The Abundant Life – July 12, 2018


The Abundant Life


July 12, 2018                                                For Sunday, July 15th

Reflection from Jerry DiNoto


A Blessing and a Plan


Our text today is known as the Great Benediction and serves as an overture to the whole letter of Ephesians. The original, in Greek, is all one long sentence of 258 words with no punctuation. Thank goodness the lectors have a translation!


The writer of Ephesians had much to say to a people who were relatively new to the stories about Jesus and God. Many of them felt like they did not deserve the grace and love of God because they were Gentiles. The author of Ephesians tried to convey to them that no matter who they are, what they previously believed or what they did, they are now adopted members of God’s family. As such they are inheritors of all the promises of Jesus. The author also conveyed the message that God has a plan for the fullness of time, namely to gather and unite all things to God’s self.


What an uplifting message for us today! Especially when we might feel like we don’t deserve God’s love or forgiveness. In my reflecting on the passage I also see a startling social message – God’s plan to “unite all things in heaven and on earth.” As the rest of Paul’s Letter will explain, God’s intent is to bring all things back together in Christ: Jews and Gentiles, Christians and Jews and Muslims, rich and poor, black and brown and yellow and white, all things in heaven and on earth. As hard as it is to believe that we are “beloved,” it may be even harder to believe that all things will be gathered together in Christ.

This is where you and I come in. God has a plan, but we have a role to play. We are responsible to do our part in the plan begun by Christ. The plan has been sketched out, but not every detail has been filled in. It’s not about us, it’s about our part in the plan! Our Baptismal promises entrust us to being agents in breaking down all that divides God’s people and God’s creation. We are called to bring all things back together, not of tearing apart but of restoring, not of dividing but uniting, not of excluding but including.


When we gather around the Lord’s Table, we experience the blessing of a foretaste of the universal unity of God’s Kingdom and we renew our participation in God’s plan.






Please Note:


Fr. Andrew will be away until the 14th of July, representing the Diocese at the General Convention of the Episcopal Church. Members of the Vestry will respond to the after hours emergency number – (760) 323-4028. If needed, they will make referrals to appropriate clergy.




Featured Scripture



Ephesians 1:3-14


Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.







Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library

The Episcopal Cafè                        




7/15    Prophetic Pains and Plumb Lines:  Reflection on Amos 7:7-15.

             Led by Jerry Di Noto     Read about it


7/22    Broken Walls, Crossed Borders: Reflection on Eph. 2:12-22.
              Led by Alan Zimmerman     Read about it 
7/29    Praying for Power: Reflection on Ephesians 3: 14-21.
              Led by Br. John Charles     Read about it


Tuesdays at 7 PM in the Library


“Call the Midwife”
A BBC Series: A nursing convent in a poor East London 1950 community is home to a small order of Anglican nuns and lay nurses, who work as midwives as they minister to physical, emotional and spiritual needs of the women and families they serve. We’ll watch four episodes which offer gripping moral and ethical insights into birth, life and death for us to ponder and discuss.


7/17      Episode Two – Led by Alan Zimmerman
7/24      Episode Three – Led by Gary Scott
7/31      Episode Four –  Led by Audrey Spencer


Summer Blood Drive

Hosted by St. Paul in the Desert


Join the Blood Drive on Friday July 20th between 9:30 AM & 2:30 PM. This summer 1 in 4 will need a blood transfusion, but only 1 in 20 will donate. Help make sure that this is the summer of LIFE and give blood here at St. Paul’s this coming Friday, July 20th. For each blood donation given at St. Paul’s on that day, LifeStream will donate $10 to Well in the Desert. “Give hope. Give life. Give blood.”





United Thank Offering grants:
More than $1 million for Episcopal Church,

Anglican Communion Mission and Ministry.


The United Thank Offering of the Episcopal Church awarded 34 grants for a total of $1,257,778.17 for the mission and ministry of the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion. The announcement was made during the 79th General Convention of The Episcopal Church, meeting July 5 through July 13 in Austin, TX (Diocese of Texas). The United Thank Offering is a ministry of the Episcopal Church to promote thankfulness and mission in the whole Church. Known worldwide as UTO, the United Thank Offering grants are awarded for projects that address human needs and help alleviate poverty, both domestically and internationally in the Episcopal Church. The focus of the 2018 granting process was “Becoming Beloved Community: Racial Healing, Reconciliation, and Justice.” St. Paul’s annual UTO campaign generally takes place during Lent. You should expect to hear more in spring of 2019.




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.





Parish Life Hospitality Coordinators – If you enjoy planning and managing social events, we’d like to talk to you! We’re currently seeking volunteers to help coordinate our after-service hospitality on Sundays. Partnering with the Sexton, volunteers will provide oversight to ensure adequate host presence and suitable refreshments following the 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM services. Questions? Please contact Fred Ross at (415) 710-9180 or email (NOTE TO ALL: Donated food items suitable for Sunday hospitality are always welcome. Please deliver your contributions to the Parish Hall kitchen.)








Diocesan Youth Mission Trip


July 11 – 14


Pray for Our Youth on a Los Angeles Mission Trip


Seventeen youth and four chaperones trek to Los Angeles today to begin a week of service, worship and growth. They appreciate your prayers on this adventure. Follow them on Instagram and Facebook


Loving God, equip these young people for your service, enliven them with your joy, keep them safe while they work and play in your Name, and help them to remember that their help is always in you, through Jesus Christ, our redeemer and steadfast companion. Amen.






Thank you for your Support


Scholarships for Refugee Children


Thirty-nine St. Paul parishioners and friends donated $6,100 to fund scholarships so that refugee children in the diocese can attend a full week at Camp Stevens. St. Paul’s was able to contribute over 10% of the $45,000 needed for this important campaign. Your generosity and commitment to the children of the Diocese of San Diego is appreciated and is another example of St. Paul’s as a welcoming, empowering and supportive community.



A Theological Gem in Our Own Backyard


Our diocese has a local theological training program in Ocean Beach open to all adult learners. Anyone can take classes on subjects ranging from Hebrew and Christian scriptures to world religion, spirituality, ethics, and others. While these courses are graduate level, and prepare future deacons and priests for ordination, they are accessible, interactive and relevant to modern day ministry. 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, 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the school. Learn more






Escape the heat! Wednesday, August 1st, Noon to 2:00 PM at the Quiet Creek Inn, 26345 Delano Dr., Idyllwild, CA  92549 – (951) 468-4208. Attendees bring food, beverages and serving utensils. Our generous hosts, Nathan De Petris and Marc Kassoof, owners of the Inn, will supply the plates and cutlery. Parking at the Inn is limited and reserved for the registered guests. However, there is ample street parking located on Delano Dr. and Four Chimneys Road.  Please sign up in the Narthex or Parish Hall or call the office at (760) 320-7488 to confirm your attendance.  Also, please indicate if you need a ride or are willing to use your vehicle for carpooling.






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 | Tags: | Posted on July 12, 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