The Abundant Life – January 19, 2017


The Abundant Life



January 19, 2017                                    For Sunday, January 22nd


From The Rector



Fishing In a Time of Darkness



Jesus calls his first followers, and context is important.


John the Baptizer has been arrested, he has been “handed over” to Herod, one of Imperial Rome’s collaborating “kings.” Matthew quotes a passage from Isaiah from a time of oppression about 750 years earlier. Then it was the Assyrians rather than the Romans who were oppressing them. The Romans colonized the region with people who received land in exchange for loyalty. The local peasant populations largely paid the taxes to support this process. These were a people who lived in the “shadow of death.”


Jesus was the light of hope that shined on them. He began his preaching with John’s message. “Change your hearts and lives!” – repent – “Here comes the kingdom of heaven!” The level of hope in this message may be hard to understand in an era of peace or without the reality of oppression. To the people of Galilee, the message offered a righteous kingdom in place of a corrupt and oppressive empire.


As his first action in announcing God’s reign of justice and peace, he calls four fishermen and invites them to leave the fishing and family they knew, and to follow him. He will teach them a new life, and they will be part of an expanded family that is not bounded by clan or class.


In that time of darkness, of Imperial oppression, Jesus called people who had a place and a trade. He asked them to give up what they knew and follow his call of hope, to follow the light.

Jesus redirects them. He invites them to use their gifts or skills to benefit others. He will teach them to fish for people.


As a person who has always lived in relative comfort, I am generally blinded to the darkness outside my own circle. It takes a change of my heart and my life to see the need around me. Jesus calls us today, in a world that has more than its share of darkness – in communities of great need. Are we willing to have our hearts changed? Are we willing to leave a place of comfort, physical or spiritual, to fish for people who live in any kind of darkness?


This means a different way of looking at worship. Come join us as we worship together and prepare to fish, as we see the darkness and become the light of Christ.


Fr. Andrew






Featured Scripture



Matthew 4:12-23Common English Bible (CEB)


Now when Jesus heard that John was arrested, he went to Galilee. He left Nazareth and settled in Capernaum, which lies alongside the sea in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali. This fulfilled what Isaiah the prophet said:


    Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali,

           alongside the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,

      the people who lived in the dark have seen a great light,

            and a light has come upon those who lived in the region and

                    in shadow of death.


From that time Jesus began to announce, “Change your hearts and lives! Here comes the kingdom of heaven!”


As Jesus walked alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, because they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. Continuing on, he saw another set of brothers, James the son of Zebedee and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee their father repairing their nets. Jesus called them andimmediately they left the boat and their father and followed him.


Jesus traveled throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues. He announced the good news of the kingdom and healed every disease and sickness among the people.





2016 Donor Giving Statements


. . . are scheduled for distribution within the next week.  The primary method of delivery will be via email, sent from  (Donors should add that address to their email contacts to avoid the risk of statements defaulting to a “spam” folder.)  Donors who do not have an email address on file with the Parish will receive their statements via US mail.  Questions?  Please call Marco Barrios at 760.320.7488 ext. 227.





St. Paul’s Annual Meeting


. . . takes place Sunday, January 29th, after the 8:00 am service in the Parish Hall. The meeting will begin at approximately 9:00am.  New Vestry members will be elected and our Senior Warden and Rector will give reports. This is an opportunity to review the parish’s accomplishments and challenges of 2016 and to learn about where we as a congregation are heading in 2017. Copies of our Annual Report will be available. Light refreshments will be served.  





Our next Taize Service


. . . will be Thursday February 2 at 7:00 p.m. 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.  Everyone is wecome.


Contact Nathan Ensign for more details at 

760-320-7488 x. 225. 







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 click here







Hospitality Ministry


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


The Coffee Hour after the 8:00 service Sunday is hosted by Suzanne & Harvey Trackman.


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






The Pacific Lutheran University

Choir of the West


. . . is performing on Wednesday, February 1st at 7:00pm at

Hope Lutheran Church, 45900 Portola, Palm Desert.

The event is free to the public; donations are accepted.

For more information contact Hope Lutheran, 760.346.1273.





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.








Mark your calendars for our next parish potluck for Tuesday, February 28, in the Parish hall!  Falling on Shrove Tuesday (or Fat Tuesday, depending on your tradition), we’re planning on a Mardi Gras-themed dinner before we enter the contemplative season of Lent.  So, bring some beads, maybe a fun dish to share (something Cajun, perhaps?), and your cheerful spirit!  Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex and Parish Hall.  And if you have some festive ideas and would like to help with planning, your parish life team will be most grateful for your help.  Contact Fred Ross at (or 415-710-9180) or Gary Hiatt at (or 760-567-2300).


Also, many of us have been having great fun getting to know each other better through the smaller circle suppers in parishioners’ homes (usually 6-10 people).  The original sign-up sheets were circulated a few months back.  Now that our snowbird friends are here, we would you love for you to take part as well. Sign-up sheets for these are in the Narthex and Parish Hall.  For more information check with Fred or Gary at the above numbers.





Faith Building  2017

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




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

              Led by Alan Zimmerman

              Read about it


1/29       Annual Meeting – No Session



2/5         Salt and the Light Brigade  Matthew 5:13-20   

              Led by Alan Zimmerman


2/12       How We Ought to Live – Matthew: 5:21-37

               Led by Jerry Di Noto





Tuesdays @ 7PM at Temple Isaiah 


Please RSVP to Temple Isaiah’s 24/7 reservation line – 760.844.7305.


“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.”

            Presenter- Rev. Kevin Johnson, Bloom in the Desert


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

            Presenter- Fr. Andrew Green, St. Paul in the Desert




2/7       Psalm 8      “How majestic is thy name in all the earth.”

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


2/14     Psalm 139   “Thou hast searched me and know me.”

            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 19, 2017

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