The Abundant Life – April 26, 2018


The Abundant Life


April 26, 2018                                         For Sunday, April 29th


From the Rector





What Might We Ask?


Jesus makes a promise to his disciples in Sunday’s gospel reading that invites them to deepen their connection to him and to one another. It is a promise that remains with his followers today, even though it is easily misunderstood. The promise is: “If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you.”


As a teenager, I understood this as a truly magical verse. If I stuck with Jesus and lived by his teachings, I could have whatever I wanted. While I knew the “if” part of the promise or agreement was challenging, my mind was set on the second part – “it will be done for you.” One mistake was that I understood this as an individual promise. Essentially, I thought of this passage as a shortcut to and guarantee of my personal happiness. I missed the point.


Eventually, I came to understand that Jesus’ teaching was less about me and my happiness and more about the wholeness, faithfulness, and productiveness of his disciples as a community – including me. A faith community that remains in Jesus is one that lives his commandments. And Jesus’ commandment is that we would love one another. He showed us an example of that love in his washing of the disciples’ feet at dinner with them as a sign that the life-blood of Jesus the “vine” is imparted to his “branches” – the disciples – through service.


The example of mutual service – the life-blood of love in constant flow to nourish with life – was practice for serving those who were in need outside of their circle. They learned to let the commandment of love flow through them to produce the fruit of service. We have the same opportunity. Like the first disciples we can practice the commandment of love in mutual service. Then we can ask for whatever that servant community wants.


What might we ask? Might we ask for the resources to serve those in need on our streets? Or ask for the wisdom to advocate for change in the systems that lead to homelessness? Or ask for the grace to welcome all, without exception?


Join in worship as we learn to remain in Christ and ask for his nurturing grace.


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


John 15:1-8 Common English Bible (CEB)


“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vineyard keeper. He removes any of my branches that don’t produce fruit, and he trims any branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit. You are already trimmed because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. A branch can’t produce fruit by itself, but must remain in the vine. Likewise, you can’t produce fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, then you will produce much fruit. Without me, you can’t do anything. If you don’t remain in me, you will be like a branch that is thrown out and dries up. Those branches are gathered up, thrown into a fire, and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask for whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified when you produce much fruit and in this way prove that you are my disciples.





Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library

The Episcopal Cafè                        



4/29      Abide in Love: A Reflection on 1st John 4:7-21.
             Led by Gary Scott     Read about it
5/6           A Faith that Overcomes: Reflections on 1 John 5:1-6.
                  Led by Jerry Di Noto     Read about it
5/13         Happy St. Matthias Day: Reflections on Acts 1:15-17, 21-26. 
                  Led by Gary Scott     Read about it
5/20         Think Differently About Difference: Reflections on Acts 2:1-2.
                  Led by Alan Zimmerman     Read about it
5/27         Adoption: Reflections on Romans 8:12-17.
                  Led by Audrey Spencer     Read about it



Tuesdays — Accepting God’s Gift of Faith


Tuesdays @ 7PM in Library:  The Great 50 Days of Easter! This series will celebrate the 50 days of Easter incorporating elements of Lectio Divina, Hymns, and Baptismal Covenant



5/1           Ignatian Lectio Divina based on John 15: 14-23.
                 Facilitated by Gary Scott 
5/8           African Bible Study Lectio Divina based on Ephesians 1:15-23.
                 Facilitated by Bro. John Charles
5/15          Benedictine Lectio Divina:
                  Facilitated by Audrey Spencer
5/22          Lectio Divina: Based on John 3:3-5.
                  Led by Gary Scott     
5/29          Lectio Divina: A daily Way of Life.
                  Led by Audrey Spencer     


Vida Joven de Mexico


As part of our Easter celebration of diocesan ministries, this week we highlight Vida Joven de Mexico. Vida Joven is a loving orphanage for abandoned and abused children in Tijuana, Mexico. The mission of Vida Joven is to love, protect, and educate every child in our care. Vida Joven relies 100% on donations and is supported by the generosity of individuals and congregations in the Diocese of San Diego. To learn more, or to visit the children, please go to, or call Beth Beall at 619.786.4387.




Parish Life Book Club


. . . meets on the first Tuesday each month at 1:00 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome. On May 1st, 2018, Book Club has selected Cry, the Beloved Country by Alan Paton. Set in South Africa, Cry, the Beloved Country is the deeply moving story of a Zulu pastor and his son set against the background of a land and a people riven by racial injustice. It is a work of love and hope, courage and endurance. 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






Next Taizé Service



Please note: our final Taizé service of the season will be Thursday May 3rd at 7:00 pm.


“A Taize service is a time to be still within as we sit together and experience the love and power of the Holy Spirit.”  All are welcome to worship through chant, meditation and silence. For more information, contact Nathan Ensign at 760.320.7488 x225.




On-Line Spirituality/Reflections:


The Great 50 Days of Easter is an opportunity to renew a daily prayer and reflection discipline. Here are some on-line sites which offer daily spirituality: From Facebook, you can “friend” — The 50 Days of Easter or Daily Office. Other sites:;; The Good Book Club study continues with the book of Acts, (also found under forward




St. Paul’s Cathedral will host New Camino


. . . an exciting workshop May 18-19 to encourage and empower members of our diocese to develop and expand ministries with our Latino/Hispanic neighbors. You all know that the Latino/Hispanic population is growing quickly in our region and the future of our diocese will depend in large part on reaching out to these neighbors. This effort is the result of a Multicultural Fearless Love grant. The Cathedral is inviting each parish to send a team of three people to the workshop to learn more and to network about the possibilities. We are blessed to have the Rev. Canon Anthony Guillen, missioner for Latino/Hispanic ministries of the Episcopal Church, leading the workshop, along with members of his team from around the country. If you are interested in attending, please contact Fr. Andrew. 




Hospitality Ministry


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


Please consider hosting a coffee hour. 


You may sign up at the West end of the Parish Hall.




“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.” This is a single session class with Fr. Andrew. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member. The next session with Fr. Andrew will be Sunday, May 27th at 9:15 AM, in the Conference Room in the Parish Office.





Episcopal Community Services (ECS)


Operating under its mission of serving God by serving those in need through programs that foster hope, dignity, and independence, Episcopal Community Services inspires children, empowers adults and transforms communities by providing vital, high-quality social services that encourage healthy interdependence. ECS’ current programs address homelessness, mental illness, early childhood education, child development and substance use education. Last year, ECS served more than 8,000 people. To learn more, visit




Camp Stevens


As part of our Easter celebration of diocesan ministries, this week we highlight Camp Stevens, a welcoming home for retreats, education and adventure in the town of Julian. Its summer camp, year-round programs and retreat center are designed to deepen connections among people and between people and the earth. Camp Stevens’ mission is to inspire, challenge, and empower personal, social, and environmental transformation. To learn more, visit




Communion at Windsor Court



The next communion service at Windsor Court is Wednesday, May 9th at 10:15 am. The priest and the residents are always happy to have parishioners attend.




Icon Writing Retreat


Icon Writing Workshop is a five-day (June 25th-29th) retreat instructed by Teresa Harrison, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, San Diego. Participants will learn the prayerful practice of painting or writing a Byzantine-style icon. The emphasis will be on the step by step process of painting an icon, using Jo Sonia acrylic paint and 23 carat gold leaf, as well as on the spiritual practice of allowing God to work in us and through us. The course per-person fee is $435 and includes all supplies, five full days of instruction, and lunch. To RSVP please contact Julie McMinn,




St. Paul’s Camping Ministry


The weekend of July 13 – 15 this summer, our church campers are going up to Hurkey Creek campground near Lake Hemet. Cost is low, $10 a person, but so are the temperatures – 25 degrees cooler than in Palm Springs! Basic cabins are available at $100 and we plan to fish! Contact Bonnie Stroock to reserve – 760.324.7949




Report Clergy 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 John Seitman, 858-793-4555 or Equilla Luke, 760-583-0485.




Compassionate Care Task Force


Our diocesan task force on compassionate care for victims of clergy sexual misconduct seeks to connect with those who have experienced misconduct. If you have reported clergy sexual misconduct and have information about the reporting or post-reporting experience that could be helpful to their work, please refer to the task force members, all of whom are listed on the diocesan website: Task-Force. Information on how to report misconduct is available here.




Church Office Hours


Office Hours are 9 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday through Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.

If 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.




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 April 26, 2018

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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

Weekday Morning Masses

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday: 8:30 am

6654 Main Street
Wonderland, AK 45202
(513) 555-7856