The Abundant Life – February 23, 2017


The Abundant Life



February 23, 2017                                For Sunday, February 26th


From The Rector



Listen to What Pleases God


One of the blessings of cell phones and FaceBook is the array of pictures of sunrises, sunsets, and ethereal cloud formations that are shared. I always feel connected, yet humbled, to be a part of something greater which surrounds me. This awareness gives me the certainty of being loved, unafraid, and purposeful.


Three of his disciples are with Jesus on the mountain top when he is transformed, perhaps appearing as the brightest and clearest sunrise ever. I believe it is one of those occasions when even the most inspired descriptions fail to capture the experience fully.


We have only the words of Scripture to help us comprehend this transformation.  The Gospel can only report what the “voice of the cloud” says: “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” Jesus is beloved by God and

we should really pay attention! The valuable spiritual practice of “pondering” will not be part of this encounter. God’s words are emphatic and direct: “Listen to him!” Now.


While we can generalize what of Jesus we listen to, while we can summarize Jesus’ teachin

g, or while we can even selectively pick the sayings that suit us in a given moment, I think we are to listen specifically to what Jesus says in this episode – to what Jesus says next: “Get up.” And “Don’t be afraid.”


The one whom God loves – Jesus – tells the overwhelmed followers to get up. We know there are places to go and Gospel work to do. Jesus touches his terrified disciples and tells them not to fear. Then they are dramatically alone with him.


Trusting Jesus, they get up and go back to touch the lives of hurting people. I bet the disciples  told them not to fear, too.


Jesus calls us, as beloved sisters and brothers, to get up, listen to Jesus, and follow. Our worship is one place where we can share what we hear and remember not to fear. From that transforming experience comes the confidence to reach out to those in need, touch their lives as Jesus, and calm their fear as well.


Join us.


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


Matthew 17:1-9 Common English Bible (CEB)


Six days later Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, and brought them to the top of a very high mountain. He was transformed in front of them. His face shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as light.


Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Jesus. Peter reacted to all of this by saying to Jesus, “Lord, it’s good that we’re here. If you want, I’ll make three shrines: one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”


While he was still speaking, look, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice from the cloud said, “This is my Son whom I dearly love. I am very pleased with him. Listen to him!” Hearing this, the disciples fell on their faces, filled with awe.


But Jesus came and touched them. “Get up,” he said. “Don’t be afraid.” When they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus.


As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Don’t tell anybody about the vision until the Human One is raised from the dead.”


Common English Bible (CEB)
Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible




“St. Pauls 101”


Welcome! – If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to “St. Paul’s 101.” The next single session class with Fr. Andrew will be Sunday, February 26th at 9:15 am in the Conference Room in the Parish Office. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.






Ash Wednesday Services





Ash Wednesday services are March 1 at noon and 6 pm. Childcare will be
available at the 6 pm service.








Taizé Worship – Thursdays @ 7:00 pm



Enrich your Lenten experience in a quiet setting of candles, liturgical art, chants, personal reflection and prayer. Our next Taize Services are Thursday, March 2 at 7:00 pm and Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details at 760-320-7488 ext. 225.





Concert at St. Paul’s Episcopal, Palm Springs




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.





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, March 8th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.








Our Mardi Gras parish potluck takes place on Tuesday, February 28 at 5:30 pm, in the Parish hall! Bring some beads, maybe a fun dish to share (something Cajun, perhaps?), and your cheerful spirit!  The evening will feature a special performance by The Harmonic Voices PS! Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex and Parish Hall.


Fred Ross at (or 415-710-9180) or 

Gary Hiatt at (or 760-567-2300)


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.





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. For more information contact Jackie Freeburn at





Faith Building  2017

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


2/26       Where Does the Church Belong? 

               Led by Audrey Spencer


3/5         Matthew 4:1-11 – Lent is for our sake, not Jesus’.

              Led by Alan Zimmerman  

              Read about it


3/12       John 3:1-17 – The New Birth: Nicodemus’ and Ours.

              Led by Craig Ewing

              Read about it


3/19       John 4: 5-42 -Of Wells and Tents- The Samaritan Woman.

              Led by Br. John Charles

              Read about it







Tuesdays @ 7PM at St. Pauls in the Library


A study of the Gospel of Matthew continued. 


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


Ashes to Easter: A Gospel Journey through Lent


Evening Prayer and Lenten Reflection 


3/7        –on Prayer – Led by the Team


3/14      –on Divine Love – Led by Gary Scott


3/21      –on Forgiveness. – Led by Fr. David Caffrey
3/28      –on Healing – Led by Br. John Charles
4/4        –on Relationship with Jesus – Led by Jerry DiNoto






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.






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.




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.




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 23, 2017

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