2017 Rummage & Bake Sale, Part II – first call for donations and volunteers

There will be an organizational meeting at 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, September 12th for volunteers and all those interested in finding out more about the sale.

If you can help or have questions, please contact one of the members of the 2017 Rummage Sale coordinating team:

  • John Durbin ~ Board of Mission and Outreach
  • Pat Durbin ~ Board of Evangelism
  • Judy Jondahl ~ Board of Stewards

Or sign up on one of the Volunteer Sheets in the narthex or office. We need lots of help and we would love to have you be involved.

More details will follow soon. Check the September Palm Leaf to see what items are needed.

Thank you very much!!

Please continue to pray for Debby Stinton and family

debby and rick
Debby and her son, Rick

On the morning of Tuesday, August 8, Debby Stinton, our pastoral assistant, learned that her son, Rick Woodford, had been hit by a car and suffered numerous internal and external injuries. Rick passed away on August 22.

A Go Fund Me page was set up for Rick’s medical fund, if you feel moved to contribute.

Please keep Rick, Debby, and their family and friends in your prayers.

Grief Share

Fridays, 1 to 3 p.m.
September 15 through December 22

For people grieving a death of a loved one.

You can come for one or all of the sessions. (You don’t have to commit to all of them). Each session is a complete lesson in and of itself. Come when you can.

Jim Alexander moving forward for ordination!

We are rejoicing with Jim’s news that he has the blessing of the Southwest Conference’s Committee on Church and Ministry A as he pursues ordination in the United Church of Christ.

Many of us have prayed and worked to make this happen – none more than Jim himself! And we rejoice! We rejoice with Jim, his husband, Jeff, and with each person in The Palms’ family.

Pastor Paul

And here is a note from Jim:

I wanted to reach out to you, my faithful partners on this MID journey, and let you know that today COCAM voted “Yes” to moving me forward for ordination. This is wonderful news! I am grateful to God and to each of you who have been walking with me every step of the way. Thank you for your prayers, your hours of labor & organization, and for your love of Christ. May our ministry together continue far into the future.

We will schedule the Ecclesiastical Council for Sunday, November 19th (time to be determined) shortly. The actual ordination will be scheduled and planned once the EC takes place.

Thank you again for your love and support!

Our deepest condolences to Debby Stinton

Debby and Rick
Debby and Rick

Our deepest condolences to Debby Stinton, our pastoral assistant, on the loss of her son, Rick Woodford. Two weeks after being hit by a car and sustaining numerous critical external and internal injuries, Rick passed away on August 22.

The celebration of life service for Rick will be held at Church of the Palms on Saturday, September 2, at 2 pm. Visitation will be on Monday, August 28, from 5 to 8 pm. at Heritage Funeral Chapel, 6830 West Thunderbird Road, Peoria.

May God’s peace flow around and through Debby and others who loved Rick, bringing strength and healing.

Memory Pillows

Have you seen the pillow on the event table in the narthex? When someone passes away, it is great to have a visual reminder of them – something that brings back pleasant memories as you walk by and notice it. A memory pillow is a great and practical reminder.

The Service Project Craft Group will take the shirt or blouse of the loved one who has passed on and make it into a pillow. What a great gift for a friend who has lost a loved one, or for your children who have lost a parent, and for yourself.

See Carol Reynolds or come by the boardroom where we meet each Wednesday from 9 – 11. We’d love to make a memory pillow for you.

Raising the Rainbow Flag Ceremony Photos

Church of the PALMS Social Justice Team:
Seeking justice through Prayer, Action, Love, Ministry & Support

The rainbow flag represents affirmation of our Church’s commitment to be open and affirming and to show our support for the LGBTQ community. The flag is commonly flown with the red stripe on top, as the colors appear in a natural rainbow. The colors were determined to symbolize: life (red), healing (orange), sunlight (yellow), nature (green), harmony/peace (blue), and spirit (purple/violet).

This flag is a statement of welcome. We welcome the LGBTQ community, friends, and family.  But it is more than just that – it is a symbol of welcome to one and all.

Pastor Paul’s statement in worship:

The Social Justice Team raised a rainbow flag this morning.  While some rejoiced with the raising of the flag. Others raised a voice of worry and concern. I want you to know, I have heard both voices. No matter your opinion, I will listen.

A rainbow is a symbol that makes a powerful statement about who we are. Some, I am sure, will reject that openness and that affirming approach. Our own experience in hanging our rainbow banner, last summer, has been extremely well received. The rainbow flowers around the fountain, while battered by the monsoon winds, remain spinning and showing all who enter of our extravagant welcome. Please know that the Social Justice Team and I are not naïve.

When considering this step in faith, we contacted other congregations to get their real life experiences. I contacted several clergy friends within the UCC and the Disciples. Most said, they have only received good comments.  The worst that was reported was from our friend and former Interim Pastor, Jim Meadows.  I had lunch with him this very week. While supporting our move, he reminded me of his experience:  In 15 months, Shepherd of the Hills UCC has had three flags stolen.  Each time Jim just put up a new one. We are not naïve. I expect ours, one day, to be stolen. And if that day happens, (maybe I should say, when that day happens), we will follow Jim’s lead, and put up a new one, again and again.

That fear that some have over this, is just a glimpse, a sliver of what some people deal with 24/7, 365 days a year.

Because, I also know to be faithful to our call from God, we must have a heart, use our brains, and we must muster up some courage.  Rather than living as though we are untouched by faith, let us be the citadel against bigotry. Let us be bold examples for our neighbors of what faithful living looks like.  And let us not shrink and hide from our responsibility to be God’s palms reaching out with love and acceptance. Let us not let fear mongers frame the moment, but rather let us live these days and let us define the moment as an expression of what it is – the rainbow is God’s promise to one and all of love, grace, and acceptance.


Thank you Dott M for sharing these photos with us!

Thank you Nancy T for sharing these photos with us!

Photos submitted by Janet H.



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:

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
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!