The Abundant Life – January 26, 2017


The Abundant Life



January 26, 2017                                    For Sunday, January 29th


From The Rector




Heavenly Litigation Is Settled Out of Church



This week’s reading from Micah is a drama. This small portion of scripture tells believers volumes about what is important to God and how humankind and institutional religion can misunderstand. The covenant that people of faith have with God suffers when they are unfaithful, and the brokenness is compounded when they offer complicated but wrong responses.


The prophet announces the lawsuit: God is bringing a claim of infidelity against his own beloved people. The heights and the depths of creation are witness to God’s case.


God starts with annoyance. “My people, what did I ever do to you?” Then lays out specific actions he has taken on their behalf. This is a short list, and at its heart is the argument that God has been faithful and responded in their times of need.


The people reply in this courtroom drama. They offer an escalating series of possible sacrifices – a calf, thousands of rams, rivers of olive oil, even a child – that become absurd and frightening. Their response to this divine confrontation is to ignore the central claim, that God has been faithful and they have been unfaithful. In their inability to accept responsibility and change, they offer institutional or religious practices that widen rather than narrow the gap between them and their God.


God’s final response in this passage closes the gap and replaces the complex institutional system with an invitation to integrity. “He has told you, human one, what is good and what the Lord requires from you: to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.”


Week by week we worship, with prayers, hymns, and Holy Communion. My sincere hope is that these are not simply institutional or religious responses to what God requires of us, but an invitation to the integrity of a daily walk with God. Join us.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture

Micah 6:1-4, 6-8 (CEB)



Hear what the Lord is saying:

Arise, lay out the lawsuit before the mountains;
    let the hills hear your voice!
Hear, mountains, the lawsuit of the Lord!
    Hear, eternal foundations of the earth!
The Lord has a lawsuit against his people;
    with Israel he will argue.
“My people, what did I ever do to you?
    How have I wearied you? Answer me!
I brought you up out of the land of Egypt;
    I redeemed you from the house of slavery.
    I sent Moses, Aaron, and Miriam before you.
With what should I approach the Lord
    and bow down before God on high?
Should I come before him with entirely burned offerings,
    with year-old calves?
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams,
    with many torrents of oil?
Should I give my oldest child for my crime;
    the fruit of my body for the sin of my spirit?
He has told you, human one, what is good and
    what the Lord requires from you:
        to do justice, embrace faithful love, and walk humbly with your God.






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.





Anniverary of Ordination





The Rev. Canon Victoria T. Hatch, the Clergy Associate at St Paul’s, celebrated the 40th Anniversary to the Priesthood on January 15th. She was the first woman ordained a priest in the Diocese of Los Angeles. Canon Victoria was honored with a special celebration at St. Cross, Hermosa Beach. She was hired as the Assistant at St. Cross when she was ordained. Congratulations!










St. Paul’s Annual Meeting


. . . takes place this Sunday, January 29th, after the 8:00 am service in the Parish Hall. The meeting will begin at approximately 9:00 am.  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.  





Deaths in the Parish



With Sadness we announce the deaths this week of two parishioners, Cameron Allen and John Buell. Please keep John’s wife Rosemary in your prayers as well as the family and friends of both men. Funeral services will be announced shortly.








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. 







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








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 JoAnne Adair & June Potts. 


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




1/29       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


2/19        The Strength to Love – Matthew 5:38-48 

               Led by Br. John Charles





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.




1/31      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 26, 2017

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