The Abundant Life – March 15, 2018


The Abundant Life





March 15, 2018                                         For Sunday, March 18th



From the Rector




#TimesUp David


For the second time this Lent we are reading a portion of Psalm 51, a psalm of confession, a psalm of penitence. It is always a part of the Ash Wednesday service. This week it is a response to the reading from Hebrew scripture, Jeremiah 31:31-34. Through the prophet, God promises to write a covenant on the hearts of the people. In Psalm 51, the writer asks God for a new, clean heart. The writer is the voice of King David who is guilty of rape and murder. (2 Samuel 11 and 12) Nathan has confronted David about his sins and this psalm is David’s penitential prayer.


The heart of this prayer is a plea for God’s forgiveness. As Richard Bruxvoort Colligan reflects in his commentary in, this psalm is only one way to think about or to ask forgiveness. (Colligan admits that he is not ready to forgive David.) Abuse of women by men in power was a problem in the Bible, as it still is a problem today. Sadly, it is a problem in churches as in the rest of society.


David asks for a new heart, animated by a faithful spirit, one that will live and act with righteousness. He admits his wrong and wants a new start. In theory, this is what I would want for anyone who has done wrong and seeks forgiveness. It is what I want for myself. But context is everything. David’s sin was not abstract, it was against Bathsheba and his plea takes no account of the grievous harm against her and her husband. There is no apology to Bathsheba. Along with Colligan, I wonder what Bathsheba’s psalm would sound like. Does David ever hear her lament?


According to the statistics, a significant number of the readers of this reflection will have been victims of sexual abuse. “One out of every six American women has been the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime.” In church we are focused on forgiveness, as we should be, but we have all too often ignored the need for truth telling and accountability for acceptable behavior. Leaders in the Episcopal Church must complete and renew training in Safeguarding God’s People. In this training we learn about boundaries, how to avoid misconduct, and how to report misconduct. We learn to promote a safe worship and church-work environment. Anyone can take this training and learn to promote safe spaces. 


Lent is a time when we are invited to own up to any brokenness in our lives, not usually with public proclamations, but by self-examination and amendment of life. This process of truth telling goes hand in hand with forgiveness. We can look at ourselves honestly, because we trust God to care for us. Join in worship as each of us ask, “Create a clean heart for me, God; put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!”


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


Psalm 51:1-13 Common English Bible (CEB)

A psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him just after he had been with Bathsheba.

Have mercy on me, God, according to your faithful love!
    Wipe away my wrongdoings according to your great compassion!
Wash me completely clean of my guilt;
    purify me from my sin!
Because I know my wrongdoings,
    my sin is always right in front of me.
I’ve sinned against you—you alone.
    I’ve committed evil in your sight.
That’s why you are justified when you render your verdict,
    completely correct when you issue your judgment.
Yes, I was born in guilt, in sin,
    from the moment my mother conceived me.
And yes, you want truth in the most hidden places;
    you teach me wisdom in the most secret space.

Purify me with hyssop and I will be clean;
    wash me and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and celebration again;
    let the bones you crushed rejoice once more.
Hide your face from my sins;
    wipe away all my guilty deeds!
Create a clean heart for me, God;
    put a new, faithful spirit deep inside me!
Please don’t throw me out of your presence;
    please don’t take your holy spirit away from me.
Return the joy of your salvation to me
    and sustain me with a willing spirit.
Then I will teach wrongdoers your ways,
    and sinners will come back to you.



Guest Preacher – The Rev. Laurel Matthewson – March 17-18, 2018


Laurel, along with her husband, the Rev. Colin Matthewson are vicars in charge of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, North Park, San Diego. They are engaged in the North Park Project, which is building a new way of being the church in San Diego. You can learn more about the Matthewsons and the ministries of this faith community by checking their webpage:




Lenten Labyrinth Walk


St. Margaret’s Labyrinth Guild and The Daughters of the King cordially invite you to join us in our Lenten labyrinth walk at St. Margarete’s on Tuesday, March 20, at 6 PM. The speaker will be the Rev. David H. Burgdorf, on “Where Can We Find Peace in This Violent World?” Bring a friend early and enjoy refreshments with us! Questions? Please call Alice at (760) 323-2399.







Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library

The Episcopal Cafè                        




3/18       The Oracle of Newness: Reflection on Jeremiah 31:31-3. 

                 Led by Rev. Victoria Hatch    Read about it


3/25        NO SESSION – Palm Sunday & Bishop’s visitation 





Sundays @ 6:00 PM in the Library — Accepting God’s Gift of Faith


Preparing for Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation — Four remaining sessions. All are welcome to attend any of these sessions as part of their Lenten Renewal, regardless if you are seeking Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation. 




3/18     Instructed Eucharist and Preparation 

               Led by Fr. David Caffrey & Fr. Andrew Green


3/25     Confirmation/Reception/Reaffirmation; 10:30AM


These Sunday evening sessions will be in lieu of Tuesday Night Adult Faith Building Sessions which resume April 3rd.





Parish Deaths




Former parishioner Gene Walker died Friday, February 23rd at his home in Las Vegas. Funeral service will be at Forest Lawn, Cathedral City, at noon on Monday, March 26th.










Miriam Hoover, a longstanding part-time parishioner, passed away here in Palm Springs on March 6th at the age of 104. Although she will be buried in Chicago, there will be a Celebration of Life service for her at St. Paul’s on Saturday, March 17th at 11:00 A.M.











Gun violence and prevention


Students across the nation are taking a stand against the alarming number of mass shootings in our nation and are challenging adults to work with them to reasonable and responsible gun regulations. Let’s support these students and demand that Congress enact effective and sensible legislations. Contact our elected representatives today.

Senator Dianne Feinstein: (202)224-3841,
Senator Kamala Harris: (202) 224 3553,
Representative Dr. Raul Ruiz: (202) 225-5330,




Maundy Thursday (March 29th)


Soup Supper is scheduled for 5:45PM in the Parish Hall. Foot Washing will follow in the Memorial Garden. Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex and Parish Hall, or call the office (760) 320-7488.




Watch & Pray Through the Night


. . . of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Morning. Altar of Repose will be in the Office Lobby. Sign-up sheet located ONLY in the Narthex or you can call the office (760) 320-7488.




Special Events/Parade Team:


St. Paul’s will be participating in the One PS Neighborhoods Fair on Saturday, March 24 11AM-2PM at Ruth Hardy Park. Volunteers are needed for set up and take down and to represent us at the both.


For volunteering and more information call Jerry Di Noto at the office (760) 320-7488.




The Good Book Club


Group Study of the Good Book Club, the Lenten reading of Luke, continues Tuesdays at 1:00 PM in the parish office conference room. Materials for individual study can be obtained from, which includes a “Journey with Luke”, ed. Zabriski. “Forward Day by Day” is available free at St. Paul’s. 




Let’s get together and make Palm Crosses!


The Altar Guild invites all parishioners to join us in the Parish Hall on Friday March 23rd from 4:00 – 6:00 P.M. or on Saturday March 24th from 9:00 A.M- Noon to make Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday. We will provide breakfast for you on Saturday, and it’s a fun time to get to know one another. The crosses are not hard to make so don’t be intimidated, and if you don’t want to make the actual crosses, there are other jobs we can find for you. Please feel free to invite your friends as well. Bishop Katherine is visiting on Palm Sunday so we anticipate a larger than usual attendance, and we will need more crosses than usual. So we know how much food to plan for breakfast, please let us know if you care planning to come by contacting me – Kathy Kilmer, (760)774-8233 or, or the church office.




Conference @ Hope Lutheran


Don’t miss this important conference: “Where is Our Peace in this Violent World” being held on March 24th at Hope Lutheran Church, 45900 Portola Ave., Palm Desert. Guest speakers are Congresswoman Jackie Speier and our Assisting Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori who was the Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church from 2006 to 2015. Early registration is requested due to limited space. Sign-up sheets are in the narthex and the Parish Hall.




Holy Saturday Hike


The St. Paul’s Parish Life Hiking Group will mark March 2018 with a meditative hike along the Westside Loop in Black Rock Canyon, Joshua Tree National Park, on March 31, 2018 at 8:00 AM. Come join us as we prepare for Easter with a morning of Joshua trees, wildflowers and sweeping mountain vistas. Contact Chris Kelly for full information.




Parish Life Book Club

. . . meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 1 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome. For April 3, 2018, Book Club has selected Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko. Ceremony is a profound and moving work of Native American literature. A World War II veteran of mixed ancestry is scarred by his experience as a prisoner of the Japanese and further wounded by the rejection he encounters from his people. Only by immersing himself in the Indian past can he begin to regain the peace that was taken from him. Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Jan Wacker at




The Couperin Dynasty


. . . a program of Baroque music by three generations of France’s immortal composers, will be presented by harpsichordist Margaret Irwin-Brandon on Sunday, April 8th at 4 PM in the Parish Hall. All are cordially invited to attend and a suggested donation of $20 is requested at the door. A reception will follow to greet the artist.




Communion at Windsor Court



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





Next Taizé Service



Join us for our Taize service on Thursday April 12th at 7:00 pm, one week later than usual.  


“A Taize service is a time to be still within as we sit together and experience the love and power of the Holy Spirit.” Our next Taize service will be one week later than usual at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 12th. All are welcome to worship through chant, meditation and silence. For more information, contact Nathan Ensign at 760.320.7488 x225.







The Assisting Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori will ordain Patricia Lynn Horkey and Paul Kelly Mahon to the Transitional Diaconate on Saturday, April 14th. You may recall that Patricia volunteered at St. Paul’s in July 2016. All are welcome to attend the ordination at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Ave., San Diego.




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 March 15, 2018

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