The Abundant Life – December 29, 2016


The Abundant Life


December 29, 2016                     For Sunday, January 1st


From The Rector





Choose To Bless


The New Year is upon us this coming weekend. Because of the calendar we use for selecting readings, we have several readings that do not usually fall on Sundays. They begin with a blessing for the Israelites who have been in the wilderness of Mt. Sinai for almost a year and are preparing resume their covenant journey. God is instructing the priests to bless the people’s journey at its beginning and on its progress to the promised land.


The blessing is one that enfolds and protects the people and places God’s Name upon them – it makes them holy and sets them apart as a people. For Christians, we are set apart at Baptism. God’s name is placed upon us, and we participate in the blessing.


When we are baptized and when we participate in the baptism of others, we make promises that are our response to being part of God’s people, sharing in the blessing, having God’s name upon us. One of these promises seems particularly important as we begin this new year.


“Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? I will, with God’s help.”


Peace, justice, and the dignity of every human being are connected with the blessing we receive, and with the blessing we offer. They are connected to God’s name and remind us of God’s abundant graciousness. Simply – God is for us and all people, especially for those who have no one else to look out for them. God blesses us in our weakness and need, and we have promised to bless the weak and those under threat. We begin by respecting their God-given dignity.


If I say, “The LORD bless you and protect you.” – yet ignore threats to your well-being, opportunity, or personhood – then the blessing is empty and worse, God’s name is being taken in vain.


2016 ends this Saturday. Begin the New Year in thoughtful, reverent blessing. We can’t do it on our own. We need each other and we need God.


Join us in worship as we bless in Jesus’ name, and as we resume our own covenant journey: “We will, with God’s help.”


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


Numbers 6:22-27 Common English Bible (CEB)


The Lord spoke to Moses: Tell Aaron and his sons: You will bless the Israelites as follows. Say to them:


The Lord bless you and protect you.
The Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you.
The Lord lift up his face to you and grant you peace.


They will place my name on the Israelites, and I will bless them.






Parish Office New Year’s Weekend Hours  


The Parish Office will close at 11:30 am on Friday, December 30th.

Regular Parish hours will resume Tuesday, January 3rd,

(Tuesday – Friday, 9:00 am to 11:30 am and 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm).




News flash!

DESERT BAROQUE’s premier concert at St Paul in the Desert. Internationally acclaimed harpsichordist, Gilbert Martinez presents “The Graces danced and Apollo play’d” on Friday, January 20, 7:00 pm.  The festival weekend, produced by Meg Irwin-Brandon, choir member and occasional organist at St. Paul’s, continues with Saturday’s 7 pm concert of music for 2, 3 and 4 harpsichords by J.S. Bach in Palm Desert and Sunday at 4 pm in Desert Hot Springs. Complete info at




Dismantle, Pack and Store Brigade!


Christmas isn’t over till the decorations are put away! Please join us to take down and pack away the decorations on Saturday, January the 7th at 9:00 am. Many hands make light work and breakfast will be served.





Hospitality Ministry



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


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








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.





Faith Building  2016

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




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


1/22       A Fishing Story – Discipleship – Matthew 4:12-33

              Led by Alan Zimmerman

              Read about it


1/29       Annual Meeting – No Session





Tuesdays @ 7PM in the Library


A study of the Gospel of Matthew

Led by Gary Scott & Team


1/3      The Synagogue Down the Street


1/10    The Messiah of Israel


1/17    Jesus and the Torah


Tuesdays @ 7PM at Temple Isaiah 



“Psalm Springs”


A study of selected Psalms led by Rabbi David Lazar and faith leaders from Palm Springs churches.




1/24      Psalm 121   “I lift up my eyes to the hills.”


1/31      Psalm 37     “Trust in the Lord and do Good.”




2/7       Psalm 8      

            Presenter- Fr. Lane Hensley, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church


2/14     Psalm 139  

            Presenter- Rev. Christine Dickerson, Palm Springs Presbyterian Church




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 29, 2016

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