Church Jottings 5/11/19

In partnership with Arizona Interfaith Power & Light, Desert Heritage is hosting the viewing of the film "Paris to Pittsburg" on Saturday, May 18 AT 3:00 PM  This film shows the crisis we face with global warming alternating with practical things people (conservative and progressive in cities and town and states) are doing to mitigate and prepare for climate change.

The Green Justice team from First Congregational Albuquerque will be sponsoring a showing  of the same film on Wednesday, May 15 at 7:00 PM in Fellowship Hall. The film is described as: set against the national debate over the United States’ energy future — and the explosive decision to exit the Paris Climate Agreement — 'Paris to Pittsburgh' captures what's at stake for communities around the country and the inspiring ways Americans are responding. You can see the trailer here

Shadow Rock will hold a church family celebration on Sunday, June 2nd marking the 20th anniversary of becoming an Open and Affirming congregation. There will be special guests during the worship service, followed by a delicious BBQ lunch after church. 

Rev. Teresa Blythe of First Church Phoenix will teach a two-week class on May 16th and 23rd (6-7:30 pm) titled "How the Bible came to be" which will explore what scholars have to say about the history of the Bible.

Congratulations to Liz Mullen of Shepherd of the Hills, ICM Volunteer of the Year!

"We thank all of our volunteers and appreciate them every day at ICM! Congratulations to Liz, who has served ICM for more than 20 years as a member of the Board of Directors, Board President, donor, and a weekly volunteer. She is always a person that we can count on in any way, shape or form to provide leadership and assist the organization. Thank you again for your service and dedication to ICM."

The Welsh League of Arizona invites you to an afternoon of lively Celtic music by the Peaks Celtic Ensemble on May 19th at 2:30 at Shepherd of the Hills.  Admission by donation. All proceeds go toward supporting the exchange students between Cardiff University in Wales and NAU in Flagstaff.

On Friday, May 17th a quiet protest of prayer will be held at ICE Headquarters, 2035 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix at 11 a.m. The prayer and mission statement are led by the clergy from Shadow Rock UCC, and are most meaningful, with immigrant families sitting near the prayer circle. It is a short service, lasting about 10 minutes, with a variety of churches represented. Parking is available about half a block south of the ICE building at the Central United Methodist Church which is located on the SE Corner of Palm Lane and Central Avenue. This peaceful act of protest is held on the 17th of every month.

The Rincon Migrant Shelter will be hosting informational training sessions on: Tuesday, May 14th & Saturday, May 18th.  Please RSVP with which session(s) you'd like to attend:

  • 9-10am  General Info Session: Q&A about the current migration crisis, the reasons behind why people are coming in such great numbers, the asylum process, and the mission of the shelter. A great time to invite friends or family who haven’t previously volunteered but might want to get involved!

  • 10-1045am Volunteer Orientation: Covers volunteer roles, procedures, and the new sign-up system.

  • 10:45-11am Shelter Tour

  • 11-1130am  Shift Supervisor Training OR Kitchen Orientation     

A timely testament from Church of the Good Shepherd, Albuquerque

"Thank you to everyone who helped care for the asylum seekers that arrived on Sunday. For those of you unable to go, I wanted to let you know that the group doing this effort with ICE was extremely organized and treated everyone with dignity. The clothes and supplies you donated were handed out and received with over-pouring gratitude.  One person told me over and over what a respite this was after what sounded like a frightening and undignified journey.  The people I worked with were attentive, sober, patient, humble, well-educated, quiet and deferential. When I struggled to translate one part of the process into Spanish for a Honduran father, he smiled kindly and used the English he knew to help ME. When a man asked politely if he could have a pair of underwear to change into, and a volunteer told him he'd have to wait to get travel worked out first, he nodded and smiled and said in Spanish, "I understand. Thank you so much." When a woman asked if someone could contact her family to let them know she was safe, and a volunteer said it was not possible until after paperwork was completed, she didn't make a face or say anything rude. She just calmly returned to the line to wait.  How many of us would have been so understanding? How many of us would have been so patient?  The men and women I spoke to were also deeply spiritual, telling me over and over again how thankful they are to God to be safe. They are broken and downtrodden physically and emotionally, but they continue to be spiritually strong.  This particular group all has family or friends in the United States who have offered to support them through the process. The adults are also tracked with ankle bracelets. They have all been through trauma, either in their countries of origin or along the road, and yet somehow, are still standing, surviving, and waiting patiently for the process to unfold. They were also hungry and exhausted. Watching those kids smile as they devoured oranges and apples - I don't think I've ever seen any child so excited about fruit!  The population of asylum seekers I met on Sunday is clearly not a group of handout-seeking criminal masterminds. They're human beings with families and kindness and spiritual strength. And even if they were criminal masterminds, they'd still be people God asks us to love.... 

Thank you for helping to bless them on their journeys."

And thank you to all the churches assisting with refugee hosting and support!  You are appreciated and honored.  -  Holly