The Abundant Life – October 5, 2017


The Abundant Life


October 5, 2017                                     For Sunday, Oct. 8th


From The Rector



Not Violence for Violence


This week’s Gospel story is filled with violence. A landowner rents land and payment includes a portion of the harvest. The tenants refuse to pay, then abuse, beat, and kill the representatives of the landowner. Ultimately, they kill the heir. As Christians, we hear this as referring to the prophets and to Jesus, who have called God’s people to account. This interpretation is not a simple as we would like and its drama misses Jesus’ point.


As Emerson Powery points out in his commentary at Working Preacher, this passage is the third test of the authorities. We read the first two last week. Jesus asks those leaders and us, “Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” My first reaction is like the response of the leaders – he will wipe them out.


As many times as I have read this story, this response is what stands out. But this is not Jesus’ response.


Jesus responds that there will be accountability, the kingdom of God will be given to those who return the produce to God. But he rejects the violence that seems appropriate to the current leaders. Their willingness to respond to the violent abuse and killing of God’s beloved with even more violence is rejected. Revenge is the way of imperial power, not the way of God. Jesus, the one who is rejected, will be discovered to be the key, the cornerstone of God’s plan to reconcile the world. Jesus will face the cross and be raised and will forgive – even those who attacked or ignored him.


The horrific mass killing in Las Vegas breaks my heart. So far, there is no apparent reason and we don’t have any real clue what was in the killer’s mind. I have pledged – along with people throughout our community, our nation, and across the globe – to pray for the victims and their loved ones. We have given thanks for the heroes and first responders. But have we returned to God the produce that is expected of us as Christians?


Is God satisfied that, massacre after massacre, we pray for victims but do nothing to make future killings less likely or less devastating? More guns mean that violence is more likely. I heard one commentator claim that “guns allow the weak to protect themselves from the strong.” The Las Vegas massacre was not the weak being protected, it was evil and insanity preying upon and shooting down the vulnerable.


When we gather, our prayers are important. We pray that Jesus will show us how to be cornerstones, like him, in building a community of peace and how to deliver the harvest of reconciliation, not more violence. Join us.


Fr. Andrew





Featured Scripture


Matthew 21:33-46 (NRSV)


Jesus said, “Listen to another parable. There was a landowner who planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a wine press in it, and built a watchtower. Then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the harvest time had come, he sent his slaves to the tenants to collect his produce. But the tenants seized his slaves and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. Again he sent other slaves, more than the first; and they treated them in the same way. Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him and get his inheritance.’ So they seized him, threw him out of the vineyard, and killed him. Now when the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death, and lease the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the produce at the harvest time.” Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’? Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people that produces the fruits of the kingdom. The one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and it will crush anyone on whom it falls.” When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they realized that he was speaking about them. They wanted to arrest him, but they feared the crowds, because they regarded him as a prophet.





Las Vegas Mass Shooting


This past Sunday we experienced the deadliest mass shooting since 1949.  59 people were senselessly killed and 500+ were injured when a lone gunman opened fire on people attending a concert held in Las Vegas, NV. So far this year the US has experienced 275 mass shootings, 11,621 people killed in gun related shootings, and 23,433 people injured by guns as reported by the Gun Violence Archive. 


Again, the same question comes up: When will this ever end? Isn’t this enough? You can do something to help end gun violence by supporting one of the following organizations or calling our representatives in Washington and demanding action: Moms Demand Action (, The Brady Campaign (, Bishops Against Gun Violence (, Faiths United ( Rep. Ruiz: (202) 225-5330; Senator Feinstein: (202) 224-3841; Senator Harris (202) 224-3553.


-Social Justice Committee of St. Paul’s




Taizé Services Return



Our first Taizé service of meditation and chant will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 5th in the Church.  All are invited to this quiet service in a setting of religious art and candles.  As one person said:  “Taize is a deeply spiritual service by candlelight with music, quietude and prayer. It is a wonderful opportunity to center your day and your life while expressing gratitude.”





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




Desert AIDS Walk – Sign Up Now! 


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.



We are now taking sign-ups for the 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.





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





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.




Hospitality Ministry



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


Tony Amato and Tony Martinez are sponsoring the coffee hour after the 8:00 service.


 Please consider sponsoring a coffee hour this summer!







Sundays @ 9:15 am


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

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



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.
10/10     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?


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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 5, 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,
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