The Abundant Life – September 7, 2017


The Abundant Life


September 7, 2017                                     For Sunday, Sept. 10th



From The Rector




Heavenly Release


Our Gospel selection this week is all about forgiveness and all about welcome or reconciliation. The wider context of Chapter 18 is about specifically welcoming the powerless, the “little ones,” and sinners. Just before this week’s text, Jesus had told the story of the search for and rescue of the lost sheep. I am reminded that the parables or stories that Jesus tells are often about people who are on the outside, looked down upon, or unnoticed.


People who have wronged us are people we might like to punish, shun, or ignore. However, Jesus is teaching his followers to heal wounds, reconcile conflict, and ultimately to restore community. He is asking us to practice a heavenly release. And that is why one verse puzzles me.


The verse I am focusing on is this: “I assure you that whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven. And whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” This verse is different from what I am used to hearing from Jesus, and it leaves me speechless. The context is forgiveness and it sounds like my ability to forgive is what sets the standard for heavenly forgiveness. Mark Davis on his blog, Left Behind and Loving It, suggests that the verse be translated this way: …whatever you bind on earth will be [what] has been bound in heaven….” He refers to the familiar verse in Matthew, part of the Lord’s prayer: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.


Our ability to forgive, to welcome, and to reconcile is limited and that limitation does not prepare us well for the mission of Jesus or to be witnesses for the abundant love of God. Jesus is always pointing us to a higher, more merciful and more inclusive standard of forgiveness. God’s welcome, mercy and forgiveness are greater than we can imagine. Yet we are called to imagine it. We are called to work with one another with honesty and compassion so that we might embody the presence of God in the world right now.


Join us in our worship as we hope, pray, and act for God’s welcome and forgiveness to be released on earth as it is in heaven.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


Matthew 18:15-20 (NRSV)


Jesus said, “If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.”





The Devastation of Harvey


Support the Episcopal Relief & Development’s (ERD) response in Texas and Louisiana. Our Assisting Bishop sent this letter regarding the disaster and our response:


My sisters and brothers in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego,

A wise person once noted that the most significant prayers are “Help!” and “Thank you!” The people of Texas and Louisiana are praying for help amid the deluge, and giving thanks for the smallest blessings – even a pair of dry socks. We can answer those prayers, both by remembering their plight in our prayers, and by donating to Episcopal Relief & Development, which is poised to steer funds to the dioceses in the region right away….. Remember Katrina (and Wilma and Rita, which added to the disaster)? The aftermath of Harvey will be a similarly extended season of opportunity to demonstrate our love for neighbors. Pray without ceasing, give what you can, and start thinking about how we in this diocese might offer our labor for healing and restoration. Shalom, +Katharine The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Assisting Bishop


Click here to donate directly to the ERD




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 849 Restaurant, around the corner from the church. There will be a special, 2-course menu at a very reasonable cost. 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




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.”  




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.



Sunday School Resumes on September 10th


Sunday School resumes on September 10th @ 10:30 a.m. Sunday School will be offered on the first three Sundays of each month. The fourth Sundays of the month the 10:30 service will be children’s services. 





Circle Suppers – Come to a Meet and Greet!


For all who signed up for circle suppers, come meet your groups on Saturday, September 16th, from 5:00-6 00 p.m. in the Parish Hall. Light refreshments will be available, and you can plan your initial event. If you didn’t sign up but are interested, come anyway and we will find you a group!




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





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. 




Hospitality Ministry



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


Karen Nelson is sponsoring coffee hour after the 8:00 service Sunday.


 Please consider sponsoring a coffee hour this summer!




Communion at Windsor Court



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




St. Paul’s Facebook Page:  


If you are a Facebook user, please “friend” Church of St. Paul in the Desert. You’ll be surprised to find many interesting articles and news about us and the Episcopal Church. Committee Chairs are encouraged to submit pictures and your ministry’s news and events for Facebook posting. Sending your information to for the website, bulletin and Facebook. We extend our gratitude to Nathan DePetris or taking on this ministry.







Sundays @ 9:15 am


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



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



Biblical Wisdom Literature: A study of the Book of Proverbs
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 September 7, 2017

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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

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