Health Ministry

Health Ministry is a Blending of Spirituality and Nursing to Support Wholestic Health.

Desert Palms Presbyterian Church has a Health Ministry Team that supports and guides the Faith Community Nurse and the programs.

We support and care for the physical, intellectual, emotional, social and spiritual needs of the faith community.

Fitness Fun

A fabulous exercise class that includes stretching, cardiovascular, strength training and balance.
Certified Instructor: Coleen Burke
Meets Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7:30am or 8:45am in the Fellowship Hall with limited class sizes.

Bring a large beach type towel to cover chair - Bring your own weights, resistance band, small ball and water.
(Balls and resistance bands available for purchase at the church office or before class)

Masks are optional for those that have been fully vaccinated with the COVID vaccine.
Masks are required for those that have not been fully vaccinated.

A COVID waiver and annual disclaimer must be signed.

Sign Up

Create a SignUp Genius Account and sign up for days and times you wish to attend.
Click the link below to sign up. You will open a SignUp Genius window. Click either the Create a SignUp or Log In button.

October Sign Up - Click Here

November Sign Up - Click Here

Please click the link below to complete the Fitness Fun 2021 Disclaimer Form.
Email the completed form to
Fitness Fun 2021 Disclaimer Form

If you are unable to sign up online, there are sign up packets available at the church office. You may call Nurse Mary at 623-584-4602 ext.209

Donations, either online or at the door are necessary to sustain the offering of the classes. Thank you for your generous donations

  • Online donations accepted and encouraged, click this link to donate
      Click on the "Other" fund and write Exercise Donations in the Memo Line.   
  • Check or cash donations accepted at the class.

Sign-Up for September classes has begun.


Health and Wellness Classes

Health and Wellness relates to a person's physical, emotional, and spiritual state.

Improving your health and wellness promotes good health and reduces the risk of disease with a wholistic approach. A variety of health-related classes are offered throughout the year.

Upcoming Classes

Understanding Medicare Seminar

Click here for a downloadable flyer with complete information.

2022 Medicare Update Presentation
Which plan do I choose? What are the changes for 2022?
Plus other important information

Thursday November 4th, 10:30am - 12:00
Sign up: call DPPC at 623-584-4602
Presenter: Bill Cave, SHIP Program Counselor
Where: DPPC Fellowship Hall

Medicare Counseling

SHIP (State Health Insurance Program) Benefits Assistance Program Counselor will assist you with Medicare questions, guidance regarding which health plan choice is best for you, coordination of benefits and applications for financial assistance to eligible Medicare beneficiaries. (Complimentary)

To schedule an individual appointment either in person at Desert Palms Presbyterian Church or via phone.
Appointment times 9 am – 1 pm.
Location: DPPC Felowship Hall Room C

Call Susan, Program Counselor at 623-476-5185. (This is her direct phone #)

October 18
October 25

November 1
November 8
November 15
November 22

December 6
December 29


Cardio Drumming

CardioDrummingYou will want to join this fun and invigorating class!

This class takes a simple movement and turns it into a full-body workout that will leave you smiling, sweating and feeling great. It brings together drumsticks, an exercise ball that sits on a round laundry basket or plastic pail to create one of the most fun workouts you'll ever do.

When: Mondays, September 13 - October 25 at 10:00 am in the DPPC Fellowship Hall
Cost: $35 for the 7 week session
Sign up by Tuesday September 7th (must be paid by 9/7 and must have 10 participants to hold class)
Donations accepted (to pay the instructor)
Instructor: Sherry Henning, Certified Fitness Instructor

Contact Mary, Faith Community Nurse to register.
or stop by the church office.

Equipment Needed:

  • An Exercise Ball (sold on Amazon, at Target or Walmart)
  • A round plastic laundry basket or a 5 gallon plastic pail
  • and Drumsticks ( You may purchase at class for $3)

Mind Over Matter

This is a program designed to help older women build the skillset and confidence to prevent or improve upon incontinence symptoms. Learn strategies (from a female facilitator) to improve your bladder and bowel health.

Three sessions on Mondays at 11:00 a.m. (October 25, November 8 and November 22).
Sign up for this complimentary series in the church office.

Click here to view the brochure.

Healthy Living - Matter of Balance: Managing Concers about falls

On Wednesdays for 8 weeks, beginning October 27, 2021, 2:00pm - 4:00pm Facilitated by Area Agency on Aging. Sign up for this complimentary series in the church office.
Click here to view the brochure.



Blood Drive - Mary - IMG_7798Vitalant Blood Drive

In partnership with Vitalant, DPPC hosts two blood drives a year: Spring and Fall.
There is a critical need for blood at this time. Consider giving the gift of life, give blood.

Click here to see the brochure!
The next Vitalant Blood Drive is November 2, 2021. Sign up online or call the church office.

DPPC Vitalant Blood Drive
When: Tuesday, November 2
Time: 7:30 am – 12 pm
Where: Fellowship Hall

Make an appointment by calling the church office at 623-584-4602. Questions, contact Mary, Faith Community Nurse


Meals of Joy

See our Missions page for more information.

Responding to An Emergency Training in Spring

A class held in the Spring that prepares the participant to respond to an emergency at home, at church and in the community. Participants learn hands only cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR). This is not a certification class.

Influenza Shot Clinic

In partnership with a local pharmacy, an influenza shot clinic is held in October.

Flu Shot Clinic

The clinic for 2021 was held on October 13th. Check back next fall in 2022 for the next one.


Palms Newsletter Article

From Your Faith Community Nurse Mary

In my role as your faith community nurse, I listen to many people’s stories. I often hear that they are experiencing the emotion of guilt in their lives.
What really is guilt?

The definition of guilt according to Wikipedia is:
An emotion that occurs when a person believes or realizes—accurately or not—that they have compromised their own standards of conduct or have violated universal moral standards and bear significant responsibility for that violation. Guilt is closely related to the concept of remorse, regret, as well as shame.

Brene Brown, a shame and empathy researcher shares that, “Based on my research and the research of other shame researchers, I believe that there is a profound difference between shame and guilt. I believe that guilt is adaptive and helpful – it’s holding something we’ve done or failed to do up against our values and feeling psychological discomfort.”

Is the feeling of guilt helpful in your life?  It may serve as a positive influence depending on the situation. It may be helpful to not think of guilt as being helpful or not helpful but to reflect on how the feeling of guilt is affecting you in this situation. Good states; “Because guilt relates to a person’s moral code, guilt can act as a sort of check that helps someone recognize the effects of choices they’ve made. If the choice had a negative impact, they might feel regret and chose to do better in the future.” An example would be as you drive down the street and do not yield to a person in the crosswalk. If the pedestrian is not injured and you were really in hurry, you tell yourself that next time, you will stop and let the person cross safely. That feeling of guilt may help you in the future. 

There is also unnecessary guilt.  Unnecessary guilt may be due to your own unrealistic expectations, your concern of someone judging you, things you cannot control. This type of guilt may prevent you from living an abundant life that God desires for each of us, his special children.

Living through the past years has given many of us opportunities to experience unnecessary guilt. Due to COVID, we have had to make choices about being in public places, spending time with friends that may not have the same beliefs regarding mask wearing, vaccinations and social distancing, or making the difficult choice to not spend time with family so that you can be safer from the virus. Caregivers also deal with unnecessary guilt as they make choices for their loved ones such as moving them into an assisted living or becoming impatient with a loved one who lives with memory loss because they are frustrated at having to answer the same question over and over. Where is healthy and unnecessary guilt popping up in your life?

When you experience guilt, consider caring for yourself by using the self-compassion practices listed below that Kristen Neff, (Kristin Neff Biography ( a leading self-compassion researcher has created.  There are many additional resources on this website.

  • Take a break. During the break, accept what you are feeling. Accept that it is tough or challenging. Then ask yourself how you can take care of yourself right then.
  • Ask yourself how you’d treat a friend experiencing the same struggle. What would you say to that friend? Try using those same words for yourself.
  • Write a letter or journal entry to yourself, offering acceptance, love, and compassion.
  • Reframe negative self-talk. Instead of reminding yourself about your mistake and how bad it was, simply agree that you messed up and tell yourself you’ll do better next time. Remind yourself about what you’ve learned or how you’ve grown because of the choice you made. If your choice had any positive effects, it might help to remind yourself of those, too. Remember that guilt isn’t necessarily a bad thing.


And I add the great resource of talking to God about what you are feeling. Psalm 51 is a chapter that deals with guilt in the Bible. “Turn your face from my sins and wipe out all my guilt. Create in me a pure heart, God, and make my sprit right again.” Psalm 51: 9-10

Blessings on your fall season,


Meditation Monday on Tuesday with Nurse Mary

May this verse fill you with hope. Even if yesterday was filled with challenges, today is a new day and our Lord’s care is new every morning. May your week be blessed. ~Mary
MM 0601

Health Related Resources

COVID-19 Community Care Resources
COVID-19 Community Care Resources - This is an overwhelming time for communities around the world as we face the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re like many others looking for essential resources, support, tips to de-stress and ways to help, you’ve come to the right place! This Community Care Resources page will be updated as more resources for Surprise residents become available. Symptoms & Testing

The Surprise Resource Center is a one-stop-shop for social services. Through strategic partnerships with community-based organizations and government agencies, the center offers Surprise residents connections to services that include everything from rent and utility assistance, employment support, food and nutrition resources, and more.

Covid Resources
Resources collected by Mary, Faith Community Nurse
The 2-1-1 Arizona Information and Referral Services program was founded in 1964 as Community Information and Referral Services and incorporated as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization in 1979. Solari acquired the program in 2017.

2-1-1 Arizona Information and Referral Service operates 24 hours per day, seven days per week and every day of the year. Live-operator service is available at all times in English and Spanish and assistance is available in other languages via real-time interpreter services.

2-1-1 Arizona operators will help individuals and families find resources that are available to them locally, throughout the state, and provide connections to critical services that can improve – and save – lives
Arizona is here for you.
As we work to get through COVID-19 and support public health in Arizona, we are committed to making sure Arizonans have access to the resources they need to stay healthy and be part of our state's recovery. We’re in this together and we will return stronger.


Organizations Providing Care In Your Home

  • About Seniors Placement Services: Contact Christina Cave at About Seniors, 602-772-6490.
  • ComforCare
  • Home Instead

Community Support Groups

  • Benevilla Phone Support Groups Phone: 623-584-4999
  • Banner Sun Health Phone Support Groups Alzheimer's and Parkinson's Phone Number: 623-832-6530 Arizona Caregiver Coalition Caregiver Resource Line: 1-888-737-7494
  • Alzheimer's Association Phone Support Groups Phone Number: 602-528-0545
  • 24 Hour Helpline: 1-800-272-3900
  • Area Agency On Aging Phone Number: 1-888-264-2258
  • 24 Hour Senior Helpline: 602-264-4357

Support Groups

Caregiver Support Group

CaregiverSupportGroupCaregiving is a blessing and a burden. If you are caring for others in your home, at a facility, a neighbor or a loved one that lives far away, please join our Caregiver Support Group.

It is a warm and caring time where you can share your story, find new ideas and resources and be cared for.

We meet every month:

In-person Caregiver Support Group
When: every first Monday of the month
Time: 1:00 p.m.
Where: Conference Room

ZOOM Caregiver Support Group
When: every third Monday of the month
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Join Zoom Meeting
    Meeting ID: 489 192 2044

It is time to share stories, be listened to, supported and cared for while learning of resources.

If you have any questions, please call Mary, Faith Community Nurse at 623-584-4602 ext. 209.

Low Vision Resource Gathering

LowVisionResourceGroupDo you or a loved one live with a vision challenge? Please join the Low Vision Resource Group.
We meet on the third Wednesday of the month in the Fellowship Hall.

It is a time to share your story, challenges and resources. Educational programs offered at some meetings.  Questions, call Mary,  Faith Community Nurse at 623-584-4602 ext. 209.

When: every third Wednesday of the month
Where: Fellowship Hall
Time: 10:30 a.m.


Grief Support Group

GriefandLoss SupportGriefShare is for people grieving the death of a family member or friend. 

There are grief share programs offered in Sun City West. For more information, go to:

Mary Nordtvedt, RN, BSN
RN Faith Community Nurse
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