Serving God's People Near and Far

Palo Cristi knows it cannot just stay within its campus and walls -- God is calling the church to serve those in need. This requires time, talent, and treasure. Palo Cristi emphasizes mission programs which aren't just a hand-out, but allow our members to engage with those being served. It's always a two-way street. The congregation has found abiding blessings in doing God's work. Join us in giving and receiving these blessings!

Family Promise

Family Promise is a proven program giving temporary shelter in churches to families who would otherwise be homeless. For one week, two or three times a year, Palo Cristi opens its doors to these families. Sunday School rooms become bedrooms. Our sanctuary becomes a dining room and living room. Church members serve meals to the guests (who range in age from babies to adults), and spend time with them. During the days guests go to the Day Center, school, and job training. About 80% of the families are transitioned into permanent housing.

Agua Fria Food and Clothing Bank

Palo Cristi has chosen the Agua Fria Food and Clothing Bank to receive its ongoing donations of food and clothing. A round bin sits prominantly at the entrance to the Palo Cristi sanctuary most Sundays and members deposit items purchased to go to Agua Fria. For the last two summers, we designed all we collected in our friendly "Food Fights" with other congregations to Agua Fria, helping it at a time of the year it needs donations the most.

Founded in 1983, Agua Fria distributes food and clothing to needy individuals, babies, children, teens, and the elderly in an area of Arizona traditionally underserved by existing programs. Located in the western suburb of Avondale, Agua Fria serves communities as far west as Arlington, Harquahala, Palo Verde, Tonopah, and West Buckeye. Palo Cristi is privileged to support mission and work of this wonderful organization that makes such a difference in the lives of Arizonans.


Heifer International

Heifer works with communities world-wide to end hunger and poverty and care for the earth. By giving families a hand-up, not just a hand-out, they are empowered to turn lives of hunger and poverty into self-reliance and hope. Heifer is famous for providing animals to those in need, who in turn share the offspring of these animals with others. In 2009, children in the Palo Cristi Sunday School program started a five year program to "Build an Ark" by raising $5000 in five years. This was accomplished in only two years. At special times of the year, like Christmas and Easter, members of the congregation purchase shares of various animals to further Heifer's goals. Members of the congregation also have worked on hands-on projects with Heifer around the world, and traveled to Heifer learning centers to get first-hand knowledge of the challenges and opportunities in ending hunger.

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat for Humanity builds, renovates, and repairs simple, decent and affordable homes in partnership with families in need. Palo Cristi members helped start the local affiliate which is one of the most active in the United States, having built, renovated, and repaired more than 825 homes in the metro Phoenix area since 1985. Each year Palo Cristi members participate in building a house with other churches and those receiving the house. In recent years, members of the congregation have traveled world-wide to help construct houses with Habitat.

Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona

Amor Ministries

Since 1980, Amor's mission has been to respond to the spiritual and physical poverty in the world by empowering groups and individuals to participate in an Amor House Building Mission Trip. One or two times a year (February and November), Palo Cristi partners with other local Presbyterian churches to travel to near-by Rocky Point, Mexico, for an intense weekend of building which starts with an empty lot and ends by turning the keys over to the owners of the new house. To allow younger children to work and to demonstrate to the community what is possible, no power tools are used to construct a simple but secure structure.

Rev. Leslie Vogel: Mission Co-worker in Guatemala

Palo Cristi helps sponsor the Rev. Leslie Vogel, who is working as facilitator for the Intercultural Encounters Program of the Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America (Spanish acronym: CEDEPCA). This program provides North American church groups, theological seminarians, and college/university students the opportunity to discover Guatemala in all its diversity, beauty, and complexity and to experience the everyday life of Guatemalans through immersion programs. Leslie is part of the team that receives visiting groups, plans and facilitates their educational program and itinerary, interprets and leads reflection discussions. Leslie has long been part of the Palo Cristi congregation.

Denominational Mission

As a part of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Palo Cristi contributes to the missions of the Presbytery of Grand Canyon, Synod of the Southwest, and the national Presbyterian Church. Through a portion of the congregation's annual budget as well as special offerings such as One Great Hour of Sharing, the Christmas Joy Offering, the Pentecost Offering, and the Peacemaking Offering, Palo Cristi provides support for such important ministries as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the Self Development of People (SDOP) ministry, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.