The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team Report

Our Social Justice Team has been very active this summer with a number of activities. Following is a statement and prayer written by Michael Curry, our service leader July 16th, and read by members of Shadow Rock and Church of the Palms , pictured below, at the ICE Office, Phoenix on July 17th, 2017.

“Here we are in the sweltering heat of the Arizona summer standing together on the threshold of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office to offer a statement and prayer with the ongoing hope that we will one-day experience immigration reform for all of God’s beloved children.

Our heart is heavy this morning as there is no new information in the cases of Ismael Delgado and Sixto Paz who are still in sanctuary at Shadow Rock United Church of Christ in Phoenix as they can only wait as with pray for them and their families that they may no longer be separated by the confines of the walls of Shadow Rock. We continue to pray for Marco Tulio and his family as we journey and join with them in the fight to bring him home to his wife and children.

We want to end by sharing a quote from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In sharing this quote, we hope it inspires all of us as we continue to move forward in our efforts to ensure Immigration reform for all people. Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. shares, “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort convenience, but where he stands in times of challenges and controversy.” As a people of faith and good conscious, we challenge to everyone to think about how we will stand with our neighbors as they face times of challenge and controversy as walls are built which separate them from a life of comfort and familiarity. When will the officials in the confines of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office raise their voice and speak up on behalf of those who have been treated unjustly as they await their fate in a broken immigration system?

Friends, I ask that you take a deep breath and join me in a time of prayer…

Loving God we come to you seeking your presence as we offer our heartfelt hope and prayers for those who are trapped in an unjust world. We continue to prayer for Misael, Marco, Ismael, Sixto, and Alfred as we journey with them so that they may no longer be bound by the confines of a broken immigration system. God, we ask that you show us as a people of faith and conscious how to be the light in the darkness of challenge and controversy in our world today. Go forth knowing that we are a people of hope fighting for justice in an unjust world. And All of God’s People say Amen!!”

Look for reports on other activities of our Social Justice Team in Sunday Bulletins and the Palm Leaf.

 

Social Justice Team

  

Photos contributed by Linda Rouches and Jan Hutchins

CHURCH OF THE PALMS
SOCIAL JUSTICE TEAM
MOVING FORWARD

Working for JUSTICE through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support

The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team (CoPSJT) is moving forward by addressing two immediate issues of concern and three important issues to be addressed in the future.

The CoPSJT, consisting of nineteen members, is zeroing in on LGBTQ Equality and Immigration/Refugee Assistance. Future issues to be addressed include: Religious/Racial Discrimination, Protecting the Environment and Criminal Justice Reform.

The team has embraced the “Open and Affirming Congregation” statement adopted in 2015 which reads as follows: “The Church of the Palms, United Church of Christ, welcomes all people into the full life and ministry of our church, regardless of age, race, or gender; personal, mental or physical ability; gender identity or expression; sexual orientation; ethnic, cultural or religious background; marital, social, or economic status; or life history.  We believe that God loves all people and offers us gifts in our diversity.  We affirm families and relationships built on love, respect, responsibility, and trust. You are welcome here!”

In addition, the team has developed and will recommend to the Church Council an “Immigrant/Refugee Welcoming Congregation” statement which reads as follow: “We are followers of Jesus, who welcomed everyone and excluded no one. As members and friends of Church of the Palms, we are called to take action whenever lives are made vulnerable and whenever injustice occurs.  We are moved to stand together with our immigrant/refugee brothers & sisters and their families. Therefore, we declare ourselves an Immigrant/Refugee Welcoming Congregation”

Specific action steps will be developed for each of the statements listed above in order to move the church and community forward in these issues. Watch for these action steps to be posted on the web page and included in the Palm Leaf.

Calendar of upcoming events:

ICE BREAKER

Thursday, August 17th

11 AM

2035 N. Central Avenue. PhoenixAZ, 85004

Social Justice Team Meeting

Saturday September 9th,

Schulz’s

9:30 AM

 

These links may also be of interest to you: The Church of the Palms Open and Affirming Statement ,  UCC.org advocate for justice page, and  The Church of the Palms Social Justice Team Report

 

HART Pantry update

HART Pantry June/July food items needed:

Apple Sauce cups or fruit cups
Vegetable cups
Fruit juice packs like Capri Sun 100% Juice
Carnation Instant Breakfast packets

Back-to-School Needs List:

Backpacks
Calculators
Rulers
Compass and protractor kits
3 ring binders (1 1\2 inch minimum)
Composition books
Pens, pencils, colored pencils, sharpeners, erasers
Assignment/calendar books
Single and multiple subject notebooks
Pocket folders
Glue sticks
Highlighters
Scotch tape
Tissue packs and wipes
Reusable water bottles
Men’s ankle socks medium, large extended sizes
Women’s socks shoe sizes up to l0
Gift cards for Walmart or Target
Men’s/women’s deodorants

Backpacks to be packed by the HART team from a consortium of churches the end of July and sent to schools in time for opening of schools in August.

Please bring your purchased items to church and put them in the Hart Pantry back-to-school bin. These donations are tax deductible.

Church of the Palms’ own Jan Eckstein, chair of our Board of Missions and Outreach, has joined the Board at HART Pantry!