For Sunday, April 7th

From the Rector

Don’t Ponder the Past – Too Much

Lent is about God doing new things, things that make wild beasts take notice – like making streams in the desert. God is always renewing the divine relationship with all that has been made. That renewed relationship is life to the desert, freedom to the oppressed, and firm redirection to the oppressor.

We are told not to ponder the former things too much. The Exodus is the reference for our text from Isaiah. The people were commanded to leave their slavery in Egypt, renew their covenant with God in the desert, and enter the new land God would give them. When the challenges of the new life God was teaching began to wear on them, they would ponder the things of the past: The food we ate under Pharaoh wasn’t that bad, was it? At least we had full employment when we were building the Pyramids.

Their pondering of the past was a distraction from the work of living into God’s new life. It was a distraction from engaging completely in living their “now.”

When I have the opportunity to ponder what has gone before, I want to discover how I saw God’s hand at work, even if I didn’t recognize it then. I want to remember acts of love and compassion, shown to me by others, especially if I didn’t appreciate them then. This type of pondering the past might open my eyes – today – to see what God is doing now, and how God is working through my brothers and sisters – today.

This is the last of the weekly messages I will write. As we live these holy days until Susan and I end our ministry at St. Paul’s, we are almost overwhelmed by pondering the things that God has done with us and with St. Paul’s over the past 30 years. The memories are mostly sweet. Some are tinged by the sadness of loss when we think about those who have died or left. My prayer is that when we leave for the last time on Sunday, all that pondering will be offered up with thanks to God. Then Susan and I, and St. Paul in the Desert can each embrace the abundant life of Christ – that new thing that God will be doing. Where will the stream of God’s living water lead us?

Join us in looking for it.

Fr. Andrew

I want to thank Sharon Strong for her ministry as my editor for many years. There are few of my articles that she has not improved by careful editing and by thinking about the whole body of my writing. She helped keep me focused on a reflection that would always return to our worship of God and care for one another. Each message was an invitation to join us, to be part of what God is doing at St. Paul’s.

My first sermon at St. Paul’s from December 18, 1988

Fr. Andrew

Featured Scripture

Isaiah 43:16-21 (CEB)

The Lord says—who makes a way in the sea
and a path in the mighty waters,
who brings out chariot and horse,
army and battalion;
they will lie down together and will not rise;
they will be extinguished, extinguished like a wick.

Don’t remember the prior things;
don’t ponder ancient history.

Look! I’m doing a new thing;
now it sprouts up; don’t you recognize it?

I’m making a way in the desert,
paths in the wilderness.

The beasts of the field,
the jackals and ostriches, will honor me,
because I have put water in the desert
and streams in the wilderness
to give water to my people,
my chosen ones,
this people whom I formed for myself,
who will recount my praise.

Taizé Service

Our last Taizé service for the season is today Thursday, April 4th at 7:00 PM

As one person put it, “A Taize evening is a time to be still within as we quietly sit with our brothers and sisters in Christ and experience the Holy Spirit’s love and power through chant, scripture, sacred art and silence.”

Farewell Reception

This Sunday, April 7, is a day that we will remember always. Be sure to join us for our farewell reception to honor our retiring Rector and friend, Andrew Green, and our Deacon, Susan Green.

The main reception will be in the Parish Hall after the 10:30 service. Restaurant Eight4Nine will cater the event. Smaller gatherings will follow the 4:00 PM and the 8:00 AM services. While you will miss Andrew and Susan, you do not want to miss this opportunity to celebrate the 30 years we’ve shared with them.

Easter Sunday Flower Donation

Sunday, April 21st

If you would like to help us celebrate Easter Sunday, consider donating to our Easter floral display. You may do so by using the envelopes in the pews or by noting on your check memo line, “Easter Flowers.”

Donations must be received by April 7 to be acknowledged in the Easter Sunday Bulletin.

Women’s Bible Study

All women of St. Paul’s are invited to attend our upcoming Thursday sessions. We will study “Bible Women — Their Words and Why They Matter.” Priest Lindsay Freeman gives life to these vital strong women as God “spoke, intervened, changed, illustrated and proclaimed the story of redemption through them.”

Join us at 2:00 PM Thursday, April 11, at the home of Lena Granet. Please let Lena know if you’re planning to attend by calling 760.322.2179

Spring Parish Potluck

April 11, 2019, from 5:30 – 7:30pm  in the Parish Hall.

Please join us for the last potluck of “The Season.” Sign up forms are in the narthex (foyer of the church) as well as in the Parish Hall. Dinner will begin at 6:00, following the blessing. It will be an excellent time to be together following Fr. Andrew’s last Sunday at St. Paul’s. Please come.

Palm Crosses for Palm Sunday

The Altar Guild invites all parishioners and friends to join us in the Parish Hall on Saturday, April 13, at 9:00 AM, to make palm crosses for distribution on Palm Sunday. They are simple to assemble, but if you are not into making the crosses, there are other ways you can assist us.

A light breakfast will be provided, so please come and join us for a morning of God’s work and fellowship. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Kilmer at 760.774.8233

Maundy Thursday, April 18

Sign-up sheets for our Maundy Thursday Soup Supper, and for Watch with Jesus, the all-night Vigil of prayer before the Altar of Repose, are available in the Parish Hall.

In Memoriam

Hannah Cahn

Long-time friend of St. Paul’s, Hannah Cahn, died Friday, March 29. Her funeral service was held at Hillside Memorial Park and Mortuary in West Los Angeles on Tuesday, April 2. Rest in peace, dear friend Hannah.

Holy Week Worship Schedule

April 13-21, 2019

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Saturday, April 13, 4:00 PM
Sunday, April 14, 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
Blessing of palms and entry into Jerusalem.

Tuesday in Holy Week – April 16
The Service of Tenebrae at 7:00 PM
Candles are extinguished and the darkness grows.

Maundy Thursday – April 18
Supper at 5:45 PM (sign up)
Foot Washing
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

Easter Day – April 21
Service and Music at 7:00 AM.
Family Service with Choir at 9:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt at 10:15 AM
Festival Service with Choir at 11:00 AM
All services are Holy Communion
(Childcare provided at 9:00 and 11:00 AM)

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.

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.

4/7: NO SESSION: Fr. Andrew’s Farewell Receptions after Services.

4/14: The Events and Liturgical practices of Holy Week and the Triduum.
Led by Jerry DiNoto.

4/21: NO SESSION:  Easter Day

Tuesdays at 6:00 – 7:30 PM, in the Library

Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent.
This series is based on the work of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It will feature soup suppers and Lenten themed Scripture study.

4/9: A New Heart and A New Spirit (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

4/16: Tenebrae Service – 7:00 PM in the Church (note special time)

Coffee Hour after Services

We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall following our Sunday morning services.

And, please consider volunteering to be a Coffee Hour Host sometime during this new year. It can be a great way to honor and celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. There are still many Sundays available. The Sunday Hospitality Sign-Up Book is on the table at the Parish Hall entrance.

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.

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