Jottings 3/30/19

Alan Cochrane, a longtime and beloved member of Church of the Beatitudes since 1978, passed away on Friday, March 22, 2019.  He was truly a Beatitudes Saint, actively involved in the church for many years leaving an extensive legacy of service to the church and the greater community. From his work with the Habitat for Humanity homebuild, serving as treasurer for the Southwest Conference, serving on the property committee and the Board of Directors, to singing in the Beatitudes Choir and playing handbells, Alan was a Beatitudes force that will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. But perhaps his most valuable commitment of note was his 40-year relationship with his longtime companion and wife, Barb Ross.  A service will be planned for a later date.

First Congregational UCC Albuquerque is holding a family camping trip to Cochiti Lake on April 5-7.

Susan Stevens Whitney and the sisterhood of Needlework for Nogales Children (N4NC) raised $868 selling their handiwork in one generous Sunday morning at Casas Adobes Congregational Church, all in support of the women and children at the Home for Hope and Peace (HEPAC) in Nogales, Sonora, 

This year, First Church Phoenix is partnering with Scottsdale Congregational UCC to march together during the PRIDE Parade as well as to staff and "stock" (provide promotional materials from our churches) their table for the 2-day festival.  First Church UCC Phoenix is organizing the march and pre-PRIDE service; Scottsdale UCC is hosting the festival booth. 

Congregational Church of the Valley shared a wonderful day when the baby animal petting zoo came to school to celebrate spring! The children had been learning about the rainbow, color mixing, and baby animals and they got to meet chicks, bunnies, goat kids, a lamb, and ducklings (and their mothers) in person. How proud we were of how gentle the children were with these tender creatures.

Youth at United Church of Santa Fe are selling garden kits to raise money for One Great Hour of Sharing. 

Rincon Congregational re-opened their migrant shelter by welcoming 24 parents and children this week. 

At the TIHAN (Tucson Interfaith HIV/AIDS Network) annual meeting and awards ceremony March 19, The Good Shepherd was recognized with a certificate for their support of TIHAN and help with the October POZ cafe. 

First Congregational UCC Albuquerque participated in an Interfaith Thanksgiving service last November that included an amazing thirteen different congregations, including our Muslim, Jewish and Unitarian brothers and sisters as well as Protestant and Catholic Christians. The clergy and music teams from this collaboration agreed to create more events that celebrate our common bonds. Born from that initiative is a work project/worship service that will happen on the afternoon of Sunday, April 7. To celebrate Earth Month, folks will gather to take out invasive plants along the eastern shore of the Rio Grande in the Bosque and participate in a short worship service.

On Friday, April 12, at 6 pm, First Congregational UCC Prescott will host "Everybody’s Hometown:  A Dialogue on Race in Prescott,".  a community a town hall to discuss race in Prescott: Where we have come from – where we are now – and where we would like to go.

Church of the Palms collected more than 300 pairs of socks and 300 pairs of underwear for children in the after school and summer school program at the Dysart Community Center.  Vickie Ashenbrenner created the Valentine “Giving Tree” and the Palms generously responded.

Volunteers from Church of the Palms and Dove of the Desert UMC travel weekly to a host church in Tolleson (about 20 minutes away) where 150 asylum seekers are dropped off each Monday and Tuesday.  They sort clothing to provide a clean set of clothes after the visitors have had a shower – usually their first in several days- package snack items for onward travel which are given to each traveler, and on occasion, help serve a meal.  Drivers from the Palms use the church bus to take groups to the bus depot or airport.  The hosting church has a very small space in which to welcome 100 people.  One of the things on their “wish list” was a large tent in which they could feed the visitors, and offer some protection from extreme heat and cold.  Church of the Palms wrote a grant request to the national United Church of Christ offices for assistance.  The grant was funded and a 30’x50’ tent has now been erected in back of the smaller building. 

Church of the Red Rocks has its own version of "TED Talks". On April 4th at 5 PM, Ted Grussing will speak on the effect on and integration of photography in his life and views. Ted became a professional photographer when he was 14 years old. He has been a professional gem cutter, jewelry designer, a professional pilot (gliders and motorgliders), full-time caregiver to his wife who had MS for 23 years.  Additionally, he is lawyer, published author, public speaker, mentor and teacher. Ted’s photography has been widely published and utilized in magazines, websites and blogs and in private and public collections, including Arizona Highways, Grand Canyon Trust, Sojourns magazine, USFS, EPA, Game and Fish, Arizona and US Geological Survey.