united church of christ certifications

our ucc witness

Through our United Church of Christ denomination we have made special commitments as a congregation to live out God's unconditional love in bold ways.

Learn more about our commitments through the United Church of Christ by clicking on the blue titles of the boxes below.

Our commitment to including LGBTQ persons fully in the life of our church.  Desert Palm has been open and  affirming since 1999.


Welcoming and being there for those living with mental challenges in association with the UCC and National Alliance on Mental Illness.  

Our commitment to practicing what we preach on our commitment to climate justice.  We have a church committee acting to fight climate change.

justice and witness

As a UCC congregation located in a southern border state, the Desert Palm Justice and Witness Team focuses most of its efforts on immigration.  We participate with East Valley churches and community organizations assisting immigrant families resettling in Phoenix, and families who have been released by ICE to join sponsors in the U.S.  The justice and Witness Team supports our church missions: feeding and housing the homeless, respecting our environment, being attentive to the stress it is under, committing our support to the LGBTQI community, those living with mental health challenges, and lifting the lives of children in need.

Justice and Witness at Desert Palm is also revealed through the compassionate and quiet deeds performed by our church family members every day.

Our liberal understanding of Jesus' compassion guides us as we Help Out, Reach Out, and Speak Out.  We collect and distribute donations for the marginalized, host events supporting causes of justice, and raise our voices attending protests, parades, and prayer services.  We sign petitions, we share information, and we join with other congregations to impact policy decisions by our local and national governments.

Desert Palm works with a host of Justice organizations, including:

UCC Justice and Witness Ministries

East Valley Church Network

Faith communities providing immigrants released by ICE, who are in need of short-term housing and meals, before departing the Phoenix area to live with their sponsors.


Assisting our church family and friends with medical needs, meals, and visits.

Humane Borders

Providing water to stations on the southern border.

Meals on Wheels

Delivering meals to homebound seniors. 

Rebel and Divine

Congregation at First UCC Phoenix providing a safe space for at-risk youth and young adults.

Southwest Human Development

Local agency providing for foster care for children. 

Empty Bowls

Annual charity event in Tempe helping to feed the hungry. 

our commitment to the overlooked and to our city

We are a host site for I-Help in partnership with the Tempe Community Action Agency.  We feed and house the homeless two Saturday nights a month.  We are always in need of more volunteers to serve on our host teams.  

arizona faith network

Arizona Faith Network (AFN) mission is inviting people into meaningful relationships, shared prayer and dialogue rooted in our faith traditions, and actions that influence public awareness, engagement and policy.  There are many opportunities for involvement through the Social Justice Commission.

There is a Mission Focus Team with the current focus on Criminal Legal Reform, other issue teams concerning Environmental Justice, Race and Economic Equity and Asylum Seeker Crisis.  There is also a Theological Dialogue Commission with working topics including: Faith 101, Next Steps, Know Your Neighbor Dialogue and Consensus Statement Team.  In addition, there is a Rapid Response Team and Youth Council.

Our motto is "Being Together, Talking Together, and Acting Together."  Jo Vedenburg is the Desert Palm representative and serves on the Social Justice Commission and many of the issue teams.  For more information, please contact Jo at jimjovred@gmail.com or

AFN at www.arizonafaithnetwork.org, e-mail ContactUs@AzFaithNetwork.org.

The Rev. Katie Sexton is the Executive Director.

What leland & eunice have to say about desert palm

We were attracted to the "Golden Rule" type of mutual respect shown for all at Desert Palm UCC as sisters and brothers in life, seeking social justice for ALL.