The Abundant Life – July 20, 2017


The Abundant Life


July 20, 2017                                             For Sunday, July 23rd


From Jerry Di Noto

Leadership Development Coordinator




Separating the Wheat from the Weeds



The servants, upon noticing the unwanted weeds growing among the wheat, asked if they should pluck them. We live in a world where good and evil coexist. This parable of wheat and weeds suggests how we as Christians should be investing our time, energy and efforts, namely sowing the good seeds of the kingdom and leaving the judging to God.


In the 1600s, the Puritans attempted many reforms among which was a concerted effort to purge the church of all those who weren’t of pure faith. Ultimately, they failed. After all, if there’s no place in the church for sinners needing to be accepted and loved, then there’s no place for us. The church does need constant reformation which includes the quest for holiness, but it must avoid unrealistic purism – what is needed is that elusive thing called balance.


The Kingdom of God is a mixed bag in which weeds and wheat grow together, side by side, and we can’t always tell them apart. There is a risk involved in judging others and wanting to rid our personal or ecclesial environment of people we perceive not to be as we are. We risk being overly concerned about the splinter in our neighbor’s eye while avoiding the plank in our own. We can become the very people Jesus warns us about- hypocritically holier than thou.


In our own lives, there may be more weeds than we care to admit, and getting rid of them is easier said than done. Weeds spring up, through our own doing or not. They can overtake our capacity for calm reasoning and right action. When that happens, I believe we must focus on the unconditional and all-embracing love of God; the love which pulls us from darkness into light; a love that binds us to Christ and seeks to protect us from evil.


This parable is about mercy, grace, patience and hope. As we reflect on our own mistakes – our weeds – we become grateful that we have not been plucked out and are given the opportunity to grow and experience the forgiving healing presence of God in our lives.


We gather to partake of the Wheat of Life and we place our lives – weeds and all – into the hands of God, the eternal Harvester. We are assured that through the love of Christ, we are included in the great harvest of eternal life.


Jerry Di Noto





Featured Scripture


Matthew  (13:24-30, 36-43) NRSV


Jesus put before the crowd another parable: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field; but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and then went away. So when the plants came up and bore grain, then the weeds appeared as well. And the slaves of the householder came and said to him, ‘Master, did you not sow good seed in your field? Where, then, did these weeds come from?’ He answered, ‘An enemy has done this.’ The slaves said to him, ‘Then do you want us to go and gather them?’ But he replied, ‘No; for in gathering the weeds you would uproot the wheat along with them. Let both of them grow together until the harvest; and at harvest time I will tell the reapers, Collect the weeds first and bind them in bundles to be burned, but gather the wheat into my barn.’” Then he left the crowds and went into the house. And his disciples approached him, saying, “Explain to us the parable of the weeds of the field.” He answered, “The one who sows the good seed is the Son of Man; the field is the world, and the good seed are the children of the kingdom; the weeds are the children of the evil one, and the enemy who sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the age, and the reapers are angels. Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Let anyone with ears listen!”




Online Giving


If you donate to the Church of St. Paul through our on-line giving system, please check periodically to be sure that your account information is still current, including card expiration date, giving frequency and donation end date. If you have any questions, or need help updating your information, please call the office at 760-320-7488 and we will work with you to make sure the information is correct. 




Assistant Registrar


Rosanna Langley has been appointed as the Assistant Registrar for church records. She will be calling every member of the church to verify and collect information needed for our church records. She will not be asking for any information regarding your giving.




Hospitality Ministry



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


Mary Holmes is sponsoring the coffee hour after the 8:00 service on Sunday. Ron & Karen Shepherd are sponsors for 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, August 9th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.





Summer Parish Potluck 


Our next Parish Potluck will be on August 10, 2017. Please bring yourcontributions to the Parish Hall beginning at 5:30 with dinner at 6:00. We have not planned any entertainment but have a fellow parishioner lined up for our gathering in November. We might decide to throw in something informative (or not) but the idea would just be to have fun and relax and enjoy good food and great companionship. Please sign up on sheets in the back of the church and in the Parish Hall.


We will be forming new circle supper potluck groups for this Fall which will run October through December and then will re-group for another set of diners from January through March and beyond. Signup sheets will be passed around at the 8/10/17 Parish Potluck and will also be at the back of the church and in the Parish Hall until after Labor Day when the groups will be formed.






Sundays @ 9:15 am


AT ST. PAUL’S IN THE LIBRARY – The Episcopal Cafè                        


7/23      The Gospel According to Annie – A Reflection on  Romans 8: 12-25

                Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey  Read about it


7/30      Nothing Can Separate Us: Reflection on Romans 8.26-39

               Led by Gary Scott     Read about it


 8/6       A Transforming Transfiguration: Reflections on Luke 9:28-36.

               Led by Gary Scott     Read about it 


8/13       Faith within the Chaos: Reflection on Matt. 14:22-33.

                Led by Jerry Di Noto     Read about it


8/20       There’s No Problem Bigger than God: Reflection on Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32.

                Led by Alan Zimmerman      Read about it


8/27        Building the Church of Christ: Reflection on Matt. 16:13-20.

                 Led by Audrey Spencer     Read about it




Tuesdays @ 7PM




No evening sessions during July & August. Sessions will resume September 5th.



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 Thursday.  Friday office hours are 9 am – 11:30 am through summer. 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 July 20, 2017

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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