover how to fuel up
and move in and through life with God. Registration forms available in
the VBS banner pocket.
VBS Items Needed:
*200 small plates
*200 five oz. juice cups
*200 napkins
*36 string cheeses
*5·packages rice cakes
*Large package cream cheese
*Bottle of ranch salad dressing
*Large bag of M&M's plain ones
*Bag of small pretzels
*Package dried cranberries
*5 packages popcorn cakes
*Box plain cheerios
*Package shredded cheddar cheese *Package snack size re-sealable plastic bags.
*Wipes for cleaning handing- need at least two large containers
*5·gallons juice- natural juice either bottled or the frozen concentrate.
*Large Costco sized box goldfish crackers
*Teddy Grahams crackers- 3 boxes, one each of regular, cinnamon, chocolate
**Donations to cover cost of fruits, veggies and popsicles that will be purchased.
VBS Decorating Items Needed:
*White Duct Tape
*Hubcaps *Hula Hoops
A sign up sheet can be found in the Atrium.
*PVC Pipe
SWC Summer Camps
If you are interested, please contact Michael-Ann
for more information or head to the SWC website
( to read up on what a great experience camp is
#YOURLIFE Super Camp
June 14 - 19 (NOTE: Young Juniors camp is June 14 - 17)
At Emmanuel Pines Camp
Young Junior (2nd Grade – 3rd Grade)
Junior (4th Grade – 6thd Grade)
Junior High (7th Grade – 9th Grade)
#YOURLIFE Senior High Camp
May 31 – June 5
At Pinerock
Senior High (9th Grade – Class of 2015 Graduates)
Thank all of our Sunday school teachers! They have offered their time and gifts to
our children and youth throughout this school year. We so appreciate all they do in
sharing their talent, creativity and love. Without them our children would miss an
expression of God’s love in teaching, learning, growing and sharing. Their ministry is
a precious gift.
3 yr. olds- Kindergarten:
1st – 3rd grade:
4th – 8th grade:
Senior High:
Kristin Wetzel
Kathryn Andrews, Denise Jurgens
and Stephanie Maloney
Dale Frank, Marie Parsey, Jo and Jim Vredenburg
Ethel Utter
Amy Gibson. Barney Lynn, Michael McCall
Thank you for all you have done to share God’s grace and
compassion with our children and youth!!
Justice & Witness Ministry Team
Thank You
The OGHS Offering with the message of “Our Fair Share” was received
on March 29th. As of April 12th, $1,775.75 was received. Once again it
was a joy to have the Sunday School children participate with their
boxes which they so generously filled. Thank you to all those who helped
in promoting this Special Offering (loved the OGHS song) and to the
Desert Palm congregation for cheerfully and abundantly sharing your
financial resources. This ecumenical offering has shared abundance for
the meeting of needs for almost seven decades.
In gratitude, Jo Vredenburg
Memorial Fund Committee Volunteers Needed
The purpose of Desert Palm’s Memorial Fund Committee is to determine how
memorial donations are best utilized in honoring the memory of our loved ones. If
you would like to be of part of this group, or if you have any questions, please
contact Winnie Brennan, [email protected]. We envision that the Committee
will meet two to three times annually, at a time convenient to all members.
TEAM (Tempe Interfaith Clergy)
The next TEAM (Tempe Interfaith Clergy)-sponsored Dialogue and Dinner happen
Thursday, May 7, 6:30-8:30 p.m., hosted by Temple Emmanuel, our near neighbor
on Rural Road. Desert Palm participants have given these gatherings rave reviews
as opportunities for learning and community-building among the diverse faith
groups found in our city.
(See reports from Sandy Kaszeta and Jo Vredenburg in last month’s BREEZE.)
Please see Elice if you’d like to participate.
Lunch Bunch – May 8th, 2015
Please join us for our final spring lunch bunch on the 8th of
May at 11:30 AM to hear about the wonderful adventure of the
Durham’s in Africa. You won’t want to miss hearing about their
thrilling adventure.
We will gather with a dish to share at 11:30 and will eat around
11:45. A wonderful presentation will follow lunch.
Café Justo
Cafe Justo will be available on Sunday, May 10. There
will be no after church sales again until September. If
you need coffee you can always call me to place an
order. Please support fair trade coffee and Cafe Justo.
Is there anyone who would be willing to take over the
Cafe Justo coffee sales? I would like to “retire.”
Barbara Hofflander
3rd Dinner & Interfaith Dialogue
sponsored by Tempe Interfaith (TEAM) and SunDABT
Thursday, May 7, 6:30PM – 8:30PM
@ Temple Emanuel, 5801 S Rural Rd, Tempe 85283
Holy Writ – Faith and Sacred
Text The role of Holy Scripture and
Sacred Text in our Life.
Speakers: from Judaism, Islam, Latter Day Saints, Catholicism, Agnostic/Atheist/Secular
Humanists, Progressive and Evangelical Protestantism, Unitarian Universalists
There will be sacred texts on display and free copies available.
We will also have cool Interfaith T- shirts available for sale:
Prays well with others.
Toaist Yin Yang, Unitarian
Chalice, Buddhist Dharma
Wheel, Christian Cross,
Chinese Folk Religions "Shou"
(longevity), Hindu Om, Islamic
Star & Crescent, Jainism
Ahimsa Hand, Judaism Star of
David, Wiccan Pentagram,
Shinto Torri Gate, Sikh Khanda
Spiritual Life & Worship
A Moment for Mission – The Chancel Flower Fund
The Desert Palm Chancel Flower Fund subsists from the donations of church
members who request flowers be placed in the Chancel for special occasions, or at
Christmas and Easter. The fund is used to purchase items for the Chancel area,
including candles, the oil for the candles on the communion table, and new silk
flower arrangements made by our Banner Group.
This year, the Worship Committee declined any funds from the church budget
and instead is using the money received through flower donations over the past two
years for our Chancel needs. About every three years the Chancel Flower Fund is
large enough to do this.
The Spiritual Life Team thanks you for the donations made for flowers at
Christmas and Easter, and for those donations made on specific Sundays during the
year when church members request flowers on the Communion Table. The Chancel
Flower Sign-Up Sheet is located on the Spiritual Life Bulletin Board in the atrium.
When requesting flowers for a particular Sunday, you have the choice of using a silk
arrangement (a $15 donation) or bringing in a bouquet of live flowers (no donation
is required for live flowers.)
Other floral options include dedicating a Musical Bouquet on any Sunday
morning, with the donation going to the Desert Palm Music Program, or through a
donation of $25, requesting a Food Basket be placed on the communion table. That
donation goes to the Food Bank.
If you have any questions regarding an arrangement for the chancel area,
please contact Becky Klein, Sandy Kaszeta, Barbara Hofflander, Kathy Berry or
Rose Simon.
Thank you for your generous support of the Chancel Flower Fund!
Becky Klein
Children's Musical/Music Appreciation Sunday
May 17th
The annual children's musical will be presented by children of our church for
Sunday morning worship on May 17. This year's musical is Two Parables: The
Builder & The Feast by Grace Hawthorne and Terry Kirkland. The two stories come
alive with songs, movement, and humor in this modern play on two of Jesus' parables.
May 17 will also be Music Appreciation Sunday when we recognize the many
people who have contributed their talents and time to our Desert Palm music ministry.
The Southwest Conference is looking for an
Office Manager/Administrator
Our beloved member/former pastor’s spouse, Holly Herman, will be retiring from
her Southwest Conference position next year and, as you can see, the Conference
already is thinking about staff to succeed her!
Office Manager/Administrator
3 days/week with possibility of increase in time after 1 year
Some Saturdays
Comp time given for overtime hours, hour for hour, no financial compensation
Vacation/Sick days/medical allowance/Pension plan/Life & Disability insurance
Personality Qualities
Friendly, positive outlook/attitude
Devoted to customer service
Detail oriented
Self starter/needs little oversight
Keep confidences
Understands “Church”
Able to handle multiple tasks and timelines
Understanding of basic bookkeeping/not intimidated by numbers
Basic knowledge of Excel, Word, social media, Comfortable with technology
Job Description
Plan, organize and coordinate meetings and events, including Annual Meeting and Camp
Comfortable doing in-house catering of meals for meetings
Facilitate committees and boards (maintain Agendas/Minutes, follow-up correspondence, follow
through on decisions made, etc.)
Assist churches in Search and Call procedures
Bi-monthly Newsletter preparation
Annual Directory preparation
Communication liaison between conference, national UCC, and local churches
Maintain National Database
Correspondence, travel arrangements and other assistance to Conference Minister
Property Management
Maintain building use calendar
Pay all utilities and related building expenses
Arrange/oversee maintenance and repairs
Manage purchase of supplies
Manage all leases and service agreements (landscaper, tenants, janitorial, copier, postage, etc.)
Financial responsibilities
Process incoming receipts, Prepare Deposits
Check and credit card management and processing
Maintain bank relationship
Review/manage/distribute monthly financials
Provide National UCC with all requested reports, funds
Prepare and manage annual budget, communicating with conference Treasurer
Maintain financial records
Work with bookkeeper
Annual contribution letters
Payroll/payroll taxes
W-2’s and 1099’s
Maintain Policies, Procedures, Bylaws
Corporation Commission filings
Training process anticipated:
Each week, Barbara and I will determine the upcoming administrative needs and figure
out who will cover what. Our plan is to train the new employee on daily/weekly/monthly/annual
tasks and have them take over the “next time” those tasks occur.
For instance, one of the first tasks might be processing incoming mail and payments.
Once mastered, the new employee may or may not do that task every day, but will do it often
enough to stay competent. Repeating a learned task will not be as important as learning new
The anticipated order of training is:
Processing incoming mail and payments, coding, familiarization with financial reports
Travel arrangements
Search and Call processing
Meeting/event prep and follow-up
Newsletter prep
Conference Directory
National Database training
Mission Planning Board planning, follow-up, EPIC tracking
Executive Board planning, follow-up, record keeping
Quarterly church statements
Clergy Retreat
COCAM support
Year-end Financial processes: financials, thank-you letters to donors, Annual Reports from
churches, budget, National reporting, 1099’s and W-2’s
Nominating Committee
Annual meeting
† May 3rd, 2015 † 5th Sunday of Easter† Abiding in Love †
Acts 8:26-40 * Psalms 22:25-31 * 1 John 4:7-21 * John 15:1-8
† May 10th, 2015 † 6th Sunday of Easter † Friend’s Together †
Acts 10:44-48 * Psalms 98 * 1 John 5:1-6 * John 15:9-17
† May 17th, 2015 † 7th Sunday of Easter † Guided in Prayer †
Acts 1:15-17, 21-26 * Psalms 1 * 1 John 5:9-13 * John 17:6-19
† May 24th, 2015 † Pentecost Sunday † Spirit for All
Acts 2:1-21 * Ezekiel 37:1-14 * Psalms 104:24-34
Romans 8:22-27 * Acts 2:1-21 * John 15:26-27; 16:4-15
† May 31st, 2015 † Trinity Sunday † Mysterious Encounter †
Isaiah 6:1-8 * Psalms 29 * Romans 8:12-17 * John 3:1-17
Many thanks to:
*All who helped arrange and re-arrange the sanctuary for
Maundy Thursday & Good Friday.
*All who have visited our sick, shut-in and/or members in rehab.
*Lori Nordstrom, Signe Linda, Kari Young, Rose Simon, Barbara Hofflander,
Denise Jurgens, Pat Lantrip, Linda Stewart, Jane Richards, Sandy Kaszeta &
Stephanie Maloney for providing food for Maundy Thursday.
*All who assisted with our Holy Week Services.
*Larry Seubert for design elements shared during Holy Week.
*Our choir for the beautiful Easter Music.
*Rebecca Kennell for her trumpet accompaniment.
*Our youth, Dalton, Owen, Shannon, Katarina, Tyler & Stori,
for sharing their unique & meaningful reflections on Easter Sunday morning.
*To Michael McCall, Nicky Gibson & Barney Lynn for their guidance of our youth.
*To the parents of our youth for supporting their efforts &
encouraging their creativity.
*Our children, who carried symbols & lit candles during our
Lenten Journey & on Easter morning.
*Those who marched in Pride Parade--both youth & adults.
Thank you for your creativity & evangelism on that day.
*Jim Durham, Bill Kaszeta, Steve Klein & Richard Simon for all the repairs.
*Lori Nordstrom & Patty Lantrip for returning to do additional cleaning
(cleaning day) on Maundy Thursday morning.
*Cyndi Carver, Ethel Utter & Gigi Schultz for counting all the donations
from our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
To the Members of Desert Palm UCC
My wife and I want to express our thanks for the many cards, letters and phone calls we received
during my recent health issue. It is very comforting to know that this support system will always
be available to anyone that needs it.
Thanks again for your support, which hastened my recovery.
Tom & Marlene Davis
Thank you to everyone who donated a Crockpot for US Vets requested by Billy Shuart in
March. 15 Crockpots were received and picked up by Billy to take to US Vets to enable them to
be able to prepare meals for themselves while their facility is being renovated.
Linda Stewart
Dear Desert Palm Family,
So many cards, so many prayers, and so many well wishes. Your love and support is a blessing to
Dan and I during this time. To know people care about you is awesome. We thank you all for your
prayers, cards and calls.
My surgeries have gone well and I am in rehab doing physical therapy and occupational therapy to
get my leg and body strength back. This too has been going well.
Hoping to be going home in a week or two after being here for a month. Again thank you Church
Family for keeping us in your prayers.
God’s Blessings to each of you.
Dan & Joy Mehalko
Birthdays & Anniversaries
Adult Birthdays
May 4th
May 7th
May 13th
May 24th
May 27th
May 28th
Dennis Brown
Bill Stroebel
Beverly Crawford
Alex Stewart
John Parsey
Kathy Skinner
Marilyn Unger
Sharon Heath
Youth/Children’s Birthdays
May 28, 2007 Cheyenne Cross 8 years
May 1st, 1982
May 9th, 1987
May 10th, 2015
Kenneth & Rebecca Bond
Kameron & Karyn Hott
Phillip & Jaci Scott
33 years
28 years
5 years
9:00 a.m.
Worship Service
Church School
Lighthouse Presbyterian Church (LPC)
10:15 a.m.
11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
3:00 p.m.
IHELP (Thornton)
10:15 a.m.
Children’s Choir
11:00 a.m.
5:00 p.m.
Abraham Connection
*Sow the Seed
Offering Received
Communion Sunday
*Mother’s Day
*Rural Life Sunday
*Teacher Appreciation
10:30 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
Ann Stroebel Memorial
@ Friendship Village
7:00 p.m.
Banner Group
3:05 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
9:30 a.m.
6:30 p.m.
TEAM Dinner
11:30 a.m.
Lunch Bunch
7:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
1:30 p.m. Knit Wits
Chancel Choir
wedding @ Mesa
Community College
Library, Mission Hall &
Library, Mission Hall &
Bell Polishing
6:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
10:00 a.m.
Banner Group
7:00 p.m.
Children’s Choir
3:00 p.m.
Council Meeting
9:00 a.m.
7:00 p.m.
Children’s Musical
11:00 a.m.
9:30 a.m.
Banner Group
Library, Mission Hall &
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
Annual Reports DUE
*Music Appreciation
*Mental Health
5:00 p.m.
7:00 p.m.
*Strengthen the Church
Offering Received
*Confirmation Sunday
*Mysterious Encounter
Library, Mission Hall &
*Memorial Day
6:00 a.m.
Assured Pest
9:30 a.m.
6:30 p.m.
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
Worship Committee
Banner Group
10:00 a.m. 12 Step
***Affiliated Building Maintenance cleans our campus every Saturday around noon. If you need to schedule something
during that time please get with our Administrator, Amanda, a few days in advice so we can make arrangements with
the cleaners.***