Jottings 7/13/19

West Congregational  was burglarized and the thieves made off with a big screen TV, DVD player  and blessing box. If anyone has a TV or DVD player you would like to donate West would be grateful. After deductible they won't get anything  from insurance

Join AARP AZ the last Tuesday of every month in the Worship Center of Church of the Beatitudes for a fun and interactive drum circle led by trained HealthRhythms® facilitator, Frank Thompson. Drum circles are a form of recreational music-making proven to reduce stress, boost the immune system, promote joy, a sense of well-being and to build community. All drums and percussion instruments provided. No musical experience required. 

Find out what aging with compassion, dignity, and hope is all about. Learn about our vision by attending a Discover DUET tour. Hear about our work through facts and stories from the people we serve in this one-hour overview of our mission. Discover Duet will be on Friday, July 19, from noon – 1 p.m., at our office at 10000 North 31st Avenue, Suite D200 (second floor), Phoenix. We are on the west side of 31st Avenue, just south of Peoria. Feel free to bring a friend and enjoy a light lunch on us. To reserve your spot, call (602) 274-5022, ext. 132, email, or register online.  at

The Church of the Red Rocks would like to invite you to join them for an important interfaith dialogue with SUSI scholars from around the world on Wednesday, August 7th at 2:00 p.m.  The Study of the U.S. Institute (SUSI) on Religious Freedom and Pluralism invites scholars from around the world to explore U.S. history, society, and institutions within the context of religious freedom, pluralism, and interfaith dialogue. This program is sponsored by the US State Department. The Dialogue Institute, which is housed at Temple University in Philadelphia, conducts the study tour for the scholars

On Sunday, July 21, besides the regular worship service in Rincon’s sanctuary, there will be the option to participate in worship outside in God’s good creation.  Meet at 10 AM on Mt. Lemmon, Middle Bear picnic area.  After worship on the mountain, we’ll enjoy a cook-out together.  Participants are asked to bring side dishes to share and  lawn chairs.

Nasha Torrez, Dean of Students at the University of New Mexico Main Campus, identified that many students at the university were in need of food. In the first six months of launching the Lobos Food Pantry, over 800 students and families received free groceries. The Food Pantry takes place between 10 am-12 noon at the UNM South Parking Lot on the southwest corner of Avenida Cesar Chavez and Buena Vista. First Congregational of Albuquerque will be working to see how they can fit into this ministry.

A friend working at the Monastery Migrant Shelter in Tucson, Arizona sent this heartbreaking poem by Warsan Shire to Rev Pamela Shepherd of Taos UCC.  The Monastery is welcoming and providing services and shelter to over 300 people a day.

Warsan Shire was born in Kenya to Somali parents and lives in London. She is a poet, writer, editor and teacher.

Home  by Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless

home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilet
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here