monthly breeze

online newsletter

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

Pastor Tom's Missive

Dear Desert Palm,

I'll keep this short, as I know folks are busy. If you're free tonight at 7 PM, head over to Temple Emanuel for our interfaith storytelling event sponsored by Arizona Interfaith Power and Light. We helped organize this simple storytelling event. We'll break into small groups and share stories about a time in the natural world when we felt connected to something larger than ourselves (God, Spirit, the universe, the sacred, etc.). When AZIPL holds these events, they like to feature local artists, and two of the artists are from Desert Palm! Bob Carver's photography is going to be featured. And Stephanie Geare of Music Together will be playing the harp. The other activity I will selfishly call your attention to is the Adult Ed poetry group based on the work of Mary Oliver. I know a lot of you love her poetry. We'll meet on Monday afternoons in February and share some of our favorites. If you don't know here but want to come to see what all the excitement is about, you're more than welcome (hybrid, in the library, and via zoom, beginning Monday, Feb. 6th at 1 PM).

And lastly, just another quick word of thanks to everyone who worked so hard to make the annual meeting a success and those of you who participated. 

Grace & Peace,
Pastor Tom

Joys & Concerns

Every 1st Wednesday of the month starting today, February 1st, at 3 pm

Pastor Tom and a few of our members gather virtually every 1st Wednesday of the month at 3 pm via zoom to share joys and concerns, after which Tom or another leader will offer a prayer. You can drop in (the zoom link goes out to the congregation earlier on the first Wednesday of every month) to share a joy or concern or send your request to with Joys & Concerns in the subject line. The need will be shared with those attending, added to the Prayer List, and shared with the Desert Palm Prayer Team.

Sacred Earth: Common Ground

Wednesday, February 1st, 7 PM (at Temple Emmanuel)
5801 S Rural Rd, Tempe, AZ 85283

A friendly gathering to discover and celebrate our shared love of nature. Bob Carver will be featured at the upcoming Sacred Earth Common Ground storytelling event at Temple Emanuel. Come to the event and see some of Bob’s nature images, which will be projected during the event!

We are helping to organize this collaborative event with folks from the Arizona Interfaith Power and Light, Temple Emmanuel, and Valley UU. Part of our preparation for this event has involved a Tempe High student (who also happens to be Navajo) that will speak with our youth about religion and climate. That was in preparation for this event. We’re hoping to grow this beyond our Green Team and involve families and all people of goodwill concerned about the ecological crisis. So mark your calendars for tomorrow, Wed. evening, February 1st, at 7 PM. The basic idea is very basic and accessible. We’ll break into small groups and share a story about a time when we felt we were standing on holy ground (connecting with God, nature, etc.). Then we’ll have some refreshments and grow the community of folks who care about the Earth! We encourage everyone to attend in-person no need to RSVP. The Zoom link is provided below for those who would like to attend virtually.

The event is free.  Doors open at 6:45 p.m.  Come early for refreshments and stay after for conversation.

Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 850 4322 4175
Passcode: Sacred

Secondary Title

Reception Into Episcopal Priesthood
of Rev. Dr. Corey Meier

Saturday, February 4th, 2023, 4 pm.

Church of the Epiphany

2222 South Price Road Tempe, Arizona 85282

Adult Ed Group: Exploring the Poetry

Of  Mary Oliver

Starting Monday, February 6th, Tom Martinez is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting. Please feel free to bring a book. This group will be in-person/virtual. The link is provided below for those who wish to join online, and for those who will be attending in person, we will meet in the church library.

Topic: Mary Oliver Poetry Group
Time: Feb 6, 2023 01:00 PM Arizona
        Every week on Mon, 4 occurrence(s)
        Feb 6, 2023 01:00 PM
        Feb 13, 2023 01:00 PM
        Feb 20, 2023 01:00 PM
        Feb 27, 2023 01:00 PM

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 814 5339 1063
Passcode: DPUCC

Communications Task Force Meeting

Sunday, Feb. 12th, after church in one of the back classrooms. 

Secondary Title

February Youth Activity- Souper Bowl

Sunday, February 12th, following Sunday service

Our Youth are sponsoring Souper Bowl Sunday, February 12th on Super Bowl Sunday. They invite you to join them for soup after worship and to root for your favorite football team both before and after worship by donating to the AFC bowl or the NFC bowl or in the name of your favorite team. All proceeds will go to support our Desert Palm youth group. Thanks for cheering them on!!!!!

Soup donations are needed. Please contact Donavan ( if you can donate your favorite soup.

Secondary Title

Section Title

‘Sow the Seed’ is a special Southwest Conference offering that helps provide scholarships for youth to attend retreats and outings.  In the past, this has been helpful to those who needed assistance with camp costs. Our SW youth program is one of the best; we don’t want any child to be excluded because of cost. 

The Southwest Conference is working hard at developing some new and ­­­­interesting youth programming for this next year.  With that in mind, we want ­­-­­­­­­­-­­­to encourage you to give a donation to this special offering.  All contributions need to be in the church office by March 1, 2023. 

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

Save the date - Vacation Bible School (VBS)

June 5-9 from 9 am to 1 pm
Volunteers are needed to help during VBS. We also ask for snack donations to give to the children during VBS. If you can help or donate, don't hesitate to contact Sonja Haller at

A Christmas Fund Thank You!

For the Veterans of the Cross and the Emergency Fund
‘Overwhelmed With JOY!’

Thank you, Desert Palm, for your generous response to the financial support and ministry of the Christmas Fund.   As of January 26, 2023, the Christmas Fund Offering contributions received were $2700.00.

The offering from our church along with many other UCC churches, gave congregations an opportunity to reach out in kindheartedness to those that have faithfully devoted themselves to the Church and now find themselves facing unexpected financial need.

May we continue to be mindful that our significant contributions assist in bringing hope to those who so faithfully and selflessly served to bring the gospel of “Good News” to all people.

Thank you, Desert Palm!
Marie Parsey

A New Serenity Prayer


The Serenity Prayer, an important part of the 12-Step Community, has long been attributed to Reinhold Niebuhr, one of the most prominent Protestant theologians of the 20th century. Below is a contemporary version written by Jesuit James Martin, a prolific spiritual writer of the 21st century. 

                       East Valley Network January Update

Congratulations to Holly Herman for all her efforts leading the East Valley Network, providing assistance to shelters across the Mexican border to assist people seeking asylum. Holly was honored by the City of Tempe at their annual MLK Diversity Breakfast on January 9th. For those of you unfamiliar with her name, Holly is the wife of our previous pastor,  John Herman, helping to form Desert Palm’s roots by helping the marginalized. Desert Palm UCC is one of the founding member churches of the East Valley Network, assisting the organization with donations, gifts, and volunteers.

Excerpts from the 2022 year-end Centro de Esperanza Report:
The refugee shelter, Centro de Esperanza, supported by the EV Network, is located in Sonoyta, Mexico. It has been in operation for over a year providing humanitarian aid to migrant and refugee families waiting in Sonoyta for the opportunity to enter the asylum process to cross into the United States.

The shelter has provided over 70,000 meals, many of which are now being prepared by the refugees who want to “give back” to those who are helping them. Financial donations from organizations, including the EV Network, have provided 85 percent of the cost of food for traditional meals from Guatemala, Honduras, Venezuela, etc., and every region of southern Mexico is served.

At Centro de Esperanza, refugee and migrant families are invited to try on and choose the clothing they need. The East Valley Network sent a car and truckloads of clothing, diapers, and household supplies to Ajo every two weeks. Often these came to Ajo with volunteer drivers from Humane Borders. Tucson’s Casa Alitas and individuals in the borderlands also brought clothes and other supplies.

Working closely with Casa de la Misericordia, a migrant shelter and resource center in Nogales, Mexico, we are to send small groups of refugees and migrants to Misericordia, where they are assisted by Justice for Our Neighbors attorneys. As 2022 comes to a close, we are so happy to report that 430 migrants have been able to leave Sonoyta and enter the United States legally through this collaborative process.

Meanwhile, while it is unclear how and when US immigration policies will change, we are taking steps that will make it possible to expand the services of Centro de Esperanza. Thanks to generous supporters like you, we plan to buy additional land in early 2023 and increase our services to migrant and refugee families.
Current Needs:

  • An influx of toddlers has increased our need for diapers in sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6
  • Children’s and Women’s Vitamins

Items we always need include: laundry soap, dish soap, body wash, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, baby wipes, diaper rash cream, toilet paper, tote bags, and travel snacks. (Of course, clothes, underwear, and shoes, too!)
Thank you Desert Palm, for your continued support of asylees on the border through the East Valley Network, at the Phoenix Welcome Center, and through Gathering Humanity.

Global Ministries



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1.1.2023 Breeze