The Abundant Life – September 14, 2017


The Abundant Life


September 21, 2017                                     For Sunday, Sept. 24th


From The Rector



Heaven is Hiring – Always


Our Gospel story this week is a reminder that God is always hiring workers. This is good news, but offers a challenge to our perceptions of reward and status.


The owner of the vineyard needs workers and goes out early in the morning to find them. He negotiates with them on wages, offering a denarion – a standard daily wage – for 12 hours work. They agree and go to the harvest. But he does not stop there, coming back to town at nine, noon, three, and five to find even more workers. At nine he promises to “pay what is right,” but that is the last negotiation. The landowner’s need for workers, and the desperate workers’ need to earn anything combine to create a harvest I imagine as swarming with workers and activity.


The conflict in this story is not about an abusive landowner, or about lazy workers. The landowner is committed to doing right, and the workers are only idle “because nobody has hired us.”


The conflict is about what pay is “right,” and the laborers’ assumptions about work and pay are challenged. When the manager begins to pay the last workers – who worked only one hour – with a full day’s wage, the rest expect more. I imagine that the three, six, nine, and especially the twelve-hour workers expected a proportionate increase in their reward. When they each got the agreed day’s wage, they are angry.


The workers’ expectations of “right” are tied to the merit of time spent and the circumstances of the work (“hot”), but the landowner’s expectation relates to what he chooses to pay in reward for work – what he says is his “right to do what I want with what belongs to me.” The landowner uses his “right” to build wellness for the whole community, not just those who are first in line.


Jesus brings us face to face with the difference between the wellness that God wants to create – always welcoming more to share in bringing in the harvest – and our desire to have a more exclusive stake in the harvest that recognizes our greater effort. God invites us to welcome new Vineyard workers and encourage them so that the last and the first are united in the harvest of God’s love.


Join us.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


Matthew 20:1-16 (CEB)


“The kingdom of heaven is like a landowner who went out early in the morning to hire workers for his vineyard. After he agreed with the workers to pay them a denarion, he sent them into his vineyard.


“Then he went out around nine in the morning and saw others standing around the marketplace doing nothing. He said to them, ‘You also go into the vineyard, and I’ll pay you whatever is right.’ And they went.


“Again around noon and then at three in the afternoon, he did the same thing. Around five in the afternoon he went and found others standing around, and he said to them, ‘Why are you just standing around here doing nothing all day long?’


“‘Because nobody has hired us,’ they replied.


“He responded, ‘You also go into the vineyard.’


“When evening came, the owner of the vineyard said to his manager, ‘Call the workers and give them their wages, beginning with the last ones hired and moving on finally to the first.’ When those who were hired at five in the afternoon came, each one received a denarion. Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more. But each of them also received a denarion. When they received it, they grumbled against the landowner, ‘These who were hired last worked one hour, and they received the same pay as we did even though we had to work the whole day in the hot sun.’


“But he replied to one of them, ‘Friend, I did you no wrong. Didn’t I agree to pay you a denarion? Take what belongs to you and go. I want to give to this one who was hired last the same as I give to you. Don’t I have the right to do what I want with what belongs to me? Or are you resentful because I’m generous?’ So those who are last will be first. And those who are first will be last.”





“St. Paul’s 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, Sept. 24th, at 9:15 am in the Conference Room in the Parish Office.  In this informal setting, you will be able to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.





Pastoral Care Team


St. Pauls is forming a Pastoral Care Team to visit/contact members who are shut-in, in the hospital, or sick. Are you called to care for those who are sick? Participation in this ministry requires an interview with the Rector, completion of the Diocese of San Diego Safeguarding God’s People training, and specific training by local experts. This is a ministry of prayer and presence to build the spiritual wellbeing of our parish. This ministry will work in coordination with the Eucharistic Visitor Ministry, and Parish Clergy. Please contact Fr. Andrew at 760.320.7488 x 233 or




Faiths United to Prevent Gun Violence


This Sunday, September 24th, St, Paul’s joins other congregations in commemorating the National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims. Hundreds of concerts and events across the country will be sponsored by a nationwide network of organizations (secular &faith-based), activists, and artists with the goal of keeping guns out of dangerous hands and making gun violence prevention a priority for Congress and the rest of America.







Social Justice Committee


September 2017 Meeting – St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee will be holding its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, September 28th at 7:00 pm in the Church office library.  Topics of discussion will include our continued outreach to the needy, volunteer development and our social justice program for 2018.  Come and get involved!  Contact Chris Kelly (760) 406-2978 for further info.





The Devastation of Harvey and Irma


The Need is Greater than Ever!


Support the Episcopal Relief & Development’s (ERD) response to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Please give what you can to aid in the recovery effort.


Click here to donate directly to the ERD




The Special Events/Parades Ministry


. . . will be taking orders for St. Paul’s new logo T-Shirts in the Parish Hall Sunday! Suggested donation is $10.00. You can also call the office with your order. These shirts can be used by participants in future events and parades we are planning. 




Outreach to the Homeless and Working Poor


Services For the Homeless – Volunteers and Donations Needed – St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee is expanding our Parish’s outreach to the homeless and working poor by coordinating deliveries of clean underwear, socks and other necessities with Well in the Desert.  Volunteers to help deliver and distribute these items, as well as cash donations to support their purchase, are much needed.  Please consider sharing your time and resources with those in need.  Simply drop a check in the Sunday collection plate with “Social Justice” on the “memo” line or contact Chris Kelly at 760-406-2978 for information on how you can volunteer your time.”  




Parish Life Book Club


Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday each month at 1 PM in the Library.  The Book Club meets again on October 3rd and is reading Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann.  Killers of the Flower Moon revisits a shocking series of crimes committed against the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma in the 1920’s. Based on years of research, the book is a masterpiece of narrative nonfiction and each step in the investigation reveals a series of sinister secrets and reversals. Ultimately, it is an indictment of the callousness and prejudices toward American Indians that allowed murderers to act with impunity for years. The Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. The Book Club is growing and new members are always welcome. For more information please contact Jackie Freeburn at





Blessing of the Animals


St. Paul’s invites members and friends of the Parish to a special ceremony on Saturday, October 7th, at 10:30 am. We will give thanks to God for the amazing gift of creation and especially for our Animal Companions. The special prayers will take place in the Parish Hall. All well-behaved animals are welcome and will receive a special blessing and affirmation of God’s love. (We believe the animals already know this, but the Human Companions enjoy a reminder.)





Parish Potluck in Idyllwild  


We have been invited to have an outdoor lunchtime potluck in Idyllwild at the Quiet Creek Inn on Wednesday, October 11, 2017.  The Inn is owned and operated by parishioner, Nathan DePetris. Nathan will provide the venue, plates and utensils and we provide the rest.  We will arrange carpools for the drive up and back.  We anticipate leaving the church parking lot at 10:00am and should return to St. Paul’s by around 4:00 pm.  St. Hugh’s Episcopal Church in Idyllwild will also be invited to join those attending from St. Paul’s.  There is a limit of 120 people from both parishes and there will be a sign-up sheet in the back of the church (narthex) and in the parish hall.  Come and enjoy a pleasant day with us in Idyllwild.  For further information please contact Fred Ross at





Communion at Windsor Court



The next communion service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, October 11th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.




Sign Up Now! 



We are now taking sign-ups for the Palm Springs AIDS walk on Saturday, Oct 21, The Pride Parade on Sunday on Nov 5th, and the Veteran’s Day Parade on Saturday, Nov 11th.


Wear your St. Paul’s t-shirt and join the parish contingent in one or all of these events.




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:


50,000 meals project – As described above, delegates and volunteers at the Diocesan Convention in November plans to build 50,000 meals for the hungry in partnership with Family and Friends Community Connections (FFCC), a San Diego based organization with a long history of service to the homeless and seniors locally and beyond. Fr. Andrew and the Vestry hope that St. Paul’s parishioners will help us raise $2,500 to assist in paying for the materials needed for this project. Please consider supporting this important event. If donating by check, note 50k meals in the memo line.



Hospitality Ministry



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


The Special Events Committee is sponsoring coffee hour after the

8:00 service and the 10:30 service Sunday.


 Please consider sponsoring a coffee hour this summer!







Sundays @ 9:15 am


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



9/24        Smile, Though Your Heart Is Aching: Reflections on Philippians 1:21-30.
                 Led by Jerry Di Noto    Read about it
10/1         The Blame Game: Reflection on Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 
                  Led by Gary Scott   Read about it
10/8          Confidence in the Flesh: Reflection on Philippians 3/4b-14 
                   Led by Ron Geikow  Read about it
10/15        Alien Ideas: Reflection on Isaiah 25: 1-9 
                   Led by Alan Zimmerman  Read about it
10/22        God Gets Work Done Anyway God Can: Reflection on Isaiah 45:1-7 
                   Led by Jerry Di Noto  Read about it
10/29        Holiness: Reflection on Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 
                   Led by Audrey Spencer  Read about it 




Tuesdays @ 7PM



Biblical Wisdom Literature: A study of the Book of Proverbs
9/26       The Relation of Proverbs to the Covenant
                Facilitated by Alan Zimmerman
Beginning in October: An Overview of the Reformation: Key figures and issues:
Commemorating the 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther’s posting of the Ninety-five Theses.
10/3       John Wycliff: Led by Jerry Di Noto
10/10     John Huss:  Led by Gary Scott    
10/17     Martin Luther: Led by Ron Geikow  
10/24     The Swiss Reformation: Led by Alan Zimmerman    
10/31     The Anabaptists: Led by Jerry Di Noto




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 September 14, 2017

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