The Abundant Life – February 2, 2017


The Abundant Life



February 2, 2017                                    For Sunday, February 5th


From The Rector



Fasting That Makes a Difference


We are still four weeks away from Ash Wednesday, yet our reading, this weekend, from Isaiah is one of two choices for that devotional day of fasting and prayer. Isaiah’s text is a challenge which confronts us, the faithful, with the demand: Act on behalf of those in need and be partners with God. On this weekend, the Isaiah text prepares us for Jesus’ exhortation to his disciples not to hide their light under a basket.


Fasting – a special time of prayer and self-denial – is more than prayer. According to the prophet, it is living that prayer in daily life by setting free those who are unjustly bound. This is one specific action, among others the prophet offers, and I highlight it because of the current Executive Orders restricting, delaying, or banning immigrants and refugees, particularly those from Muslim majority countries. The Bishop of our Diocese has written forcefully on this issue. I share his outrage at this additional burden upon refugees and at this religious discrimination. He says that there is a critical component of our Christian Faith that is at stake: We are called to act.


The Hebrew Scriptures, the Law and the Prophets, the source of Jesus’ development in faith, are clear. The poor, the stranger, the immigrant, and the refugee are close to God’s heart and God’s faithful people must act to help them. In this moment, the action is to stand with immigrants and refugees and to seek the repeal of the Executive Orders of President Trump.


These orders seem to ignore the effectiveness of current security screening and add to the burden – creating a “yoke” that oppresses and harms people who are at risk. Further, these orders help to foster a climate of fear and anxiety for both refugees and our country’s citizens. Our current immigration screening procedures have protected us well and “extreme vetting” is unlikely to improve our safety.


Please pray for those at risk. Pray for the President and his advisors. Then act.


One way to act is to make calls to your elected officials. Call the President, the two Senators from your state, and your congressional Representative. Call these four people four times. Follow the link or pick up a copy of 4×4 in the Lobby.


Jesus asked his disciples to let their light shine and told them not to fear. When we act to care for those in need or those under threat, we are letting the light of Jesus shine through us and are building a climate of hope rather than fear. I am reminded of our mission Statement. “We are a welcoming, empowering, and supportive community.” Join in prayer and action with those who want to welcome, empower, and support people in need.


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture




Isaiah 58:1-9a Common English Bible (CEB)


Shout loudly; don’t hold back;

    raise your voice like a trumpet!

Announce to my people their crime,

    to the house of Jacob their sins.

They seek me day after day,

    desiring knowledge of my ways

    like a nation that acted righteously,

    that didn’t abandon their God.

They ask me for righteous judgments,

    wanting to be close to God.

“Why do we fast and you don’t see;

    why afflict ourselves and you don’t notice?”

Yet on your fast day you do whatever you want,

    and oppress all your workers.

You quarrel and brawl, and then you fast;

    you hit each other violently with your fists.

You shouldn’t fast as you are doing today

    if you want to make your voice heard on high.

Is this the kind of fast I choose,

    a day of self-affliction,

    of bending one’s head like a reed

    and of lying down in mourning clothing and ashes?

    Is this what you call a fast,

        a day acceptable to the Lord?

Isn’t this the fast I choose:

    releasing wicked restraints, untying the ropes of a yoke,

    setting free the mistreated,

    and breaking every yoke?

Isn’t it sharing your bread with the hungry

    and bringing the homeless poor into your house,

    covering the naked when you see them,

    and not hiding from your own family?

Then your light will break out like the dawn,

    and you will be healed quickly.

Your own righteousness will walk before you,

    and the Lord’s glory will be your rear guard.

Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;

    you will cry for help, and God will say, “I’m here.”




2016 Donor Giving Statements


Looking for your Giving Statement?


Most 2016 St. Paul’s Giving Statements were sent via email on Friday, January 27th.


The subject line should read “Your giving statement from St. Paul’s.”


If you haven’t received yours it may be because the sender’s email address is Check your spam folder for this email. To prevent emails from going to spam, please add this address to your contacts.





Hope Lutheran Women of the ELCA


Hope Lutheran Women of the ELCA invite you to attend their Winter Gathering next Saturday, February 11th from 10:00 am to 12 noon. The topic is “Women in Islam” and members of the Coachella mosque will attend and share information about their faith tradition and the role of women in the Muslim faith community. For more details call Hope Lutheran Church, 760.346.1273.





Concert at St. Paul’s



On Friday, February 24th at 7:30 p.m., we are excited to present Carter Johnson, a 20 year old pianist from British Columbia.  


With a long list of accomplishments in Canada and the United States, he will present a program including pieces by Schumann, Chopin and Debussy.  A reception will follow to greet this young artist and those attending. Donations are graciously accepted at the door.









Deaths in the Parish







Ruth Kraus died at home on January 28th. She was 91. Please remember her, husband Oz and daughters Carol and Chris in your prayers.  The funeral service will be held on Friday, February 17th at 11:00 am.






Ruth Kraus – (6/8/1925 – 1/28/2017)




Funeral Services are set for three other St. Paul’s parishioners:

Cameron Allen, Tuesday, February 7th at 11:00 am at St. Paul’s, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.
Robert Evans, Thursday, February 9th at 10:00 am at The Canyon Clubhouse, 34400 Cathedral Canyon, Cathedral City.
John Buell, Thursday, February 23rd at 11:00 am at St. Paul’​s, followed by a reception in the Parish Hall.






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. 


Please consider signing up to be a host.








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.  



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


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

               Led by Alan Zimmerman


2/12       We are all Syrian. We are all Muslim. By Rt. Rev. James Mathes,

             Led by Jerry DiNoto – Read about it


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

               Led by Br. John Charles


2/26       Where Does the Church Belong? 

               Led by Audrey Spencer





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.




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


Tuesdays @ 7PM at St. Pauls in the Library


A study of the Gospel of Matthew continued. Led by Gary Scott and team.

2/21      “Teacher and Lord”

2/28      Parish Mardi Gras Pot Luck – No Session.





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 February 2, 2017

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