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Tom’s February 2024 Missive

Dear Members & Friends,


I often put “Friends” first so as not to show preference to people who have officially joined. But membership does have its privileges. For example, members can vote on the budget and other matters, lending a guiding hand to the life and future direction of the church. And it just so happens that we’ve got a meet and greet scheduled for post-church this Sunday (Feb. 4th) for anyone who’d like to explore membership!


The most exciting thing beyond our fabulous new sign for me to highlight this month is an invitation by the City of Tempe to become a “Resilience Hub,” one of nine in a pilot project the City is carrying out. Participation would mean in times of emergency we’d become a resource for the community. So think emergency planning, disaster preparedness and community involvement. You can read more about the program here:

We haven’t had a Council meeting since this opportunity has come up so no official decision has been made.  I shared the information with the Council via email and imagine we’ll be discussing it at our next meeting. If this sounds like your cup of tea feel free to email me since, if we do decide to proceed, I’ll be forming a small team of people to coordinate our participation.

If you’ve been in church recently you know we’re in the midst of series on Jesus titled “Who do you say that I am?” We’ve touched on Jesus as prophet, healer and mystic. This coming Sunday we’ll be exploring Jesus as the personification of wisdom. Sonja Haller will be preaching next Sunday, which happens to be the first Sunday in the season of Lent. That reminds me to plug our pancake dinner this coming Tuesday (a revival of a DP tradition on the day before Ash Wednesday).  Then Wednesday evening I’ll be saying a few words and administering ashes for anyone who would like to stop by the sanctuary (between 6:45 and 7:15).

Lastly, if your teenagers is planning to attend the big youth gathering in CA (in June), now’s the time to reach out to Sonja to RSVP. I hear the trip includes a day at Disneyland!


Grace & Peace,


Pastor Tom


PS: We’re going back to keeping a hard-copy calendar on Maria’s desk to supplement the online calendar. If you’d like to get an activity on the online calendar, pencil it in onto the hard copy desk calendar in the office and it will eventually appear online! 

Special Message

The past 4 months have been a time of anxiety, worry, sorrow, and grieving.   Amidst those emotions, I have been supported, sustained, encouraged, and surrounded by all of you at Desert Palm.    There are no words to share how much you have given me.   Now I want to thank you for another gift you have given:  the contributions for trees here on our church grounds, in honor of Jim.     Each time I look at one of our new trees I will remember him – and each of you.   

Thank you.           Marion

Secondary Title

Brunch at Panera  

Sunday, February 4th at 10:30 am (at the local Panera after our regular coffee hour) 
Meal at Panera Bread - 1825 E. Guadalupe (SE corner)
The WISE Committee is having a brunch gathering for those who are available after church on Sunday, February 4th at around 10:30. The aim is to have some fellowship time at church before heading to the restaurant.  

New Member Orientation & Information

Saturday, Feb. 4th After Church  
Are we interested in joining Desert Palm? Join us for a prospective new member orientation after church this coming Sunday. Some folks have already attended one of these sessions and are ready to join. For those who can attend, we'll walk around the church and learn what we mean by "under the dove" and various other insider lingo! We'll also get to know each other and plan for our new member on Sunday (February 11th, at which time we'll welcome our new members during the 9 am worship service).

Uncle Gerry Family Music Concert

Saturday, February 10, at 10 AM
Just wanted to give you a quick heads-up that Stephanie, the lovely person behind the Music Together program, will be taking a break during the winter and spring seasons. But don't worry, the program will be back in full swing come summer! 

In the meantime, if you're looking for some fun music events for kids, we've got you covered. Check out the Uncle Gerry Family Concert by clicking on the link below. It's sure to be a blast!

                                      Soup-erBowl Sunday!!

Sunday, February 11th, post-church
Let Sonja Haller know if you're able to bring soup. This is a fundraiser for our youth!

Secondary Title

Fat Tuesday - Pancake Supper

Tuesday, February 13, at 5:30 - 6:30 PM (in Mission Hall)
RSVP by 2/11 at Join us as we revive this fun, celebratory tradition on the Tuesday before the start of Lent.

Ash Wednesday Imposition of Ashes

Wed., February 14th, at 6:45-7:15 PM (in the Sanctuary)
Bell Choir will end a little early on Ash Wednesday and Chancel Choir will start 15 minutes later than usual to create space for a simple service for the imposition of ashes.

Budget Meeting

Sunday,  Feb. 18th, post-church
The vote to approve the budget is scheduled for another post-church meeting on February 18th.

Sow the Seed 2023 - 

An Offering to Help Our Youth

Sunday, February 18, 2024
Sow the Seed’ is a special Southwest Conference offering that helps to provide grant awards to support ministries of faith formation of youth undertaken by churches in the conference.  The awards focus on children and youth under 18, families with children, and/or young adults between 18 and 25 years old.   Any church or UCC ministry group can request a grant of $2000.00 to support their work in faith education, spiritual formation, service programs, and activities or ministries specifically for these populations.

Sow the Seed has also been there to support conference-wide youth activities. 
All contributions need to be into the church office by February 29, 2024. 

As always you have two ways to give:
1). You can write a check payable to Desert Palm and make a note on the memo line for Sow the Seed.
2). Or, you can use the ‘Give’ feature on the DPUCC website.   There will be a donation option and a drop-down box where you can select Sow the Seed.
Thank you, Desert Palm, for supporting our children and youth!

Marie Parsey, Community and World Offerings

Welcome Center and East Valley Network Updates

During January, the donation request was for size 4 diapers.   Diapers and other items that are greatly needed were donated.  The individuals who receive these items greatly appreciate them.  So many of the individuals who arrive at the Welcome Center only have the clothes they are wearing.  The donations are split between the Welcome Center and the East Valley Network.  Thank you Desert Palm for continuing to support these organizations.
For February we are asking for donations of full-size bottles of body wash.  You can bring these and place them in the boxes by the church.  One idea to help you remember is to add body wash to your shopping list.  These donations will be split between the Welcome Center and East Valley Network. 
The East Valley Network prepares Hygiene kits to distribute to individuals at the Welcome Center and Sonoyta Resource Center and Shelter.  Some items that would be appreciated for these hygiene kits are toothbrushes, toothpaste, and baby wipes.  They also accept donations of sheets, towels, blankets, and travel snacks.  These can be dropped in the boxes outside of the church also. 


Did you know that the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration manages approximately 200 call centers across the country? These centers are designed to provide support for those experiencing mental health crises or struggling with thoughts of suicide. It's great news that there's now a new phone number to access mental health emergency services - simply dial 988.

Global Ministries