Estate Planning Seminar Scheduled

December 5th 10:00 AM Estate Planning Discussion

Where:  The worship center at The Fountains United Methodist Church,
15300 N Fountain Hills Blvd, Fountain Hills, AZ 85268

Guest speaker Ron Wilson from Morris, Hall, Kinghorn, P.L.L.C.

This is an opportunity to hear from a top estate planning attorney in a prestigious legal firm serving Arizona and New Mexico. Ron will discuss why estate planning is a critical step in protecting your assets and insuring your beneficiaries are provided for per your wishes.

This free, no obligation, 1.5 hour, meeting will highlight some unique estate laws in Arizona. He will also present some recent changes to estate laws that you may benefit from.

There will be time for questions and answers.

Sponsored by the Stewardship and Finance Committees

To reserve your seat please phone the church office at 480-837-7627 or send your contact information to

Now is the Moment Updates Available

The initial pledge drive is completed for The Fountains Now is the Moment capital campaign. And we still have three years to go to complete the drive. Get your updates on each step in this exciting journey at

Cross Current Youth Hits the Road for Fall Break!

7 11 Fall Break Scavenger Hunt 2015

Fall Break Scavenger Hunt!

It’s Fall Break next week in Fountain Hills and other school districts ’round about these here parts. Since that puts a lot of our youth on the road “over the hill and through the woods” to family and vacations here and there, Cross Current is hitting the road, too!

CLICK HERE to download our first annual 7/11 Fall Break Scavenger Hunt!  

Complete 7 out of the 11 acts of kindness or service on the list and you’ll receive a Starbucks gift card (not to mention all the good vibes). Photographic evidence is a plus. Post your pics to our Cross Current Facebook page. (CLICK HERE) 

To collect your gift card, sign your list and turn it in at church. Yes, parents are welcome to do fill out their own sheet (but they have to do their own seven items!!).


Fall Series: “Eight Points of Progressive Christianity”

An Affiliate of The Center for Progressive Christianity

An Affiliate of The Center for Progressive Christianity

Out of fear over changing cultural norms and contemporary understandings of Jesus, eight churches in Fountain Hills joined together this summer to preach a six-week sermon series calling “Progressive” Christianity dangerous, heretical, and apostate. This thinly-veiled criticism of The Fountains’ core values sparked international attention, a flurry of blog-posts and podcasts, coverage in national magazines, and was even the catalyst for recognition with an national award.

The unanticipated consequences of the “Fact or Fiction” campaign included a sincere interest in the principles of Progressive Christianity by seekers who had never known there was an option to the fundamentalism of their birth. One visitor to The Fountains quipped, “The more my pastor described the beliefs of Progressive Christians (in order to tear them down), the more I realized that I was one!”

So, as both a review for those who are already familiar with contemporary Biblical scholarship and expose newcomers to the principles of Progressive Christianity, Pastor Felten will be Applying it to Life with a Fall series on the “Eight Points of Progressive Christianity.” Based on the Center for Progressive Christianity’s “Eight Points” (2011 version), this series will examine eight practical, credible, and positive basics for 21st Century followers of Jesus.

Over the ages, Christianity has never remained the same. As theological and liturgical ideas evolve and old beliefs and practices become increasingly untenable in a post-modern, pluralistic world, it becomes all the more important to explore what a Christianity for the 21st century might look like. Join us at The Fountains for “The Eight Points of Progressive Christianity” September 13th through November 8th. You’ll also be able to check out the audio versions on our new PodOmatic site.

“The Eight Points of Progressive Christianity”

  • Sept. 13th  #1: Following the path and teachings of Jesus can lead to an awareness and experience of the Sacred and the Oneness and Unity of all life (John 10.7-9)
  • Sept. 20th #2: We affirm that the teachings of Jesus provide but one of many ways to experience the Sacredness and Oneness of life, and that we can draw from diverse sources of wisdom in our spiritual journey (Mark 9.38-41)
  • Sept. 27th  #3: We seek community that is inclusive of ALL people, including but not limited to:
    • Conventional Christians and questioning skeptics,
    • Believers and agnostics,
    • Women and men,
    • Those of all sexual orientations and gender identities,
    • Those of all classes and abilities;   (Ephesians 2.11-22)
  • Oct. 4th  #4: We know that the way we behave towards one another is the fullest expression of what we believe (Luke 10.25-37)
  • Oct. 18th  #5: We find grace in the search for understanding and believe there is more value in questioning than in absolutes. (Matthew 10.13-17)
  • Oct. 25th  #6: We strive for peace and justice among all people (Matthew 25:31-45)
  • Nov. 1st  #7: We strive to protect and restore the integrity of our Earth
  • Nov. 8th   #8: We commit to a path of life-long learning, compassion, and selfless love. (Mark 10.35-45)


REEL FAITH: “Jesus Camp” on September 13th

jesus-campJoin us after church on Sunday for our Brown Bag Movie featuring the documentary, Jesus CampBring a brown bag lunch and we’ll provide the drinks. The 1.5 hour long film will begin at 11am, followed by discussion.

Calling Jesus Camp a both “scary and edifying documentary,” Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat say, “The importance of Jesus Camp cannot be emphasized enough for it reveals as no other film has done the breadth and depth of the culture war that is going on in America.”

An Academy Award-nominated documentary, Jesus Camp follows the experiences of three children attending “Kids on Fire School of Ministry,” a charismatic summer camp for fundamentalist Christian kids.

For anyone who has wondered how Christians can have such differing opinions on so many issues, this important film is one way to get a handle on the phenomenon by documenting the beliefs of a very particular (and extreme) expression of Christianity. This often shocking documentary will generate much discussion. Don’t miss it!


Australian Theologian, Rex Hunt, at The Fountains

Rex Hunt

Revd. Rex AE Hunt

The Fountains is excited to have Rev. Rex AE Hunt as our special guest and speaker on Sunday, Sept. 6th at 9:30am. A leader in the global movement of “Progressive Christianity,” Rex has served as a pastor in the Uniting Church of Australia, organized a number of conferences furthering the ideals of progressive Christianity, and is author of multiples books (see below).

Rex is also an “aggregator” of progressive liturgical resources, offering his work to the wider community at his comprehensive website, Thousands of clergy and worship teams from around the world reference his website on a regular basis.

At The Fountains, Rex will be Applying it to Life with “Celebrating the Reality that People Matter” with Words of Wisdom from Mark 7:24-30.

Rex will also be offering workshops on liturgy and the Parables on Tuesday, Sept. 8th at The United Methodist Conference Center and the Beatitudes Campus in Phoenix. See flyer below and visit the AzFCT website for more info.

Who is this Rex Hunt, anyway?!

Rex A E Hunt is a “Religious Naturalist” (yes, he’ll tell you what this means!), a Progressive Liturgist, a Social Ecologist, and a retired minister of the Uniting Church in Australia, his last placement being at the progressive Church of St James, Canberra ACT (2000-09), having served in parish settings in Victoria, Tasmania, New South Wales, and the Australian Capital Territory.

While in placement in Hobart, Tasmania, at Hobart City Centre/Scots-in-the-City (1995-97), Rex served as Uniting Church Senior Chaplain at the Royal Hobart Hospital. It was during this appointment that the Port Arthur massacre occurred with both victims and the accused brought to the RHH. As a chaplain he ministered to families and victims (from Australia and overseas) over a very intense 10 days.

In a previous life he was also the Director of Communications within the National Assembly of the Uniting Church for nine years, and has done a short stint as Acting Director, School of Continuing Education at the NSW Synod’s Centre for Ministry, in North Parramatta, NSW.

He was honorary part-time editor of Ministry: A Journal of Continuing Education (a Uniting Church professional development magazine) for 10 years (1992-2002), Founder and National co-ordinator of The Network of Biblical Storytellers Australia/New Zealand (1990-96), and Founding Director of The Centre for Progressive Religious Thought, Canberra (2002-09). He is now a Life Member of both organisations.

As part of his continuing commitment to the progressive religion movements in Australia and New Zealand he was Chair of the Common Dreams Conference of Religious Progressives, Australia/South Pacific for seven years. Three Conferences have been held: Common Dreams1 Conference, with the theme “Progressive Religion as a Transforming Agent”, in Sydney (2007), Common Dreams2 Conference, in Melbourne (2010), with the theme “Living the ‘progressive’ Religion Dream”, and Common Dreams3 Conference, in Canberra (2013) with the theme: “Midwives of Change: Progressives Shaping Religious Communities”.

He is an Associate of the Westar Institute – a progressive theological ‘think tank’ in biblical literacy within Willamette University (USA). For four years (2005-09) he was a member of its Literacy & Liturgy Seminar.

A “progressive theological” thinker for more than 40 years, his sermons and liturgies are, each week, spread far and wide via his personal web site: While his personal network of religious progressives extends globally.

He was the principal author/editor of The Canberra Affirmation (2008), author of Cards, Carols, and Claus. Christmas in Popular Culture and Progressive Christianity (Morning Star Publishing, 2013) and Against the Stream: Progressive Christianity between Pulpit and Pew (Mosaic Press, 2012), as well as editor of When You Come Together. A Study of the Place and Practise of Worship and Liturgy in the Presbytery of Barwon (UCA Presbytery of Barwon, 1985), and New Green Shoots and Other Story Sermons (JBCE Press, 1994).

With fellow Australian John W Smith, he has edited two additional progressive collections: New Life: Rediscovering Faith. Stories from Progressive Christians. (Morning Star Publishing, 2013) and Why Werent We Told? A Handbook on Progressive Christianity (Polebridge Press, 2012).

He was made a Paul Harris Fellow by Rotary International in 2005.

Rex and spouse Dylis are now living on the NSW Central Coast, an hour north of Sydney. They have two adult married children and three grand children: Elsie, Romeo, and Lenna. They also have a mob of kookaburras that live in their yard. Seriously.


VIP “Civic Academy” on education finance THIS THURSDAY

VIP Flyer for Ed. Civic Academy Aug 27 2015 - Logo

“Promote the welfare of the city and pray for it —  for upon its welfare depends your own.” (Jeremiah 29:7),

Valley Interfaith Project (VIP) is a broad based, non-partisan organization of congregations, schools, unions and non-profits committed to building relational power through organizing people for sustainable social and economic improvement.

This is done through institution-based leadership development; the building of relationships within and between institutions; the identification of and research on issues of mutual self-interest; and disciplined, organized action.  Through this organizing strategy, VIP develops a constituency of leaders to become citizens in the fullest sense: participants in democratic decision-making and agents of the creation of a more just society through the exercise of relational power.  Valley Interfaith Project is affiliated with the Industrial Areas (IAF), the oldest and largest national organizing and leadership development network in the United States. For more information, CLICK HERE. 

As The Fountains moves into a relationship of working with Valley Interfaith Project this next year, a number of opportunities will be offered for interested members and friends to see first-hand how VIP works and what VIP is all about.

The first is a special “Civic Academy” on education finance this Thursday at 6:30 pm, at Paradise Valley United Methodist.  Education is one of VIPs focus issues, in no small part because of the impact education funding (or lack thereof) is directly affecting our local school district, our children, families, and town.

According to national data released this summer, Arizona provides less state funding per student than any state in the nation.  (See more HERE)  If you’re interested in finding out more about how you can be on about “Promoting the welfare of the city and praying for it —  for upon its welfare depends your own.” (Jeremiah 29:7), join us this Thursday at PVUMC!

Welcome to Our Newest Staff Member!

MaryCeleste Gall

MaryCeleste Gall

The Fountains is thrilled to welcome Mary Celeste Gall to her new role as Office Manager for The Fountains! An outstanding addition to our staff, Mary Celeste brings years of experience and a contagious optimism to our day-to-day operations.

Whether it’s Secretary for Finance and Accounting of the Computer Programming Division for the US Army Tank/Automotive Command, general accounting and bookkeeping, or supervisor for Ross and tax preparer for H&R Block, Mary Celeste has what it takes to keep things organized and on the move!

Of her new role as Office Manager, Mary Celeste says,

“I am very excited to be able to begin this new chapter of my life by being able to assist in the daily operations of The Fountains. It has always felt a bit like home for me. And the people? Part of my family! I look forward to this opportunity to serve in assisting the staff and people of The Fountains!”

Mary Celeste’s hours will be Monday-Friday from 9am to 1pm. Be sure to welcome her when you see her in the office or in church on Sundays!

Felten to Receive “Voice in the Wilderness” Award from Reconciling Ministries Network

rmnwebPastor David is being recognized with a national honor, the 2015 Voice in the Wilderness Award for “persons or groups who, despite their isolation in wilderness situations, take risks to proclaim the rightness of inclusion of all persons in the community of the church.”

The Reconciling Ministries Network, a national advocacy group for the rights of people of all sexual orientations and gender identities, will present the award at its national convocation in San Antonio, Texas on August 8th, 2015.

This is not only a proud moment for Pastor Felten, but for the whole congregation at The Fountains. A Reconciling Congregation since 2013 and a host of regular PFLAG (Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays) meetings since 2011, the Fountains has been the lone theological leader in Fountain Hills speaking for the rights of LGBTQ individuals. In 2014, Nelda Majors and Karen Bailey, members of The Fountains, were the first couple to receive a same-sex marriage license in Arizona.

In the wake of Pastor Felten’s support of a nondiscrimination ordinance in Fountain Hills and for his advocacy of Progressive Christianity, eight fundamentalist churches in Fountain Hills joined together in the summer of 2015 for a six-week sermon series attempting to discredit Progressive Christianity. They also took out large ads in the local paper and hung banners in front of their churches calling into question the legitimacy of Progressive Christianity in general and, by extension, Rev. Felten and his progressive Biblical teaching (which includes the popular “Living the Questions” DVD curriculum series for Progressive Christians).

In the face of this criticism, Rev. Felten has remained determined and is gratified that the publicity surrounding the local theological bullying has served to further promote the values of progressive theology to a national audience and beyond. With a strong commitment to his local congregation, he continues to speak out on issues of justice beyond the walls of the church. He notes that, “Despite recent victories for Marriage Equality, there’s still much work to be done in dismantling the discriminatory practices enshrined in our churches, the law, and our culture.” Pastor Felten is no stranger to resistance for his taking a prophetic stance: he is also a founding member of “No Longer Silent: Clergy for Justice,” an outspoken voice working for LGBTQ rights both in the church and in the community at large for nearly twenty years.

For continuing to support LGBTQ rights while enduring fierce opposition from fellow clergy in and around the Phoenix area, Rev. David Felten is presented with the Reconciling Ministry Network’s “Voice in the Wilderness” award for 2015.

David is particularly thankful to the people of The Fountains for their support and encouragement of the work in which he has been involved, adding, “This award is a recognition of the faithful witness of the entire Fountains faith community.”

Movie advocates “Voting with Your Fork!”

nourish-logoAward-winning film Nourish, What’s the Story of your Food?  will be screened on Sunday, August 2nd, at 11:00 am at The Fountains. The short film and discussion will follow the regular Sunday morning service. The community is invited to join together in looking beyond our plates and exploring how our food choices impact public health, biodiversity, social justice, and climate change.

A brief 30 minutes long (see trailer below), Nourish asks people whether they know the story behind what they eat and seeks to open a meaningful conversation about food, health and sustainability. Nourish traces our relationship to food from a global perspective and encourages personal action steps. Dr. Mary Gale Smith says, “Nourish connects the dots between a healthy food system and making healthy food choices; between our health and the health of the planet. These are keys to a more food literate society.”

Patrick Grady, a volunteer with Arizona Interfaith Power and Light, will present the film and moderate a discussion. AZIPL is part of a national network of more than 15,000 congregations across 40 states, mobilizing people of faith to reduce the causes of global climate change through education, advocacy and prayer. Grady says, “We can make deliberate choices at three meals a day that will have personal, community and global impacts.”

Screening a film like Nourish is part of The Fountains’ continuing effort to be engaged with the wider community in exploring the deep issues of our time. Pastor David Felten says, “It’s important to understand the impact of our food choices have so we can add our voices to a better understanding of this global issue.”

The community is encouraged to attend this important film event on Sunday, August 2nd.

Professional childcare is provided throughout the morning. For more information, call 480.837.7627 or email

Visit to learn more about Worldlink and the Nourish Educational Initiative.