Jottings 7/6/19

On July 15th, United Church of Santa Fe will welcome Emily Syal, a recent Master of Divinity graduate of Pacific School of Religion, as their new  “Resident for Youth and Environmental Ministries.” Emily grew up in the United Church of Christ in Wisconsin and attended a UCC-related university (Lakeland). She’s had a lot of youth ministry experience, including service trips, and is fluent in Spanish. In her interview, she said that she wants youth to be as excited about engaging the Bible—even the weird, challenging or confusing parts—as she is. She also wants the youth to have a good time and to develop a deeper relationship with God, however they understand God, and a deeper love for God’s people. 

Desert Garden's Heard Museum docent Jerry Cowdrey will lead a group tour through Navajo history and culture ("Color Riot") at the Heard Museum on Wednesday July 17th.   Navajo weavers’ individualism and flair for experimentation is vividly expressed in textiles from the last quarter of the 19th century. The textiles are rooted in ideas and events the weavers experienced between 1863 and 1868, the hard years of their imprisonment in the Bosque Redondo, and their subsequent return to Arizona.

Casas Adobes has a unique mission project at a Title I (i.e. low-income) elementary school, Keeling Elementary, to help 1st-graders improve their reading skills. Tutors get as much out the experience as the students do: with a commitment of 1 1⁄2 hours a week, they work with two students in a highly structured reading program during the school year. Join our team of volunteers! Contact Wendy Gilman at 617-835-0949 or for more information.

One of the issues being addressed by the Church of the Palms Social Justice Action Team is criminal justice/prison reform.  Sharing a short letter with one of the women in the AZ State Prison Complex at Perryville lets her know that she is not forgotten. Red Mountain United Methodist Church in Mesa hosts the Matthew 25:36 Prison Ministry Program that includes a pen pal program with women at Perryville. Church of the Palms is building a pen pal program in the west valley at Dove of the Desert United Methodist Church in Glendale. Please contact Nancy Nonini at: for more information.

Desert Palm will host a blood drive on July 21st from m 7:30-11:30 AM. To make an appointment, contact the church office at 480-831-0065 or visit (sponsor code desertpalm).  

Welcome to Alejandra Rosas Goycolea who will begin in Mid-July as the Director of Faith Formation for Children at The Good Shepherd in Sahuarita.  Alejandra is a good friend of the Good Shepherd.  Thirteen years or so ago, Alejandra and her husband Pedro helped start a Hispanic church in the community, they took the youth group on a mission trip, and even cleaned the church for a year.  Pedro went on to seminary and was ordained at the Good Shepherd. He currently serves as the pastor at Desert Dove Disciple of Christ Church in Tucson.  Alejandra has been running the church school program there for the last five years.  She is excited to come back to the Good Shepherd in this official capacity and offer her gifts, skills and love of children.


On Thursday, July 11 at 5:00 p.m., Church of the Red Rocks presents HEALING HEARTS WITH THERAPY DOGS with Gale Lothrop.  Gale founded and ran a therapy dog organization in Nebraska for 10 years, Healing Heart Therapy Dogs, Inc. She trained handlers and their dogs as therapy dog teams to visit people in hospitals, nursing homes, schools, etc. She and her Belgian Tervuren, Mysti, were actively working for 12 years. She was also vice president of Animal Assisted Crisis Response, a national organization that provided specially trained therapy dogs to respond to sites of crisis and disaster, providing emotional support and psychological first aid to survivors and first responders. She responded to such places as Texas and Louisiana after hurricanes Katrina and Rita and to Virginia Tech after the fatal shootings there. Gale will share her experiences working with the dogs and the profound impact this ministry had on her. 

On Saturday, July 20, 2019, Encanto will be sponsoring a Youth Job Skills Training Workshop from 9 a.m. until 12 noon at the church. A number of our parishioners will be helping provide the youth with such basic skills as handshakes, phone etiquette, job application and interview protocols, appropriate dress, and proper follow-up communications.   Great idea!

And finally from Church of the Palms .....

Q. What do you call a snowman in July?

A. A puddle.