The Abundant Life – October 19, 2017


The Abundant Life


October 19, 2017                                     For Sunday, Oct. 22nd


From The Rector



Faith or Politics


In our reading this week, Jesus thwarts a plan to discredit him, leaving believers many centuries later to ponder how this saying affects the choices they make. “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.”


The world of Jesus had competing claims on the individual. There was the claim of the Roman Empire, which needed to pay for the cost of the army occupying Jerusalem and surrounding territories. That same empire wanted order and freedom from rebellion. At the same time there was not just one voice for the faith that was “Judaism” then. In our readings, week by week, we hear about some of them – but by no means do we hear about all of them. Each faith perspective – each voice made different claims on people. These claims covered the practice of religion, rules for daily life, and expectations for interacting with the Romans.


Jesus ministered amid these competing claims, just as Christians today live, work, and pray amid the competing claims of our time. Jesus’ responses to these competing claims were criticized by representatives of each group’s “voice.” I read Jesus as saying that both temporal and spiritual claims require a faithful response, based on our central mission or values.


As people of faith, our response to a particular policy should be interpreted by our faith. For Christians, there is the Covenant which we made with God at our baptism and which we regularly renew. It calls us to build our responses on justice, dignity, and peace for all. Our Baptismal Covenant is the foundation of our service to the world, and directs the voice of our witness to the Good News of Jesus.


The positions we hold might look like political positions, but when one looks deeper, they should be able to see the roots of our faith. This deeper understanding of our roots requires the willingness to be generous with one another, and to hold ourselves accountable to one another and to God. This generosity and accountability is something we practice week by week as we listen to the Good News and share around God’s table. Join us.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


Matthew 22:15-22 (CEB)


Then the Pharisees met together to find a way to trap Jesus in his words. They sent their disciples, along with the supporters of Herod, to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are genuine and that you teach God’s way as it really is. We know that you are not swayed by people’s opinions, because you don’t show favoritism. So tell us what you think: Does the Law allow people to pay taxes to Caesar or not?”


Knowing their evil motives, Jesus replied, “Why do you test me, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used to pay the tax.” And they brought him a denarion. “Whose image and inscription is this?” he asked.


“Caesar’s,” they replied.


Then he said, “Give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God.” When they heard this they were astonished, and they departed.




From the Assisting Bishop


Pray for the people of Northern California, who continue to suffer in so many ways from this past week’s fires. Pray for comfort in time of immense loss and fear; pray for those who have died and for their loved ones; pray for those still listed as missing and those who anxiously wait to hear anything; and pray for the exhausted crews fighting fires and sheltering the displaced. I would encourage you to give what you can to relieve the immediate needs of people who have lost everything. The Diocese of Northern California is receiving donations, as is Incarnation Episcopal Church in Santa Rosa. That congregation has been at the center of relief efforts.


This week San Diego marks the 10 year anniversary of the Cedar Fire, the most devastating fire here in memory, and this diocese knows how powerful the gifts of others can be. Please be generous!

– The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori

Assisting Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego




Your Donations


Third quarter statements have gone out. If you receive your statement by email, and you haven’t seen it yet, please check your spam folder. If you receive your statement by mail, you should have it by now. If you have any questions, please call 760-320-7488 x. 227 or email






We’re looking for dedicated volunteers with time on their hands during the week to help with St. Paul’s new outreach to the homeless through Well-in-the-Desert, UCR Mental Health and HUD. Contact Chris Kelly at 760.406.2978 for details. Get involved, make new friends and help to serve Christ in others!




Vestry Call!!


The outgoing members of your Vestry have opened nominations for Vestry for terms beginning in 2018. The Vestry is your working government of the church. Members of the Vestry help guide the parish’s growth and its service to parishioners and the community we live in. If you or someone you know would be interested or would like to learn more, please contact Steve Moore at or at 760.218.7667 or any of the other departing Vestry members: Alan Zimmerman, Karen Nelson and Ted Barajas. Thank you for being part of the St. Paul in the Desert Family.




 “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 Jerry Di Noto is Sunday, October 29, at 9:15 am in the Conference Room in the Parish Office.  In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.






Desert AIDS Walk 


The Desert AIDS Walk is celebrating 31 years of “Walking to Make a Difference.” Each year since 1987, when the historic first steps were taken, the Desert AIDS Walk, along with more than 2,500 community members have walked united to raise funds for the vital services provided by Desert AIDS Project (D.A.P.). The Desert AIDS Walk makes it possible for D.A.P. to provide their patients and clients with an unparalleled range of services including: medical and dental care, medications, housing, behavioral health counseling, back to work training and much more all under one roof. St. Paul in the Desert has participated and donated every year in support of the work at D.A.P. Join us in support of our community by signing up in the parish hall after each service to either walk or donate. The walk is Saturday October 21st at Ruth Hardy Park. Gather at the church at 8:00 a.m.



Walk with the St. Paul’s group for:

  • Desert 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.  If you don’t have your St. Pauls t-shirt yet, there’s still time to get one. Sign-up sheets are in the Parish Hall. 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.​




St. Paul’s Choir


Members of our choir will be sing at the Fall Festival of Faith celebrating the 500th anniversary of the Reformation on Sunday, October 29th at 6:00 pm at Hope Lutheran Church, 45900 Portola Avenue in Palm Desert.  This choral service, presented by The Mark Thallander Foundation, will be comprised of various choirs from local Desert Churches under the direction of Mack Wilberg, director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. Fred Swann will be the Festival Organist. There is no charge and all are invited to attend. Contact Nathan Ensign for further details. 




All Saint’s Day Observed – Sunday October 29th 


In our annual observance of All Saints’ Day, we recognize and celebrate our relationship with those who have gone before us. We invite you to offer the names of loved ones who have passed within the last 12 months. The names will be celebrated during All Saints’ Day services the weekend of October 29. You can submit names by adding them to registers located in the Parish Hall and Narthex, or by phoning the Parish Office at 760.320.7488. (Note: If you have submitted names in past years, you need not re-submit them. They are part of a permanent parish record and will be remembered along with those newly added.) 


Deadline for submitting names is Sunday, October 22.





Taizé Services Return



The Next Taize service of meditation and chant will be at 7:00 pm on Thursday, November 2nd in the Church. All are welcome at this quiet service in a setting of religious art and candles, chants, personal reflection and prayer. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details at 760-320-7488 ext. 225.





Parish Life Book Club


Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday each month at 1 PM in the Library. New members are always welcome. The Book Club meets again on November 7 and is reading Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea by Barbara Demick. Published in 2010, Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over fifteen years—a chaotic period that saw the rise to power of Kim Jong-Il (the father of Kim Jong-Un), and a devastating famine. This book is an account of life inside the closed world of North Korea and brings to life what it means to be living under a repressive regime. The Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Jackie Freeburn at







Thursday, November 2nd is the date of the next Parish Potluck. In addition to great food, fellowship and reunions with friends returning to the desert – you won’t want to miss our own renowned musician John Granet, PhD, who will perform several pieces on the piano. In order not to conflict with the Taize service at 7:00 pm, the potluck begins at 5:30 pm instead of 6:00 pm. Doors open at 5:00 pm to bring your contributions and get settled. Beginning this weekend, you’ll find signup sheets in the Church lobby and in the Parish Hall. We promise a cooler environment than was the case for our August potluck!




Communion at Windsor Court



The next communion service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, November 8th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.




Loving God and Neighbor

in the Jewish and Christian Traditions


Join Fr. Andrew and Rabbi David Lazar for a fascinating discussion of two basic passages for both Judaism and Christianity: “Love the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 6:1) and “Love your neighbor as you wish to be loved.” (Leviticus 19:18). The discussion is this year’s annual Jerry Behrend Lecture.

  • Date & Time: Sunday, November 12th from 4:00 to 6:00 pm.
  • Place: Temple Isaiah, 332 West Alejo Road, Palm Springs.
  • Admission: $18.00. All are welcome.



Hospitality Ministry



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


 Please consider sponsoring a coffee hour!







Sundays @ 9:15 am


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

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



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.   
10/24     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 October 19, 2017

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