Church Jottings 8/10/2019

Marymae Cioffi was among many Casas Adobes volunteers who organized boxes and boxes of school supplies to the delight of Keeling Elementary teachers. The supplies that are donated over the course of the summer are delivered to school, sorted, and displayed on long tables in the school's multi-purpose room. Teachers then get to "shop" for treasured supplies -- everything from pencils to face tissues -- that they know their students will most need this fall

Church of the Palms is holding a Bingo Party on Aug 17th from noon-2 as a fundraiser toward their upcoming 50th Anniversary. Cost is $15/person and includes lunch. Attendees can purchase additional cards. Some great prizes are on hand, too!

Desert Palm members have the opportunity to donate to the Flower Fund, Music Fund or Food Pantry every week by signing up for a floral, musical, or food "bouquet" to be displayed in the chancel area each week. Donations of $10-$25 are dedicated to the various purposes. Money for the Flower Fund buys products needed for the chancel area: flower arrangements for special services, replacement of broken communion glasses, palm branches to wave on Palm Sunday, parament cloths and single roses (placed on the baptism font honoring a new baby) are among the many items purchased.

First Church Phoenix often receives people at their door who are experiencing homelessness or are economically challenged. They are asking for food, water, and a bit of conversation. The church maintains a pantry with crackers, granola bars,, water, tins of tuna and chicken, fruit bars, and other items to hand out.

“No one has ever cared about us like this,” said one of the recipients of the Commodity Senior Food Program (CSFP).. He is a newly enrolled low-income seniors who qualify for CSFP, formerly Food Plus. You must be 60 or older and fall below 130 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. It is at least partially paid for with funds from the USDA and distributed through local food banks. In addition to what they would receive at their regular twice-monthly visits to the food bank, recipients will be able to pick up an extra CSFP food box every month. If there are two people in the household, they may both receive a CSFP box. Each box contains 40 pounds of food. The Sahuarita Food Bank, a mission of The Good Shepherd UCC, operations team introduced the new program with space for 106 who qualify.

Scottsdale UCC begins an anti-racism book study using The Cross and the Lynching Tree, by James Come. Discussions will take place on five Thursday mornings beginning September 5th from 10-11:30 am.

First Congregational of Prescott helped put smiles on a lot of faces in July. It began with proceeds (approximately $3400) from their Pancake Breakfast going to provide a full scholarship for a 4 year old girl attending Discovery Gardens School. This young girl was born with just one hand, rescued from an abusive situation, and later adopted by her grandmother. An additional $700 was sent later in the month to Discovery Gardens which provided money for a partial scholarship enabling the attendance of a child from a poverty level family. Lastly, they donated $675 to this year’s “Start Right” project, which gifted over 1,300 children/youth in K-12 with backpacks filled with school supplies.

Rev. Seth Wispelwey has accepted the role of Interim Pastor at Rincon Congregational. His first Sunday was August 11th. We offer a warm Southwest Conference welcome to Rev. Seth, his wife Rev. Tracy Howe Wispelwey, and their daughter Sasha.

First Christian UCC/DOC in Las Cruces, NM shared the following with us. After hearing the news of the fatal shootings at the Wal-Mart in El Paso, local Rabbi Larry Karol of Temple Beth-el wrote this prayer:

Eternal our God,

heal our hearts

Calm our fears,

Douse the flames

Of burning anger

Inside of us

So our actions

Will reflect love

And deflect hate

Exude deep respect

And reject violence

So our eyes

When they see

Fellow human beings

Will stop us

From inflicting hurt

And direct us

To spread hope.

Give us protection

With every step

Of our lives.