For Sunday, April 21st
The Week’s Message
AN EMPTY TOMB AND THE FUTURE OF GOD
Our Gospel text on Easter Day describes how John and Peter arrive at the tomb baffled and amazed at this unexpected event with Peter impulsively going in, John seeing and believing, and then going in himself.
I am reminded of a scholar who once commented that the reason the stone is rolled away from the tomb entrance is not so that Jesus can get out (hardly a problem for a resurrected God if you think about it!), but it is rolled away so that Peter and John can get in! So that we can look in and see what has taken place and ponder what it means. Indeed, the Body is gone – only the clothing and vestiges of the old life remain. For a New Life to begin, the old must depart – so yes, the tomb is empty. There can be no New Life without death occurring first. We cannot move into the new house until we have left the old house. Good Friday, with all its horror, was profoundly necessary if there is going to be Easter! Of course, the tomb is empty!
Here at St. Paul’s we, today, look into the empty tomb. The rector of thirty years, who served so faithfully, is no longer here – an era has ended – life and routine as we have known it is no longer here. The answers to what the future holds are not here. We cannot see what the future looks like or perhaps what is next.
Bur the Tomb is empty for a reason. New Life has begun. Jesus is still with us in a new and more powerful way that is not easy to “see.” He has gone on ahead to Galilee (the image of the future ministry) and now we have the option to follow and to see new things.
Another great preacher one said that “the Church should always act as if everything depends on it, knowing full well that Jesus is ten steps ahead of us.” Christ has left the tomb and gone on ahead of us. New things are now in store for Andrew, Susan, and all who have gone from our fellowship as they remain in God’s never-ending love. And wonderful things are now in store for St. Paul’s as a community of Faith: new possibilities, new ways of ministry and leadership, new visions and ideas we haven’t had before.
With the beloved disciple, we can believe and with Peter we can take the first steps in a New Beginning. Jesus is already out there so there is nothing to fear.
Of course! The Tomb is empty! Christ is Risen! Let us go into God’s future together!
Holy Week Worship Schedule
Maundy Thursday – April 18
Supper at 5:30 PM (sign up)
Holy Communion at 7:00 PM
Altar of Repose at 8:00 PM
Watch with Jesus through the night (sign up)
Good Friday – April 19
Good Friday Liturgy – St. John’s Passion at 12:00 PM
Stations of the Cross at 7:00 PM
Holy Saturday – April 20
The Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 PM
The First Communion of Easter
The Rev. Canon Eric H.F. Law
Easter Vigil Reception – After the Easter Vigil service concludes, the congregation is invited to a special reception in the Parish Hall to celebrate the beginning of Easter. Champagne and nonalcoholic beverages will be provided along with light snacks. Fr. David Caffrey and Fr. Eric Law will be there to welcome you. Please join us!
Easter Day – April 21
Service and Music at 7:00 AM
The Rev. Canon David Caffrey
Family Service with Choir at 9:00 AM
The Rev. Canon David Caffrey
Easter Egg Hunt at 10:15 AM
Festival Service with Choir at 11:00 AM
The Rev. Canon Victoria Hatch
All services are Holy Communion
(Childcare provided at 9:00 and 11:00 AM)
Easter Egg Hunt
Sunday, April 21st
On Easter morning, children of all ages are invited to find eggs hidden in the Memorial Garden. Kids, bring your own small Easter basket and meet outside the Parish Hall entrance at 10:15 AM. Please come and bring friends!
Daughters of the King
St. Paul’s chapter of Daughters of the King will hold their annual retreat on Saturday, April 27, from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM in the Parish Hall. The Rev. Cannon David Caffrey will facilitate the topic, “Transition and Renewal.”
Women of the parish are cordially invited to join the DOK for this time of sharing how its vows of prayer and service work for our community.
A Gift of Prayer from the Daughters of the King
God, in this time of transition, help us to welcome change as an opportunity to grow. Be with us and guide us, open our minds and hearts and surround us with your love that we may feel your presence in all our works. Instill us with your wisdom and awareness of your vision as we seek a new rector and spiritual leader.
Shower upon each member your Holy Spirit as we call Search and Transition Committees, and grant that they become faithful companions to each other, to the Vestry and this parish. Guide us all to continue to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ by serving Christ in others and by gathering to praise and thank God in worship.
This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit be all honor and glory, now and forever. Amen
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.
On May 7, 2019, Book Club has selected The Beekeeper’s Apprentice by Laurie R. King. A teenage girl teams up with Sherlock Holmes in Victorian England to solve a mysterious kidnapping case, involving brilliant deduction, disguises and danger.
Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at [email protected]
Newcomers Welcoming Session
Sunday, April 28: If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to this single session class led by Jerry Di Noto. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.
Join us at 9:15 AM in the Conference Room.
Congratulations to St. Paul’s Hikers!
Our intrepid St. Paul’s Hikers closed the 2019 spring hiking season with a wonderful trek through the high desert on April 13. If you like to experience the beauty of the desert and mountains that surround us, you should consider joining us when our fall/winter season begins.
For more information, contact our hiking coordinator and expert, Chris Kelly, [email protected]
Adult Faith Formation
Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library: The Episcopal Café
These sessions are designed to facilitate discussion of Sunday scripture readings.
4/21: NO SESSION: Easter Day
4/28: The Intended Audience of Revelation: Commentary on Rev. 1:4-8
Led by Alan Zimmerman
5/5: The Power of the Lamb: Reflection on Revelation 5:11-14
Led by Jerry Di Noto
5/12: Roman or Catholic? A reflection on Acts 9:36-43
Led by Gary Scott
5/19: The Sea was No More: Reflection on Revelation 21:1-6
Led by Rev. Cannon Victoria Hatch
5/26: Not Afraid Anymore: Reflection on Revelation 21:10, 21:22 -22:5
Led by Alan Zimmerman
Tuesdays at 6:00 – 7:30 PM, in the Library
Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent (and beyond)
This series is based on the work of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It will feature soup and Lenten/Easter-themed Scripture study.
4/23: The Valley of Dry Bones (Ezekiel 37: 1-14)
4/30: The Gathering of God’s People (Zephaniah 3:12-20)
5/7: The Empty Tomb (Luke 24:1-12) Led by Gary Scott
5/14: Book of Revelation: Led by Team
5/21: Book of Revelation: Led by Team
5/28: Book of Revelation: Led by Team
Coffee Hour after Services
This week, there are no Coffee Hours following the three Easter Day Services.
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 Thursday and 9 am – 11:30 am Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.
Should you call on Monday or Friday afternoon when we are closed to the public, please leave a message. In case of an emergency, a priest will return your call.
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.