Perhaps it is my Catholic background but I love Holy Week. It is one of the few weeks in the church year where the variety of rituals and scriptures really challenge our senses and understandings. We start with Palm Sunday where there is a joyful parade with the waving of palms and the singing of hosannas. We follow Jesus to an upper room where we join around a table to break bread in a new way with a new fellowship community. The smell and taste of fresh baked bread permeates the air.

But there the trouble begins because right in the heart of this intimate gathering one of us will betray the Master. The Gospel John adds the “Mandatum” or the command to wash each other’s feet as the powerful symbol of service to the least in our midst.

For many the thought of touching dirty feet is offensive, but in the ancient world, foot washing was an essential part of oriental hospitality.

After sharing bread and washing feet, the movement is to a garden where some of us will fall asleep while the Master is drawn into the throes of pain, or agony as thoughts of the impending day of suffering and death becomes a reality. Here, I think of more than Jesus’ suffering; I think of all the suffering in our world from the Christians in Iraq and Syria, to the poor and the homeless in our own country. Our Maundy Thursday prayer follows the meal to the garden leaving us in the darkness of Friday eve.

Many will celebrate Good Friday in the ambivalence of the idea that death can be good, and yet the Christian story tells us that “unless the grain of wheat falls to the ground, it cannot sprout.” And so we endure the rituals of the passion and crucifixion of Jesus with some of us hiding in fear while others will stand courageously by the cross. And then we wait, the body is laid in the tomb and the great stone rolled across the entrance. It seems as if it is the end! Catholics and other Christians will begin the Easter vigil close to sundown on Saturday, a vigil of sorts much like those who hold vigil close to the body of their dying loved one or keeping vigil for the return of their loved one from war or a long journey. Protestants like us get up “very early on the first day of the week” to visit a tomb that is no longer closed but now broken open. The sounds and the glories of Easter remind us that, in death, life is not ended but rather transformed. Easter reminds us that we are no longer slaves. We are freed women and men.

On Palm Sunday we will have the bell choir at 11:15; on Maundy Thursday we will have Communion and Tenebrae at 7pm; the Community Church and Lutheran Church will have Good Friday services; and then on Easter Sunday we will have a combined choir and brass ensemble at 11:15am. Join with us for this Holy Week Journey!

Pastor Vernon

Pat Henson Moderator.jpg

Moderator's Message

After moving many times over the past several years, my husband and I ended up in a lot of different churches. Some pretty nice and some leaving things to be desired as some churches go. A number of years ago we found our way to Sun Lakes UCC.

We found this church to be more than just warming, but such a wonderful place for worship. After visiting a few times, we decided to join. It was easy to become involved in the many activities and also taking part in the running of this church. We felt so welcome and soon realized this is where we belonged.

It is my pleasure to be Moderator for the years 2014 and 2015. There are many changes being made to adjust to more modern times. Of course like many other places of worship, we have challenges, but with the help of the Lord and these wonderful people, we always seem to handle them.

When you enter the doors of Sun Lakes United Church, you will feel the presence of God, and know that wherever you are on life’s journey you are most welcomed here. We are now very proud to be able to say we have just passed to become and Open and Affirming Church.  

Pat Henson

11:15 AM


Coffee Time Fellowship

Fellowship is held each Sunday immediately following worship in the Navajo Room at the Sun Lakes Club House, across from the Chapel. This gives the congregation an opportunity to visit and socialize with other church family members.

Coffee, lemonade, water, and finger foods are available for enjoyment of those attending. Any birthdays, anniversaries, or special occasions are recognized during Fellowship time.

This is a function of the Social Committee. They also provide fellowship for memorial services and have church dinners twice a year and assist with other church functions.

Join your friends and make new ones.


Beautiful bouquets of flowers accentuate our church service each Sunday. Members of the congregation pick the date they would like to honor or commemorate someone. They purchase the bouquet and it is delivered to the church on Sunday morning.

If interested in ordering flowers, please contact Rosann Hiles at (480) 895-2116.

Sun Lakes UCC

Find out where we are, who we are, and where we stand.

The United Church of Christ

Find out what The United Church of Christ is doing here and around the world.

Literacy is essential to end the cycle of poverty, open job opportunities, and close the cradle-to-prison pipeline. The need has never been greater for faith communities to stand up and take action. The United Church of Christ is ready to accept the call to justice.

Give the Stillspeaking God a day of elbow grease and advocacy. Throw yourself into a project you are already passionate about and involved in on March 4th. Commit to buying fair trade products for your home or congregation, keep track and cut back on your electrical use, write letters to your representatives calling for immigration reform. Our faith challenges us to understand our lives are interconnected. Commit to prayer and study on justice issues in your community. Share your efforts on social media, and spread the idea. Get the picture? This is a one-day effort where, across the UCC, we can make a difference in the world around us.

Our Mission


Sun Lakes United Church of Christ is a Christ centered congregation, welcoming all, wherever you are on life’s journey; for the purpose of growing in faith through worship, music, study, service, and fellowship.


We declare that the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ is an Open and Affirming Congregation. 
We, the Members and Friends of SLUCC are committed to the struggle for justice, love and inclusiveness for
All People with the example of  the love of God & Jesus as our guide.  We are committed to extend an extravagant welcome to each and every person we meet or who comes to our Church regardless of national origin, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, physical or mental situation, economic or marital status.

We are inclusive in our invitation to participate in the ministry of the Sun Lakes United Church of Christ community of faith. 
We encourage all members to actively share their friendship, talents, gifts and energy in the liturgy, life, employment and leadership of Sun Lakes United Church of Christ.  All are invited to participate in the full life of the Church including the sacraments of baptism and communion and ceremonies of marriage or covenant.

Tell me your story, show me your wound,
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love looks at you.
Hand me the pieces, broken and bruised,
And I’ll show you what Love sees when Love sees you.