The Abundant Life – August 10, 2017


The Abundant Life


August 10, 2017                                     For Sunday, August 13th



From The Rector






Be Careful What You Ask For


This miracle has scholars and preachers scratching their heads. This is different from other miracles that Jesus has done as it does not meet a need like the feeding of the multitudes that precedes it.


After feeding the more than 5,000 men, women, and children with five loaves and two fish, he sends his disciples away in the boat, dismisses the crowd, and finally has time by himself to pray. When he finishes his time of prayer, he catches up with the disciples, walking on the lake. What is this different miracle – walking on the sea which is 2/3 the size of our Lake Tahoe – meant to tell us


The miracle is almost perfunctory. There is no story about it, and Jesus does not actively address the unruly forces of nature, as he did earlier in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus is just doing what he needs to do, to catch up to the boat. What is amazing is that he responds to Peter’s challenge – “Lord, if it’s you” – by bringing Peter out on the lake as well. What is Peter’s purpose in joining Jesus in walking on water, particularly as his enthusiasm turns to fear after his initial steps when he realizes what he’s doing? Jesus reaches out to him and gets him into the boat.


Jesus’ walking on the water was a sign of his power and the disciples respond by acknowledging him as God’s son. I think Peter wants to have a share of that power, so he demands to be part of the miracle. It is almost as if Peter feels entitled. However, walking on water with Jesus put him in the middle of a windy storm, for which he was unprepared.


Although Peter might have been more careful in his demands, Jesus does not leave him helpless, but reaches out and lifts him up.


We are Christians on a stormy sea. Our boat is battered by contrary winds and sometimes tossed by waves, but…safe. Jesus is out there walking among all those who are storm tossed without even a small boat for protection. If we want to follow Jesus, we need to be ready to get out of the boat and join him. When we join Jesus and others who work directly with people in need, we must be ready to ask for help – from Jesus and from others. Jesus never asks us to walk on the water alone.


Week by week our worship reflects on what we believe about Jesus, and we practice being ready to walk outside the boat to care for others who are storm tossed. Join us.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


Matthew 14:22-33 Common English Bible (CEB)


Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone. Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land. Very early in the morning he came to his disciples, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed.


Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”


Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”


And Jesus said, “Come.”


Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. But when Peter saw the strong wind, he became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!”


Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him, saying, “You man of weak faith! Why did you begin to have doubts?” When they got into the boat, the wind settled down.


Then those in the boat worshipped Jesus and said, “You must be God’s Son!”






Save the Date


Sunday, September 10th!


Kathy Kilmer and Br. John invite all members of the Altar Guild and Altar Ministers and, all those interested in serving in one of these Ministries, to save the date of Sunday, September 10th, for St. Paul’s Altar Guild/Altar Ministers’ Annual Kickoff Meeting. The time is set for 12:30 pm at a restaurant near the church (to be announced). If you’re interested in joining one of these Ministries, either at the Altar or behind the scenes, we’d love to have you attend! For more information, please connect with Kathy at or Br. John at




Come to Diocesan Convention


The 44th Annual Diocesan Convention will take place on Friday & Saturday, November 10 & 11 at St. Bartholomew’s, Poway. All are welcome to attend workshops and participate in the diocesan wide food packing service project. Our goal is to pack 25,000 meals with our own hands. Our theme this year is “Hand in Hand in Christ.” Won’t you join hands and attend? Learn more and register today:




Hospitality Ministry



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


Vern Marken & Luis Valdez are sponsoring the coffee hour after the 10:30 service.​


 Please consider sponsoring a coffee hour this summer!




Communion at Windsor Court



The next communion service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, Seeptember 13th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.





Summer Parish Potluck 


Today, August 10th, is the day for our Parish Potluck.  Please bring your favorite dish to the Parish Hall beginning at 5:30 with dinner at 6:00. The objective of the evening will be to have fun, relax and enjoy good food and great companionship. Sign-up sheets are 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 August 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.





Parish Life Book Club



The Parish Life Book Club (PLBC) will not meet in August. You’ll want to join them at their next meeting on Tuesday, September 5th at 1 pm in the Parish Library to discuss Martha Hall Kelly’s debut novel “Lilac Girls.” Here’s what Lisa See had to say in her NY Times review, “Inspired by actual events and real people, Martha Hall Kelly has woven together the stories of three women during World War II that reveal the bravery, cowardice, and cruelty of those days.”








Sundays @ 9:15 am


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




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




 9/3         20 Ways to Live a Thankful Life: A Reflection on Romans 12:9-2
                Led by Gary Scott    Read about it
9/10        On–Going Love: A Reflection on Matthew 18:15-20  
                Led by Alan Zimmerman    Read about it 
9/17        You Be the Judge (Not!): Reflections on Romans 14: 1-12
                 Led by Craig Ewing Read about it
9/24        Smile, Though Your Heart Is Aching: Reflections on Philippians 1:21-30.
                 Led by Jerry Di Noto    Read about it




Tuesdays @ 7PM



There will be no Tuesday evening sessions in August.  Sessions resume September 5th.
Biblical Wisdom Literature: A study of the Book of Proverbs
9/5         Intro. To Wisdom Literature & the Place of Proverbs
               Facilitated by Jerry Di Noto
9/12      Collections of Proverbs
               Facilitated by Gary Scott
9/19       The Poems of the Book of Proverbs.
                Facilitated by Craig Ewing
9/26       The Relation of Proverbs to the Covenant
                Facilitated by Alan Zimmerman



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 August 9, 2017

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