The Abundant Life – January 12, 2017


The Abundant Life



January 12, 2017                                    For Sunday, January 15th


From The Rector





What Are You Looking For?



Jesus is beginning to build his trusted, very human, searching group of disciples. In John’s telling of this process, the first disciples come from an encounter between Jesus and John the Baptizer (not John, the writer of the Gospel). John points Jesus out and they start to follow him. This is different from the usual story of Jesus calling to fishermen to leave their boat and follow him.


Jesus notices them and asks, “What are you looking for?” A rather short conversation ensues, and they begin their journey. We don’t know what happens during that day, but at the end, the disciples of John the Baptizer have become followers of Jesus. They have taken the first step toward toward being .evangelists – one of them told his brother the good news, naming Jesus the Messiah.


It is interesting that in this exchange, Jesus is interested in the two fellows and what they are looking for. He did not start with a mission statement about repentance or the Kingdom of God. He began by building a relationship. He asked what they were looking for and invited them to “come and see.”


There will be time for mission statements and teaching, but in this case, the first step is responsive to the seekers and making a connection with them. The words “looking” and “come and see” are about being willing to engage in perhaps complicated relationship-building that enables deeper meaning to be reached.


I wonder about that afternoon when the three of them “hung-out.” Was it that Jesus led them back to his place and made a presentation, or did he listen to their questions and hopes before responding?


As Christians, we invite people to “come and see.” We invite them to see us doing what we do in worship, serving those in need, and building relationships, and hope they will want to join in. I don’t want us to overlook Jesus’ question – his sincere interest in the persons in front of him – “What are you looking for”?


Join us in worship as we learn to be as genuine as Jesus.


Fr. Andrew






Featured Scripture


     John 1:38-42 Common English Bible (CEB)


When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”


They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”


He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.


One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ). He led him to Jesus.


Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).






Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King’s Birthday



The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee will mark the celebration of Dr. King’s birthday and life at St. Paul in the Desert, Sunday, January 15th at 1:30 pm. There will be guest speakers, music, proclamations and an opening reception and awards presentation for the First Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “Excellence in Art” Competition and Exhibition. All are invited to this event honoring this civil rights hero. A social hour with refreshments follows.








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





Calling All Hikers!



The Parish Life Hiking Group will be holding its first hike of the New Year on Saturday, January 21, 2017, at 8:30 a.m. at the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in Morongo Valley. Come join us as we commune with God’s nature and enjoy happy fellowship in this unique desert wetland. Contact Chris Kelly, 760.406.2978, for more information.









Administrative Volunteer Opportunities



Are you interested in learning about parish Administrative Volunteer Opportunities? If so you are invited to attend a one-hour orientation session scheduled for Tuesday, January 24th, at 10:00 am, in the Library. During this session, we’ll discuss volunteer positions that periodically become available in the parish administrative offices and print shop. No experience necessary – we can train you! But knowledge of the Microsoft suite of office software products would be helpful. To register for the session, please call the Parish Office at 760.320.7488.






Parish Life Book Club





The Parish Life Book Club is a social group that meets monthly to talk about a book they select to read. These are people who enjoy reading and talking about what they have read. The Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of the month at 1:00 pm in the Library. The next meeting is on February 7th when we will discuss Erik Larsen’s In the Garden of Beasts. For more information contact Jackie Freeburn at









Taylor Baird Funeral Audio







Audio replay of Taylor’s Funeral can be heard by clicking his picture or here














Hospitality Ministry


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


The Coffee Hour after the 10:30 service Sunday is hosted by Suzanne & Harvey Trackman.


Please consider signing up to be a host. as a New Year Resolution!






Communion at Windsor Court


The next Communion Service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, February 8th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.





Faith Building  2017

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




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


1/17    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





Don’t Forget Roy’s!


With 2017 well underway, it’s time again to remember St. Paul’s continuing outreach to the homeless men, women and children at Roy’s Desert Resource Center. Your donations of homemade and store-bought baked goods help bring a cheerful weekly dessert service to Roy’s residents, and your cash donations help to purchase clean socks and underwear for those in need. Please celebrate the New Year by helping this important ministry. Contact Chris Kelly, 760.406.2978, for more information.






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 January 12, 2017

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