For Sunday, December 20th
A Note from our Stewardship Ministry
As we approach the Christmas Holiday, the Stewardship Committee would like to thank all who have submitted their annual Giving Estimate (annual pledge). Thank You! Thank You! Thank You! We also invite all who have yet to submit a Giving Estimate to join us as stewards of our beloved St. Paul in the Desert.
The current year has been especially challenging with COVID restrictions that prohibit gathering or sharing the Cup at the Lord’s table. Still, St. Paul’s stands as a beacon to our Parish community and beyond, by providing meaningful online services covering issues of justice, equality and giving. The Parish hosts meaningful fellowship via zoom Bible Studies and Book Club meetings, and continues to provide hot meals through our partnership with the Well in the Desert. We also deliver ongoing pastoral care to so many of our parishioners.
The new year is fast approaching, and we pray it will be a much brighter time for all. We anticipate the selection of a new Rector and gathering again in safety. Together we have met the challenges of the past year, and we have become stronger as we maintain our presence as a welcoming, empowering, supportive community.
There are several ways to submit your Giving Estimate:
- Return the completed card that was sent to you – leave it at the Parish office or mail it to 125 W El Alameda, Palm Springs, CA 92262; OR,
- Go online at stpaulsps.org. Select “Grateful Giving,” then select “Submit Pledge.” Enter your personal information and add any special details. Select “Send my 2021 Grateful Giving Pledge;” OR,
- Pledge by phone – Call the Parish Registrar at 760.320.7488 222 and provide your Giving Estimate details. If you reach a recorded message, leave your name and phone number and your call will be returned.
The Stewardship Committee and Vestry members will be checking in with parishioners by phone, so if you have any questions, they will assist you or direct you to someone who can. Finally, we ask that you return your Giving Estimate as soon as possible so our Vestry has timely information for 2021 fiscal planning.
Thank you for your generosity and faithful support for the vibrancy, spiritual sustenance, and community at St. Paul in the Desert.
Wishing you a rich and joy filled Holiday Season!
The Stewardship Committee
Book Club is Zooming!
The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, January 5, 2021, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting access information will follow later.
For January, Book Club has selected The Overstory by Richard Powers. The Overstory is a sweeping, impassioned work of activism and resistance that is also a stunning evocation of the natural world. It is the story of a handful of people who learn how to see that world and who are drawn up into its unfolding catastrophe.
New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at email@example.com.
African Team Ministries Returns with a “Virtual” Gift Store and Catalog
African Team Ministries is a Christian ministry working as an intermediary between African and American churches. They receive assistance from Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Anglican denominations, providing funding for orphan and refugee relief missions and evangelism in east Africa.
For many years St. Paul’s has supported the African Team Ministries and their assistance to African communities. We have displayed their handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing for sale in our Parish Hall during coffee hours throughout Advent. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this display will be offered virtually this year. During the annual African Team Ministries sale, you can peruse and purchase crafts, jewelry and soapstone carvings made by women in East Africa. This outreach program provides funding for orphan and refugee relief missions, clergy and lay education, clothing and books for students, and evangelism in East Africa. This important work relies on support they receive from parishes like ours.
Access the Virtual Display at https://africanteamstore.square.site/
“The Little Kitchen that Could” – and still can!
For over twenty years, the collaborative ministry between the Well in the Desert and St. Paul in the Desert have provided thousands of hot lunches to those in need in the western end of the Coachella Valley. We have done it using our little parish hall kitchen, which is not of a commercial grade. Five days per week, for all these years, the cooks from The Well have created tasty, well balanced, hot lunches for those in need. Over the past 12 months, we estimate the “Little Kitchen that Can” produced 32,500 meals for the hungry, homeless, and working poor.
Can you imagine the wear and tear from over 20 years of slicing, dicing, cooking, heating, and keeping food warm? No residential kitchen could keep up with this pace. This past month, the 10-burner stove with two ovens began to malfunction. The ovens could no longer reliably keep food warm. This is especially important on those four days per week when we do not serve food on the premises at St. Paul’s. While we prepare the hot lunches every day of the work week, we serve in our Parish Hall only on Wednesdays. The hot food is transported to other local dining rooms the other four weekdays.
Out with the Old and In with the New
When we received the estimate for the oven part that needed to be replaced, it was over $800. That is nearly half of what a new 10-burner stove and double oven would cost. The Well and St. Paul’s devised a plan to share the cost of a comparable new stove and its installation. The Vestry approved the agreement and within two weeks, we had a brand-new stove installed in the parish hall kitchen. One Vestry member anonymously made a major donation towards the purchase.
Our parish hall kitchen serves a humanitarian purpose – feeding those on the margins of society. And during this pandemic, the numbers of those on the margins are growing. We often take the parish hall kitchen for granted. But there are 32,500 hungry, needy mouths that count on our kitchen. This holiday season, as you enjoy a hot meal on Christmas, Hanukkah, or New Year’s, we ask that you remember those who are not so fortunate as we are and say a prayer of gratitude for St Paul’s “Little Kitchen that Can,” which is a vital part of our service to “Christ in Others” in our Community.
Br. John Charles
Help Wanted: Live Stream Production/Technical Director
We are seeking a part-time Live Stream Production Director to work approximately 3½ hours on Sundays broadcasting our worship services. Qualified candidates must be tech savvy, proficient in OBS Studio, and able to handle a simple three camera set-up (two stationary and one on remote control).
Candidates are NOT required to be Episcopalian – or even religious – but be willing to learn the format of our services. Compensation is commensurate with experience. Additional opportunities exist in live streaming weddings, funerals and other events.
If you know of anyone who might be qualified and interested, please ask them to contact Steve Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org
December 13, 2020
I am pleased to report the Transition teams have completed another round of rewrites and edits of the two documents essential in the listing of our Rector position. Both documents have also been reviewed by the Senior Warden and Registrar, and have been forwarded to our contact at the diocese for what we hope will be final approval. Once approval is received, we will be able to move forward with the posting of the OTM (Office of Transition Ministry) Form on the national website and the Parish Profile on the Church of St. Paul website.
Thanks to your participation and generosity in our funding and Stewardship campaigns, our parish financials are improving, and we are able to demonstrate our solvency to support a full time Rector to the Diocese. Our next steps will involve a vote by the Vestry to accept the compensation package we will offer with the posted position and a revising of our transition timeline.
Your continued prayers for our parish and the Transition Committee are greatly appreciated. Please stay safe. Until our next update,
Peace unto you,
Clinton L. Carbon
Convener, Transition Committee
Pray for our Parish in Transition: Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP p. 818)
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby; pray for mission agencies and their ministry throughout the Anglican Communion, including the Mothers’ Union around the world.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Lexington, The Rt. Rev. Mark Van Koevering, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the Clergy and people of Holy Cross, Carlsbad; for the growth of evangelism in the diocese.
For our Parish in Transition: Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP p. 818)
For those commended to our prayers: Vincent Thomas, Marie Berkner, Brenda Relerford, Sandi Alejandro Sprankle, Sharon Reed, Terri and Judi Miller-Steele, Charlotte Jean Messenhimer, Duane Beach-Barrow, Jeanette Davis, Brian Nealy, for health care workers everywhere, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Dr. La Vera Small Alton Prior, Robert Beach-Barrow, Mary Cone, Peter Musto, Sandria Sampson Mathis, Joyce Baker, Kay Walker, Johnny Coleman.
For those with birthdays: December 20: John Essell; December 22: Greg Barton; December 23: Brian Nealy; December 24: Tyrus Brown, Linda Richard, Brynn Shih.
For those celebrating their anniversary:December 26: Michael Funke & Rick Roberts.
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 email@example.com
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select December 20th.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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
Looking for a home?
St Paul in the Desert has been endowed with a gift of residential real estate located in Sun City, Palm Desert.
One of our longtime parishioners has bequeathed a beautiful home to the church. The proceeds from the sale of the property are to be shared by St. Paul and two other parishes that were dear to the heart of the donor. The residence is currently on the market and is move-in ready. If you know of someone who is looking for a home in a quiet community, we ask you to share this information.View more about this home
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.
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
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Parish Office is closed to the public until further notice.
Office phone: 760.320.7488
If you call, please leave a message. In case of emergencies, a priest will return your call.
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.