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The Abundant Lite

October 16, 2014                                                        For Sunday October 19, 2014


From The Rector



Whose Image is it Anyway?


In the selection from Matthew’s Gospel we will read this week, Jesus continues teaching and  challenging religious leaders of his day and believers like me. Religious opponents  have made common cause to discredit him, and sent their students to do the heavy lifting. They  are prepped to ask a trick question – should one pay taxes to the Emperor or not?


By using a local coin as a sermon prop, Jesus is able to change the conversation. Instead of  answering the question about taxes, he opens a “big” question that goes beyond polarized  yes or no responses. If those who use the coin with Caesar’s image have responsibilities in  Caesar’s world, don’t those who bear the image of God have responsibilities in God’s universe? 


Today, I am not looking at this as an either/or proposition – choose God or Caesar – but as an  invitation to conversation and exploration about mutual responsibilities. I pay taxes, and I intend  to live my life faithfully as a Christian. How do God and Caesar interact for me?


I believe that I have legitimate, faithful responsibilities to both, but they are not equal. I intend  for my faith in God to drive the conversation. Part of my responsibility as a Christian leader is to  keep the conversation going.


This conversation is one that is happening at St. Paul’s. Our Social Justice Team seeks to serve  the world in Jesus’ name by ministering in “worldly” places – schools, food kitchens, and libraries  for example – and by encouraging others to step out of the church building for service. We  also host the Las Palmas Precinct for civil elections. Our Faith Building Episcopal Café Sessions also enable us to have respectful conversation on serious issues. The conversations are driven by a general  understanding and commitment to Jesus’ teaching on loving both neighbor and enemy.


The conversation includes occasions when our faith and civil responsibilities lead to speaking  out, and disagreeing. There are hot topics like Gun Control, Gay Marriage, Living Wage,  or Immigration Reform, for example, that are often polarized in the wider culture. Faithful  Christians are called to engage these issues without attacking others.


Christians claim God’s image, not only for themselves, but for all others as well. We are called to practice seeing that image in ourselves and seeking it out in others. It is one way that we honor Jesus’ command – to give God what belongs to God. When we worship with and engage with one another, week by week, we practice what he preached. Join us.


Fr. Andrew



Featured Scripture


     Matthew 22:15-22


The Pharisees went and plotted to entrap Jesus in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?” But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, “Whose head is this, and whose title?” They answered, “The emperor’s.” Then he said to them, “Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.” When they heard this, they were amazed; and they left him and went away.



Taizé Services Return



Our monthly Taize style meditation service is held on the 1st Thursday of each month.  Our next Taize service will be held on  Thursday, November 6th at 7:00 pm.  In a setting of icons, candles and low light, and, using short songs repeated again and again with a few words to express a basic reality of faith, this service of prayer and meditation becomes a way of listening to God. All are invited. To learn more, contact Nathan Ensign at:  760-320-7488 Ext. 225.  We are also looking for a few volunteers to assist in setting up for the service.



The Social Justice Team and Music Department


The Social Justice Team and Music Department are excited to present Cornerstone Chorale and Brass, under the direction of Dr. Bruce Vantine, on Friday, October 17th at 7:30 p.m. This is their 26th year presenting concerts across the nation with a Christ-centered message of social justice and reconciliation, and one critic described it as “Lessons and Carols without the Christmas theme”.  Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door and a reception will follow to meet our artists. A part of our responsibility is to provide housing for the singers and brass players. We need a total of 28 beds (can be two beds in a room but no shared beds) and hosts will need to serve breakfast on Saturday morning before they leave early for Arizona.  If you can assist or for more information, please contact Nathan Ensign after services or at:  760-320-7488  Ext. 225.



Altar Guild Traing Session


All current and prospective Acolytes, Chalice Bearers, Worship Coordinators, and Alter Guild members are cordially invited to a training session on Saturday, November 1st at 9:00 AM in the Parish Hall.  This will be a “refresher course” for current altar ministers and training for prospective servers.  Brunch will be served. Reservations required. To save your space, please call the church office at 760.320.7488 ext. 0 and leave your name and contact information.  



27th Desert AIDS Walk


On Saturday, October 18, we will be participating in the 27th Desert AIDS Walk to raise awareness about HIV/AIDS in our community. We’d love for you to join us that day in spreading the message that AIDS is not over, and that everyone should be tested as part of our ‘Get Tested Coachella Valley’ initiative.  We will have a booth at Ruth Hardy Park where the walk steps off. Please consider walking with us or helping to maintain the booth!


Our booth will open at 7:30 am.  The walk steps off at 9:00 am. You can sign up or donate at the table after each service in the parish hall. If you would like to help with sign up after services contact George Holliday at gholliday@dc.rr.com or call 760-534-1642.


What is ‘Get Tested Coachella Valley’?  It is a 3-year region-wide campaign dedicated to dramatically reducing transmission of HIV .   Why ‘Get Tested Coachella Valley?’

  • 53.3% of Coachella Valley residents have never been tested for HIV.
  • The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that approximately one in  five people living with HIV do not know they are infected.
  • In parts of our valley, the prevalence of HIV is estimated at three times the national average—putting everyone at greater risk.
  • An international study, hailed by Science Magazine as the “2011 Breakthrough of the Year,” has proven it: If an individual who is HIV positive takes the right medications, he or she is 96% less likely to pass the virus to others.



Volunteers Needed for Palm Springs Pride


  Volunteers Needed for
    Palm Springs Pride
     Festival & Parade


      November 7, 8 & 9, 2014


Palm Springs Pride relies on hundreds of volunteers to make our unique festival and parade the success that they are year after year. Volunteering is all about making a difference. Palm Springs Pride is committed to involving volunteers across its operations from events to business support. When you volunteer with Palm Springs Pride, you’ll be making not only a difference for the organization but also the wider community for which we serve.


Click here to learn more about this year’s Palm Springs Pride Festival & Parade.


Click here to go directly to the Volunteer Application Form





Due to the new Parade Route now starting on Tacheva Drive and the difficulty in reaching the church on Sunday morning our Principal Service will be held on Saturday, Nov. 8th at 4:00 PM. The Rev. Susan Russell from All Saints Pasadena will be our guest preacher.  There will not be a 10:30 AM service on Sunday November, 9th. There will be a said service with no music at 8:00 AM.


Demonstrate your Pride in our Diverse Spiritual Community and march with St. Paul’s Pride Parade Contingent on Sunday, November 9th at 10 AM.  All members of the Parish LGBTQ Community and their allies are welcome. Details to follow so watch this space! If interested, call the Parish Office, 760.320.7288 to leave your name and contact information.




Faith Formation


“Sundays at 9:15″

In The Library





Welcome to The Episcopal Café Discussion Group! Sessions will be held in the Chapel Room in the Parish Hall. These discussion/sharing sessions are based on online topics from Episcopal websites,




10/19 “The Sacred Can Be Found in the Sound of Silence”  Facilitator- Brother John Charles Westaway

Click to read


10/26 “The Rising Number of Homeless Gay Teens – Many from ‘Religious Families’”  Facilitator- Alan Zimmerman

Click to read



“Tuesdays at 7″ In The Library









10/21 & 10/28 The God Problem- Alternatives to Fundamentalism by Nigel Leaves. Almost everyone has their own view of what they mean by God.  Some claim that they are “atheists” primarily because they do not believe in what they think is popularly referred to as “God.”   Nigel Leaves’ book, The God Problem looks at the reasons behind the waning of the Christian faith because of its continuing insistence on a supernatural God. This book will be available for sale at each of the sessions for $18.  Put on your critical thinking hat and attend this four week discussion course led by Fr. Bob Semes.



Volunteers Needed – Roy’s Desert Resource Center!


St. Paul’s is expanding its outreach to the men, women and children of Roy’s Desert Resource Center, one of the Coachella Valley’s largest transitional living facilities for the homeless.  New volunteers are needed to assist in our continuing Monday night dessert service to Roy’s residents as are baked goods, used clothing and donations to our Roy’s “S.O.S” fund.  We are also looking for new volunteers willing to assist residents as they visit the on-site “God’s Closet” used clothing repository.  We encourage everyone with a little time to spare to join us in this opportunity for service and fellowship.  For more information, please contact Chris Kelly at 760.406.2978.  We would love to hear from you!




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Please observe that the office is not open for walk-ins on Mondays. If you call, please leave a message. In case of emergencies, a priest will return your call. 






A celebration of the life of Joy Rasmussen will be held on Saturday, October 18th at 11:00 AM.


A celebration of the life of Karen Reynolds will be held on Friday, October 24th at 11:00 AM.


A celebration of the life of Bev Zwack will be held on Friday, November 7th at 1:00 PM.





. . .crafted by 600 Christian Families who live in Bethlehem will be on display and for sale October 19, 2014 at each Coffee Hour.  Holy Land Handicraft Cooperative Society which fights poverty and supports the Palestinian handicraft industry  will be displaying and selling their work at both St. Paul’s and St. Margaret’s on Sunday. This a great time to get ahead on your Christmas shopping.






Videos of Baptisms held on October 28th can be viewed on the “Watch Sermons” page, or viewed directly by clicking on either of the links below:


Baptism at the 8am service


Baptisms at the 10:30 service




Piano Fund Update:


To date, the Church has received 64 donations totaling $14,765.








Holy Communion at Windsor Court, 201 South Sunrise Way, Palm Springs, is hosted by the Nursing Home Ministry on the second Wednesday of the month, next, on November 12, at 10:15am. The Presiding Priest always welcomes assistance from parishioners.





Sunday, Oct. 26th at 4:00 PM.


The Music Department hosts a  concert of “Baroque Brilliants” (works by 17th and 18th Dutch and German masters) presented by eminent Dutch violinist, Jaap Schröder and harpsichordist Margaret Irwin-Brandon, playing on period instruments.  A $20 donation is requested at the door.  Contact Nathan Ensign at 760-320-7488  Ext. 225 for more info.






Tim Johnson will host coffee hour following the 8:00 service.


Please consider signing up to host a Coffee Hour in 2014. A binder at the entrance to the Parish Hall indicates available Sundays throughout the year. There are several Sundays available through the end of the year. If you have questions, call Ray or Cheryl Kelley at 760.778.1725.






The Prayer Shawl Ministry invites you to join our circle on Wednesday’s from 10am -1pm in Hogarth Hall. Whether  you wish to learn to knit or crochet or are an  expert needleworker, we welcome you. Needles, hooks and yarn are provided. Please drop in  to create and enjoy our prayerfully made creations.


Bullying Behavior Not Welcome Here


At St. Paul in the Desert we welcome all worshipers to a place that is free of violence and bullying.


Physical, verbal or emotional violence against others or against oneself is not acceptable.


“It Gets Better” is a series of video messages to encourage Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender youth and let them know that they are loved as they are.


“A Blessing for Those Who Are Bullied” was written by the Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, a Bishop of the Episcopal Church.


It is not enough to say “NO” to bullies. It is important to stand up for people and to provide resources for those who have been the targets.



Episcopalians Against Gun Violence


. . . is an ad-hoc group of bishops, clergy and lay people disseminating information about Episcopalians who are working, collectively and individually, to curb gun violence. For further information, click here.



At the Church

of St. Paul

in the Desert

. . . we welcome all worshipers to a place free of violence, bullying, and abuse. Physical, verbal or emotional violence against others or against oneself is not acceptable because of our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.  Please let Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself be your guide.




Our Partnership


Katherine Finchy

Elementary School


. . . continues through  our donations of classroom supplies. Please take a blue classroom supply wish list, available from the ushers, (or view and print), to use when you go shopping.  Please place your  donations in the basket marked “Katherine Finchy Elementary” located in the Narthex.  You may also bring your purchased supplies to the Church Office during business hours. If you are unable to shop, but would like to help financially, please make your check out to “St. Paul in the Desert” and write “Katherine Finchy” on the memo line.





Our mission statement calls us to be “a welcoming, empowering and supportive community.” We are currently forming a new ministry at St Paul’s to support that mission.  Volunteers are needed from all three services to donate approximately 90 minutes of their time per month.  That time is split into 3-30 minute segments: 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after the service you attend, once per month, to support the Welcoming Table located in the Narthex and another 30 minutes a month assisting with name badge organization.  If you are able to lend a hand, please contact Mike Funke at 760.-409.0986 or mike.funke@yahoo.com!


Help us live our mission statement!






As part of our ongoing commitment to creating a safe haven for everyone, our diocese trains people in the prevention of misconduct and encourages all to report misconduct. All reported incidents are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact the John Seitman, at jseitman@pacbell.net or 858-793-4426.


October 16, 2014 in Latest News by

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Saturday, October 18th


Holy Communion

4:00 p.m. 

The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch



Sunday, October 19th


Holy Communion

8:00 a.m.

The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch


Holy Communion

10:30 a.m.

The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch



Children Welcome in Worship
Childcare is available on
Sunday Mornings

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Service Times & Directions

Weekend Masses in English

Saturday Morning: 8:00 am

Saturday Vigil: 4:30 pm

Sunday: 7:30 am, 9:00 am, 10:45 am,
12:30 pm, 5:30 pm

Weekend Masses In Español

Saturday Vigil: 6:15pm

Sunday: 9:00am, 7:15pm

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

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Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856