The Abundant Life – November 30, 2017


The Abundant Life


November 30, 2017                                     For Sunday, Dec. 3rd


From the Rector


Missing No Gifts


This is the time of year when I begin to worry about missing gifts. As our family has grown with granddaughters and in-laws and significant others, the process for gift giving – especially for Christmas – is year-round. Yet gifts go missing in two ways. Either the gift was purchased and we forgot where it was put, or we overlooked a loved one and did not purchase their gift. There are 24 days left to find the missing gifts.


As we begin the thoughtful, prayerful, and hopeful preparation to welcome Jesus at Christmas, our reading this weekend assures us that we will be missing no spiritual gifts while we wait. St. Paul is writing to a young Christian community which he founded, but the cause of his confidence applies to us as well. It is “because of God’s grace. …” This is true for us as a community, too. Paul is not speaking only to one or another of us, but to us as a congregation of believers.


Advent has layers of preparation. We prepare for both the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and for the mysterious and frightening Second Coming. We prepare with hope and we prepare by listening to the Prophets as they guide us to right ways of living.


Another way we to prepare during Advent is by discerning what spiritual gifts we might bring to the life of our own congregation and what spiritual gifts we see in others. In doing this we build the faithfulness and effectiveness of our spiritual home. Too often, members of the church attend only to the spiritual gifts present or absent in the Pastor. St. Paul assumed that all believers in a congregation had gifts to share for God’s mission of reconciliation, and each gift was critical for faithful ministry.


During this Advent the Diocese of San Diego is discerning gifts. We are discerning strengths and weaknesses as we build a clear picture of our diocese and the work God is calling us to. There are listening sessions and surveys for every member to access and engage in this process. By God’s grace we are promised that we need lack no spiritual gift as we do God’s work. Advent is a good time to turn our attention to discernment.


Join as we worship God and pray that there be no missing gifts in the ministry of St. Paul’s or the Diocese of San Diego.


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


1 Corinthians 1:3-9 (CEB)


    Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.


I thank my God always for you, because of God’s grace that was given to you in Christ Jesus.That is, you were made rich through him in everything: in all your communication and every kind of knowledge, in the same way that the testimony about Christ was confirmed with you.The result is that you aren’t missing any spiritual gift while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will also confirm your testimony about Christ until the end so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful, and you were called by him to partnership with his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.




Planning Our Future Together


We invite you to complete Landscape, an online survey that will help our diocese gauge the strength, vitality, and trends in our church today. The information gained from this assessment will be valuable in helping to build a profile of our diocese. The profile is one of the major means we have of introducing ourselves to clergy members who may wish to discern if they are called to be our fifth bishop.


Beginning Sunday, December 3, we ask you to go online by clicking on the link provided above and tell us about your experiences in and priorities for our diocese. Each adult (16+) member of the household is asked to complete the survey for her/himself, even if there is only one email address for all members of the family. Please do not discuss the survey or your answers with others as this may influence their answers. We want to know what YOU are thinking. The deadline to complete the survey is Friday, December 22.


If you do not have access to the Internet or for some other reason wish to have a paper copy of the survey, please contact your clergy person or warden.


All answers are strictly anonymous. We have no way of matching any assessment to a particular person, so please feel free to candidly share your perceptions, opinions and experiences. The confidentiality of your responses is important. Our future together is dependent on your participation and your honest answers.


If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact the nominating committee via email: or via mail: 2083 Sunset Cliffs Blvd., San Diego, CA 92107.


Many thanks,

Bishop Nominating Committee


Take the Survey




Click the calendar (above) for a full size, printable calendar.




End Gun Violence!


On December 10, 2017, St. Paul’s will join the Nationwide Vigils and Events to end Gun Violence to commemorate the 5-year anniversary of the Sandy Hook tragedy. Hundreds of rallies, marches, concerts, house gatherings, educational forums, 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. We ask you to wear orange on this day to remember 30,000 who die and 100,000 who are injured each year through needless gun violence.







If you would like to contribute toward the cost of Christmas flowers, please use the special offering envelopes found in the pew pockets, or send your check to St. Pauls (address at the bottom of this newsletter) with the note on the check “Christmas Flowers”.







Parish Life Book Club


Parish Life Book Club meets this Tuesday, December 5th at 1:00 pm in the Library. New members are always welcome. The December selection is; The Kitchen House, by Kathleen Grissom.


In January 2018, Book Club marks its first anniversary. The January selection is Before We Were Yours: A Novel by Lisa Wingate.








At 5:00pm on Wednesday, December 20th, the Parish Life Team is coordinating a casual potluck in the Parish Hall.  Sign-up sheets will be in the back of the church and in the Parish Hall beginning the weekend after Thanksgiving.  You are invited to bring tea sandwiches, croissant sandwiches or turkey/ham rollups and other finger food.  Desserts are the sweet element but remember the FINGER FOOD theme and bring such goodies as brownies and cookies.  There will be plates and napkins but no utensils so if you can’t hold it, don’t bring it!  We anticipate a special musical treat for those attending and the event will conclude at 6:45pm.  Feel free to dress up in holiday attire if you are so moved.  Have fun and help spread the holiday cheer!




Communion at Windsor Court



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




Taizé Services



Taizé services will be presented on the first 3 Tuesdays in December (5th, 12th, & 19th) at 7:00 pm in the Church. 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.” For more information, contact Nathan Ensign at 760-320-7488 x225.





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                        

“Bid thou our sad divisions cease, and be thyself our King of Peace” 
A series of meditations and discussion on Violence and Nonviolence
12/3         Taking Jesus Seriously Led by Br. John Charles
12/10       The Root of Violence  Led by Rev. Ron Giekow
12/17       The Inevitable Spiral of Violence  Led by Gary Scott
12/24       NO SESSION  Christmas- New Year Recess
12/31       NO SESSION  Christmas- New Year Recess



Tuesdays @ 7PM



12/5        Advent Taizé
12/12      Advent Taizé
12/19      Advent Taizé
12/26      NO SESSION   Christmas- New Year Recess




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?


Print a copy



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 November 30, 2017

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