The Abundant Life – June 14, 2018


The Abundant Life


June 14, 2018                                                 For Sunday, June 17th


From the Rector



Bountiful Grace


Our reading from Ezekiel is a brief word of abundant grace. It is the conclusion to a riddle and parable which speaks of God’s restoration for the people of Jerusalem after exile in Babylon. For Christian readers this text sounds like the parable of the Mustard Seed which Jesus told.


The uppermost “tender shoot” of a tall cedar is plucked and planted. It flourishes and grows. The simple idea of new life and growth is refreshing and hopeful by itself, but what follows is gracious. The mighty tree, grown from the vulnerable twig, becomes a haven for birds of every kind. The restored Jerusalem becomes a place of nurture for people for of every kind, not only the people of Judah.


We read this continuing theme of grace in Genesis – where Abraham will be blessed with descendants, who will be a blessing to the peoples of the earth – and in 1 Samuel, where Hannah sings thanks to God who lifts up the lowly. The song of Mary in Luke’s gospel repeats this theme.


The realm that God builds from tender shoots or dry trees, in this vision, is not about traditional power, but restoration and renewal. God’s power is made known by a chosen people who make room for – who shelter – all who need a place of respite.


This vision of the community of faith as a strong tree with sheltering branches is one that might describe our congregation. I don’t see this as a vision of perfection, with everything in settled peace. I see it more as a mysterious chaos where beautiful gifted people of every kind are welcomed to share the abundant life that Jesus promised. It is and will be messy – this complex community of varied gifts and needs.


While we live into that vision, we give thanks around the table and the meal which Jesus blessed – and we get a taste of that new Jerusalem. Join us.


Fr. Andrew



Featured Scripture


Ezekiel 17:22-24 Common English Bible (CEB)


The Lord God proclaims: I myself will take one of the top branches from the tall cedar. I will pluck a tender shoot from its crown, and I myself will plant it on a very high and lofty mountain. On Israel’s mountainous highlands I will plant it, and it will send out branches and bear fruit. It will grow into a mighty cedar. Birds of every kind will nest in it and find shelter in the shade of its boughs. Then all the trees in the countryside will know that I, the Lord, bring down the tall tree and raise up the lowly tree, and make the green tree wither and the dry tree bloom. I, the Lord, have spoken, and I will do it.








Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library

The Episcopal Cafè                        

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

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



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.





The Diocesan School for Ministry

Learning More About One’s Faith


Why shouldn’t one learn more about one’s faith? One of the core values of our local theological training program, the School for Ministry in Ocean Beach, is to be a community of learning. We seek to be a place where many can learn and many can teach. Anyone can come and hone their skills and develop appreciation for the things of God in this time and place. Those who are interested may take classes as lay leaders who want to expand their knowledge and leadership abilities, as postulants considering a life of ordained ministry, or as auditors who want to satisfy their curiosity or grow in their spiritual life. If you are interested, please speak with the Rev. Cn. Allisyn Thomas (, 619-481-5451). The fall semester begins on September 21. Classes are $400 each, and may be audited for $150 each. An informational discernment day will take place on Saturday, July 21, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Learn more: 



Hospitality Ministry


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


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.




“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. This month’s session with Fr. Andrew will be Sunday, June 24th at 9:15 AM, in the Parish Office’s Conference Room.




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,




The Parish Life Book Club


The Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome. For July 3, 2018, Book Club has selected Exile by Richard North Patterson. A journey into the lethal politics of the Middle East, Exile is an intricate tale of betrayal and deception and a moving love story. Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. The Book Club will not convene in the months of June and August. For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at





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


The Parish Office hours have changed for the summer. From Memorial Day, the Parish Office will be closed on Friday afternoons, beginning at 11:30 AM and will be unavailable for walk-in business. These hours will remain in place through the Labor Day weekend.

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, Pastor Blogs | Tags: | Posted on June 14, 2018

Comments are closed.

close window

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