For Sunday, February 24th
From the Rector
The Portion You Give
Jesus is teaching his disciples in this week’s continuation of “the Sermon on the Plain” we began last week. He is teaching his disciples “who are willing to hear,” and I believe he is teaching us, if we are willing to listen. He was teaching them about conscientious resistance to oppression, specifically the daily oppressive demands of an occupying army. He is not training them to be silent in the face of the kinds of bullying that have become the icons of social oppression in our world 2,000 years later. He is not telling us to be silent in the face of abuse, nor is he putting the burden on victims to manage the feelings of abusers as the “Christian response.” Jesus is telling them how to resist effectively, against Rome. And he is telling them and us how to shift from reactive response – to leading from a place of spiritual depth, emotional health, and our inheritance as “children of the Most High.”
Jesus invites all those who will listen to step beyond a logical transactional life where all people, even the worst, do good when it is in their interest – to the place where we lead by focusing on the portion we will give.
The central part of Jesus’ teaching in this sermon uses the symbol of money to represent the portion one might be willing to give. How much are we willing to lend to those unable to repay, or how much stuff are we willing to give to others when it is unlikely the stuff will be returned? Learning to give with abandon is a theme Jesus will return to later with the Prodigal Son and the Waiting Father, but now it is simply a preparation for giving what really matters.
If we can master God’s ownership of our money and our stuff, then we are on the road to understand God’s claim on the most important resource we have – our forgiveness. Our ability to forgive is the measure of our ability to release or let go. When I forgive, I am letting go of my claims against the person who wronged me. However, I admit that I am not ready to let every claim go. Not yet and maybe never. When I forgive, it is because I am ready to release the pain I experienced and the injury I suffered. No one can tell me when the time is right.
Jesus invites me to concentrate on the portion I am willing and ready to give – to forgive – as I grow in God’s grace and begin to receive the healing God has in store for me.
Join in worship this week as we contemplate what portion of our selves and our resources we are willing to give – forgive – and join Jesus in his abundant love for us and the whole world.
Luke 6:27-38 Common English Bible (CEB)
“But I say to you who are willing to hear: Love your enemies. Do good to those who hate you. Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who mistreat you. If someone slaps you on the cheek, offer the other one as well. If someone takes your coat, don’t withhold your shirt either. Give to everyone who asks and don’t demand your things back from those who take them. Treat people in the same way that you want them to treat you.”
“If you love those who love you, why should you be commended? Even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, why should you be commended? Even sinners do that. If you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, why should you be commended? Even sinners lend to sinners expecting to be paid back in full. Instead, love your enemies, do good, and lend expecting nothing in return. If you do, you will have a great reward. You will be acting the way children of the Most High act, for he is kind to ungrateful and wicked people. Be compassionate just as your Father is compassionate.”
“Don’t judge, and you won’t be judged. Don’t condemn, and you won’t be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good portion—packed down, firmly shaken, and overflowing—will fall into your lap. The portion you give will determine the portion you receive in return.”
Black History Month Parade
This Saturday, February 23rd
Our PARADES / SPECIAL EVENTS TEAM has organized our contingent in this event. Parade begins at 11 AM downtown Palm Springs -Arenas/Palm Canyon. Your support and participation in demonstrating who we are as a faith community by our involvement in this public event is greatly appreciated. Walkers, riders and drivers are needed.
Sign-up sheets for this parade are in the Narthex (church lobby), in the Parish Hall and the Office. There will be some seats available in cars for individuals who need. Oh, don’t forget to wear the Parish Tee Shirt, please see an usher if you need to purchase a tee-shirt.
A Cabbello in Concert
This Sunday, February 24 at 4:00pm we will present ‘A Cabbello’ men’s ensemble with Rich Cook, Director, in a concert titled “Vintage Vocals for the Soul.”
The performance will feature selections from Palestrina to Andrew Lloyd Webber and Gospel favorites. This lively and entertaining group is one of Palm Springs’ several men’s choirs. More information on them can be found at www.acabbello.org Donations will be graciously received at the door. Reception to follow.
Do you enjoy speaking Spanish? Are you interested in Latino culture? St. Paul in the Desert is forming a Latino Ministry and could put your Spanish language and leadership skills to good use.
Please join us Monday, February 25, at 6:00 PM for a ministry program planning session. The session will be held in the Parish Office Library and will begin with a complimentary dinner, followed by a short meeting and a Spanish Compline service. RSVP to email@example.com, or call Bonnie Stroock, 760-324-7949.
Women’s Bible Study
Women of the Parish and their friends are invited to join us as we study and reflect on Paul’s Letter to the Romans. We meet on Thursdays from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM. For our study, we are following The Good Book Club’s suggested readings.
This Thursday (February 28) we will discuss Romans 15:7-16:16. To prepare for our discussion, you may use your own bible or find the readings online at www.goodbookclub.org/readings
This week we will meet at the home of Lena Granet.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
The Parish Life Team invites you to the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper to be held in the Parish Hall March 5th, 5:30-7:30. Our renowned chef, Rick Tinsley, has a great menu planned with pancakes, crepes, fruit salad, pork and veggie sausage, coffee, lemonade and iced tea.
There are signup sheets in the back of the church (Narthex) and in the Parish Hall. An accurate head count is essential, so we can prepare enough but not an unnecessary excess of food for our diners. The suggested donation to attend is $5.00 payable at the door. Come and enjoy great food and a chance to get to know someone new. Please seek out people you don’t yet know.
Coming in April…
Thursday April 11: Spring Pot Luck: 5:30 PM-7:30PM
Parish Life Book Club
Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday each month at 1 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome.
On March 5, 2019, Book Club has selected Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng. This novel is a moving family portrait, involving secrets and longing, that uncovers the ways families seek to understand one another.
Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Palm Springs Library has 3 books and 1 audiobook to loan.
Good Enough Project
In Father Andrew’s February 17 message, he invited those of us who have experienced his ministry, to share with him a story about how his ministry affected you – for good or bad. Just a story, not an apotheosis nor a diatribe, is what he is soliciting. Nothing anonymous will get to him, but no names will be shared beyond him without your approval. We also welcome feedback about your experiences with Susan over the years.
Address them to “Good Enough Project”
125 West El Alameda
Palm Springs, CA 92262
For a submission or a brief Cell Phone Video.
Fr. Andrew’s Retirement Reception
Save the Date!
On Sunday April 7, following the 10:30 A.M. service, please join us for a retirement reception honoring Fr. Andrew. More details will follow.
Adult Faith Formation
Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library: The Episcopal Café
These sessions are designed to facilitate discussion of Sunday scripture readings.
2/24: Reconciliation/Revenge: A reflection on Genesis 45
3/3: Depths to God that I cannot know: A reflection on Luke 9 – Led by Alan Zimmerman
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, through March 12th, in the Parish Hall
Renewing our Lives and Accepting God’s Gift of Faith
This seven-week spiritual enrichment program is designed to review and enhance our beliefs and confirm or receive new members.
2/26: The Christian Life: Walking the Walk, Prayer, Gifts, Community & Service.
3/5: Questions and Responses: Episcopal language, Questions/Issues/Concerns.
3/12: Instructional Eucharist: Step by step instruction on the Eucharist Service, liturgical elements and procedures.
Coffee Hour after Services
We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall following our Sunday morning services.
And, please consider volunteering to be a Coffee Hour Host sometime during this new year. It can be a great way to honor and celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. There are still many Sundays available. The Sunday Hospitality Sign-Up Book is on the table at the Parish Hall entrance.
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
Office Hours are 9 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday through Thursday and 9 am – 11:30 am Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.
Should you call on Monday or Friday afternoon when we are closed to the public, please leave a message. In case of an emergency, a priest will return your call.
Sunday Worship Childcare
Childcare is available for both the 8:00 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. services.
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.