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The Abundant Lite

August 28, 2014                                                                   For Sunday August 31, 2014


Reflections:  From Jerry Di Noto





Are you talking to me?


I know this story, I saw the movie! The cinema portrayal of this scene of Moses and the burning bush has had a mind etching effect. Cecil B. DeMille’s production from the 1950s, starring Charlton Heston, has fixed in our minds just what Moses must have looked like and just how he must have acted in the presence of the blazing bush. Such is the power of the movies to override any other possible understanding of the biblical text.


As we read the scriptural passage, we clearly see that having a conversation with a burning bush that hears about people’s oppression is no ordinary event. Moses, when confronted by the amazing sight, did not stare in stupefied religious silence. He had questions to ask after the leafy on-fire plant commanded him to act.


In reflecting upon Moses’ responses, I would be more likely to have cast an ordinary person for the movie character role.  I can just hear the Moses character asking, “You talking to me? You want me to tell Pharaoh what? Who will believe me? What’s this Holy Ground stuff?”


Throughout our biblical history God has a pattern of choosing unlikely ordinary characters to do remarkable and extraordinary things. God’s call to service is regularly met with fear, reluctance, and lack of enthusiasm. No wonder! God is forever calling persons to speak truth to those in power and to say things that most people have no desire to hear. Also, prophets have a way of ending badly at the hands of those to whom they have been called to speak.


We too are standing on Holy Ground next to Moses at this very moment! Like Moses, we are being called to respond to a world that continues to oppress, whether for religious and political beliefs, skin color, economic placement, gender, or sexual orientation. Like Moses, we are forced out of our comfort zones, out of our routines and into those places where oppressed people cry out to God to take notice. We are called to know the truth of our identity as sons and daughters of a loving God and to reflect that love through action, outreach and involvement.


Yes, Moses was raised a prince of Egypt, but he is also you and me—less than eager to speak the truth and more than eager to leave the task to someone else. But sometimes, the task is ours and only ours, and we, and only we, need to be the agents of God.


May we realize that wherever we are, we stand on Holy Ground.




Jerry DiNoto


Featured Scripture


     Exodus 3:1-15


Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, “I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up.” When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, “Moses, Moses!” And he said, “Here I am.” Then he said, “Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” He said further, “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.” And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.


Then the LORD said, “I have observed the misery of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their cry on account of their taskmasters. Indeed, I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them from the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land to a good and broad land, a land flowing with milk and honey, to the country of the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. The cry of the Israelites has now come to me; I have also seen how the Egyptians oppress them. So come, I will send you to Pharaoh to bring my people, the Israelites, out of Egypt.” But Moses said to God, “Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?” He said, “I will be with you; and this shall be the sign for you that it is I who sent you: when you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall worship God on this mountain.”


But Moses said to God, “If I come to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your ancestors has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ what shall I say to them?” God said to Moses, “I AM Who I AM.” He said further, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘I AM has sent me to you.’” God also said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the Israelites, ‘The LORD, the God of your ancestors, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you’:


This is my name forever,
    and this my title for all generations.”



Faith Formation


“Sundays at 9:15″

In The Library





Welcome to The Episcopal Café’ Discussion Group! Sessions held in Parish Hall Chapel.

These discussion-sharing sessions are based on online topics from Episcopal websites.

Participants can pre-read discussion articles on the sites indicated. The Episcopal Café discussion group topics and websites are:

8/31      NO SESSION Labor Day Weekend Holiday


9/7      Immigration Advocacy Update (referred by Bishop Mathes) 

Click to read
9/14     “Eight Things the Church Needs to Say” – by Tom Ehrich @ religious news service

Click to read
9/21     “Whatever Happened to Inclusive Language?”

Click to read
9/28     Global & Inclusive Healing.  A panel presentation headed by Rev. Albert Ogle.  Stay tuned for more details!




“Tuesdays at 7″ In The Library







In September:  Celebrating 40 Years of Woman’s Ordination

9/2                 No Session Labor Day Holiday
& 9/16      Book Discussion: The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me- The Writings of Suzanne Hiatt.  Authors: Carter Heyward and Janine Lehane, Editors. As we observe the 40th anniversary of the irregular ordination of the group of women who became known as the “Philadelphia Eleven,” Carter Heyward and Janine LeHane gather the writings of Sue Hiatt, considered “bishop to the women” and leader of the movement that led to that momentous occasion.
9/23 &a mp;
9/30    Book Discussion: Looking Forward, Looking Backward: Forty Years of Women’s Ordination by Fredrica Harris Thompsett (Editor)
This is a wide-ranging exploration of the past, present, and future effects of women’s ordination on the church.


Both books are available through Amazon.



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!




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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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. 




Baptisms for children

are scheduled for

September 28th.


Preparation for Baptism will be held on Saturday, September 27th. 


If are interested in having your child baptized, please call the parish office at 760.320.7488.  Ask to speak to Brother John Charles or the Parish Registrar, Orin Ellingson, who can provide the details and sign you up.




Taizé Services

will be on

vacation until


October 2, 2014


See You Then!



Piano Fund Update:


To date, the Church has received 53 donations totaling $11,295.








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 September 10th, at 10:15am. The Presiding Priest always welcomes assistance from parishioners.






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.




Is on vacation for the Summer!  Check back with us in September!

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.




Report Misconduct


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.


August 28, 2014 in Latest News by

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Saturday, August 30th


Holy Communion

4:00 p.m. 

The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch



Sunday, August 31st


Holy Communion

8:00 a.m.

The Rev. Dr. Clark Trafton


Holy Communion

10:30 a.m.

The Rev. Dr. Clark Trafton



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

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856