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The Abundant Lite

January 29, 2015                                                           For Sunday February 1st


From The Rector



Jesus and his disciples enter a town of about 1,500 people on the Sabbath, and Jesus goes to church – the local synagogue – immediately. He begins teaching.


Things happen fast and dramatically in Mark’s telling of the Jesus story. Teaching and healing events occur early and urgently, and the narrator keeps the pace intense by using “immediately” and “suddenly” to describe the action. I think this is a primary reason for using the words – to convey contrast between the status quo and the teachings and actions of Jesus. We are to sit up and take notice. The people in the synagogue do the same. They are struck by Jesus’ teaching. It is authentic, it is immediate, it is not business as usual. He may have been teaching the same topics and with the same points as other teachers, but his had something different – authority, power – a vital reconnection to God’s kingdom.


There is not much said about what that authority meant, only that it was not like what had been usual. Were the teachings and lifestyles of those other teachers unfocused? Were those teachers accepting though discouraged by present political realities? Were those teachers not responsive to the situation of the people? Were they simply tired? Had they lost sight of God’s covenantal kingdom? We don’t know. We only know that Jesus made a connection and got the people’s attention.


Jesus’ ministry takes off. In response to the teaching or his presence, people in various need appear and he connects with them. In his presence, people begin to reconnect to the power of God which restores them to health and wholeness. The first of these is the man with the “unclean spirit” who recognizes that Jesus is “…the Holy One of God.” In this first powerful confrontation, Jesus’ authority is recognized.


I believe that Jesus intended to teach and connect the people of God with the Word of God. What happened after that was the result of his listening to the need and being himself. He was authentic and immediate – he was fully present.


God calls us to be fully ourselves and be fully present, both when we worship and when we serve. God will use our authenticity and our immediacy to heal and bless.


Join us as we claim our authentic selves.


Fr. Andrew



Featured Scripture


     Mark 1:21-28 Common English Bible (CEB)


Jesus and his followers went into Capernaum. Immediately on the Sabbath Jesus entered the synagogue and started teaching. The people were amazed by his teaching, for he was teaching them with authority, not like the legal experts. Suddenly, there in the synagogue, a person with an evil spirit screamed, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are. You are the holy one from God.”


“Silence!” Jesus said, speaking harshly to the demon. “Come out of him!” The unclean spirit shook him and screamed, then it came out.


Everyone was shaken and questioned among themselves, “What’s this? A new teaching with authority! He even commands unclean spirits and they obey him!” Right away the news about him spread throughout the entire region of Galilee.






I will be making a pilgrimage to the

Holy Land, November 6 – 16, 2015.

The Pilgrimage will be organized by the Rev. Earle King of St. Martin-in-the-Fields, Grand Island, NY.  This will be Fr. King’s sixth pilgrimage to the Holy Land. Our families have been friends since 1982 and I continue to work with Fr. King as a part of the General Convention of the Episcopal Church.

There are several spaces available to join this pilgrimage. A $300 non-refundable deposit is required by the end of January to reserve a place.


See Fr. Green’s Flyer here.  Full Details here.  Contact Fr. Earl King at 716-773-3335 or at padreking@aol.com



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,


2/1     Historical Penance.

          Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey
2/8     Penance a Modern Perspective.

          Led by Br. John Charles & Audrey Spencer
2/15   Prelude to Lent.

          Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey


Toward an Earthly Spirituality – Guest presenter Rev. Dean Lueking: a five week Lenten series from biblical King David that speaks uniquely to our time.

2/22  David, his Story; (1 Samuel 16- 1 Kings 2);
         David and Samuel: Names (1 Samuel 16: 1-13)

3/1    David and Saul: Work (I Samuel 16:14-23);
         David and Goliath:  Imagination  (I Samuel  17)

3/8    David and Jonathan: Friendship;
         David and Doeg: Sanctuary (I Samuel 21-22)

3/15  David and Generosity: (I Samuel 30);  
         David and Sovereign Grace (2 Samuel  7)

3/22  David and Bathsheba: Sin (2 Samuel 11-12);
         David and Absalom; Suffering (2 Sam. 16-18)



“Tuesdays at 7:00 PM in the Library”

Christian Mysticism & Mystics




Episcopal Café Moves to

Tuesday at 7:00 PM in the Library

2/3     Let’s Drop 3 Labels in 2015,  Facilitator to be announced.
2/10   Animals in the new creation, 
Facilitator to be announced.
2/17   Shrove Tuesday: 
Evening Prayer and Pancake Supper

          6:00 PM in Church Hall.



Our Homeless Brothers and Sisters

Still Need Your Help

Thanks to everyone who gave generously this Christmas, we were able to deliver 85 gift cards worth $25 to each of the homeless men, women and children at Roy’s Desert Resource Center.  Our goal now is to resume monthly deliveries of new underwear and socks to Roy’s residents – a gift that is both urgently needed and much appreciated.   Please help feed the hungry and clothe the naked with a financial contribution this month.  Simply drop your check, payable to “St. Paul in the Desert,” in the collection plate or hand it to an usher with a notation on the “memo” line that it is for the “Roy’s Fund.”  For more information contact Chris Kelly at 760-406-2978.  Both the Roy’s team and residents are truly grateful for your support.







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.



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.





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!




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.




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The Abundant Lite?


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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 Life will be held for Patti Minton-Sivcovich on Saturday, February 28, 2015 at 11:00 AM here at the Church of St Paul in the Desert.


A new opportunity for rewarding service begins next month:


St. Paul’s Adult Literacy Ministry


is open to all interested volunteers.  No teaching experience is needed to participate.  The first training session will be held Saturday, February 7, 2015 at 9:00 AM in the St. Paul’s small conference room.  Please watch for further information in upcoming Sunday bulletins.



The next parish Vestry meeting will be held in the Library on Thursday, February 26th at 6:00PM.




Save the Date



February 8, 2015

at 4:00PM.


The Church of St. Paul presents a concert with Mark Thallander on organ and Peter Green on piano.  The program features piano and organ duets based on familiar hymn tunes.  For more information contact Director of Music, Nathan Ensign at 760-320-7488 X 225.





Prayer Services

for Lent


. . . led by Nathan Ensign, will be held on Tuesday evenings throughout Lent at 7:00 PM in the church: 2/24, 3/3, 3/10, 3/17, 3/24.

(NOTE: There will be no sessions on Palm Sunday 3/29, Tuesday of Holy Week 3/31 and Easter 4/5)


–  —  –

The next scheduled Taizé Service is Thursday, February 5th at 7 pm.










January 16th at

7:30 PM


The Church of St. Paul will present the Plymouth State University Chamber Singers from New Hampshire.  Under the direction of Dr. Dan Perkins, this 21 voice choir will sing a program with works by such known composers as Whitacre, Bernstein, The Beatles, Part and others. Donations are graciously received at the door and a reception will follow to welcome singers and community guests.







We are looking for volunteers to be Story Tellers and/or Doorkeepers (observers) for our Sunday School program during the 10:30 service.  This is an opportunity to teach children through biblical readings and activities selected by the Sunday School Team from an Episcopal curriculum.  If you are interested in volunteering or want more information, please contact Ted Barjas at 760.902.1014.









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 February 11, at 10:15am. The Presiding Priest always welcomes assistance from parishioners.





Coffee Hour following the 8:00 AM service is hosted by Deanna Hansen. Please consider volunteering as a Coffee Hour host in 2015.  Sign up with a friend or make a new friend by signing up with someone you’d like to get to know better.


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.


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.



January 29, 2015 in Latest News by

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Saturday, January 31st


Holy Communion

4:00 p.m. 

The Rev. Andrew Green



Sunday, February 1st


Holy Communion

8:00 a.m.

The Rev. Andrew Green


Holy Communion
10:30 a.m.

The Rev. Andrew Green



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