the weekly update

Current News and Events at Desert Palm

spanish language & culture lunch group

We've got a few spots left for our upcoming Saturday July 24th  lunch gathering at La Tiendita, a Colombian restaurant in Mesa (456 W. Main St.). We're gathering folks who are interested in practicing their Spanish (or starting to learn) and/or who would like to learn more about Central and South American tradition and culture. Mostly it'll be a chance to socialize over a tasty meal.  The restaurant is on Main St. in Mesa (near Country Club), in a little strip mall on the north side of the light rail, directly alongside a beauty salon. Room is limited and we've already had several folks RSVP so contact Rich Doerrer-Peacock if you're interested in coming. If we fill up will be sure to follow up with folks at the next gathering. You can email Rich at

    True Colors is back!

Please mark your calendar for the second Thursday of every month at 10am at Pat Quinnett’s house. TRUE COLORS IS BACK "IN PERSON"  YAAAAY!!

The main item to bring is you and your chatter. Feel free to bring a friend.

This project has two objectives: first is to provide an opportunity to be social and catch up with each other and second is to create messages for housebound folks with that personal touch.

Personally I like working with all the different colors.

Thanks to recent contributions we have plenty of coloring supplies. Please bring any pictures that you might have colored during the last few months.

If you want to bring a snack to share that is good too. I will have a fresh pot of coffee and ice water.

As always RSVP is appreciated but not required. 

See you soon!

Pat Q – (480)818-2203

P.S. The pictures we color are mailed to folks stuck at home or in the hospital or you can work on projects for your friends and family. If you have any spare stamps or long envelopes, it is always a big help with the mailings.

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: July 25, 2021 11:00 AM Arizona


        Every week on Sun, until Dec 12, 2021




         July 25, 2021 11:00 AM



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




Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 876 6880 8945

 One tap mobile

 +12532158782,,87668808945#,,,,*465271# US (Tacoma)

 +13462487799,,87668808945#,,,,*465271# 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: 876 6880 8945

Find your local number:

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

Thursday WBS will be taking a break for the summer and will be back in the fall!

Contact Sue Henderson at for more information.

  Sunday Group

Women’s Sunday Bible Study group will meet August 15 immediately after church (in the Library area).  We will also offer Zoom for those interested. 


On August 18 we will be extending our studies of Martha of Bethany.  Page 405 of the book “Bible Women, All their Words and why They Matter” 

Please contact Pat Speer for more information at


andrew's ponderings

asu update

Every Thursday evening at 6:30pm in the month of July we are offering our new Zoom group for all young adults.  We have young adults from across California, Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, and Texas signed up.  We specifically are creating a space to support people just out of college who are looking for meaningful community and spiritual engagement. Contact Andrew for more (

For ASU specific ministry we have a full plan prepared for on-campus/in-person ministry this Fall.  We can't wait!!  


Monthly Children's Chapel

Based on the feedback of our families we are now offering a single Sunday School class at 8:00am on Sunday mornings.  We also will continue to offer the Children's Chapel on the second Sunday of each month at 8:00am.

Please connect with Andrew if you want to be added to our emails with the link. 



We have been so blessed to have a weekly time with our youth through Zooms over the past year and few months.  We are now transitioning to in-person gatherings on some Sunday afternoons this Summer.

On Sundays, August 8 & 22 we will be meeting at the Phoenix Art Museum and the Heard Museum at Noon for fun and formative outings focused on art and racial justice.  

Please No Glass containers

United Food Bank donation request by month

January: Soup                  
February: Beans                  

March: Pasta & Sauce

April: Canned/Dry Milk

May: Canned Fruit

June: Canned Meat & Fish

July: Peanut Butter & Jelly

August: Fruit Juices

September: Rice

October: Whole Grain Cereal

November: Canned Chili
December: Canned Vegetables

upcoming events

  • List Item

    Find out what's new in this week's "In the Loop." To find out more about SWC lick on more. 

  • Anti-Hunger Call (Partner Event)

    Fri. Jul 30th, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

    Join the anti-hunger and food systems advocacy calls with the Arizona Food Bank Network and the Arizona Food System Network, held every other Friday. More information and recordings of past calls are available at:

justice & witness committe reconvenes:

Calling all DPUCC folks who are passionate about justice. Join us for a Wednesday evening (August 4th at 7PM) zoom at which Rev. Rich Doerrer-Peacock will alert us to some pending immigration legislation. 

Tom Martinez is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Justice & Witness
Time: Aug 4, 2021, 7:00 PM Arizona

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 899 9504 0153

Possible Letter to Sign re Immigration Policy

June 21, 2021

Immigration Letter DPUCC Has Been Asked to Sign Onto: The SW Conference has shared (not authored) this letter that many religious groups and non-governmental aid groups are signing, calling for more humane immigration policies and less of a militarized approach. 

Dear Secretary Mayorkas and Acting Director Johnson,


The undersigned organizations write with concerns regarding U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) custody programs involving families arriving at the U.S. Southern border. In March, ICE signed a short-term no-bid contract[1] with Family Endeavors (“Endeavors”) for 1,239 hotel beds and other related services.[2] The Biden-Harris administration has also expanded an existing contract and signed a new one, worth a total of $136 million, with the controversial private security contractor MVM Inc.[3] We have serious concerns regarding the manner in which these programs are being implemented and the lack of transparency surrounding the contracts.

We call on the Biden-Harris administration to move away from ICE’s reliance on hotels and invest in the creation of NGO-run post-release Border Reception and Welcome Centers, where asylum seekers can receive voluntary respite and social support services, COVID-19 testing as needed along with an orientation to the asylum system and assistance with securing safe transportation to their final destination.[4] We also request that you provide information clarifying the nature of ICE’s contracts with MVM and Endeavors, and on any other programs involving ICE’s use of hotels to detain and/or process families currently in place or under negotiation.[5]


We understand and appreciate that the administration is working to receive a significant number of families arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border.[6] We also understand that Endeavors is holding families apprehended at the border in different locations, supplying COVID-19 testing, support with medical care, food, and assistance with onward transportation.[7] However, the operations on the ground have raised serious concerns regarding the treatment and lack of freedom of movement of those held in ICE custody under the Endeavors program. We are also alarmed to see numbers of active COVID-19 cases rising in hotels used by Endeavors.[8]


To date we have not heard any evidence as to why Endeavors was contracted when local NGO service providers who have for years provided services to support those seeking at the border are willing and able to scale up their services.[9] Moreover, in some regions, Endeavors has released families to community-based shelters before completing their quarantine to avoid holding people in ICE custody longer than 72-hours, placing the burden on local NGOs while at the same time diverting resources away from local shelters with proven track records and community trust. Unlike community-based shelters, the Endeavors hotel program appears to operate as a custodial model, where people do not have the freedom to leave their rooms or facilities, and do not have full access to legal services. Rather than extend ICE custody, which both presents excessive costs and risks under this pandemic and beyond, we urge the government to release families to shelters where they will safely receive the services they need.


In addition to ongoing questions around ICE’s contract with Family Endeavors, it is particularly alarming that this administration has paid out millions to renew contracts with the military contracting company MVM inc, and quietly entered into a new agreement for the transport of migrant children and families.[10] Using a military contractor to transport migrants arriving at the border has inflicted irreversible harm and trauma on children.[11]


We call on the Biden-Harris administration to immediately engage in greater transparency with regards to the border management and processing programs, and to turn to the trusted local NGOs who stand ready to assist with supporting those released from the border instead of hoteling them.[12] Border reception and welcoming centers should be funded and operated outside of ICE and CBP, with trusted community-based nonprofit organizations providing contracted services. Existing border shelter networks provide vital care for asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border, and have the capacity to provide more services for far less than what is allocated towards Endeavors and MVM contracts.[13] Critically, such programs must be established in consultation with border communities and use a trauma-informed approach.

Spanish Language & Culture Lunch Group: Join us Saturday July 24th for a lunch gathering at La Tiendita, a Colombian restaurant in Mesa (456 W. Main St.). Everyone's invited. The idea is to gather folks who are interested in practicing their Spanish (or starting to learn) and/or who would like to learn more about central and South American tradition and culture. Mostly it'll be a chance to socialize over a tasty meal.  The restaurant is in a little strip mall on the north side of the light rail, directly alongside a beauty salon. Please RSVP by texting or calling Pastor Tom (718) 915-2600 or by emailing him at If you email please include the word "Spanish" in the subject heading.

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

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 REFUGEE UPDATE 6/29/21 From Holly Herman

Top Line Items:

  • “Drive ‘n ‘ Drop” next Sunday,  July 4th, noon-2pm, Towels (new or used), TP, and travel snack items  at University Presbyterian, 139 E Alameda, Tempe
  • Sponsor a hygiene kit item- see below under Welcome Center
  • Sorters, assemblers, donations, and drivers always needed.


Welcome Center (WC)

  • Volunteers assembled 100 hygiene kits for the Welcome Center last week.  Do you want to help assemble next time?  Let me know.
  • We plan to send 100 kits a month to the WC and are looking for “sponsors” for specific items.  Some items have been claimed, but travel sized Hair Conditioner ($35), Lip Balm ($40), Body Lotion ($50), Sanitary Napkins ($20), and Gallon Ziplocks bags ($25) are still available.  To sponsor an item means that you will supply 100 of these items by the 15th of each month.  The approximate cost, if bought in bulk, is indicated.  Call me or send an email if you are interested.
  • In addition to the hygiene kits, we always need travel food snack items and small stuffed animals (kids are given one as they wait for their COVID test and get to keep it when they leave.)
  • Over 100 asylum seekers are being dropped at the Welcome Center daily.  Volunteers are always needed.  A friend of mine described his experience here:

“Holly Herman invited me to consider volunteering at the Welcome Center in Phoenix.  I’ve always liked the idea of being a greeter at Wal-Mart.   So the idea of welcoming our neighbors who have migrated to the US to seek asylum…well, I was extremely excited, to say the least!  

So far, I’ve only been to the Welcome Center twice and only for a few hours each time.  Although I have not been at the front door, I have been in the Ropa Room welcoming people as they come in and helping them find clothes.  (Ropa means clothes in Spanish.)  Each guest is able to pick out a few items ranging from shirts and blouses, pants, jeans, underwear, socks, light jackets, and possibly shoes in addition to toiletries for their shower and a small backpack. The guests have been very appreciative.  It’s been great to meet them, the other volunteers, and the staff. Jane McNamara, from First Church Phoenix has really helped me settle in to this new opportunity.  

The asylum seekers are at the Welcome Center for only a few days maximum. Soon they will be on their way to their sponsors.  Sponsors are the ones who pay for their transportation and will help them live in the US while the seekers wait to hear if their application is accepted.  Often times that takes as long as 3 years.  If their application is then accepted, then their status changes to “refugees”.  And they are entitled to the rights and resources accorded to other refugees.  This enables them to settle into the culture of the US.

So the Welcome Center is a little oasis along their long road toward finding safety, reuniting with family, and hopefully an opportunity for a new life. And personally, I’m really glad for this opportunity to be of service.

Rev. Rich Doerrer-Peacock”

If you would like to volunteer, let me know and I will connect you. 


Sonoyta Shelters

  • Donations were sorted in the clothing room last week, then packed and driven to Ajo for delivery to the Resource Center.
  • Thank you to an amazing group of shoppers! We are stocking the clothing room at the new Resource Center so needed clothes in all sizes for all ages and genders.  
  • At the Drive ‘n’ Drop this coming Sunday, we’re asking for TP and towels (new or used) especially.  As asylum seekers are beginning to gain entrance into the US, there is more turnover in the shelters - and folks are taking their towels with them when they leave!
  • Do you want to help sort, assemble, or drive?  Let me know.


Monte Vista Church

  • Monte Vista church is hosting up to 50 asylum seekers every Monday and Wednesday and is asking churches to bring meals on those nights.  Three Mondays a month were unclaimed.  The East Valley Network has now covered all three of these with UPC, Mission del Sol, Scottsdale UCC, plus one amazing individual, Luchi, from Epiphany Episcopal.  If any church or any individual would like to help with this ministry, let me know.  We will pair you with another lead church.


Checks for the Sonoyta Refugee Shelters can be mailed to UPC or dropped through the mail slot. Indicate "Refugee acct" on the memo line.  These cash donations allow volunteer shoppers to purchase clothing, underwear, shoes, and other items requested by, and then delivered to, the Ajo Samaritans for both the men’s shelter and family Resource Center.  Donations of "stuff" can be brought to my house, or call for a pick up. If you have questions about what we need, please call me. I’ll send you a list.


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


Holly Herman

(480) 570-0450

1701 W Lindner, Mesa, 85202

(near Baseline and Dobson)


University Presbyterian Church

139 E. Alameda Dr.

Tempe, AZ  85282

Bread Project

Several members of University Presbyterian, in its committed ministry to the homeless, are testing the feasibility of providing homemade bread to a variety of outlets serving this population. The project models itself after a bread project in Washington now serving hundreds of loaves to scores of nonprofits.  We’re starting small- with weekly deliveries to the TCAA Oasis Center and IHELP.

This email is a request for potential bakers.  Each baker would bake 3 loaves of bread and could sign up to do this once a week, every two weeks, once a month- or whatever meets their individual schedules. The only requirements are that each baker have a food scale (the recipe is by weight to maintain consistency) and a food thermometer.  The recipe, an instruction video, bread bags/ties, and some ingredients would be provided.  Reimbursement for other expenses is available.  

If you would like more information, or want to volunteer, the coordinator, Andrea White, can be reached at 480-580-3021.  We are hoping to have at least 8 bakers to test the process over the next two weeks. 

MAT Donations needed

Greetings Desert Palm family and friends,

I hope you are staying cool and hydrated during our extreme hot weather in AZ.  Unfortunately, not everyone has these options.   Last year over 500 persons died from heat related causes in Maricopa County.  In response to this, First Church UCC, Phoenix has become a cooling center to provide water and a place to rest.  In making a personal contact with Pastor Susan Valiquette I found the immediate need is mats for people to lie on to rest or sleep.  The AZ Food Bank is currently providing a sufficient supply of water.  Therefore, to support our SWC sister church, First Church UCC, Phoenix, I am coordinating an effort to supply mats for this important ministry being provided.   Contributions may come in the form of a mat(s) which can be left at the church, cash donations or going to the church website and making a contribution. Due to the urgency of the need, there will be a deadline of Sunday, July 25, 2021. The total of the contributions  received will be used to order mats from a company that Becky Klein found for $8.00 each and can be sent directly to First Church, Phoenix.  For any further questions, please contact Jo Vredenburg, e-mail address  Also, I will be available at worship service on July 11th and 25th and can take contributions at that time or donations may be left in the office marked for mats.   Thank you for your compassion and support.

Thank you,


food donations needed at (immigrant) welcome center

We've just heard that there is a high need for food donations at the IRC Welcome Center for families seeking asylum (1801 S 12th St, Phoenix, AZ 85034).  A call is going out for churches to drop off food at directly at the Welcome Center if possible.

Maricopa Co. has imposed additional restrictions on food service, and the center is not able to serve meals, so they are trying to give the guests food to take with them.  The center is also seeing an increase in the number of visitors, and the food items they have continually run out.  

The following is what they said they most need:

  • Individual serving yogurts  (Walmart and Costco have yogurt individual servings in cases of 24)   Requirement:  500/wk
  • String cheese or other cheese individually wrapped.  Requirement:  500/week    

  • Smuckers (or other brand) uncrustable sandwiches individually wrapped.  Requirement:  400/week

The request is for food items. Monetary donations tend not to be as accessible to meet the immediate needs.   The food items can be dropped off at the Welcome Center directly.