The Abundant Life – January 5, 2017


The Abundant Life



January 5, 2017                                    For Sunday, January 8th


From The Rector




“Let It Be So Now….”



These are the first words of Jesus in Matthew’s telling of the Gospel. He has come to the Jordan, like many others, to be baptized by John. And John resists. So, Jesus insists, “Let it be so now….”


Christian readers, with generations of teaching about Jesus – his divine origins, his being without sin – might agree with John and wonder. Why is Jesus being baptized? What does he need to repent? What does he need to prove? Christians have pondered over this ever since we learned of Jesus’ baptism.


“Let it be so now….”


Jesus’ response continues about the propriety of “fulfilling all righteousness.” And we have more to ponder. What if he needed to be baptized because it was a sign of his belonging – with us


The ending of the baptism experience sees Jesus rising out of the water into his vocation as the son of God. He receives his Father’s approval, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.” What if the occasion of his baptism was a sign that he was like us – not exempted from our challenges or responsibilities?


Jesus’ baptism connects him with all humanity, and our baptism is a sign that connects us – and all that is human – to Jesus. It is the sign of our covenant with God, that we want to be like Jesus. In that covenant, God adopts us as daughters and sons, and we orient our lives to live like Jesus.


At baptism, we promise (Book of Common Prayer pp. 304-5) to participate in the worshiping fellowship, persevere against evil, exemplify God’s Good News, serve Christ in all we meet, and work for justice and peace – respecting everyone. We agree to follow Jesus in his life of fearless love for the world. The baptism of Jesus is a sign to God that Jesus understands and accepts his vocation. It is a sign to us that Jesus will go before us as we learn from and follow him.


Join us as we honor Jesus’ baptism, listen to God’s response, and ponder our joint covenant.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


     Matthew 3:13-17


Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”






The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ 










Friday, January 6, 2017 – The Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 6:00 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.





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.






Taylor Baird Funeral







Funeral Services for long time parishioner Taylor Baird are scheduled for next Saturday, January 14th at 11:00am. A reception will follow in the Parish Hall.













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




1/8       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


1/10    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 January 5, 2017

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