monthly breeze

online newsletter

We update this page at the start of each month with articles and updates.

Pastor Tom's Missive

Dear Members and Friends,


With fall officially upon us we’re hoping that before long we can resume more face-to-face activities. The Council will be revisiting the question of in-person worship at its October Council meeting. Thankfully we are now able to live-stream so in the meantime, you can access the services on the Desert Palm website, our Facebook page, or on our new Youtube channel (which you can subscribe to). And some of our small groups are beginning back up.


This coming Sunday we’re trying something new: a super family friendly virtual service. The sermon will be appropriate for kids of all ages. Our hope is to make the first Sunday of each month more intergenerational, bringing families together.


The Celebration of Life service for Don Beaver is scheduled to take place inside the church on Saturday, October 23rd (at 10am). We will also live-stream the service so please feel free to watch from home if you aren’t feeling well or have concerns about in-person gatherings. The reception will take place outside the church under tents being provided by the Shamp-Beaver family.


I know we’re all beyond done with this whole COVID business and eager to get back in person. That said, I want to thank Marc Gaston for all he’s doing to bring our technology into the 21st century. My hope is that when the dust settles, we’ll discover we have positioned ourselves well to further our outreach into the world.


Grace and Peace,


Pastor Tom  

Spanish Language Meetup

Saturday, October 2nd, 8am

at Biscuits (on Elliot)

Join a few folks from DPUCC and a few from the wider Tempe community who are interested in brushing up on Spanish or beginning to learn a little. We've moved the group (which has just met a couple of times so please come and join us) to Biscuits on Elliot just east of McLintock, which has outdoor seating in front.

NEIGHBORS in need special offering

Sunday, October 3rd, 2021

Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. One-third of NIN funds support the Council for American Indian Ministry (CAIM).

Two-thirds of this offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries (JWM) to support a variety of justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects through grants. Neighbors in Need grants are awarded to UCC churches and organizations doing justice work in their communities. These grants fund projects whose work ranges from direct service to community organizing and advocacy to address systemic injustice.

This year, special consideration will be given to projects focusing on serving our immigrant neighbors and communities

Neighbors in Need helps make a ‘Just World for All’ possible. For this to occur we need your support.   You can contribute in two ways:

  • 1)    You can write a check payable to Desert Palm UCC and make a note on the memo line for NIN.
  • 2)    Or you can use the ‘Give’ feature on our DPCC website. There will be a ‘Donation’ option and a drop-down box where you can select NIN.

Please send in your contributions by October 15th, so we can send our check to the conference in a timely fashion.   Thank you.

Neighbors in Need needs our support.  Please give generously.

Women's bible study

Thursday Group

Thursday Morning Women's Bible/Book Study. ALL ARE WELCOME!

We will be reading  “Denial is my Spiritual Practice (and other failures of faith)” by Rachel G. Hackenberg and Martha Spong. Available at Changing Hands, Amazon, and other booksellers.

The zoom link is the same for all the meetings and is:

Meeting ID: 823 6656 2235     

A zoom link will be sent out the Tuesday prior to the Thursday meeting. If you need a copy of the book provided to you or have any questions, please contact Sue Henderson at

Sunday Group

We are studying chapter beginning on p. 416, “The Samaritan Woman” from the book Bible Women, All Their Words and Why They Matter

Date: October 24

Time: 10:00 am

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 821 7049 0037
Passcode: 841316
One tap mobile
+13462487799,,82170490037#,,,,*841316# US (Houston)
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Dial by your location
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Meeting ID: 821 7049 0037
Passcode: 841316
Find your local number:

Please contact Pat Speer at for more information.


andrew's ponderings

Family worship                 &

Sunday school

Based on the feedback of our families we are now offering a single Sunday School class at 8:00am on Sunday mornings.  

On the first Sunday of each month we are inviting everyone to join us online for our monthly family worship that includes communion at our usual 9:00am worship time.

andrew's ponderings

youth update

Outdoor Adventure Club

Stay tuned for dates, times, and locations of our outdoor group adventures.  Each adventure will include a devotional time and then safe fun and fellowship together.  We will be gathering outdoors throughout these upcoming cooler seasons so that we can enjoy God's creation and be mindful of virus concerns.  Masks required.

andrew's ponderings

asu update

Check out our new promo video below to learn about our new online ministry in partnership with other ministers around the country.

the circuit campus ministry

Learn more about our new online ministry!


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AFN and Desert Palm UCC, Tempe, let's redefine justice together! 

We are honored to share that our 2021 Keynote Speaker will be Dr. Neal A. Lester, Foundation Professor of English and Founding Director of Project Humanities at Arizona State University. Learn more about Dr. Lester here.

Are you interested in helping refugee children but aren't sure where to begin? 

The Let's Read, Neighbor program might be for you.  Volunteers meet and read with newly arrived refugee children at least once per week.  Meetings usually occur in the child's home. The goal is to improve the children's English skills while also exposing them to American culture. You don't need to know Arabic; all you need is a willingness to help. If you want more information, please contact Kathryn Andrews at, or you can apply to join the program by contacting the program's director, Melek Akgul-Lee, at

WANTED: Stories of Love, Work, Nature & Justice!

If you’d like to be part of the project, email Maria (Deleon) at and let her know you’d like to share a story. You’ll be paired up with one of our storytelling coaches who will help you prepare the story for recording. Please know that this is a public storytelling project, meaning the stories will likely be shared with educational groups at Desert Palm, used in worship and, if the program grows, shared with the wider community of progressive faith communities.


Do you have a favorite story you like to tell, maybe about how you met your spouse or found your calling in life? Maybe it was that time you got in BIG TROUBLE as a teenager. We want to here (and record) your stories! Consider yourself officially invited. By sharing a story with your church community you’ll be helping us develop our emerging, story-based intergenerational model of Christian formation. Tom recently completed his doctoral project on storytelling, following in the footsteps of Desert Palm member and Associate Conference Minister, the Rev. Dr. Barb Doerrer-Peacock, whose dissertation was also on storytelling!   



What kind of stories are we looking for?


We’re looking for stories in the 5 to10 minute range, on the following topics....


Love Stories


This could be the story of how you met your spouse (if you’re married), or another meaningful relationship from your past. The idea isn’t necessarily to have the perfect Hollywood love story, but rather something real and true and beautiful. It might be a loving relationship that came to an end, but continues to enrich your life through memory and friendship. Or it might be about finding your soulmate—or both! Funny/romantic twists are of course a plus, as are hardships and challenges. Of course, sometimes just a simple good old fashioned love story wins the day.  


Vocational Callings


We often talk about ministers being called by God to serve. While no doubt a beautiful thing, there are all sorts of vocational callings out there! (Notice the “voc” in vocation!)  If you have a story related to how you ended up finding your voice and/or choosing a career, we’d like to hear it! Maybe you knew a pilot and went on to become one yourself. Or you always loved science and a particular teacher took you under his/her wing. Or maybe you’ve always loved music and….  


Stories Involving Desert Palm UCC

Did you hear about the year the outdoor art fair that Bud Nearing used to organize got flooded? Or maybe it was your first time coming to the church and somebody took the time to get to know you and you ended up becoming good friends. Simple or complex, dramatic or simply heartwarming, we’re all in. If you’ve got a story we’d like to capture it.


Experiences in Nature


Have you had one of those sacred moments while enjoying the great outdoors that has stayed with you? Maybe it was a powerful wildlife sighting or a moment of peace on top of a mountain with a gorgeous view. Or maybe there’s someone in your life who has really helped you appreciate the natural world, a mentor or parent or friend. Tell us about that person and how their influence has enriched your life. 


Spiritual Teachers


When we look back on our spiritual lives it’s usually pretty easy to identify some key teachers, ministers or lay people who have really had an impact on our faith formation. Think about some of your most influential mentors and consider describing them in a five to ten minute tribute describing their impact on your life and spiritual growth.


The Struggle for Justice


Have you ever been to a protest or taken action on behalf of a cause? Tell us about it! Or are you especially passionate about a particular issue due to a personal connection? That could make for a great story, too. Tell us about the issue and your connection to it, why you care and why you think it’s important for more people to be aware of the issue.


Children and families are invited! On the first Sunday of each month, we are trying something new.  Rather than a separate Sunday School class for kids, the worship service will be super kid-friendly. Sunday School on Zoom will continue to be offered all other Sundays after the first Sunday of each month.  So gather the family and join us for virtual worship on Sunday at 9 am or later on our new Youtube channel or DPUCC Facebook page.

New ways to watch our Sunday services:

Our New Youtube Channel

(Note that you can subscribe and be notified when a new service is posted).


The Desert Palm UCC website

The Desert Palm UCC FB page

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August Financial Secretary Report – As of end of August (September 7)

For you numbers people out there I wanted to share where we were so far as a church family with our pledges.  Anything you can do to help is much appreciated by the utility companies, our staff and the many folks that we touch with outreach and service.  I plan on keeping you updated with your progress as well as sharing any good giving testimonies. If you have a testimony you want to share, just send it to me or our fearless leader Mark Williams.

Thanks Pat Quinnett


65 Pledgers

2021 Total Pledged:    $182,859.96


As of September7th Total Received:  $132,165.00

67% of year has passed, 71% pledges received so far. 


Breakdown of %pledge completion:                 Breakdown of Received to Date Pledge Dollars

% range                           #pledgers                        $ Range                           #pledgers

1%-35%                            4                                         100-500                           6

36%-55%                         7                                         501-1000                         17

56%-75%                         31                                      1001-2000                       22

76%-95%                         10                                      2001-3000                       8

96%- 100%                      9                                         3001-5000                       6

100%+                            4                                         5000+                               6