For Sunday December 24, 2023

Deck The Halls!

Calling all Elves!  If you would like to join the Christmas Decoration team and assist with decorating the church interior, please attend a meeting that will happen following Sunday’s 10:30 AM service, in the Parish Hall. During the meeting, you will learn how we plan to transform the church interior for Christmas the afternoon of December 24 (Christmas Eve). We will begin our work immediately following the 10:30 Advent IV service and complete the project prior to the 6:00 PM Christmas Eve family service. If you are unable to attend today’s meeting but would still like to assist in any way, please contact event coordinator, Michael Painter, at 714.742.0488.

Parish Office Holiday Schedule

The Parish Office will be closed from Christmas Day through New Year’s Day, reopening with regular business hours, Tuesday, January 2.

Year-End Reimbursements

If you have not submitted a check request form & receipt for reimbursement for approved purchases made as a part of the ministry budget for 2023, please get those items into the office no later than Christmas Eve. Contact John Tubera, our parish administrator, at for more information.

End of Year Giving Statements will go out in early 2024. All charitable donations need to be in by December 25th in order to make our final bank deposit for the year (December 31st if donating through our online portal).

Epiphany Spiritual Formation Opportunities

St. Paul’s Latino Ministry

Advent Collection of Items for Refugee Family – The Latino Ministry is collecting household items for a refugee family this winter, sponsored by the Interfaith Refugee and Immigration Service (IRIS).

The festive service for the Virgin de Guadalupe, Dec. 13th, at 6 PM, was our beginning date, but we’ll collect things until Jan. 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany (Tres Los Reyes). Contact Bonnie Stroock for more information – 760-799-9336

Kitchen items – coffee mugs, cooking utensils, potholders, kitchen towels, can/bottle opener, silverware and holder (for 8), cutting board, colander, large garbage bags, dishwasher soap, scouring pads and sponges.

Bedroom – blankets, hangers, sheet sets and pillowcases (queen, double size), laundry soap, electric clock, pillows.

Bathroom – Toothbrushes, paste, and floss, first aid kit and thermometer, towel set, soap, waste basket, shower curtain and hooks, shampoo and conditioner, lotion, toilet brush, toilet cleaner.

Border Compassion Update

On the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, we announced that we will be taking a trip with Border Compassion to the Mexicali migrant shelter in April of 2024. Strategic Plan Implementation Team Objective #3 Chairperson Rodney Dickson and Latino Ministry member Andrew Trofka made a scouting trip to the border this week along with Bishop Susan Brown-Snook and the Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija. They helped the children in the shelter celebrate the holiday of Las Posadas. Please attend one of the upcoming Latino Ministry meetings (2nd Wednesday of the month at 4:30PM in the Library) to find out more about how to be a part of this incredible opportunity.

Click the images below to see full size.

Bombas Socks Update

Archdeacon Cindy Campos took clothing to field workers in Yuma, Arizona (did you know Yuma is a part of our diocese?!) this past weekend. They distributed hats, gloves, and socks to over 350 people. The socks were provided through our parish’s partnership with Bombas socks. On Christmas Eve, we will distribute to every attender a pair of socks to give to those in need. Thank you for helping clothe the naked this holiday season!

Merry Christmas From Your 2023 Vestry

Our Vestry closed out the year with a bang! At last night’s meeting, we approved the 2024 budget before the end of the year for the first time in recent memory! We also discussed our future relationship with the Well in the Desert, the future use of the on-campus apartment, and took care of some minor housekeeping items. Our Vestry has successfully completed the five priorities we set for ourselves in 2023: 1. Hire a Parish Administrator, 2. Get Our Co-Rectors into Permanent Housing, 3. Formalize Our Reporting Template & Archiving of Records, 4. Identifya New Treasurer, & 5. Prioritize Goals & Objectives beyond just the next month.

Campus Care Update

Our new phone system is now operational! We thank Derek “Eduardo” Stanfill for training both our staff and office volunteers how to operate our new telecommunications equipment. St. Paul’s old system was over 40 years old. Thanks to the California Office of Emergency Services, we were able to purchase a new system. This will meet our communications needs in the future and at a cheaper price than the old system.

Click the images to view full size.

Lighting Update

We give thanks for the generosity of time, talent, and treasure from Douglas Burton and George Tamer. Douglas is a lighting technician and came up with a proposal to better illumine our space. You will notice softer lights at the altar and more brilliant lighting on the blue tile. If you see Douglas or George, please thank them for their lighting expertise that enhances our worship.

Merry Christmas From Your St. Paul’s Office Volunteer Team

In Case You Missed It…Pink Sunday Recap

Click the images to view full size.

Legacy Society Stories

Who are you?

Stephen Lind

How long have you been at St. Paul’s and what brought you here?

Been at St. Paul’s since childhood when visiting Palm Springs. More frequently since 2007 retirement.

What keeps you here?

It’s the closest Episcopal Church!

Why did you join the Legacy Society?

I plan to give to a number of charities at death (in the form of an annual annuity from my donor advised fund) including all of the churches I attend.

What are your dreams for the future of St. Paul?

I suppose a choir and (probably a pipe dream) more children. 

 

Who are you?

Raffaele P Alberto

How long have you been at St. Paul’s and what brought you here?

I have been a member since 2011. Miriam Hoover introduced me to St Paul’s and Fr. Andrew Green.   I felt at home and welcomed. Fellow parishioners were always friendly and interested about the fellow parishioner. 

What keeps you here at St. Paul’s?

The energy and spirit that you experience, especially with Rev. Jessie and Rev. Dan now at the helm.

Why did you join the Legacy Society?

I grew to know how important it is to think of the future for St. Paul’s. Whatever amount I can leave will assist in future progress.

What are your dreams for the future of St. Paul’s?

I see that we are growing, I do hope we add a younger generation of new parishioners to move forward and be more diverse.

What is something interesting that St. Paul’s folks might not know about you?

I enjoy playing the piano at home.

Winter Clothing Donations Needed

Cooler weather is just around the corner and the Social Justice Ministry is seeking donations of new or gently used winter clothing to distribute to our needy neighbors. As in prior years, we expect a high demand for winter coats, jackets, and heavy sweaters, but hats, scarves, gloves, and other seasonal items are also appreciated. Please place your donated items in the collection baskets located in the Narthex. Our volunteers distribute these items from display tables set up in the Columbarium colonnade the last Wednesday of each month.

Attention, Snowbirds!

You are invited to join a Circle Supper group this winter. Though this social ministry begins in the fall, several groups have openings and would welcome Snowbirds starting in January. These monthly gatherings are a terrific way to experience the St. Paul community in a more intimate social setting than after Sunday services.

If you have any questions or are interested in signing up, please contact Jan Wacker (a Snowbird from Washington state) at or 503-803-6863.

St. Paul’s Book Club

The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 2, 2024, at 2 PM. For January, Book Club has selected Tom Lake by Ann Patchett. Tom Lake is a meditation on love and the lives parents have led before their children were born. It explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart.

To celebrate Book Club’s Seventh Anniversary, the meeting will be in person at a member’s home. For more information, please contact Alan Zimmerman at

Sunday’s Altar Flowers

“The desert and the parched land will be glad; the wilderness will rejoice and blossom. Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom . . .” Isaiah 35:1-2

Fresh flowers at the altar honor God and add to the beauty of our worship. If you would like to sponsor altar flowers for a future Sunday to commemorate a special person or event, you’ll find the sign-up book in the Narthex, or you can call the Parish Office at 760.320.7488 to reserve your sponsorship dates(s) A donation of $95 for each altar flower sponsorship is suggested.

Prayers of the Church

For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Episcopal Church in the Philippines, The Most Reverend Brent Harry Alawas, Prime Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of California, The Right Reverend Dr. Marc Handley Andrus, Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Right Reverend Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the clergy and people of Holy Cross, Carlsbad; for the growth of evangelism in the diocese.

For those commended to our prayers: Joanne Davis, Craig Ewing, Bret Caton, Tim Johnson, Dennis Telles, Scott Jones, Karla, Haz, Paula Davis, Nancy, Glad, Paris, David Valenzuela, The Most Reverend Michael Curry,  Teri Whitmer, Sheila & Martin Nickerson, Kylie Smith, Rosemary, Quinci Vicory, Wendy Vicory, Daniel & Cynthia, Hap Blaisdell, Bonnie Ong, Kelli, Alexander, Allison, Bill Davis, Monte Hammer, Kenn Catterlin, Bill Brewer, Ben Palmer, Amelia Grinstead, Chloe Grace Wilson Barton, Marilyn De Silva Currie, Donald Chase, Greg Gowdy, Tom Lutgen; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: Dan Davis, Fred Crawford, The Rev. Dr. Gay Byron, Flora Mae Johnson, Brenda Relorford.

Rest eternal grant to these, your servants, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

For those with birthdays: December 24: Tyrus Brown, Linda Richard, Brynn Shih; December 27: The Rev. Dr. William Hardwick; December 29: Warren MacPherson; December 30: Benjamin Carrillo, Michael Funke, Candace Falk.

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 . The weekly print deadline is Wednesday noon.

For next Sunday’s Lectionary readings, go to www.lectionarypage.net and click on December 31, 2023, the First Sunday after Christmas Day.

Upcoming Meetings & Events at St Paul’s

  • Sunday, December 24 – 6:00 PM – Christmas Eve family service
  • Sunday, December 24 – 11:00 PM – Christmas Eve Midnight Mass (with incense)
  • Monday, December 25 – 10:30 AM – Christmas Day service
  • Saturday, December 30 – 6:30 PM – Movie Night! – White Christmas
  • Saturday, January 6 – 6:00 PM – The Epiphany of Our Lord – Holy Eucharist – 12th Night party afterward.
  • Sunday, January 7 – 9:00-10:15 AM – The Use of Icons in Christian Devotion – Library
  • Sunday, January 7 – 9:00-10:15 AM – Love in Action: Social Justice – Parish Hall
  • Tuesday, January 9 – 6:30-8:00 PM – Buddhist Spirit Meditation Group – Library
  • Saturday, January 13 – 8:00 AM – St. Paul’s Hiking Group – Salton Sea hike – Meet at the Church
  • Sunday, January 28 – The Feast of St. Paul the Hermit (transferred)/Annual Meeting – ONE SERVICE AT 9:30 AM.

St. Paul’s Hikers Club

Adventure and Fellowship!  The St. Paul’s Hiking Group will be exploring the desert oases and wetlands at the Dos Palmas Preserve, an important national ecological preserve at the North Shore of the Salton Sea, on Saturday, January 13, 2024.  The hike is easy/moderate; four miles with some easy grade. We will meet in the St. Paul’s parking lot at 8:00 AM and carpool/caravan to the trailhead. Please let us know if you would be willing to ferry/carpool some of your fellow hikers, especially if you have an SUV with decent clearance. Contact Nancy Antonius () or Chris Kelly () with questions and to sign up.

Read a message from Chris Kelly

Movie Night!

Saturday, December 30 – 6:30 PM – The Parish Hall Theater

Have fun, meet friends, and share a movie and popcorn with your fellow parishioners.  If you like, you can bring a pizza, a bucket of chicken – or whatever seems to fit the occasion. Enjoy the Parish Hall big screen theater at St. Paul in the Desert. We will provide the drinks and popcorn; you create the fellowship. All are welcome, so invite your friends and neighbors.  See you there!

This month’s featured film is White Christmas. The 1954 musical film centers around two World War II veterans-turned-performers who team up with a sister act to help their former commanding officer save his failing Vermont inn. The film’s star-studded cast includes legendary actors Bing CrosbyDanny KayeRosemary ClooneyVera-Ellen, and Dean Jagger, and it features high-energy dance numbers choreographed by Bob Fosse plus a soundtrack full of holiday staples written by Irving Berlin.

Featuring the Irving Berlin tune “White Christmas” and other music from the Berlin catalogue, this 1954 holiday musical centers on Bob (Bing Crosby) and Phil (Danny Kaye), two song-and-dance men who meet while serving in the army in Europe and now produce and perform Broadway revues as Wallace & Davis. When the pair meet the Haynes sisters (Vera-Ellen and Rosemary Clooney), two blonde performers on the run from their landlord. Phil and Bob help the girls make a clean getaway, and then the ladies accompany the fellas to their next engagement, at an obscure and financially strapped Vermont guest lodge. By an amazing coincidence, the lodge is owned by the men’s old Army major-general, Waverly (Dean Jagger). Bob and Phil decide to help their former CO by mounting an entire Broadway-level show at the venue to attract customers and while they’re at it throw a surprise reunion for their whole combat division. Keeping this a secret from Waverly accidentally convinces one of the Haynes sisters that the good deed is just a heartless publicity stunt connived by Wallace & Davis, but the plot all ends happily, with a reprise of “White Christmas.”

Stay Connected

Sunday Service LiveStreaming

St Paul Streaming Worship Services

We are livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week. You can view the livestream on our Home Page, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page.

Missed a service?  Or want to rewatch a liturgy? All our past services are available to watch either on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StPaulintheDesert or on our Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulinthedesert

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