Our outreach efforts to learn the congregation’s needs and desires generated hundreds of responses, and it’s difficult to summarize them all.

In fact, any attempt to identify specific directions for our future would yield divergent points of view. So, the lists below are general on purpose, yet they are also specific to Church of St. Paul in the Desert as they are an overall interpretation of both the Church Assessment Tool and our listening sessions. These strengths, challenges and opportunities reflect the parish of St. Paul in the Desert in the spring and summer of 2020.

Strengths

  • We recognize worship and Eucharist as the center of parish life
  • We welcome visitors as a natural part of our ministry
  • St. Paul in the Desert has a well-established and positive reputation in the community
  • Multiple ministries provide a framework for community outreach and service
  • Church leaders show concern for people’s views when making decisions
  • Problems are usually resolved respectfully and through mutual efforts
  • We willingly change our programming to meet the needs of our members
  • Our physical plant is in good condition and we are free of debt

Challenges

  • Our Lay Leadership and Ministries seek a more Christ-centered focus and greater diversity
  • Our older population requires that we work to attract the “next generation”
  • The long tenure of our last Rector left us under-prepared for change
  • We want to revitalize our music ministry to deepen the worship experience
  • There is mild dissatisfaction with how things are in church
  • Church activities beyond worship are not perceived as meaningful
  • We want to strengthen the financial foundation of the church and its ministries
  • We hold a wide variety of strong opinions about liturgy, music and preaching
  • COVID-19 quarantine has impacted our ability to worship, meet and engage each other

Opportunities

  • As a destination resort, Palm Springs provides a constant influx of new parishioners
  • Many retirees in the parish create a pool of experienced volunteers
  • The Hispanic/Latino community is a significant and untapped source of future members
  • The community’s wide range of ages, races, ethnicities and points of view offers a rich environment for a more diverse parish
  • Advanced technology and media are available to support our services during the COVID-19 quarantine and beyond
  • The parish is poised to move into the next chapter of its worship, mission and ministry