The Abundant Life – March 30, 2017


The Abundant Life


March 30, 2017                                         For Sunday, April 2nd


From The Rector





Throughout this preparation for Easter, I have invited worshipers and readers to practice a complex Lent. On this weekend, the scriptures we will read are all about new life, and, as you might imagine, it’s complicated. The vision of life that Ezekiel is commanded to proclaim to exiles in Babylon is dramatic and totally foreign to their experience.


After looking over the valley filled with dry bones, the LORD asks the prophet a momentous question. “Can these bones live?” Or as I understand the implication: Is there hope for God’s broken and exiled people? Ezekiel is not ready to hope, so he defers to God.


The resulting vision is for those who are as hopeless as the prophet, but he is commanded to speak to the bones themselves. What happens next is not a simple miracle, but begins a complex process of coming alive before God. The proper bones need to be sorted and joined. This is a loud and messy endeavor with dry bones finding and linking to their proper partners. Then sinews, flesh, and skin appear. But after all this, no life, something is missing.


The four winds are commanded to support this new life. The power and life of the wind, spirit, and breath of God’s creation is invested in these fallen, hopeless figures of skin and bones – they live and stand!


Our lives are so complicated and exhausted by what we experience that we identify with the valley of dry bones Ezekiel describes. Whether it is medical diagnoses that leave us wondering and feeling vulnerable, the death of loved ones which leave us lonely and aware of our mortality, the departure of a beloved bishop that complicates the trajectory of mission and leadership in our diocese, or the generalized business that convinces us that there need be more than 24 hours in each day – we long for the new life or strength or wisdom to respond authentically yet hopefully.


All the parts of our lives are present or nearby, but they might resemble the heap of bones and sinews that Ezekiel saw. Can our “bones” live? No, at least, not under their own power.


God calls the spirit, God’s life giving breath, to fill us and empower us. Like the people in Babylonian exile, we need to remember to breathe – to receive both breath and spirit. Breathing is simple, but when we are stressed or exhausted, when life gets complicated, we forget.


Our worship together is one place where we remind each other to breathe. God’s Spirit is abundant and available, in Word, Sacrament, and Neighbor. Join us.



Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


Ezekiel 37:1-14 (CEB)


The Lord’s power overcame me, and while I was in the Lord’s spirit, he led me out and set me down in the middle of a certain valley. It was full of bones. He led me through them all around, and I saw that there were a great many of them on the valley floor, and they were very dry.


He asked me, “Human one, can these bones live again?”


I said, “Lord God, only you know.”


He said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and say to them, Dry bones, hear the Lord’s word! The Lord God proclaims to these bones: I am about to put breath in you, and you will live again. I will put sinews on you, place flesh on you, and cover you with skin. When I put breath in you, and you come to life, you will know that I am the Lord.”


I prophesied just as I was commanded. There was a great noise as I was prophesying, then a great quaking, and the bones came together, bone by bone. When I looked, suddenly there were sinews on them. The flesh appeared, and then they were covered over with skin. But there was still no breath in them.


He said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, human one! Say to the breath, The Lord God proclaims: Come from the four winds, breath! Breathe into these dead bodies and let them live.”

I prophesied just as he commanded me. When the breath entered them, they came to life and stood on their feet, an extraordinarily large company.


He said to me, “Human one, these bones are the entire house of Israel. They say, ‘Our bones are dried up, and our hope has perished. We are completely finished.’ So now, prophesy and say to them, The Lord God proclaims: I’m opening your graves! I will raise you up from your graves, my people, and I will bring you to Israel’s fertile land. You will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you up from your graves, my people. I will put my breath in you, and you will live. I will plant you on your fertile land, and you will know that I am the Lord. I’ve spoken, and I will do it. This is what the Lord says.”







Palm Sunday

Blessing of Palms and Entry into Jerusalem

Saturday, April 8 – 4:00 pm 

Sunday, April 9, 8:00 am and 10:30 am


Tuesday in Holy Week – April 11 

The Service of Tenebrae 7:00 pm

 (Candles are extinguished and the darkness grows.) 


Maundy Thursday – April 13 

Supper – 5:45 pm

Foot Washing in Memorial Garden

Holy Communion – 7:00 pm (Childcare provided)


8:00 p.m.

Altar of Repose

Watch with Jesus through the Night (sign up)


Good Friday – April 14 

Good Friday Liturgy – St. John’s Passion – 12:00 p.m.

(Childcare provided at Noon service)

Stations of the Cross – 7:00 pm-Children welcome


Holy Saturday – April 15

The Great Vigil of Easter 8:00 p.m.

Baptism, The First Communion of Easter


Easter Day – April 16

Service and Music 7:00 a.m.

Family Service with Choir 9:00 am

Easter Egg Hunt  10:15 am

Festival Service with Choir 11:15 am


All Services are Holy Communion (Childcare provided at all services)





Bishop’s Visit and Reception



Bishop Mathes will be visiting us on Sunday, April 2nd and will be presiding and preaching at the 8:00 and 10:30 services. He will attend the coffee hours following.  Please plan on attending to greet the Bishop.




Please Note –


First Quarter Giving Statements will go out next Friday, April 7th. People with an email account should check their spam if their statement doesn’t appear by Saturday.





Help Make Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday




The Altar Guild invites ALL to join them in Hogarth Hall on Saturday, April 8th at 9:00 am to make Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday. Children are welcome to participate as well. Making palm crosses is not a difficult skill to learn, and since we make about 500 of these crosses, as many hands as possible are welcome. Make this one of your Lenten contributions to our Parish. A light breakfast will be served and this is a great time for fellowship and to meet new people. There is a sign up sheet at Hogarth Hall. For more information contact Br. John Charles Westaway or Kathy Kilmer.






Lenten Organ Recitals





The Final Lenten Organ Recital at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church (Palm Desert) is this Friday, April 7th, at Noon. These half hour recitals have been presented by local organists. Following the recital, a light lunch of soup and sandwiches is available for everyone. All are invited.





Seven Weeks for Water 2017


According to the Christian tradition, Lent is a time to prepare for the celebration of the death and resurrection of Christ. During this period many people engage in fasting and practise moderation or self-denial in order to focus on repentance and consecrating oneself to God. While water has a strong spiritual significance in the Christian tradition as a gift of God, this scarce resource is threatened and denied to millions around the world.


The World Council of Churches Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) invites you to use this season of Lent to reflect on water. Since 2008, the EWN has been providing weekly theological reflections and other resources on water for the seven weeks of Lent and for World Water Day on 22 March.


Please click here to visit the article.






Hospitality Ministry




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


JoAnne Adair is sponsoring the coffee hour after Sunday’s 8:00 am service; the Vestry is sponsoring the coffee hour after the 10:30 service.


Please consider signing up to be a Sunday Coffee Hour host.







Communion at Windsor Court


The next Communion Service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, April 12th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.





UTO Thanks You!


Thank you for your support for the annual United Thank Offering! Because of your donations we are able to contribute to this important ministry of the Episcopal Church. The charitable reach of UTO extends from our own neighborhood to our domestic heartland and to many communities abroad.









Parish Life Book Club




Parish Life Book Club is a social group that meets monthly on the first Tuesday at 1 PM in the Library to talk about a book they select to read. The next meeting of the Book Club is April 4th when we will discuss Hidden Figures, a compelling and untold story by Margot Lee Shetterly about a team of African American Women mathematicians whose work and insights enabled NASA to win the Space Race and successfully put Neil Armstrong on the Moon. The book is available in local libraries and in paperback or Kindle format. If you enjoy reading and would enjoy discussing books with others, we’d love to have you join us. For more information please contact Jackie Freeburn at








Palm Springs Pride Parade



We are fast approaching our deadline for an organized, thoughtful participation in the Palm Springs Pride Parade. The team needs to be in place by April, A.K.A, QUICKLY. Please contact the Parish Office [760.320.7488] immediately if you want to help.








Faith Building  2017

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


4/2         Bishop’s Visit: No Session


4/9         Palm Sunday: No Session


4/16       Easter Sunday: No Session


4/23       John 20: 19-31 Touching faith – Led by Alan Zimmerman

              Read about it


4/30      Divinely Blinded: Lessons from the Road to Emmaus – Led by Rev. Victoria Hatch

             Read about it






Tuesdays @ 7PM at St. Pauls in the Church


Ashes to Easter: A Gospel Journey through Lent


Evening Prayer and Lenten Reflection 

4/4        –on Relationship with Jesus – Led by Jerry DiNoto

4/11        Holy Week: No Session


4/18       –on Hope – Led by the Team


4/25      –on Countercultural Faith – Led by the Team




Wednesdays @ 11 am to 1 pm

Peace vs Violence: Moving beyond Helplessness
This four week Lenten series on Wednesdays 11 am to 1 pm sponsored by St. Paul’s and St. Margaret’s:
April 5th     –  Violence with the World
The final session of this four-week Lenten series, sponsored jointly by St. Paul’s and St. Margaret’s, is scheduled for Wednesday, April 5th, from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. This session, “Violence with the World,” will be held in Meyers Hall at St. Margaret’s Church. Luncheon and education materials will be provided. Sign up is required for the session, due to the luncheon preparation. Sign-up sheets are in the church narthex and parish hall. You can also call Debby Jansma at 760.212.1991.


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 Service is  Thursday, April 6 at 7:00 pm.  Everyone is welcome. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details at 760-320-7488 ext. 225.





Don’t Forget Roy’s!




St. Paul’s continues the 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. 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 March 30, 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