current news & Events

In-Person for SunDay Worship

You can watch our hybrid worship service live on our webpage at At Desert Palm, we aim to provide an extravagant welcome to all by ensuring that our worship service and campus are accessible. We offer Large print bulletins, Assistive hearing devices, an ADA-compliant restroom, and Accessible parking spaces.

Water Donations Needed

Water donations are being collected for local cooling centers. Just drop off bottles here at DPUCC and we'll get them to the right place.

The Strengthen the Church Offering

Sunday, May 19

Offering will be received on Sunday, May 19, 2024. Please
have your offering into the office by May 25, 2024.

You can make your donation in one of two ways:

1). You can write a check payable to Desert Palm UCC. Make a note on the
memo line for Strengthen the Church and place in offering or send to the office.
2). You can use the ‘Give’ feature on the DPUCC website. Go to the ‘Donation
option’ and from the drop-down box you will be able to select Strengthen the
Church to make your contribution.

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Tom & Gordon's Book Study

Gordon Street and Rev. Dr. Tom Martinez will be facilitating this 7 week book group using Richard Rohr's, Breathing Under Water: Spirituality and the Twelve Steps. After a general introduction to the book at the first session, each Monday evening at 7PM (via zoom) will cover two steps of the 12 steps.  Fans of Richard Rohr and anyone struggling with (or who has struggled with) addiction will enjoy the book. And note that Rohr approaches addiction quite broadly, noting that at times we are addicted to a way of thinking! The gist of the book is that through surrendering to a higher power we grow beyond our egos and become more conscious of and compassionate towards others.

The group will meet by Zoom on Monday evenings at 7PM beginning April 8th. Note that we will be skipping the first Monday in May (May 6th), concluding on May 27th. (see flyer below)

Here's the complete zoom link:

Tom Martinez is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Breathing Under Water Spring 2024 Book Group
Time: May 27, 2024 07:00 PM Arizona
        Every week on Mon, until May 20, 2024
        May 27, 2024

Please download and import the following iCalendar (.ics) files to your calendar system.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 825 3541 9621
Passcode: 738402

pool party

Saturday, May 25, 2 p.m. Marybeth Riley-Gilbert’s house

We are having an end of school year pool party at Marybeth’s house for DPUCC Youth Families. We will be chilling, grilling or swimming. Or floating. Floating is fine, tool. Let Marybeth or Sonja know if you're in and whether you're going to bring friends. Social dogs are also welcome. Hope to see you there. Address: 1308 W Muirwood Drive, Phoenix (Ahwatukee). Marybeth’s phone number: 781-258-4306.

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lunch at panera bread

Sunday, May 26th, at 10:30 am

Interfaith dialogue event sponsored by the Arizona Faith Network.

May 30th, 7:00 - 8:30pm at First Church UCC Phoenix, 1407 N 2nd St, Phoenix, AZ 85004

The topic is “Suffering and Faith”, an exploration of the age-old question of theodicy:

  • Where is God in the midst of evil and human suffering? 
  • How can a good, powerful God allow such suffering to happen? 
  • Why do bad things happen to good people?

The evening begins with four brief presentations from the following interfaith leaders:

  • Rana Singh Sodhi (Sikh)
  • Rabbi Debbie Stiel (Judaism)
  • Al Gephart (Christian)
  • Azra Hussain (Muslim)

This will be followed by open table discussion. Our goal is not to solve this issue, but to hear from participants about how they deal with the reality of suffering in light of their faith. And what, if anything, is to be our response, our responsibility in the midst of such suffering?

A light, no-cost supper will be available at 6:30pm.

Please invite any you think are interested.

Register here by May 27th: .

desert palm ucc annual meeting

June 9th, after the Sunday service, in sanctuary. Plan on attending the potluck meal following the meeting and then we'll go back to the sanctuary for the DPUCC Talent Show!

Talent Show

Sunday, June 9th, 1 PM
This summer Desert Palm is going to host a talent show. The show will include youth and adults with special performances by Desert Palm’s singers and musicians. I’ll be completing my necessary Clinical Pastoral Education credits at Banner Hospital this summer. So in lieu of Vacation Bible School, Marc Gaston, Minister of Music and the Arts, will be working with individual children to showcase their musical and other talents. 

Please Register this week

The Church council generously agreed to fund the bulk of the Western Regional Youth Event (June 23-27) this past week. So, please, if you haven’t registered – and this includes youth and chaperones – please do so this week so we can be assured room and board. If you already registered but did not get a confirmation email, you may not be registered because of a glitch in the system. The glitch has been fixed but if you registered more than a month ago, you’ll need to re-register. Thank you!


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UCC Western Youth Regional Event updates

Check out guest speakers and the schedule for this summer’s June 23-27 Western Regional Youth Event in southern California: Also there was a glitch in early registration so if you tried to register and were redirected back to the same page, please re-register. Thanks.


Programing for LGBTQ+ Youth and Allies

Sunday May 26th – Field trip to the Phoenix Theatre Company to see the play Facilitated by - Gary Gephart – Treasurer Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Board of Member with Phoenix Theater Company Marc Gaston – Artistic Director Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience the impact of a stage play on social justice “What The Constitution Means To Me” Written by Heidi Schreck Directed by Michelle Chin A soul-stirring play of civic engagement that hilariously examines America’s fundamental document. Earnestly polite high schooler, Heidi Schreck, put herself through college by winning Constitutional debates across the US. A quarter-century later, the now-writer reflects on how her younger self, four generations of female relatives, and other marginalized people were shaped by America’s foundational definition of law. While addressing gender and racial biases, this fiercely-urgent partial autobiography peels back the Constitution’s layers of beauty, contradictions, and failures, and optimistically analyzes how the living document could evolve with modern America. 

Monday, June 24th – Music’s Impact on Society, 5:00pm 1n10 Downtown Youth Center Facilitated by - Antonio Lozano – Artistic Director of the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Director of Music at Tempe High School. Marc Gaston – Artistic Director Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience music’s impact on society. Thursday, July 18th – Trans Voices (Identity based voice lesson), 5:00pm Downtown 1n10 Youth Center (Trans & Nonbinary Identity Night) 5:00pm Facilitated by – Ari Kravitz - FNP-C, AAHIVS, Family Nurse Practitioner Ari is a compassionate Family Nurse Practitioner who earned his Master of Science in Nursing from The Ohio State University. He was inspired to pursue a nursing career after his own gender transition journey and completing his Bachelor of Science in Public Health. Before completing his NP, he worked as an RN in a Surgical/Trauma Progressive Care Unit in Columbus, Ohio. He is proud to hold an AAHIVM Specialist certification, specializing in gender-affirming care, PrEP, PEP, and general medicine. Marc Gaston – Artistic Director Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience workshop on vocal challenges and Trans Voices for social justice to include vocal exercises for singing and speaking. 

Monday, September 23rd – Queer Anthems & How to write your own lyrics and music or painting with water colors for self expression. 5:00pm 1n10 Downtown Youth Center Facilitated by - Rev. Dr. Barb Doer-Peacock – Retired Marc Gaston – Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience lyric writing through poetry and setting to music or Self expression through painting with water colors. 

Thursday, October 17th – Music & Activism, 5:00pm 1n10 Downtown Youth Center (The Zone HIV/AIDS Education & Prevention) Facilitated by - Antonio Lozano – Artistic Director of the Phoenix Gay Men’s Chorus & Director of Music at Tempe High School. Marc Gaston – Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience how music can me used to educate, unite and inspire to create social change. Emphasis will be on HIV/AIDS Education & Prevention) 

Monday, November 18th – Music & Mental Health, 5:00pm 1n10 Downtown Youth Center Facilitated by - Garry Pregler – Grand Canyon Performing Arts – Board Member director of Mental Health Awareness. TBD – Mental Health professional. Marc Gaston – Minister of Music & The Arts (Desert Palm UCC, Tempe) Experience will be the impact music has on Mental Health. To include music meditation techniques. 

Welcome Center, East Valley Network, and Gathering Humanity

Thank you, everyone, for your continued support of the East Valley Network and the Welcome Center. This month we could use donations of full-size bottles of shampoo. Clothing donations are always welcome. You can place these in the box outside the church. We are also beginning to collect items for Gathering Humanity. Now would be a good time to clean out your kitchen cabinets. Collect plates, cups, etc, and bring those to the box outside the church. These things will be donated to Gathering Humanity.

True colors

Attention all coloring book enthusiasts! Whether you're a child, teenager, adult, or adult at heart, we need your help. Our home-bound members are running low on colored pages, and we would be grateful for any contributions. If you would like to donate supplies or drop off pages, please contact Pat Quinnett at (480)818-2203. The recipients have expressed immense joy upon receiving our little works of art and have even requested that the creators sign their name on the back with "Colored by (your name)." Please take the time to share and spread the love of coloring!

Thursday Women’s Book Group

                                                        1st & 3rd Thursday of every month, at 9:30AM

Looking for a way to engage in thought-provoking discussions with fellow women? Then join us on the first and third Thursdays of every month from 9:30 to 11:00 a.m. via the link provided. Our current book of choice is by Marcus Borg, "The First Christmas." If you have any inquiries, please contact Ellen Colangelo at 619-807-5431.

Join Repeating Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 713 830 0112
Passcode: DPUCC

15 years of

making a difference

This I-HELP program is celebrating 15 years of providing comprehensive emergency shelter in partnership with an array of faith organizations that provide nighttime facility access.

The I-HELP model serves as a cost-effective and scalable solution for ending homelessness. As the homeless population continues to rise, in turn, the volume of affected people unable to access services is also rising. 

The I-HELP shelter program provides a safe place to sleep and a spectrum of services to prepare men and women for employment, financial stability, and permanent housing. 

Today, you can sponsor one night of shelter and additional services for a man or woman in need for $35 and help us celebrate 15 years of making a difference. 

Click on the link provided to learn more

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At DPUCC, hospitality is a vital aspect of our ministry. We believe that coming together for COFFEE HOUR and engaging in conversations after Sunday worship is an excellent way to strengthen our church relationships.


Desert Palm Caregivers offer assistance to members of the Church, their immediate families, and those who actively participate in the Desert Palm UCC community. There are no financial requirements to receive these services, and they are provided free of charge. However, donations to Desert Palm UCC are appreciated. Please note that these services are dependent on the availability of volunteers.
TRANSPORTATION:  take someone to and from medical and/or social service appointments within 15 miles of the person’s residence. No transportation for work, social activities, or shopping.
TEMPORARY EMERGENCY MEALS:  provide dinners for up to 3 days in case of an emergency.
RESOURCES:  information regarding additional services available in the community if our volunteers cannot provide assistance.
If you can provide occasional transportation and/or Meals, please contact one of the coordinators:
Marion Durham (                     
John Linda (
Jim Ewing (    
Leslie Schefski (
Barbara Hofflander (
Ethel Utter (


Do you provide care for a loved one, whether it be a spouse, parent, child, friend, or patient? It can be easy to overlook the toll it takes on us physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually. I would like to extend an invitation to those in the caregiver role to join our DPUCC support group, which I will be leading. Our meetings will take place on the fourth Thursday of each month at 4 p.m. via Zoom (link provided below). If you would like to learn more or are interested in joining, please feel free to call or text 619-807-5431.

Join Zoom Meeting

Tempe Resilience Hub Network

Resilience hubs is a community that has been designed to assist residents in their daily lives.  They have community centers, places of worship, or educational institutions, these hubs empower communities to achieve a wide range of physical and social objectives. To learn more click on this link


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.