The Abundant Life – May 17, 2018


The Abundant Life


May 17, 2018                                                 For Sunday, May 20th


From the Rector


The Spirit of Hope


This year the Christian Feast of Pentecost, and the Jewish Festival of Shavuot fall on the same day. Shavuot begins 50 days after Passover, is celebrated for 7-8 days, and is a festival celebrating the grain harvest. Later, it came to commemorate the giving of the Torah. The Christian Feast is one day, marking the end of the 50 days of Easter, the empowering of Jesus’ disciples by the Holy Spirit, and the preaching of the Good News by the disciples.


Our reading from Paul’s Letter to the Romans, written independently of the Pentecost tradition, is about the same Holy Spirit and her role in sustaining the hope of believers.


Paul was writing to believers in Rome who were suffering from persecution. He encouraged hope for their full inclusion as God’s children, freedom from suffering, and freedom from selfishness. This hope is not for the believer alone but is a hope God’s redemption or renewal of all creation. It is not enough to hope for a personal blessing, but the Holy Spirit coaches and prays for the fulfillment of that larger hope that is just beyond one’s ability to imagine.


Our situation today is different, yet our need for hope remains. What does it mean to us that we have received a “spirit of adoption” and are fully welcomed as God’s children? Paul sees both joy and responsibility. If we understand that we belong to God, then we belong to all those who also belong to God. This is not inspiration for an individual rendezvous with the divine, but an invitation to a sacred dance. In dance there is rhythm, and movement, and mutuality; so also in the life of the Spirit.


I don’t imagine this sacred dance as a spiritual version of Riverdance, where every movement is exact and perfect. What I imagine is a dance that is sloppy by comparison, but where all the participants are fully committed, fully attentive, and willing to learn as the Spirit coaches. I see this in our worship. I see it in our caring for one another and for the community around us. I see it in our stewardship of God’s creation.


What I see now is not where we will end up. What I hope for is that place where the Spirit will lead us – where all belong, and all are valuable. The place I hope for is prefigured in our gathering around the table, sharing bread and wine, the feast followed by the sacred dance of joyful commitment.


Join us.


Fr. Andrew




Featured Scripture


Romans 8:22-27 (NRSV)


We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.




May 20, 2018 – Day of Pentecost / Whitsunday


Next Sunday the church celebrates the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Day. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word Pentekoste, which means “the 50th day.” In the Old Testament, “Pentecost” refers to the Feast of Weeks, a seven-week agricultural event that focused on the harvesting of first crops. Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, also used the word “Pentecost” to refer to the 50th day of Passover. In the New Testament, “Pentecost” refers to the coming of the Spirit shortly after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension (Acts 2:1-6, NRSV). Christians came to understand the meaning of Pentecost in terms of the gift of the Spirit, and the Pentecost event as the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise concerning the return of the Holy Spirit. On the Day of Pentecost, the clergy wear RED vestments to signify the work of the Spirit. It is also a custom in many churches for the people in the congregation to wear RED on the Day of Pentecost as well. We wear RED to remind us of the fire of the Spirit.


NOTE: The Day of Pentecost is one of the seven principal feasts of the church year in the Episcopal Church. The Day of Pentecost is identified by the Book of Common Prayer as one of the feasts that is “especially appropriate” for baptism. Although the liturgical color of the feast is red, Pentecost has also been known as Whitsun or Whitsunday, a corruption of “White Sunday.” This term reflects the custom by which those who were baptized at the Vigil of Pentecost would wear their white baptismal garments to church on the Day of Pentecost.





Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library

The Episcopal Cafè                        

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
6/3          When is the Sabbath anyway? Reflection on Deuteronomy 5:12-15
                   Led by Alan Zimmerman    Read about it 
6/10         Look Beyond the Story- Reflection on Genesis 3: 8-15.
                   Led by Gary Scott   Read about it
6/17         Riddles: A Reflection on Ezekiel 17: 22-24.
                   Led by Craig Ewing   Read about it
6/24         The Time is Now! Reflection on 2 Corinthians 6:1-13.
                   Led by Bro. John Charles    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

5/22          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     
How Can We Make Christian Decisions in the 21st Century:  Applying Faith Tools in making difficult decisions on current issues
6/5    Baptismal Covenant.  Led by Bro. John Charles
6/12    Scripture/Tradition/Reason.  Led by Fr. David Caffrey
6/19    Via Media (The Middle Way).  Led by Jerry Di Noto
6/26    Virtues. Led by Bro. John Charles & Audrey Spencer


A Change in How To Send Us Mail


As of June 30th, we will no longer use a Post Office Box to receive mail. All mail should be sent to our street address where we will soon have a locked mailbox. Many parishioners have their pledge payment sent directly from their bank to the Post Office Box. If this is the case with your pledge payment, please notify your bank right away to begin using our street address, 125 W. El Alameda, Palm Springs, CA 92262.






Hospitality Ministry


We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall after either service on Sunday.


The Vestry is sponsoring the Coffee Hours after the 8:00 and 10:30 services.


There are many upcoming opportunities for you to sponsor a Sunday Coffee Hour after either the 8:00 AM or 10:30 AM service. The sign-up notebook is on the table as you enter the Parish Hall. 




Photographer on campus May 20



This Sunday, Melanie Miller, a contract photographer, will be at St. Paul’s, during and after the 8:00 AM service, to complete a photo shoot of the church buildings and grounds. She will also want some random shots of parishioners. The photos will be used in the redesign of our parish website.






Potluck Dinner! May 24th


Thursday, May 24th – 5:00-6:45 PM in Parish Hall. Let’s gather to enjoy a pre-summer feast with our parish community. Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex and Parish Hall. You can also sign up by calling the office at 760.320.7488.





“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.




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,




Communion at Windsor Court



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




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 May 17, 2018

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Service Times & Directions

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