the weekly update

Current News and Events at Desert Palm

Sunday School

Please join us for Sunday School via Zoom at the following times:


                              Kindergarten and younger:  10:45 a.m.

                              First through fourth grade: 10:00 a.m.

Our gatherings will last about 30 minutes. Please e-mail Audrey Penner at or Kathryn Andrews at if you would like to join us this Sunday, or on a future Sunday. 

Hope you can join us!

The time has come to talk of many things, including . . . registering your child for Sunday School!  Families with current students may fill out the form on line; just scroll to the bottom of the church web page at  Even if you do not have a current Sunday School student, please invite any friends or relatives with an interest in progressive Christianity to register a child and check out our classes.  Through the magic of Zoom, our offerings are now available to any child, anywhere.

Lenten Book Study

Sunday evenings in March, beginning March 7th (we'll meet for an hour, from 7PM to 8PM, covering 5 lessons each week).

The book: On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, by Yale Historian and Holocaust scholar, Timothy Snyder.

Given the role of religion in the January 6th attack on the US Capital, we will devote our Lenten study to the problem of political tyranny.  Timothy Snyder's recent (2017) book, On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century, offers sage and practical advice for avoiding the pull of the mob.  Each chapter offers a lesson, with topics like "Believe in truth," or "Investigate."  The thrust of the book urges establishing human relationships beyond the two-dimensional phone and computer screen, something made all the more challenging during the pandemic!  And for anyone wondering why we'd be reading a book dealing with politics in church for a Lenten book study.  That's the question we'll be asking, that is, What does the Gospel have to teach us about avoiding the shouts of the mob ("crucify him, crucify him!").

Women’s Bible Study

the women's bible group is a friendly, welcoming assortment of women who meet twice a month to support each other and have rich discussions about a selected book or bible passage. New members are always welcome.

Thursday Group

The Thursday morning Women's Book and Bible study group is reading a series of short stories and listening for how God speaks to us through them and each other. We meet every other Thursday morning at 9:30 by zoom. 

We will meet on  March 4 and March 18.  Contact the church office or Sue Henderson at for the zoom link, and contact either Sue or Ellen Colangelo at for questions. 

  Sunday Group

The DPUCC Women’s Bible Study group enjoys discussing how women from the Old and New Testament lived their lives; how they loved others, and how they survived in times of great hardship.  We also enjoy bringing these women’s stories forward to today’s discussion. 


Please join us on SundayFebruary 28 at 3 pm for our next Zoom discussion from the book “Bible Women—All Their Words and Why They Matter.”   At our upcoming meeting we will be reading from the book of Matthew--“Pilot’s Wife:  A Rose Married to a Thorn” (p. 381-383).  Please join us!


Contact Pat Speer at if you would like to be included on the Zoom invite.





  • Anti-Hunger Call (Partner Event)

    Fri. March 12th, 12:00pm - 1:00pm

Global Ministries is a joint witness in mission between the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ. To learn more click on this link  

March 14, 2021

One great hour of sharing offering

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) special offering of the United Church of Christ involves you - in disaster, refuge/ immigration and development ministries throughout the world.   When a disaster strikes or people are displaced or made refugees by violence or extreme poverty, you are part of the immediate response and of the long-term recovery.

Please “Let Love Flow” by giving generously to this offering.   We will be collecting monies for this offering during the month of March.   Send in your check or contribute with the Give/ Donate feature on this website.

Thank you.

support for all students on campus & at home

All are welcome

At this time all our gatherings are digital in order to prevent the spread of Covid-19. Please connect with Andrew ( to join us.


All ASU students (graduate and undergraduate) are welcome.


Weekly Small Group-Every Wednesday at 3:30 pm


Open One-on-One Office Hours on Zoom with Andrew-Every Other Tuesday from 2:00pm to 4:00 pm



All our groups and events are free of charge and open to everyone to join.

No membership or pre-invitation is required.  All are welcome.

  • Worship

    We meet monthly for Worship on Zoom on a Friday at 6:30pm. 

  • Dinner Group

    Currently our weekly Dinner Group is a zoom small group every Thursday at 6:30pm.



All students are invited to join us for our adventures and advocacy work.

  • adventures

    Together we enjoy Arizona adventures away from campus to take a break from the books. These trips are low costs and scholarships to cover the full cost are available.  

  • Advocacy

    Together we are advocates for those whose voices are so often ignored.  This work takes us to the Tempe City Hall, the Arizona State Capitol, and beyond.  We are passionate about fighting climate change, ensuring all people have housing, LGBTQ rights, and more.

Weekly devotional

Are you looking for a little more spirituality in your life? Join Pastor Tom and some DPUCC early birds for the Early Bird Devotional Tuesday mornings at 7 am. We read the Gospel text for the coming week and say some simple but beautiful prayers. It's a nice way to start the day. Check your email Tuesday morning as we've got the zoom invite going out automatically at 6 am so you'll have it handy when you need it. You can also find it on the calendar (on the Desert Palm website). To find the calendar go to the church website's homepage, click on the contact, and select calendar from the drop-down menu.

East Valley Church Network Update 2/25/21

From Holly Herman

SONOYTA SHELTERS:  The East Valley Network, through a partnership with the Ajo Samaritans, Humane Borders, and No More Deaths, supports two refugee shelters in Sonoyta, MX.  The men's shelter and the family shelter house about 80-90 refugees each.  Our Network sends clothing, shoes, hygiene supplies, diapers, OTC medical supplies, and whatever else is needed.  We have paid to eradicate bedbugs, for bus tickets and surgeries, and have supplied tents and blankets.  None of it could happen without your help.

Two Easter Projects!!!

  • Easter Underwear:  Let's give the residents of our Sonoyta shelters an Easter treat- new underwear for everyone! Men prefer the boxer briefs (sizes Small and Medium). Women's small and medium sizes, too.  All children's sizes from toddlers to teens.  We have about 100 men, 30 women, and 40 kids.
  • Easter Egg fun:  Pick up some plastic Easter eggs and bags of candy to fill them. The Ajo Samaritans will do the filling and create an Easter egg hunt and other games for the kids.

All items due to to Holly by March 15th.

Other top Line Info:

-Dan Abbott took a load to Ajo last week to deliver items for the two shelters.  Items included bras, tshirts, kids vitamins, newborn diapers, maternity clothes, infant clothes, toddler boys clothes, kids socks, and men's shoes.  His next trip is March 20th.   

-Other than underwear and Easter eggs, we can always use men's shoes (sizes 8-10.5) and jeans (waist sizes 26-34).  Call me if you want other suggestions.

Checks for the Sonoyta Refugee shelters can be mailed to UPC or dropped through the church mail slot. Indicate "Refugee acct" on the memo line.  Money will be used to shop at various thrift stores for needed items.  Donations of "stuff" can be brought to my house.

IGLESIA CRISTIANA EL BUEN PASTOR: The Network takes groceries and grocery gift cards to this small Hispanic church every Friday for their weekly food distribution.  About a dozen of their church families are food insecure.  The food bank is also open to their neighborhood.  

Desert Palm UCC will create Easter baskets for the 30 children and youth at el Buen Pastor. Thank you!


Please note revised grocery list.  No more PB and J, fewer snack items, and a few new items.  Groceries should be delivered to my house by  early afternoon on Thursdays.

Most needed grocery items  are rice, pinto/refried/black beans, canned chicken/tuna/beef, canned vegetables, cereal, spaghetti and sauce, soups, vegetable oil,  salt/pepper/oregano/garlic, laundry/dish soap, TP/paper towels, bread/tortillas, chicken bouillon, jello/pudding, massa, green chilis, tomato sauce, chunky salsa (med), dog food, and coffee.  We had a request that beans, rice, oil, etc be sent in smaller bags/bottles (2-5 lb bags are great) rather than in bulk sizes. It is becoming more difficult to divide these commodities for the food boxes. Fruit or vegetables that don't have to be refrigerated in the short term (apples/oranges/melon/onions/potatoes) are also possible. I can keep them in the house/garage until I transport. Of course, anything you donate will be used and appreciated! 


Checks or $25 Walmart gift cards for Igl. Crist. el Buen Pastor can be mailed to UPC or dropped through the mail slot in the church office.  Indicate "el Buen Pastor" on the envelope or memo line. Cash for supplemental groceries should be brought to my house.  Groceries to my house by Thursday afternoons.

Thank you all for your continued compassion, energy, and generosity. We appreciate all of you that help.


(480) 570-0450
1701 W Lindner, Mesa, 85202
(near Baseline and Dobson)

University Presbyterian Church

139 E. Alameda Dr.

TempeAZ  85282


Coffee hour

Coffee Hour is a time after the church service for people to get together and talk about whatever is on their mind. Get to know people you may not know very well. You can talk or just listen; it’s up to you. Whether you’re in the Phoenix area or across the country, join us and share some good conversation and fellowship time.

Topic: Coffee Hour 2021


Time: February 28, 2021 11:00 AM Arizona


        Every week on Sun, until Dec 12, 2021




         February 28, 2021 11:00 AM



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




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Are you eligible for phase 1b-1C covid-19 vaccinations?

Arizona Department of Health Services has opened registration for Phase 1A and Phase 1B prioritized vaccinations. There are several POD locations throughout the state, including a site in Tempe. More sites will be added in the coming months. Register.

Appointments are required and limited only to eligible people; no walk-ins will be allowed. If you're having trouble making an appointment online, you can call the AHDS Hotline 1-844-542-8201 for help or to ask questions. 
Eligible populations in Phase 1B prioritized are:

  • Adults age 75 and older
  • K-12 school staff and childcare workers
  • Law enforcement/protective services
  • Phase 1A populations                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

As of Monday, January 18th, those adults age 65 and older (Phase 1C),adults of any age with High-Risk Medical Conditions, adults Living in Congregate Settings, Remaining 1A & 1B will be able to register to receive vaccinations.

Websites & Phone Numbers for Covid-19 Vaccine

Web sites: (This link gives you the form to set up an appointment). (This link gives you places where the vaccine can be administered; it may allow you to sign up for an appointment also). (Here you can register & then complete the form to find a location & an appointment).

Phone numbers for support & help:

State:   1-844-542-8201 (Might have to be placed on hold for longer than 10 minutes. Here you can leave a phone number for a return call within 24 hours.

Maricopa County: 602-506-6767 (you may be on hold for a while)

Campaig BEGINS on ash wednesday

$1.5M swC Medical relief

The Southwest Conference is inviting all SWC congregations to join this campaign that will run from Ash Wednesday through Easter Sunday.

For every $1 raised, $100 of medical debt can be abolished. $10 abolishes $1000 of medical debt. $10,000 wipes out $1 million. Let’s raise $15,000 to abolish $1.5 million!

The members of Executive Board have pledged over $1000 to kick this off. That’s already $94,000 of medical debt that can be wiped out for individuals, veterans, and families in our geographical area.

Will your congregation participate? Let us know you’re in so we can add your church to the list of participants.

Here’s how to donate:

  • Write a check to Southwest Conference UCC with “medical debt” in the memo line

  • Donate online here, and designate your contribution as “medical debt” in the comment field.

For more information and background, read the RIP Medical Debt brochure.

More FAQs here.

Read a letter that is similar to one that will be sent to debtors whose medical bills we’ll abolish.

UPDATE: This just in from John Riddle at Desert Garden UCC:

"Last week our Church Council strongly endorsed our participation in this effort, so count us in. We will be having an article in our monthly newsletter, Oasis, next week about Desert Garden's participation. We are encouraging our members to each give $1/day for each day of Lent.

Some are indicating they plan to give more than that. We are excited about the program and pray that a significant number of congregations will join the conference's effort."

Cellular phone Tower Update

Last year we learned Crown Castle was planning on going forward with a Cell Tower placement at Desert Palm. There was a contract completed several years ago.  


Due to COVID 19 and staffing levels, the project is delayed. They believe we are getting close. Tower plans have been drawn, but Campbell Engineering has been waiting for T-Mobile's plan for attaching to the tower. The plans will then go to the Church and the City of Tempe for approval.


We have addressed concerns about microwave radiation, and it appears minimal at worst.  Please see the attached PDF for more information. 

To learn more, click on the link provided below.


15 years of

making a difference

This Friday, the 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

Justice & WITNESS

Our former Interim pastor, Rev. Elice Higginbotham, is helping to educate the larger/national UCC on issues pertaining to the Middle East, specifically the plight of Palestinian people under Isaraeli occupation.  To learn more about the proposed resolution that will be coming before the General Synod in July (a virtual gathering all are invited to), click on this link.

If the Council were to decide to support this resolution Desert Palm's name could be added to the list of congregations supporting it.  



Easter Basket Donation Drive

The Desert Palm family has been given the opportunity to provide Easter Baskets for the 31 children and youth who attend El Buen Pastor church (the church in Mesa we support with food donations). Please select from the open spots by going to this link:

Plan to spend around 20 dollars on the basket and contents. You might want to include a small gift card to Walmart or McDonalds or someplace similar for the older youth. Be sure to LABEL your basket with the age/gender information. 

LABELED baskets need to be turned in by Wednesday, March 24. Baskets may be turned in to the church office or to Sue Henderson's house at 5382 West Harrison Court, Chandler 85226. If you need to have your baskets picked up, we can arrange that. We also have some donated stuffed animals to include in the basket. For questions or to arrange for a pick-up or for stuffed animals, please contact Sue at 480-734-0921 or at Thank you!





His three siblings:

Robert Koth graduated from Westmar College in Le Mars, IA and attended Evangelical Theological Seminary in Naperville, IL

He was also a certified Tool and Die maker as well as a certified Teacher in IL and AZ. 


He married Joyce Anne Roepke and had 2 daughters:

  • Deni Lyn Nordmeyer (Koth) married to Richard Lee Nordmeyer and built a family through marriage, birth, and adoption of 7 children Justin, Jacy, Cara, Jesse, Devin, Garret, Mariah
  • Becky Rene Carroll (Koth) married to John Carroll and built a family with a child Leana Carroll.

Later Robert divorced, but continued his devotion to his children and grandchildren.

Next, he married Terry Davis with her 3 children Adam, Joshua, and Leah blending a family of 5 children on weekends. Unfortunately, this marriage ended in divorce.

He enjoyed many years with his last wife Rev. Mary Harris. Unfortunately, this marriage ended in divorce.

Robert D. Koth did his best to live by his favorite scripture:

Micah 6:8 NIV

8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly[
a] with your God.

Robert D. Koth studied the life of Jesus, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mother Theresa and did his best to model his life on their teachings. He cycled through several careers evolving as a person each time he revisited a career. His first love was to be a Reverend. He saw life as a ministry whether he was in a clergy collar or a t-shirt. He would often work as a teacher to youth with limited opportunities. Also, Robert worked to support worker’s rights in having a livable wage with safe working conditions. He joined groups in their struggle for racial equality to include Black, Hispanic, and Native populations. Other times Robert would support people without a house and created employment organizations. For the last ten years, Robert has been working with the differently-abled population advocating for all people to be valued and included fully in the church, community, and society. After an illness,  Robert became differently-abled himself. He learned to accept his new life and continue his work for the inclusion of people with different abilities. After resigning from Widening the Welcome in The Southwest Conference of the United Church of Christ. He continued to work with churches to become certified in WISE (the church learns to be Welcoming, Inclusive, Supportive, and Engaged for people with a mental health issue). The last organization he joined was The Network of Spiritual Progressives focusing on family justice issues.


Robert D. Koth would often say, we plant seeds and water them,

but only God can make them grow.

Robert D. Koth did much planting and watering during his faithful life.


Zoom Memorial for Robert D. Koth

Saturday, February 27th

Reverend Susan  Valiquette 

First Congregational Church UCC of Phoenix, AZ

We would like to offer an opportunity for people attending the Zoom Memorial

to share a brief story about a special experience shared with Robert D. Koth.


First Church UCC Phoenix is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

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