The Rev. Talitha Arnold

Denomination: United Church of Christ (UCC)
Organization: United Church of Santa Fe, NM


Rev. Talitha Arnold  has been the Minister of the United Church of Santa Fe since 1987, when the church was a 7-year-old new church start of the United Church of Christ. Since that time, the congregation has tripled in membership and is known in Santa Fe for its vital worship, diverse music, outreach and advocacy, and its engaging approach to the Christian faith for all ages. A native of Arizona and a graduate of Pomona College and Yale Divinity School, Rev. Arnold was the Interim Associate University Chaplain for Yale and served congregations in Connecticut and Arizona before being called to United Church of Santa Fe. She served on the Santa Fe's first Children and Youth Commission, as President of Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity, and the hospital Ethics Committee. Currently she co-leads the Faith Communities Task Force for the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and just completed an 8-year term on the Alumni Board of Yale Divinity School. Her publications include the book, Worship for Vital Congregations, several essays in the Feasting on the Word lectionary series, and articles for The Christian Century, NPR's All Things Considered, The New Mexican, Albuquerque Journal, and the UCC's "Still Speaking" devotionals. She is currently working on a book on A Desert Faith for a Desert Time, funded by the Louisville Institute. She has received the United Church of Christ Antoinette Brown Award for outstanding women clergy, Santa Fe's Human Rights Award, Yale Divinity School's "Outstanding Recent Alum," a Lilly Endowment clergy grant, and Santa Fe's "Ten Who Made a Difference" award.


Day1 Weekly Programs by The Rev. Talitha Arnold

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Talitha Arnold: And the Desert Shall Bloom

Tuesday December 06, 2022
Blossoms in the desert, streams in the dry land. Blind eyes that are opened and lonely people led home. Talitha Arnold says that's the vision of Isaiah--joy that comes as a complete surprise. Joy that comes not from our deserving, but from all God's doing.

Talitha Arnold: The Fire This Time

Tuesday November 29, 2022
In her sermon for the 2nd Sunday of Advent, Talitha Arnold says, may John's cry in the wilderness bring us back to the Creator of heaven and earth. May his cry change our lives that we might love this world--its people, its forests, its fields, this earth--as God so loves.

Talitha Arnold: The Risen Body of the Risen Lord

Tuesday April 06, 2021
According to Acts, says the Rev. Talitha Arnold, the new church community wasn’t focused on simply seeing the Risen Christ, instead they were committed to being the Risen Christ--doing what had to be done, caring for one another, offering new life to others.

Talitha Arnold: Seeing Jesus

Tuesday March 16, 2021
The Rev. Talitha Arnold says, some Greeks came to Jesus’ disciple Philip and said, “Sir, we wish to see Jesus.” Did those Greeks know what they were asking? Did they have a clue? Do we?

Talitha Arnold: "Longing for Cucumbers"

Tuesday September 25, 2018
The Rev. Talitha Arnold says the Israelites weren't starving. Their cry for melons and leeks and cucumbers was really a longing for home, or at least the taste of home. Two years earlier their life had been turned upside down””for the better to be sure””but still it’s hard to cope with such a radical life change. They thought they wanted to go back, but really they were longing for a place to call home now.

Angels in the Wilderness

Tuesday February 17, 2015
As we begin the season of Lent, the Rev. Talitha Arnold focuses on the moving image in Mark's gospel of angels ministering to Jesus in the wilderness--and encourages us to consider the angels we have known and loved, and who have loved us, in the wilderness times of our own lives.

Trust the Transfiguration

Tuesday February 10, 2015
As we celebrate the Transfiguration of Jesus, Talitha Arnold encourages us to be aware of the transfigurations that occur in our own lives through the grace of God.

Articles by The Rev. Talitha Arnold

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Talitha Arnold: Go Back or Go Deep

Saturday March 03, 2018
Two choices: Go back to Egypt or go deeper with God, i.e., deeper into the wilderness.

Talitha Arnold: Harlot or Hotel Owner: What's in a Name?

Monday November 20, 2017
'Rahab the Harlot.' That's what I first learned about the woman of Jericho who saved the lives of the two Israelite spies. Perhaps you did, too. We may have learned wrong.

Talitha Arnold: As Sure As the Hairs on Your Head

Sunday October 15, 2017
Samson was at a dead end. He'd betrayed God, his people, and himself. Once the strongman of Israel who defeated the Philistines, now he was their slave, blinded and yoked to a millstone like an ox.

Talitha Arnold: Standing on Holy Ground

Wednesday September 06, 2017
Next Sunday, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. It's also a National Day of Prayer for 'Faith, Hope & Life,' sponsored by the Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention. Across the nation, people of all faiths are invited to join in prayer for persons struggling with mental illnesses and suicide, and for those who love and care for them.

Talitha Arnold: God's Hands

Saturday August 12, 2017
God has no hands but ours. It's trite, sentimental, overused, and hackneyed. It's also true.

Talitha Arnold: To Seek with Heart and Soul

Saturday May 06, 2017
This May 22 at the church I serve, we celebrate the 'Rite of Initiation and Confirmation' with six young people from the congregation. The service marks the end of a two-year journey for the young adolescents and also the beginning of their adult lives, or the 'initiation to adulthood' as we call it.

Talitha Arnold: Who Is Jesus?

Thursday April 13, 2017
In his masterwork, 'Messiah,' George Frideric Handel pulled out all the stops with his 'Hallelujah Chorus.' From its first 'Hallelujah' to its last, the piece uses trumpets, timpani, every other instrument in the orchestra, and every voice in the chorus to proclaim the 'King of Kings and Lord of Lords.'

Talitha Arnold: The Strength of Repentance

Sunday April 09, 2017
There's power in repentance, if only because we don't have to spend all that energy hiding from ourselves or others, including God.

Talitha Arnold: Whom Shall We Fear?

Sunday March 19, 2017
Psalm 27 starts out full of confidence. Sure of God's presence, light, and salvation, the Psalmist proclaims 'the Lord is the stronghold of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?' If ancient Hebrew had punctuation marks, he probably would have ended with an exclamation point, not a question mark!

Talitha Arnold: How Goes Your Soul?

Thursday March 09, 2017
How is it with your soul today? That's the question John Wesley used two centuries ago when he developed a new way of being Christian, eventually called Methodism.

Talitha Arnold: Jesus on the Journey

Tuesday February 07, 2017
'How are you doing?' I asked a friend recently. It was no trite question. My friend lives and works in Washington, DC. For 40 years, she's directed mental health programs in the Department of Health and Human Services.

Talitha Arnold: A Prayer for a Leader

Sunday January 08, 2017
May the leader be like rain that falls on the mown grass, like showers that water the earth." - Psalm 72:6

Talitha Arnold: Figuring Out the Plumbing

Wednesday November 16, 2016
Amos does not make for easy reading, because he did not live in an easy time. But he also offered his people a vision of what God truly wanted from them. 'Let justice roll down like waters,' he proclaimed, 'and righteousness like a mighty stream.'

Talitha Arnold: A Song in a Weary Throat

Wednesday October 26, 2016
'By the waters of Babylon,' the Psalmist remembers, the exiled Israelites hung up their harps. In that strange and hard land, they'd lost hope and lost their voice. 'How can we sing the Lord's song in a strange land?' they lamented. But the Psalmist reminded them how to sing, even in exile.

Talitha Arnold: Mustafah the Tailor

Tuesday September 27, 2016
"You search out my path and my lying down, and are acquainted with all my ways." - Psalm 139:3

Talitha Arnold: No Idol Words

Wednesday August 31, 2016
If I'm honest, I can turn all kinds of things into idols. Here are a couple of examples...

Talitha Arnold: Joy in the Morning

Saturday July 09, 2016
How joy comes isn't as important as that it will come--for you, for me, for this whole world.

Talitha Arnold: It's in Our DNA

Thursday June 16, 2016
Psalm 146 should be required reading for every political candidate running on the 'I'm a Christian, so vote for me' platform. The Psalm identifies who God is and what God does. In so doing, it defines what it means to be Christian.

Talitha Arnold: To Seek with Heart and Soul

Saturday May 21, 2016
This May 22 at the church I serve, we celebrate the Rite of Initiation and Confirmation with six young people from the congregation. The service marks the end of a two-year journey for the young adolescents and also the beginning of their adult lives, or the 'initiation to adulthood,' as we call it.

Talitha Arnold: The Earth: More Than a Footnote

Wednesday May 04, 2016
Decades ago when the space mission Apollo 8 sent back the first pictures of the earth rising over the moon, it helped change our perspective on the world and our place in it.

Talitha Arnold: Look Back in Wonder

Sunday February 28, 2016
A few years ago, I did a solo hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon, spent two nights at Phantom Ranch, and then trekked back to the top. It was the fourth time I've done the hike, the first being when I was in college, the last ten years before. Not surprisingly it took me a bit longer to get back up this time.

Talitha Arnold: The Word that Shapes Us

Friday February 12, 2016
Almost every week for thirty-four of my thirty-five years of pastoral ministry, I've blessed the congregations I've served with a benediction based on this passage from Paul's Letter to the Romans (in turn based on his First Letter to the Thessalonians)...

Talitha Arnold: To Walk with God and One Another

Saturday January 16, 2016
Whether from 3,000 years ago or a mere 300, the covenant to walk with God and one another affirms that faith is a journey, best taken with others.

Talitha Arnold: Trust the Vision

Sunday November 15, 2015
How do you pray for the earth?

Talitha Arnold: Changed--For Good

Sunday October 25, 2015
You are the 11th son of 12 brothers. Your father loves you best. He lets the others know by giving you wonderful clothes. They get jealous (surprise, surprise).

Talitha Arnold: The Way Out of No Way

Wednesday October 14, 2015
The author of Psalm 107 is thankful for many things””the hungry being fed, the prisoners set free, the sick healed. He or she sums it up in one line: 'God delivered them from their troubles and led them by a straight way.'

Talitha Arnold: A Wise and Discerning People

Tuesday September 15, 2015
Like the Israelites, we are called to be a "wise and discerning people"--or in Thurman's words, "the permanent outlet for the creative energies of God."

Talitha Arnold: Pain Tolerance

Thursday September 03, 2015
Are there times in life when it's best to tolerate a little pain, to live with a little discomfort?

Talitha Arnold: Hard-Headed Hope

Tuesday August 18, 2015
Hope is often under siege, whether in Paul's time or ours. One glance at the daily news makes hope seem naive and those who hold hope appear foolish. We often need the protection a helmet affords to keep hope alive.

Talitha Arnold: The Bread of Angels

Thursday August 13, 2015
The Psalmist remembers the wilderness years of his people, when they wandered in the desert of Sinai. Hunger and the threat of starvation were their constant companions in that harsh and barren land.

Talitha Arnold: An Antidote To The Antichrist

Thursday June 25, 2015
We don't use the term 'Antichrist' much in the United Church of Christ. Neither does the Bible. It only appears in the first two Letters of John.

Talitha Arnold: Gather Up the Duct Tape

Thursday May 07, 2015
The Christian church has many symbols for Resurrection””lilies, eggs, butterflies. I'd like to add some more””a sock, plastic tubing, and duct tape.

Talitha Arnold: The One Who Gives Us Room

Thursday April 23, 2015
'When my mother was diagnosed with cancer,' a friend shared recently, 'one of the greatest gifts was the nurse in the oncologist's office.'

Talitha Arnold: How Can I Keep from Singing?

Tuesday December 23, 2014
Like the Psalmist, we sing our faith in the One whose love is steadfast, in every season, every time, every joy, every sorrow.

Talitha Arnold: Not Until You Bless Me

Saturday October 25, 2014
If there was one thing Jacob was good at, it was grabbing and hanging on. At birth, he'd grabbed his brother's heel so he could be the firstborn. Then he'd grabbed Esau's birthright and blessing. To get Rachel as his wife, he'd hung in with his uncle for 14 years. And one night, when the tables are turned and he gets grabbed and pulled into a wrestling match with an angel, Jacob again hangs on until he gets what he wants--a blessing.