For Sunday, August 22, 2021

Revised COVID Protocol for Indoor Worship

Due to the recent spike in COVID cases in our area, Bishop Susan has issued this appeal to all clergy in our diocese.

Dear Clergy,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Jesus commands us to love our neighbors, which includes doing what we can to keep them and ourselves safe in a public health crisis. With regret, due to the spike in Covid cases in our area, I am asking you to reinstate mask-wearing for all (except while reading or preaching) for indoor worship in our diocese.

I have so enjoyed our brief respite from most restrictions in worship. Like all of you, I hoped and prayed that the drop in Covid cases we saw earlier in the summer would prove to be the end of the pandemic. Sadly, the choice of many people in our area to remain unvaccinated is allowing the pandemic to continue. Given the fact that children and some people with health conditions cannot yet be vaccinated, and that even vaccinated adults can catch breakthrough cases (albeit with far better outcomes than unvaccinated people), it seems that the responsible thing to do is keep ourselves safe with masking during indoor worship. I am saddened by the need to tighten restrictions once more, but this message comes after review of the concerning news of a Covid spike, and after discussion with members of our Public Health Task Force.

I ask you to join me in prayer that the current growth in cases is short-lived, and I ask you to urge your members to be vaccinated, for the sake of public health in our community. I hope we can remove the masking requirement soon. But for now, I believe that Jesus’ command to love our neighbor compels us to do what we can to protect our neighbors and our community from this disease. I am grateful to all of you for your leadership in this trying time.

In Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Altar flower sponsorships

Fresh flowers at the altar honor God and add to the beauty of our worship.  We invite you to consider sponsoring altar flowers to recognize or honor special people and events.

You can reserve your sponsorship Sunday(s) by calling the Parish Office (760.320.7488).  Or you can stop by the office and browse through the Flower Sponsor Register to see which weeks are available.  (The Register is also accessible in the Narthex on Sunday mornings.)  A donation of $85 for each sponsorship is suggested.

Coffee/Social Hour Hospitality is Back

coffee hour

As of Sunday, August 8, regular Coffee Hour hospitality has been reinstated in the Parish Hall following our weekly 10:30 AM Sunday Services.

For those wishing to sponsor refreshments for a specific Sunday, please call or stop by the Parish Office to sign up.  (You can also find the hospitality sign-up book in the Narthex on Sunday mornings.)

All our hospitality procedures and protocols are subject to any CDC guidelines and mandates that Bishop Susan may put into place, depending on prevailing COVID conditions.

This Sunday’Coffee Hour is sponsored by Hap Blaisdell in thanksgiving for, and in celebration of his birthday (August 23).  Happy Birthday, Hap!

A note from Fred Ross and the Parish Life Committee . . .

Our small group potlucks known as “Circle Suppers” will begin again in October, with new groups being formed in September.  We have several new members wishing to join this Season.  If you’re interested, please send an email to fredeross@comcast.net so we can add your name to the roster.  The new groups will gather in the parish hall later in September (TBD) to plan the Season and pick a date for the first potluck supper.

Thanks!
Fred

September Book Club

The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, September 7, 2021, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom.  Meeting access information will follow later. For September, Book Club has selected The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. In this novel Nora Seed finds herself faced with the possibility of changing her life for a new one. But she must search within herself as she travels through the Midnight Library to decide what life would be like if she made different choices at points of her life.

New members are always welcome at Book Club. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at alanzimmerman@icloud.com.

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, August 26th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.

Or, join by phone: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 841 2829 0982

Prayers of the Church

For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon Justin Welby; for the Anglican Church of South America, Bishop Nicholas Drayson, Primate.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth, The Rt. Rev. Ryan S. Reed, Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the Clergy and people of St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea, San Diego, and for the children and teachers of St. Andrew’s Preschool.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti, The Rt. Rev. Jean-Zaché Duracin, Bishop.  We invite your continued and increased prayers for the people of Haiti following a 7.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the island on August 14, and the ensuing impact of tropical storms.

“Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who morn, strengthen those who are weary, encourage those in despair and lead us all to fullness of life; through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.”  Amen. – (Prayer offered by Episcopal Relief and Development, adapted from HMHW p. 733.)

Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Haiti Fund support the organization’s continued emergency response efforts in Haiti.  Visit https://support.episcopalrelief.org/haiti-relief.

For those commended to our prayers: Marie Berkner, Stephen (Stefan) Hill, Phil Smith, Chris Hilton, Tim Overdurf, Ted, Suzanne Zada, Erich Rasimus, Eliott Kahn, Shirley Gilchrist, Pat Lutgen, Brian Nealy; pray for all those affected by COVID-19: heal those who are suffering, comfort those who grieve, and strengthen those who are caring for others; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: David Harshman, Carl Boutté, Linda Botley, Jerry McCleery, Ralph Villani, Jeff Adair, Christopher Telles, Florence Whaley.

For those with birthdays: August 22: Ron Childers; August 23: Kathy Holloway, Hap Blaisdell, Lyn Pease; August 24: David Smith; August 25: Kathy Kilmer, Brian Bishop; August 26: Amber Mendivil, Andrea Randall; August 28: David Caffrey, Mark Nelson.

For those celebrating anniversaries: August 24: Ramon Gueits & McLeaman Legg; August 27: Fred Ross & Gary Hiatt.

For those for whom flowers have been given: Today’s Altar Flowers are given by Jo Anne Adair, “in loving memory of my precious son, Jeff Adair.”

Send us your Prayer Requests via email — You may request prayers, “For those commended to our prayers” or “For those who have died,” by sending requests to announcements@stpaulsps.org

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select August 15th.

Daughters of the King Prayer List Requests

St. Paul’s Order of the Daughters of the King chapter maintains a confidential prayer list, praying daily for our families, friends, congregation, and the world. If you would like to ask the Daughters to pray for you or someone else, email your requests to dokstpaulsps@gmail.com.  Confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are not shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain.

Questions? Contact Patty Kiker, 214.497.3034

Episcopal News Service

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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.

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.

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.

Fraud Email Alert

A recurring threat to churches is email-based impersonation scams targeting key personnel. The scheme involves cybercriminals mimicking clergy or other staff through the use of phishing emails. Criminals typically pose as personnel in positions of authority and ask victims to perform money transfers, pay invoices, or to send the attacker sensitive data. Scammers will often manipulate the “from” email address and name so that it appears to be coming from someone you know.

Churches and dioceses across The Episcopal Church and across other denominations have been a target of these email impersonation attacks. Scammers use a free email account (such as Gmail) and register it with an impersonated name. They then send an email to an unsuspecting recipient asking for immediate help in order to get a task done (such as purchasing a gift card or wiring money). Attention to detail can be a lot of help in combating cases of impersonation. Users should check sender details carefully. Any suspicious email message should be investigated before replying. Also, proper attention should be given to the message content, including attachments and URLs.

While there is no way to stop these scams, you can minimize risk by taking these steps:

  • Check the return email address. If the address doesn’t match the name of the sender, be wary.
  • Never open attachments from unknown sources.
  • Be wary of generically addressed emails like “Dear Friend” or Dear Customer.”
  • If there are links in the email, hover over them without clicking on them. This will show where the link will actually take you.
  • Be wary of email with grammatical or spelling errors in the text.
  • Check the address at the bottom of the email. If it says ”Pastor Jim” and Jim never goes by “Pastor,” it’s fake.

Finally, if after all these steps it looks safe and the sender is asking for money or access to secure data, call the person directly to get verification.

Your best defense for this is to simply delete the email; do not click on any links or reply to the sender.

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