The Abundant Life – December 15, 2016


The Abundant Life


December 15, 2016                     For Sunday, December 18th


From The Rector




Ask For a Sign



Finally, in this fourth weekend of Advent, we are led to anticipate the birth of Jesus at Christmas. In the reading from Isaiah, the prophet speaks of the young woman pregnant with a son. Although the child is not named, Christians have long identified him as pointing to Jesus. Yet, there is more than the identity of the child to consider. The child is a “sign;” the child points to something or someone.


Through Isaiah, God has invited the king of the region – Ahaz – to be bold and ask for a sign of God’s response to a threatened invasion. Ahaz won’t ask, and uses as his reason that he would be “testing” God. He wants to maneuver God for his own purpose.


Before being confronted by the prophet, the leaders been begging for protection, while at the same time refusing to establish justice in the kingdom. Widows and orphans are not cared for. People are calling evil good and good evil. Neither the ruler nor the people with power desire a response from God which goes beyond protection and might challenge their injustice.


God then offers a sign that is not what was wanted nor expected by the elite. God gives the sign of a barely weaned child – Immanuel – who will “learn to reject evil and choose good,” who will be more faithful than those currently in power. Not a warrior. Not what Ahaz thought he needed. Rather, the presence of God to walk beside God’s vulnerable people in whatever they face and call them to justice.


Join us in our anticipation that God has come to be with us, for the child points to God:


O come, dear child of Mary, come,
God’s Word made flesh within our earthly home:
Love stirs within the womb of night,
Revenge and hatred put to flight.
Rejoice, rejoice! Take heart and do not fear,
God’s chosen one, Immanuel, draws near. (The Rev. Dr. Barbara Lundblad)




Featured Scripture



Isaiah 7:10-16Common English Bible (CEB)


Again the Lord spoke to Ahaz: “Ask a sign from the Lord your God. Make it as deep as the grave or as high as heaven.”


But Ahaz said, “I won’t ask; I won’t test the Lord.”


Then Isaiah said, “Listen, house of David! Isn’t it enough for you to be tiresome for people that you are also tiresome before my God?Therefore, the Lord will give you a sign. The young woman is pregnant and is about to give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel.He will eat butter and honey, and learn to reject evil and choose good.Before the boy learns to reject evil and choose good, the land of the two kings you dread will be abandoned.








December 20th

Advent Taizè Services –  7:00 p.m.


December 24th – Christmas Eve

Carols – 5:45 p.m.

Family Service – 6:00 p.m.

(Childcare available)


Carols – 10:45 p.m.

Midnight Mass – 11:00 p.m.


December 25th – Christmas Day
Holy Communion and Carols – 10:30 a.m.


Please Note:  

The Church Office will close at 12:00 Noon on December 23rd and 30th



Hospitality Ministry



Please join us in the Parish Hall after each Sunday service for coffee and refreshments. 


Both coffee hours Sunday are sponsored by our Social Justice Committee.


 Please consider signing up to be a host. Make it a New Year’s resolution






A Death in the Parish





Taylor Baird died at home on Thursday the 8th.
His funeral will be January 14, 2017 at 11:00 a.m.


Please keep his husband Roger Allen in your prayers.


If you wish to send cards and condolences, his address is:
71 San Simeon Pl
Mission Wells
Rancho Mirage, CA 92270









Advent Taizè Services



Our Advent Taize Services conclude this Tuesday, December 20th. In a quiet setting of candles and liturgical art, this service offers a style of meditation through repetitive chant, psalm and silence for personal reflection and prayer. As one attendee noted, “The Taize Service provides the perfect respite from the hectic pace and pressure of the holiday season.” Everyone is welcome. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details at: 760-320-7488 Ext. 225.








If you would like to contribute toward the cost of Christmas flowers, please use the special offering envelopes found in the pew pockets.









Calling all Elves!



It’s time again to decorate for Christmas. Wednesday, December 21st starting at 9:00 a.m. We need helpers to decorate the interior of the church. Much of the decorations are high up so we are hoping some “ladder-nimble” elves will be able to help.











Hikers Join UP!


The St. Paul’s Hiking Group is hosting its December hike at the Oak Glen Preserve above Beaumont on Saturday, December 17th at 8:30am, and it’s not too late to join us for fellowship, fun and a generous helping of natural beauty out on the trail – distance is about 3 miles, no special hiking experience is required. Contact Chris Kelly for further info at or 760.406.2978 for further information. See you there!





Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath December 17-18




This week we will be joining Faiths United in commemorating the Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend. This is the 4th year places of worship across the nation will be remembering those who have been lost, praying for those who survived, and raising awareness on what can be done to change the norm of gun violence in America.  Click here for more information.







Communion at Windsor Court


The next Communion Service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, January  11th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.





Christmas Gift Cards for Roy’s




As in the past, St. Paul’s will be raising money this Holiday season to buy a $25 Walmart gift card for each of the homeless men, women and children at Roy’s Desert Resource Center.  We urge all Sr. Paul’s parishioners to chip in this year and help in this important effort – simply drop your check to St. Paul’s in the collection plate with the notation “for Roy’s” in the memo line, or call Chris Kelly 760-406-2978 with questions.  Let’s make sure that no one in our community is forgotten or left out this Christmas.






Faith Building  2016

Sundays at 9:15 am in the Library – The Episcopal Cafè




12/18     The God Who Descends – The Incarnation Part II –

                 Led by Rev.  Canon David Caffrey


12/25 & 1/1  Christmas Break – No Sessions




 1/8       Do you Believe – Baptismal Gospel Reflection  

             Led by Gary Scott

             Read about it


1/15      Come and See – Reflection on John 1:29-42

              Led by Br. John Charles

              Read about it




Tuesdays at 7pm in the Church


December 20th – Taizè Services




Thursdays at Noon in the Library 


December 22nd – Join us for an Advent exploration of Brian McLaren’s book The Great Spiritual Migration led by Audrey Spencer. Bring a bag lunch and share thoughts on this book’s theme of migrating from Christian faith defined as a system of beliefs to a love-centered way of life.





Office Hours are 9 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday through Friday.  The office is closed on Mondays.
Should you call on Monday when we are closed to the public, please leave a message.  In case of an emergency, a priest will return your call.




Print a copy of The Abundant Life?


Click here




Sunday Worship Childcare
Childcare is available for both the 8:00 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. services.




The Prayer Shawl Ministry invites you to join our circle on Wednesday’s from 10 am-1 pm 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.




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 incidences are taken seriously and investigated thoroughly and confidentially. If you believe you have experienced misconduct of any kind, please contact Mr. John Seitman,, 858-793-4555 or the Rev. Janet Wheelock,, 952-240-8067.




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 because of our understanding of what it means to follow Jesus.  Please let Jesus’ command to love your neighbor as yourself be your guide.
“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.





The Church of St. Paul in the Desert

Local: 760.320.7488   //  Fax: 760.416.2441
Email:  Website:

125 West El Alameda

Palm Springs, California 92262

Categories Newsletters | Tags: | Posted on December 15, 2016

Comments are closed.

close window

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