For Sunday, August 29, 2021

Latino Ministry Monthly Meeting

The Latino Ministry Committee invites you to attend our monthly meeting, Monday, August 30, 6:30 PM, in the church library.  Come and help us plan a September Independence Day Coffee Hour, and the Memorial Altar for October.

Contact Bonnie Stroock to RSVP – 760.324.7949.

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

Stewardship – Living Our Truth

In the twenty-fifth chapter of Matthew, beginning with verse 31, Jesus tells the parable of the sheep and the goats.  In this passage the king separates the sheep from the goats. In verse 35 he said to those on his right, “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick, and you looked after me, I was in prison, and you came to visit me.”  The righteous then ask the King in verses 37-39, “When did we see you hungry or naked, sick or in prison, thirsty?”  The King replies in verse 40, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

I have often asked myself if I have done enough for those who are marginalized – those sick and hungry, those needing clothing.  It occurred to me, I have never even visited a prison.  Like me, have you ever pondered, “How can I do all that is asked of me as a Christian? Am I enough?” Let me assure you – you are!

At the Church of St. Paul in the Desert, we are blessed to have an active Social Justice Ministry.  The ministry leader is Lena Granet.  Recently, I asked Lena for more information about what our Social Justice Ministry does here in the Coachella Valley.  “Let me show you,” she responded, and invited Larry and me to visit her and her husband, John, at their home in Palm Springs.

The Granets have a dedicated space in their garage where Lena and her team store items to be distributed to those in need, from Palm Springs to Indio.  Through her involvement with Social Justice work at St. Paul’s and by partnering with volunteers from other churches and nonprofits in the area, Lena knows a lot about the special needs of our marginalized neighbors.  For example, she has learned that people on the move – those living on the the streets or in homeless shelters – are often in need of small personal hygiene items – a small bar of soap, a small tube of toothpaste, etc. – items they can easily carry with them.  Earlier this year, in the spirit of partnering, St. Margaret’s worked through Lena and her Ministry to distribute a large donation of clothing to the needy throughout the Coachella Valley. Through our partnership with The Well in the Desert, up to 250 hot meals a day are provided for the hungry among us.  Social Justice is thriving at St. Paul’s!

How does this affect you and me? It’s simple. Lena and her team can do all their good work because of the donations made every week by people like us. The Social Justice team has worked throughout the entire pandemic to provide for those who are hungry, thirsty, needing clothes – those on the margins of our society.  So, the King says to you and me, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Thank you to the Social Justice Ministry, and thank you to all who give, for your ongoing donations.  If you would like to become an active member of the Social Justice Ministry, or just want to learn more about it, please contact Lena Granet at lenahome@aol.com

Respectfully,

Ray Tackett, Stewardship Committee

The Social Justice Ministry processes volumes of donated items for distribution to our needy neighbors.

Clothing donations arrive at the Granets’ garage in bags and boxes of all shapes and sizes, for sorting and preparation for distribution.
Social Justice Ministry volunteers separate and sort donated clothing items.
Once the donated items are organized into logical groupings, they are ready for delivery to various community distribution sites.

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.

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.

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

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, September 2nd
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 Reverend and Right Honorable Justin Welby; for the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, The Rt. Rev. Justin Badi Arama, Archbishop and Primate.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, The Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom, Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the Clergy and people of St. David’s, San Diego, and for the children and teachers of St. David’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, followed by major havoc inflicted by severe 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:  Carolyn & Zachary Scott, Andrea and Trini, Desusha, Desline Duvall, Kiaomi, Stephen (Stefan) Hill, Phil Smith, Chris Hilton, Tim Overdurf, Ted, Suzanne Zada, Erich Rasimus, Eliott Kahn, Shirley Gilchrist, 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: Marie Berkner, David Harshman, Carl Boutté, Linda Botley, Jerry McCleery, Ralph Villani, Jeff Adair, Christopher Telles, Florence Whaley.

In Memoriam . . . Seasonal St. Paul’s parishioner, Marie Berkner, died August 19 at her summer home in Canton, Georgia.  Marie and her husband, Wayne, have long been regular 10:30 worshipers during the winter months and have been tireless volunteers at Well in the Desert during their annual Palm Springs sojourns.  Marie was also an active member of the St. Paul’s chapter of Daughters of the King.

Rest eternal grant to her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her.  May her soul and the souls of all the faithful departed rest in Peace and rise in Glory.  Amen

For those with birthdays: August 29: James Harrod; August 31: Bonnie Woods; September 2: Jeffrey Tucker; September 3: Br. John Charles Westaway; Steven Holston, Leilah Mendivil; September 4: Patricia Lutgen.

For those celebrating anniversaries: August 29: Bob Edgerly & Bob Warburton, Tammy & Jim Franklin; September 1: Mary & Roy Seger, Arthur Rivera & Gregory Schroeder; September 2: Diane & Andy Jessup.

For those for whom flowers have been given: Today’s Altar Flowers are given by Clinton L. Carbon, in loving memory of his mother, Anna M. Carbon, on the anniversary of her birthday.

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 29th.

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

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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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