Serving Together

University Presbyterian ChurchWe are involved and invested in a number of service opportunities as an outgrowth of our attempt to follow Jesus out into the world to partner with God and God’s people in transforming the world. Below are some of the organizations with whom we work and support.

Here are some of the organizations, ministries, and missions we support and engage:

Just Coffee (Café Justo)

So you drink coffee? Have you ever thought about who grows it? How much do they get paid for their product? Can they sustain and make a living in their homeland on what they make?

If you are interested in finding out more about how third world farmers are doing in our global economy, and…you love coffee, knowing more about UPC’s involvement in Just Coffee will be right up your alley.

Cafe JustoJust Coffee (or Café Justo) is an economic development project of the Presbyterian Border Ministry and is attempting to address both economic disparities in our economic system as well as impacting undocumented migration into our country. Just Coffee is a shade grown, organic, high mountain coffee from Chiapas, Mexico.

UPC has been instrumental in both the founding of this remarkable cooperative and its current growth into a model for Christian economic justice at work in our world. We serve this coffee at most every event we host and even sell it after worship every Sunday.

For more information contact Dan Abbott at (480) 784-0126 or through our contact page. Below is an 4 minute video that offers some theological reflection on the “why” and “what” of Café Justo:

Paz de CristoPaz de Cristo

Paz de Cristo is a place where hungry people can get a meal each night of the year located at 424 W. Broadway Rd. in Mesa. Paz also provides assistance with food boxes, hygiene items, job searches, and much more.

On the 4th Tuesday of each month members of UPC join other Paz participants to prepare and serve dinner to as many as 225 people. This effort requires 12-15 people to make the meal (4:00 – 5:30 p.m.), and another 12-15 people to serve the meal and clean up (5:30 – 7:15 p.m.).

If you would like to come and see how participating in this ministry can bless you, please contact Barbara Hillyard at (480) 966-0673 or through our contact page.

We are always thankful for your donations of peanut butter and jelly, hotel shampoo, soap, lotion, razors, etc. These can be dropped off at the church office any time we’re open! Just mark them for Paz!

Family Promise

Quarterly, UPC hosts several homeless families through Family Promise, an interfaith program supported by churches throughout the Phoenix Metro area. For a week at a time families that have been accepted into Family Promisethe Family Promise program are provided evening meals and breakfast. They spend the night in the church school wing and are provided with cots, bedding and towels. This effort gives these families and their children not only food and shelter, but homework help and recreation that they may not have had in a long time.

We would love to have new volunteers to help with this program and are extremely grateful for all of you that faithfully donate your time and money to feed and shelter homeless families.

If you would like more information about Family Promise, please contact Cheri Hardy at (602) 920-5176 or through our contact page.

I-Help

I-Help is a Tempe-wide effort to house homeless individuals for a night in Tempe churches. The Salvation Army and Tempe Community Action Agency (TCAA) coordinate the overall project, while the host church provides space and meals. One night per month UPC provides an evening meal, I-Helpa night’s lodging in Fellowship Hall, and a takeaway breakfast to up to 35 homeless men and women. TCAA provides paid monitors to spend the night. We also try to provide the guests with miscellaneous toiletries, socks and underwear, and clothing which are donated by church members. A group of UPC members regularly donate food and needed items, cook and cleanup and make the program a success.

Watch for a sign-up sheet on the patio after worship for the people and supplies that will be needed each month. The greatest needs in addition to dinner and a take-away breakfast are white socks, underwear, and T-shirts (medium size), lotion, shampoo, disposable razors, hand sanitizer and other travel size toiletries.

We can also use cash donations to help pay for the food we buy. Write a check to UPC and put I-HELP in the memo.

If you have questions or want to help, please contact Barb Hillyard at (480) 966-0673 or through our contact page.

Humane Borders (Fronteras Compasivas)

Members of UPC drive to southern Arizona several weeks during the year to fill water stations set up to provide water for migrants crossing the desert. This is a combined ecumenical effort with several other churches in the valley and Tucson and has raised awareness of border and migrant issues.

Humane BordersHundreds of thousands of men, women and children face economic disaster in their homelands and migrate to the United States every year, with many of them crossing the U.S.-Mexico border illegally in Arizona. Increasing numbers of them die every year making the attempt. The death toll is the direct result of U.S. border control policy, which ignores the economic forces on both sides of the border driving human beings to make such drastic choices.

Humane Borders, motivated by faith, offers humanitarian assistance to those in need through more than 70 emergency water stations on and near the border.

Deployment of water saves lives and invites public discourse as Humane Borders seeks to

  • legalize the undocumented migrants now working and living in the United States;
  • create a responsible guest worker program;
  • increase the number of visas for Mexican nationals;
  • demilitarize the border;
  • support economic development in Mexico; and
  • provide more federal aid for local medical service providers, law enforcement and adjudication, land owners and managers.

This ministry invites federal, state, tribal and county organizations and agencies, as well as individuals, churches and humanitarian groups, to join in and support our life-saving efforts.

Our most visible public work is the creation and maintenance of a network of emergency water stations throughout the Arizona borderlands. In 2004, we also donated equipment and resources for water stations to be deployed on the Mexican side of the border.

Hundreds of volunteers from all walks of life and different faith traditions offer time and services to our humanitarian effort, including more than 70 trips weekly into the deserts to maintain our water stations in peak season.

For more information visit the Humane Borders website or contact our office.

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