Living the Questions: Invitation to Journey (Session 1-7)

If you’re new to The Fountains, looking to connect with some like-minded fellow Fountains folk, or just wondering what “THAT church” is up to, then Living the Questions 2.0 is for you! The first module of the course will be offered at The Fountains beginning Wednesday morning, Oct. 31st at 10am and will continue for seven (7) weeks (with a break for Thanksgiving).  [NOTE: This is a new, rescheduled starting date from previous announcements.] Each session consists of comprehensive reading material, DVD input from top scholars and teachers, and engaging conversation with your fellow participants. Check out the video trailer below or by clicking HERE.

Living the Questions is a program created by Pastor David and colleague, Rev. Jeff Procter-Murphy as an alternative to the pat answers offered in many other churches. The series aims to help orient people to a more progressive perspective on the spiritual life and share some of the information and ways of thinking that is taught in our seminaries. The overall theme of the first seven sessions is “Invitation to Journey” and includes the topics of Taking the Bible Seriously, Stories of Creation, and the Lives of Jesus.

Suggested tuition for this seven (7) week module is $20. Contact the office to register: 480.837.7627. Those who register ahead will receive a participant guide via email or mail so they can prepare for the first session. Many Fountains folks have already completed the second and third modules (Sessions 8 – 14 and 15 — 21) of Living the Questions 2.0. This module circles back to the first flight of the program (Sessions 1 through 7) and is part of our multi-year rotation of these informative classes.

Living the Questions 2.0: Invitation to Journey    

  • Oct 31st: 1. An Invitation to Journey
  • Nov 7th: 2. Taking the Bible Seriously
  • Nov 14th: 3. Thinking Theologically
  • Nov 21st: BREAK for Thanksgiving
  • Nov 28th: 4. Stories of Creation
  • Dec 5th: 5. Lives of Jesus
  • Dec 12th: 6. A Passion for Christ: Paul
  • Dec 19th: 7. Out into the World: Challenges Facing Progressive Christians

Join us and plan for stimulating input, great conversation, and a liberating view of Christianity. Childcare is available upon request – call the office (480.837.7627).

LiveStream Made Super Simple

The Fountains is now live streaming!  Follow the instructions below to be able to view the sermons from anywhere you are!



  1. enter on your mobile device or computer
  2. Type “The Fountains” in the Search Box at the top right of the screen
  3. Click Enter on your device and you will be sent to The Fountains UMC livestream page
  4. If the event is live, it will start automatically. If you are watching it as a replay, click on the event you want to watch, it will load and replay.
  5. If you are listening Sunday mornings, do this about 11:50am AZ time, because the only part of the service that is livestreamed is the sermon, and that is when it usually starts.



  1. Open Facebook
  2. On your personal Home page, enter “The Fountains” in the SEARCH box at the top of the page.
  3. Click Enter, and you will be taken to The Fountains FB page.
  4. On the far left side of the page, click ‘Posts” to go to the page where posts are available.
  5. If you are listening Sunday mornings, do this about 11:50am AZ time, because the only part of the service that is livestreamed is the sermon, and that is when it usually starts.  If you are watching live Sunday mornings, the video will start automatically. If you are watching a replay, click on the arrow in the middle of the video post and it will start.

Third Columbarium Unit Completed

The Trustees oversaw installation of a third columbarium unit late August. The Fountains Memorial Garden includes a cross-shaped concrete structure that eventually will hold ten columbaria, with 15 niches in each. Two were installed a decade ago. Homecoming, Inc., manufactures and installs the units.

This from the Columbarium page on The Fountains website, “For centuries, it has been the obligation of the church to serve its congregation from birth to death. As churchyard burial is no longer feasible for most churches, a columbarium provides a natural alternative. Besides the practical advantages of being much more affordable for the average family and being an environmentally sensitive and efficient use of space, it also strengthens the ties between families and their faith community. In addition, columbaria are quickly becoming one of the most popular choices of a final resting place in the United States. Arizona’s cremation rate has gone up to 70% in recent years.”











More information about the columbarium can be found here.  Members of The Fountains and community may purchase niches for themselves and their loved ones by contacting the church office (480-837-7627), Kim Bartman (480-244-7642) or Sharon Shaw Elrod (480-251-2026).

“Now is STILL the Moment!” Campaign

Three years ago, The Fountains embraced the moment to not only pay off our long-term debt but also fund a new building. With extraordinary generosity, the people of our church helped our Now is the Moment campaign exceed everyone’s expectations, as 88 households committed $877,744 in three-year commitments. As of July, $817,297 (or 93%) of those Now is the Moment pledges have been received. Although we’re not at 100%, your generosity helped us reach one of our primary goals: paying off our Sanctuary mortgage last month.

While the original 3-year commitment period for our Now is the Moment campaign is over, we’re happy to receive any remaining pledges from 2015 — PLUS, we don’t want to leave out any folks who’ve joined us in the last three years, so, while the last three years have been “the Moment,” Now is STILL the Moment!

Now is STILL the Moment!

Building Team at work…

As with most building projects, the actual expenses to complete our Connection Center will be more than we have received in pledges. The Building Team has worked diligently to keep expenses down and has carried out a number of creative money-saving strategies to fulfill our vision (including our beautiful kitchen remodel in the Sanctuary).

But now that we’ve paid off the Sanctuary mortgage, we’d also like to do everything we can to pay off our construction loan as soon as possible.

To that end, we’re setting a new 1-year goal of $122,256 in pledges. Why that weird number? Because that’s the figure that will take our overall Now is the Moment pledges to exactly $1,000,000.00! 

The good news is, with the already promised extensions and new pledges from Church Council and the Building Team, we’ve already received pledges of over $25,000, taking our goal to $97,000.

Below is a link to a pledge card and a guide to help you prayerfully consider a level at which you could help us reach our goal. There are two ways we encourage you to participate:

  1. A one-time contribution/first-time pledge or
  2. the extension of your original Now is the Moment pledge by one more year.

The goal is to have these one-year pledges and extensions (payable anytime between now and August of next year) in by the time we get our Certificate of Occupancy in January, 2019.

If you’d like to discuss a large anchor, endowment, or legacy gift, please don’t hesitate to contact Pastor David. For general questions, feel free to contact Council Chair Hunter Lott, or Building Team Coordinator Sue Nelson directly.

$1,000,000 goal!

This is an exciting opportunity for the whole congregation to join together in making an already remarkable achievement even more remarkable!  We’re already SO close! The vision of a Connection Center we’ve been dreaming of is soon to become a reality!

Thank you to all who have already indicated their intention to participate in our Now is STILL the Moment campaign with both generous gifts and the extension of pledges.

…and thanks to all for your past (and continued!) generosity in helping support The Fountains and the vital ministries it is known for in Fountain Hills and beyond!

CLICK HERE or on the card image to download a pledge card. See a “One Year Giving Guide” below. Questions? Call the office at 480.837.7628

Put our Groundbreaking ceremony on your calendar:    Sunday, Sept. 2nd right after church!

Yvonne Parks burning the sanctuary mortgage (with Pastor David, Opal Thompson, and Al Lorenz) on Jan. 29th, 2018


Invest in Ed Act Petition Training

InvestInEd logo


What are details of the new citizen-led “Invest in Education” initiative? What are the rules for collecting signatures? In the wake of the recent #RedforEd actions, how does one get involved in supporting practical and effective reform in education funding in Arizona?

An information and training session will be hosted at The Fountains on Wednesday, May 16th at 4 pm.

The Invest in Education Act increases the classroom site fund by raising the income tax rate by 3.46% on individual incomes over a quarter million dollars (or household incomes over half a million dollars), and by 4.46% on individual incomes over half a million dollars (or household incomes over a million dollars); designates 60% of new funds for teacher salaries and 40% for operations; adds full day kindergarten and pay raises for student support services personnel as permitted fund uses; requires governing boards seek teacher and personnel input on fund use plans; defines teacher and student support services personnel.

The initiative is being promoted by a broad-based coalition including Valley Interfaith Project (of which The Fountains is a member), the Arizona Education Association, Children’s Action Alliance, One Arizona, the Arizona Interfaith Movement, and the Center for Economic Progress. If enough signatures are gathered, the Invest in Education Act will appear on the November ballot.

The training will be led by a Valley Interfaith Project volunteer and will include details on how education funding in Arizona fell to below 49th place in the nation, how the initiative will collect tax revenue, and train volunteers in how to collect valid petition signatures.

Teachers, interested parents, and other allies are encouraged to attend. 220,000 valid signatures need to be collected by the end of June to appear on the ballot in November, so everyone’s help is needed!

Questions? Call the church at 480.837.7627.  More information on the Initiative at

CLICK HERE to go to the Facebook Event Page to share with your network. 

Life’s Inner Journey with Michael Morwood

Morwood Inner Journey cropped

Does your faith-life resonate with your inner wisdom and personal insights?

Join Michael Morwood to explore the conviction that people can cultivate wisdom (sage-ing) by consciously choosing to explore their faith in the context of their lived experience. Participants will focus on connecting the links between inner wisdom, reality, and a contemporary Christian spirituality. Michael will offer a range of reflective and interactive processes and tools that will enable participants to consider their unique journey of life.

Schedule: Friday evening May 4th : 7:30 – 9:00 and Saturday, May 5th 9:30 – 4:00

Cost: $50 (includes lunch on Saturday) $20 Friday night only.

To register: 

CLICK HERE to register online via Eventbrite.  OR, make your check out to “The Fountains” (with “Morwood Retreat” in the note line). Call the office (480.837.7627) for more information.

Life's Inner Journey - A Retreat with Michael Morwood is 5/4 & 5/5.  Click to get more information!

Life’s Inner Journey – A Retreat with Michael Morwood is 5/4 & 5/5. Click to get more information!

About Michael Morwood

With over 40 years’ experience as a sought-after retreat leader and educator, Michael Morwood is well known around the world. Bishop John Shelby Spong writes: “Michael Morwood…is raising the right and obvious questions that all Christians must face. He provides fresh and perceptive possibilities for a modern and relevant faith.”

With a dozen books to his name (two of which were banned before he resigned from the Catholic priesthood), Morwood brings an extensive background in spirituality to what he sees as the urgent need to reshape Christian thinking for a new millennium.

Be sure to visit Michael Morwood’s website at

Phoenix Pride Parade 2018

Members and friends from The Fountains UMC marched in the Phoenix Pride Parade along with 6 other reconciling churches in the Desert Southwest Conference of the United Methodist Church.  Per the Arizona Republic, The Phoenix Pride Parade featured 2,000 individual participants with decorated vehicles, colorful floats and thousands of walkers, with more than 15,000 spectators.

Among the participants were Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey who have been together for 60 years and who were the first couple to receive their marriage license in Arizona, while advocating for marriage equality.

The following are the comments from Todd Elwood, who also marched in the parade.

“I had the honor of walking with The Fountains in this year’s Pride Parade. This was the first Pride I’ve attended, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The two things I found most surprising were the overwhelming positivity of the event, and an air of freedom from those in the parade, and from those watching.

The first one is easy to describe. Nine out of 10 signs emphasized goodness, instead of injustice. I saw signs saying, “We are all equal,” and “Love everyone,” and “Everyone is worthy” and “Love wins” and, of course, “Be proud.”  Most everyone carried a message of acceptance and hope and joy. It’s rare today to among such positivity and I thought it was refreshing.

About the air of freedom: This one is a little tougher to explain, but my sense from watching people interact with each other is, the Pride parade provided a place for everyone to be open and authentic. I’m not a gay person, but I can imagine going through this day-to-day world with defenses up and partially shielding who you really are because of hateful people. For one mile in downtown Phoenix, everyone was able to release the weight of those shields and be true to themselves, because they were among people who accepted them fully. It was amazing to witness, and it made me hope for a time when that sort of total acceptance would expand beyond a one-mile stretch once a year.” 

Here is a glimpse of the fun we had!

pride parade 2018


pride parade d

pride parade 4 pride parade e 

pride parade b

Civic Academy on Immigration

At 6:30pm on Tuesday night, April 3rd, The Fountains United Methodist and Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) will co-sponsor a special Civic Academy on the myths and realitiarizona under the glasses of immigration in Arizona. The keynote speaker is Joseph Garcia, Director of the Morrison Institute Latino Public Policy Center at Arizona State University. He also teaches at Arizona State University’s Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Geared primarily as an orientation for a group travelling to the Borderlands of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, this Civic Academy is open to all who want to learn more about the present and future demographics of Arizona, immigration policy, and how current trends will impact what will soon be the majority population of Arizona.

Joe Rubio, lead organizer for Valley Interfaith Project, says, “This will be a conversation examining the long-term implications for how we deal with the immigration issue and what kind of community we will become. Arizona has experienced immigration in a way that other states are only now discovering.”

Rev. David Felten, pastor at The Fountains, says, “Immigration is another one of those issues on which everyone has an opinion, but few have the facts. We’re grateful to host the Morrison Institute’s Joe Garcia to help us understand the numbers and the policies that are shaping the future of our state.”

There’s no charge for this event and all in the community are welcome to attend. The Fountains, a United Methodist Church, is located at 15300 N. Fountain Hills Blvd. (at Glenbrook) in Fountain Hills.

More on our speaker: Before joining the Morrison Institute, Garcia was an editor, columnist and news reporter at The Arizona Republic, The Daily Times (Farmington, N.M.), Tucson Citizen, USA Today and The Associated Press. In 2016, Garcia was honored nationally with the Anti-Corruption Award, sponsored by the New York City Independence Clubs, in acknowledgement of “the landmark work the Morrison Institute is doing to understand the emerging independent voter constituency.” In addition to his work on independent voters, Garcia helped bring the Citizens’ Initiative Review project to Arizona, where voters study, discuss and explain in everyday language complex ballot propositions.

UMOM Halle Women’s Center Tour

Several churches in town support the work of UMOM – United Methodist Outreach ministries in Phoenix. It is the largest Homeless provider in AZ.

About 25 people from The Fountains visited and learned about the new Halle Women’s Center, which is housed in a remodeled hotel very near the UMOM campus. This allows the women access to a safe environment, case management, healthcare, 3 nutritious meals and day, computer lab access and resources to help them become independent. The Fountains has been a part of many church teams who organize, cook and serve an evening meal, prepare personal care kits, and collect clothing and household items.

Women were formerly housed in an old diaper factory in central Phoenix where conditions were less than ideal. Now, at the Halle Women’s shelter, women can be on a path toward a permanent home. UMOM New Day Center that includes services and shelter for families is located at 3333 E. Van Buren, Phoenix and always have ongoing needs. Contact The Fountains 480-837-7627 if you have items to donate or would enjoy being a part of the monthly meal serving team.


halle women center 1 halle women center 2 halle women center 3


Maundy Thursday Lunch Bags!

Maundy Thursday is upon us!  We will be making 130 lunches for the folks at JUSTA Center in Phoneix.  This is a place for homeless seniors, many who are veterans.  Please let me know if you are willing to bring any of the following:

Loaf of bread

Peanut butter


Snack size bags of chips


Granola bars

We are setting up a table with brown paper bags and paper to write a note of encouragement.  If you have time this week and would like to stop by and decorate bags or write notes, we will be here from 9am to 2:00pm.  Women at the Well will be decorating or writing notes on Tuesday morning.  Jerry Caldwell will be taking our lunches to the JUSTA Center and providing the beverages.  If you are planning to donate the food items please have them to church by Thursday 3/29 by 5:30pm.  The sandwich making will start about 5:30 with the lunch packing and service beginning at 6:30pm.

Thank you for so much for your help and contributions!


sandwich making 1 sandwich making 2