For Sunday, December 19, 2021
Think Pink Recap – Thank You!
Deck the Halls!
Calling all Elves! We’re looking for volunteers to help decorate the interior of the church this Sunday, December 19, immediately following the worship service. If you have the time available and would like to be a part of this festive holiday project, please contact Kathy Guidry – or 760.320.7488 ext. 234.
CHRISTMAS FLOWER OFFERING
‘Tis the Season! If you would like to contribute toward the cost of Christmas flowers, please use the special offering envelopes found in the pew pockets. Your donated flowers may be collected after Christmas to distribute to those who couldn’t attend services in person, or for your enjoyment at home.
Blue Christmas: The Longest Night
Out of the Darkness, an alternative Christmas experience.
St. Paul in the Desert will host an interfaith prayer liturgy called “Blue Christmas: The Longest Night,” on Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 6:00 PM. The service will be co-hosted by The United Methodist Church of Palm Springs, Saint Giles Catholic Community, Or Hamidbar – Spiritual Judaism in the Desert, and River of Hope, a new Lutheran faith community in Palm Springs.
December 21 is the winter solstice, the longest night of the year. It’s a time when some people, amid all the Christmas festivities, find themselves unable to shake feelings of grief, loss, or loneliness. The Blue Christmas service is a way to honor those feelings, even when the season suggests otherwise. It is a gentle, contemplative service of light and hope, to be a comfort in this season of waiting for the Light in the darkness. All are welcome. Masks will be required to keep our most vulnerable safe.
January Book Club
The next Book Club meeting – our fifth anniversary meeting – will be Tuesday, January 4, 2022, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting access information will follow later. For January Book Club, we will finish The Lincoln Highway by Amor Towles. Emmett Watson is released from a juvenile work farm and discovers that two friends have secretly escaped with him and they make a plan for Emmett’s future. Spanning just ten days in 1954 and told from multiple points of view, this novel has a unique literary style and has an array of richly imagined settings, characters, and themes.
Financial gift donors take note
The Parish’s final 2021 bank deposit of donated cash and checks will take place on Monday, December 27. For your gifts to be included in that final 2021 deposit, they should be received at the church no later than Sunday, December 26.
Parish Office Closure
The Parish Office will be closed the last week of the year – December 27-31 – and will reopen with regular business hours beginning Tuesday, January 4, 2022. In an emergency, call 760.320.7488 and follow the prompts to connect with someone who can assist.
Coffee/Social Hour Hospitality
For those wishing to sponsor refreshments for a specific Sunday Coffee Hour, please call or stop by the Parish Office to sign up. (You can also find the hospitality sign-up book in the Narthex and in the Parish Hall 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.
Sunday’s Coffee Hour is sponsored by the Campus Care Team: Alexandra Christensen, Ray Tackett and Ben Palmer.
Holiday Party Volunteers needed!
We are looking for a few fun-loving and Christmas-spirited volunteers to “work” our Christmas Eve holiday reception in the Parish Hall, immediately following Midnight Mass. We’ll need people to refresh food trays, serve drinks, manage the music delivery and, generally, just help keep things festive.
So, put your party hats on, recruit a few of your friends to join, and help make this a Christmas Eve celebration we’ll all remember for years to come. To sign up, contact Orin at or 760.320.7488 ext. 222.
Social Justice Ministry
Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.” St. Paul in the Desert Social Justice Ministry encourages you to live out the Gospel by making a financial donation to help our marginalized neighbors, OR, by donating gently used clothing.
Your check should be made payable to St. Paul in the Desert, with “Homeless” clearly marked on the memo line. If you have clothing to donate, please contact Giving Coordinator Lena Granet at 760-322-2179, or by email at . She will schedule a time for you to leave your donated items at her home collection facility. If you would like to volunteer your time, tell Lena you want to join the groups who pack and distribute donated items.
You’re invited to join Sacred Circle
St. Paul’s Sacred Circle is a band of women who wish to deepen their spirituality and build community. We would be pleased to have you join us. Our Circle is open to all women in our Community. For information, please call Kaye Ball at 303.517.5321 or Summer Schoch at 619.804.2592
Join Us For Sunday School Every Week
Sunday School classes for preschool through fifth grade have resumed and will meet every Sunday during the 10:30 AM service. We start in the church and are invited up front for a special children’s moment with our priests. Then we head outside to our Sunday School “classroom” on the library porch.
We will be meeting outside to be as protective as possible for everyone’s safety during this pandemic. All children over the age of 2 will be required to wear a mask if they are inside the church or parish hall. We are not staffing a nursery currently.
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.
Help Wanted – The Usher Ministry Needs YOU!
We have several positions open for ushers. No experience necessary (we will train). All are welcome to apply – men, women, young and mature. We only require that you are friendly, able to stand and walk for short periods, and attend worship services regularly.
Sunday Service Livestreaming
We will be livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week, going forward. The livestream project has been a one-year journey coming to St. Paul’s and was made possible through a generous gift from a “snowbird” member from Philadelphia who wintered in Palm Springs for many years and worshiped at St. Paul’s every Sunday.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Church of the Province of Central Africa, The Most Rev. Albert Chama, Archbishop and Primate.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles, The Rt. Rev. John H. Taylor, Bishop.
For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the Clergy and people of Holy Cross, Oceanside; for the growth of evangelism in the diocese.
For those commended to our prayers: Fred Ross, Chris Hilton, Nick D’Amico, Andy Buchanan, Roy Cody, Curtis Ringness, Jr., AJ Miller, Alfred Hunt, David Smitherman, Audrey Spencer, Frank Dunn, Joe Migocki, Laurine Di Rocco, Billy McJunkins, Dean Bruns, 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.
A Special Prayer for Those Affected by Natural Disasters, Gun Violence, and Other Unforeseen Circumstances
Draw near to us in this time of sorrow and anguish, comfort those who mourn, 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
From “Holy Women, Holy Men: Celebrating the Saints” (Church Publishing: New York), page 733
For those who have died: Robert Cumming, Allen McAfee, David Collins, Charles Anderson, Cleophus Greer, George Badajos, Tom Baxley, Terry Ardizzone, Richard Cadarette, Evelyn Bumpus, Evangeline Johnson, Margarette Williams.
For those with birthdays: December 19: Shaun Olson, AJ Miller, John Werner; December 20: John Essell; December 22: Greg Barton; December 23: Brian Nealy; December 24: Tyrus Brown, Linda Richard, Brynn Shih.
For those for whom flowers have been given:
Today’s Altar Flowers are sponsored by John and Lena Granet, in loving memory of John’s father, Nick Granet, and in thanksgiving for John’s birthday (December 15).
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select December 19th.
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 . Confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are not shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain.
Members of The Order of the Daughters of the King® are women who desire a closer walk with the Lord. We are Christian women, both lay and ordained, who are strengthened through the discipline of a Rule of Life, and supported through the companionship of our sisters. All women of St. Paul’s who seek deeper spiritual life and inspiration in prayer and Christian fellowship are invited to learn more about becoming a member. Our chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Requests for additions to the confidential prayer list may be emailed to .
Give If you would like to donate online, click the button to the right!
You can make a onetime donation to the fund of your choice. You can also set up a recurring pledge payment here.
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.
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.
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego
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.