the weekly update

Current News and Events at Desert Palm

Decision by council not to open the church yet

A special Council meeting was called on Tuesday, March 30th, to discuss the possibility of allowing in-person attendance at church. After much discussion and deliberation, and consultation with Ethel Utter, the Council has decided to hold off opening the church to the congregation until it can be determined how many in the congregation and staff are completely vaccinated. Council will review this decision at the May 11th Council meeting. An email has been sent out asking people to respond to the vaccine question if they feel comfortable doing so.

Bob Carver


One of the great loves of the United Church of Christ is the love of children and youth.

Supporting our one week of summer camp is one of the primary expressions of that great love that we do together as a conference.  Year after year church camp experiences have developed life long memories for our youth and children.

In the last two years, 2020, and now 2021, church camp has had to be canceled due to COVID19.   We want our children and staff to be safe, so it is necessary to wait until all can become vaccinated before we return to camp.

In the meantime, we have the opportunity to participate in the Sow the Seed Offering.

This SW offering, and one that is a part of the 7-for-7 offerings, is an offering to provide scholarships for youth to attend youth retreats and camp.  Our youth programs are the best and we want all children to be able to participate.   Scholarships can help families with the cost, when the fees are challenging.

This April, we are collecting monies for the Sow the Seed Offering and it will help to support next year’s campers.

Desert Palm can send in their contributions in one of two ways:

1).  You can write a check payable to Desert Palm and made a note on the memo line for Sow the Seed.

2).  Or, you can use the new ‘Give’ feature on the DPCC website.   There will be a Donation options 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

Gathering Humanity

Gathering Humanity is looking for volunteers, who have been vaccinated for COVID 19, to serve as translators at the Welcome Center where immigrants relocating to Phoenix first arrive. Individuals who speak Spanish or Portuguese are needed. If you are interested, please contact Gathering Humanity at   (928) 421-3446 or email

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."

Are you eligible for covid-19 VACCINE?

As of Wednesday, March 24, at 8 a.m., all Arizonans 16 years or older can register for a COVID-19 vaccine appointment through any state-run site in Maricopa, Pima or Yuma County.

Consider making an account on the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) Vaccine Portal now if you plan to register, it can help the process go smoothly when appointments open.

Click here to register!

Those without computer access or who need additional assistance can call the Arizona COVID-19 Hotline at 1-844-542-8201.

For technical support with ADHS’ Vaccine Portal, call (602) 542-1000 or consult the user guide or video guide (en Español). 

Remember, every Arizonan, regardless of insurance or citizenship status, will be able to get the vaccine at no cost. If you need any additional help, please continue to  reach out to my office online, call us at (602) 956-2463 or consult my office's COVID-19 vaccine guide.

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: April 18, 2021 11:00 AM Arizona


        Every week on Sun, until Dec 12, 2021




         April 18, 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

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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 Women's Bible and Book study will be meeting the following dates. All are welcome to join. We will be discussing stories by the following authors in our book Listening for God. 

April 28 - Garrison Keillor (both stories) 115 - 130

May 13 - Richard Rodriguez (both stories) 131 - 151

May 27 - end of the year celebration.

Then we will be taking a break for summer and returning in the fall. 

Contact Maria in the church office or Sue Henderson at for the zoom link or more information. 

  Sunday Group

The Sunday Women’s Bible Study Group will meet via Zoom on April 28, 2021 at 3 pm.  We will be discussing "Mary the mother of Jesus pages 399 to 404—All Their Words and Why They Matter.”    

We enjoy a lively discussion sharing our thoughts and opinions that includes how events mirror our lives today.  Please feel free to join us, even if you don’t have the book or have not read the chapter that we’ll be discussing.

On this Sunday we will be meeting at Pat Speer's house outside on her patio.  You can still join by zoom.  If you join us in person please either have both vaccines and/or wear your mask.  


Contact Pat Speer at or Carol Lee Smith at if you would like to be included on the Zoom invite or join us in person.



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.


We are in the midst of transition and preparation for Fall 2021!!  

During this interim time Andrew is still available for supportive conversations and pastoral care for young adults.  Email

or call or text (602) 386-0669.


Monthly Children's Chapel

We are offering a special new program on Zoom for all our children on the second Sunday of each month at 10:00am. On the second Sunday all our kids of all ages will gather together for Children's Chapel with scripture, stories, and activities.  On all other Sundays we will continue to offer Sunday school at 10:00am for kids in grades 1-4 and at 10:45 for kids in Kindergarten and younger.

Weekly Youth Zoom

Our youth are meeting weekly at 3:30pm every Wednesday. All youth are welcome! Contact Andrew for the

East Valley Church Network Update 3/30/21

From Holly Herman

Update to East Valley Network  3/30/21

The following newsletter was received from Holly Herman, who leads the East Valley Church Network, a group of churches assisting refugees coming across the border.


Top needs:

Twin sized blankets, towels, hygiene kit and food pack items, groceries.

Volunteer thrift store shoppers before next Tuesday, April 6.

Clothing room volunteers on Tuesday, April 6th at 10am

     (Call or text me to volunteer)


Asylum Seekers:   Sonoyta Shelters, Welcome Center, and Ajo Samaritans

ICE is dropping off asylum seekers in Ajo almost daily and the Samaritans have stepped up to assist with medical treatment, clothes, food, and transportation to Tucson.  The Tucson refugee center, Casa Alitas, will complete their transportation arrangements with their sponsors.  We are currently collecting hygiene kit and food pack items for both Ajo and the Welcome Center here in Phoenix.  


The Phoenix Welcome Center receives 1-200 asylum seekers per day.  They can accommodate up to 120 overnight, but are anticipating increased numbers, and are looking for overflow options.  They also need volunteers for a variety of functions.  Look for updates – as soon as more information is learned.


Hygiene kit items: small soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, chap stick, washcloths, combs, razors, brushes, toothpaste, and toothbrushes.

(Thank you to Carl for 100 pre-packed hygiene kits.)

Food pack items: soft granola bars, squeeze applesauces, Vienna sausages, trail mix, crackers with cheese or peanut butter, raisins, nuts, etc.


Get the most for your money by ordering items in bulk if possible.   Contributions to the Refugee Fund will enable us to also order bulk supplies.


There are new people coming to both Sonoyta shelters daily, so there is a need for twin-sized, washable blankets and towels.  Check your linen closets for extras.  Thank you to Lewis and Roca for 100 coffee mugs for the Sonoyta shelters.  And a huge thank you to Sue from Temple Emanuel for some gorgeous children's quilts.


ALWAYS  a need for men's jeans, gym shorts, tshirts, flip flops, tennis shoes, and underwear.  Also can always use women's leggings


Checks to support the Sonoyta Refugee shelters, the Phoenix Welcome Center, and the Ajo Samaritan asylum seeker hosting can be mailed to University Presbyterian Church, 139 E. Alameda, Tempe, AZ 85282. Indicate "Refugee acct" on the memo line.  Donations of "stuff" can be taken to Holly Herman’s house, or call for a pick up 480-570-0450.


Iglesia Cristiana El Buen Pastor

Thank you for groceries to members of University Presbyterian, Epiphany Episcopal, Temple Emanuel, Desert Palm UCC, Scottsdale UCC and extended Network individuals.   There continue to be between 15 and 20 families coming weekly for a food box.  You all make a difference for those that are food insecure.  Thank you to those who donate cash to buy supplemental groceries and a big thank you to Desert Palm UCC for 35 Easter baskets.



Deliver to Holly Herman’s 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). 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 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.  


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 (UPC)

139 E. Alameda Dr.

Tempe, AZ  85282

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


  • List Item

    Sustaining Soil and Souls: Stories of Food and Faith


    This Sunday, April 18, 4pm

    “Taste and see…”  --Psalm 34:8

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    Our So Help Me God: Faith and the Fight for a Progressive Future series continues on Sunday, April 18th, at 3:00 pm ET when we welcome esteemed alumnus Senator Raphael Warnock ’94, ’06. Please join Union President Rev. Dr. Serene Jones and Sen. Warnock for a deep dive into Georgia’s new voter suppression legislation and the uphill fight for the progressive agenda nationwide.

    Register to RSVP today:

  • List Item

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

  • List Item

    Interfaith Book Study Series on Redlining in Arizona

    Tuesday, April 20th, 6:30 - 8:00 pm

    About this Event

    Join the Arizona Faith Network for a book study series led by Dr. Lois Brown, Director of Arizona State University's Center for the Study of Race and Democracy, on racial justice and redlining. Together we will read the book Minorities in Phoenix by Bradford Luckingham and discuss the historical and currents trend of racism and racial justice throughout Arizona.

    For more information go to:

  • Anti-Hunger Call (Partner Event)

    Fri. April 23rd, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

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.  



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

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