the weekly update

Current News and Events at Desert Palm

Holiday foster kids gift drive

For many years Desert Palm has participated in providing Christmas gifts to foster children through partnerships with local social service agencies - For many years Desert Palm has participated in providing Christmas gifts for foster children through partnerships with local social service agencies - most recently Southwest Human Development.  We have all enjoyed picking out tags with requests from specific children and heading out to the stores to shop and fulfill those wishes. 

As with many of our other traditional holiday activities, this year will have to be different. Southwest Human Development has set up an online shopping cart where you can purchase items (link below). Please mention Desert Palm when completing your purchase.

If you aren’t comfortable with online shopping, you can send a check to Desert Palm - please note “foster gift” on the memo line.  We will forward funds to Southwest Human Development.  

This won’t be as fun, and I’ll miss having 100 gift bags in my dining room!  But children and families still need help, hope, and kindness - now more than ever. 

Shopping link:

Thank you,
Rebecca Bond




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.


  • List Item

    A WISE Movie Night Discussion
    Wednesday, December 2nd at 7PM

    This film is rated R. Parent discretion is advised.

    The film, which documents the struggle to secure the Americans with Disability Act, is available on Netflix and on YouTube at Watch it at your leisure and join us for a discussion Wed. night, December 2nd at 7PM.  We'll send a zoom invite out earlier that day so it will be easier to find when you need it.  You can also find the zoom invite on our online calendar (on the DPUCC home page click on connect and the calendar is one of the drop down menu options)Crip Camp: a Disability Revolution Looking for something entertaining and meaningful to do during the pandemic?  Join the WISE Committee for a discussion of the movie.

    AND, we are excited to have one of the participants in the film join us live from CA to talk about the making of the film and the disability rights movement!

    Here's the zoom invite for the calendar:

    Tom Martinez is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

    Topic: WISE Crip Camp Discussion
    Time: Dec 2, 2020 07:00 PM Arizona                 

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 882 8860 2159
    One tap mobile
    +12532158782,,88288602159#,,,,,,0#,,426974# US (Tacoma)
    +13462487799,,88288602159#,,,,,,0#,,426974# US (Houston)

    Dial by your location
            +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
            +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
            +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
            +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C)
            +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
            +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
    Meeting ID: 882 8860 2159
    Find your local number:

  • "Eyes on the Prize:" Interfaith Video and Discussion Series on Racial Justice sponsored by the AZ Faith Network.

    Monday, December 7th, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm.

  • Anti-Hunger Call (Partner Event)

    Fri. December 11th, 12:00pm - 3:00pm

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

Next meeting: December 3. For December 3, we will conclude our Levine Short Stories by Jesus study and share any parables we have written or created.


December 17 - ZOOM HOLIDAY TEA & SHOW AND TELL - this would be a fun opportunity for new folks to join us. 


On December 17, we will do a socially distanced holiday tea party. Everyone is encouraged to wear a holiday sweater/shirt or holiday colors. This might be your only chance to show off those holiday earrings this year!! Plan to enjoy a festive beverage. Perhaps pick a holiday tea to sip from a special teacup. If the cup has a story behind it, we want to see the cup and hear the story. Please prepare something meaningful to show or tell about your holiday traditions in place of a book discussion. Perhaps you can share a special ornament from your childhood or tell us your favorite Christmas Eve memory or sing a verse from your favorite Christmas Carol.


New folks and visitors are always welcome! Contact Sue Henderson at or the church office for the zoom link. 

  Sunday Group

The Sunday Women’s Bible study’s next meeting is November 22, at 3:00 pm. This group will be continuing via Zoom, meeting once or twice a month. We are reading Bible Women: All their words and why they matter by Lindsay Hardin Freeman. On November 22, we will be reading the New Testament, “The Syrophoenician Woman—aka The Canaanite Woman.” We discuss not only the book and the bible passages but how they relate to what is happening in our lives and the world we live in now.


You do not need to have come in the past to join us now. Please contact Pat Speer ( if you wish to be added to the email list to receive the Zoom link.  


Desert Palm Supportive Conversations

Topic: Supportive Conversations
Time: Nov. 30, 2020 07:00 PM Arizona
Every week on Mon, until Jan 11, 2021, 7 occurrence(s)


Nov 30, 2020 07:00 PM

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


Join from PC, Mac, Linux, iOS or Android:

Or Telephone:
    Dial (for higher quality, dial a number based on your current location):
        US: +1 602 753 0140  or +1 346 248 7799  or +1 669 219 2599  or +1
669 900 6833  or +1 720 928 9299  or +1 971 247 1195  or +1 213
338 8477  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 786 635 1003  or +1 267 831
0333  or +1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 470 250 9358
or +1 470 381 2552  or +1 646 518 9805  or +1 646 876 9923  or +1
651 372 8299
Meeting ID: 890 0875 8361
International numbers available:

Or iPhone one-tap (US Toll):  +16027530140,,89008758361# or

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  


East Valley Church Network Update

East Valley Network Update- 11/22/20

Although currently unable to host asylum seekers on-site, the East Valley Network still tries to serve that community in Mexico. We are also assisting one of our member churches with a high number of food-insecure members. Here is an update on these two efforts.


Iglesia Cristiana el Buen Pastor

Monetary donations to the Iglesia Cristiana el Buen Pastor account have enabled the purchase of 25 -$50 gift cards that Pastor Hector at el Buen Pastor can give to struggling parents so that they can purchase Christmas gifts for their children. Pastor Hector will also receive a small monetary gift as recognition of his ministry during the COVID crisis, not only to his own church members but to his wider neighborhood and the homeless.


Another Network participant, one of the Muffin Queens, made and donated 25 necklace and earring sets so kids could choose one for their mothers for Christmas. Still, another group, remaining anonymous, donated several new toys divided between el Buen Pastor and the Sonoyta family shelter.


Another Network church, Scottsdale UCC, sent us a $500 donation to be used toward food purchases for el Buen Pastor. 


Thank you to everyone who brings groceries to me week after week. You are all so appreciated for your generosity and kindness. I am overwhelmed - and I mean that sincerely. We have been contributing a carful of groceries and about $300 in grocery gift cards every week since April, and there has NEVER been a week when nothing was donated.  


But we cannot rest on our past generosity- there are still about 15 church families that are food insecure and families from the neighborhood and homeless living in the park next door. Nothing donated goes to waste, and everything is distributed each week.  


This week, donations will be collected as usual at my house any time before noon on Friday. 


As a reminder, the most requested items are rice, pinto and black beans, canned chicken/tuna, canned vegetables, cereal, spaghetti and sauce, soups, vegetable oil, salt/pepper/garlic, laundry/dish soap, TP/paper towels, bread/tortillas, chicken bouillon, school lunch items, dog food, and coffee. Fruit or vegetables that do not have to be refrigerated in the short term (apples/oranges/melon/potatoes) are also possible. I can keep them in the house until I transport them on Friday afternoon. 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 University Presbyterian Church or dropped through the church office's mail slot. Indicate "el Buen Pastor" on the envelope or memo line. Groceries, or cash for supplemental groceries, can be delivered to my house by Thursday afternoons. Call me if you need a Friday morning drop off or for a pickup.


Sonoyta Shelters

As a reminder, the Network supports two shelters of asylum seekers (a men's shelter and a family shelter) in Sonoyta, MX, in conjunction with the Ajo Samaritans and Humane Borders. Together, the shelters house about 150 people. And with the change in national administrations, we expect a surge in those coming to the border over the next few months.


University Presbyterian approved a $1000 undesignated gift to the Ajo Samaritans to use toward any of many current needs at the shelters. For example, an infestation of bed bugs at the men's shelter will cost nearly that much to exterminate.


Over the past two weeks, two volunteers have driven downloads of men's clothes, children's shoes, diapers, toys, towels, and other requested items to meet some immediate needs. Other volunteers will make a trip every couple of weeks.


We are always in need of men's clothing, shoes, underwear, and jackets. If you feel safe enough to shop at the resale/thrift stores, please try to find some items for us.


-men's long-sleeved T-shirts/shirts (S, M)

-men's jeans (waist sizes 26-34)

-jackets and sweatshirts (S, M)

-new underwear (S, M)

-tennis shoes or boots (up to size 10.5)



I know you have a choice in who to help, and we appreciate your continuing to support us.  


Food and clothing are the basics in these uncertain times.


Thank you all for your continued compassion, energy, kindness, and generosity.



(480) 570-0450 

1701 W Lindner, Mesa 85202

(near Baseline and Dobson)

University Presbyterian Church, 139 E Alameda, Tempe, AZ 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. 

We meet on Zoom, to join us just click the link that says “ join zoom meeting “.  Even if you don’t have Zoom on your computer yet, just click the link and Zoom will download the required software. Just install it and you will be connected. It’s free.

If you have trouble loading the software, send an email to the church administrator and she will get you in touch with someone to help you.

Topic: Coffee Hour

Time: November 22, 2020 11:00 AM Arizona

Every week on Sun, until Dec 27, 2020, 20 occurrence(s)


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



Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 821 9388 9284

One tap mobile

+13462487799,,82193889284#,,,,,,0#,,765263# US (Houston)

+16699006833,,82193889284#,,,,,,0#,,765263# US (San Jose)


Dial by your location

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

Meeting ID: 821 9388 9284

Find your local number:

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 Thursday at 6:30 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. This Fall we are gathering on October 23, November 20, and December 18.

  • Dinner Group

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

What Are Your Touchstone Stories?

Join Rev. Tom Martinez and Sue Ringler for a Small Group Storytelling Project and Find Out. There will be two groups, one drawn entirely from Desert Palm and one mixed group made of people drawn from both Desert Palm and I-Help.  


Rev. Tom Martinez (Senior Minister of Desert Palm, UCC, in Tempe, AZ) will be offering an online storytelling project for I-Help participants and members/friends of Desert Palm UCC as part of his dissertation project through the Pacifica Graduate Institute (located in Carpinteria, CA). This degree program is based on Community, Liberation, Indigenous, and Eco-psychologies. One group of between 8 to 10 participants will be drawn from Desert Palm, and one group will consist of a combination of I-Help participants and members of Desert Palm UCC. Participants will be participating in a series of storytelling sessions, relating its themes to others' stories in the group, and the CHIME model of mental health (CHIME is an acronym that stands for connectedness, hope, identity, meaning, and empowerment).   


What: Rev. Tom Martinez’ Pacifica Graduate Institute Ph. D. Dissertation Project. 

Pastor Tom will facilitate the Desert Palm group. Sue Ringler of the Tempe Community Action Agency (Tempe, AZ) will co-facilitate the mixed group with Tom, drawn from both Desert Palm and I-Help. This small group project will engage the practice of storytelling, with an emphasis on both telling and listening to our individual stories. 


When: each of the eight sessions will last 90 minutes. 

Groups will be held online through zoom. Each group will run for a total of 8 sessions.    

Where: meetings will take pace through the zoom.    



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.

Volunteer Oportunity


The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to work at their Forgotten Angel Warehouse in December.

The warehouse address is 2702 E. Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85034.  Volunteers would be parking at 2707 E. Van Buren, Phoenix, AZ 85008 - and then walk across the street in the back of the warehouse.  There will be signs.

Masks and hand sanitizer will be provided.


Dates Volunteers are needed:


December 8 - Forgotten Angel Warehouse Drop Off - volunteers will be taking bags of gifts out of people’s cars, loading them into carts, rolling the carts into the warehouse and taking the bags out of the rolling bins,


Contact - Marla Boubel or (602) 267-4177

Dec 8th

Shift A: 7:30 – 9:30 a.m.

Shift B: 11:30 – 1:30 p.m. 

Shift C: 4:00 -6:00 p.m. 


Angel Warehouse Distribution Volunteers- volunteers might sort toys in the warehouse or may take bags of toys to the cars of families who are receiving them.

Contact - Danielle Shankle or (602) 267-4117

DEC 10, 11, 17, 21, 22, 23

Shift A: 8:00- Noon  

Shift B: 11:30-1:30 p.m.

Shift C: 1:00- 5:00 p.m.  


 DEC 14, 15, 16, 18

Shift B: 11:30-1:30 p.m. 

Shift C: 1:00- 5:00 p.m.