For Sunday, February 28, 2021
February 26, 2020
The window for applications for our Rector Search will close Friday, February 26, 2021. We have received information from a number of candidates from across the country. We are encouraged by their knowledge and experience. In addition to their cover letter, résumé and Office of Transition Ministry Profile, each candidate is asked to respond to the following questions in a Word document:
- As you read our parish profile, what most excites and challenges you about the possibility of serving as Rector of the Church of St. Paul in The Desert?
- Tell us about a personal experience of cultural challenge and/or reconciliation. How did it impact you?
- In a time when some see the church in decline, how do you plan to help the church flourish in the 21st century?
- How does your ministry proclaim hope?
Once all candidates have submitted their responses, the Search Profile Team will begin to read the complete file of each candidate to evaluate and discern who will move onto the first round of interviews. In the meantime, I have submitted our revised timeline for the next steps of the process to be reviewed by our diocesan contact. Once approved, the timeline will be published in the next Transition Update.
Thank you for your continued prayers and support. We are prepared to move forward.
Clinton L Carbon, Convener
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)
A Lenten Message
What will I give up this Lenten Season?
I asked myself this question, and then thought, “Give up what?” Haven’t we all already given up so much this year? Think about it. No more casual dinners with friends and family, the need to forfeit/rethink our vacation plans, no congregational worship at church, closed restaurants, no work for so many, no school, no Ash Wednesday service. The list goes on – and there may have been more things that you gave up as well. So, I ask myself again, “What will I give up for Lent?”
But there is light at the end of the tunnel. This past Thursday, Larry and I drove to Moreno Valley and received our first vaccination against the COVID virus. By the time we get our second dose on March 4 we will be 90% protected, according to science. What that means is that many things I have given up are going to come back to my life. I cannot wait until I can give hugs and be with people again! The opening question remains however, and I have no answer.
Then I began to think of all that I had gained this past year. True, we gave up a lot, but I thought of my time in isolation and what I had gained. I was able to read some books that I had never had time for, I studied and learned a lot about our beautiful desert, I called my family more often, and I learned so much more about our loving God. What have you gained during this pandemic? When it comes to giving up things, Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice, his life. What he gained was even more precious!
Very soon, as more vaccines are given, we will be meeting again at our beloved St. Paul in the Desert Church. We may be wearing masks – and who knows what else will be different. But we will be together to receive the Sacraments again. One Body, one Cup! I may have given up a lot but what I have gained is so much more. I want to be Christ-like in my life, looking to his example for how I handle my time and assets.
So, as I look back on this past year and things I might have given up, did I not reap other benefits? So, instead of asking what I will give up for Lent, I think I will change it up a bit and ask what my Lenten discipline will be. I think I would like to pay it forward – a secular term that fits for me!
What will your Lenten discipline be?
Blessings this Holy Season,
A Message from the Stewardship Ministry
The Stewardship Committee will be winding down the Pledge Campaign Program at the end of this month. We would like to thank all those who have made a commitment of financial giving to St. Paul’s for 2021. To those who have not yet done so, please consider pledging now – it is never too late. You can submit your pledge by visiting our website or calling the church office at 760.320.7488 ext. 222.
We have reached approximately 75% of our campaign goal, and it is our hope that we can attain that original goal as additional pledges are submitted. We know it is easy to put things off and then forget them. For those who fall into this category, we look forward to receiving your financial pledge in response to this gentle reminder. There is much that will be happening in the next few months that will require financial support, including the calling our new rector and, hopefully, returning to in-person services in some form. The closure of our active Pledge Campaign merely means that we will no longer publish the updates and “thermometer” graphic to report our numbers. It does not mean that we are “closed” to receiving additional pledges. As of this week, we have received 148 pledges totaling $324,815.
Watch this space for information on other things the Stewardship Committee is working on to keep our program going year-round. If you are a parishioner looking for something to do and would like to be part of the Stewardship Committee, please contact Kathy Kilmer at firstname.lastname@example.org or Alex Christensen at email@example.com. We would love to have more people on our team.
With grateful hearts,
The Stewardship Committee
March Book Club
The next Book Club meeting will be held Tuesday, March 2, 2021, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting access information will follow later. For March, Book Club has selected Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. A failed bank robber holds a group of strangers hostage at an apartment open house.
Anxious People is an ingeniously constructed story about the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope, even in the most anxious times.
New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. Paul’s Hiking Club News
This past Saturday, members and friends of St. Paul’s Hiking Club met in historic downtown Redlands for a walking tour, guided by tour leader, Chris Kelly. Before the group began their trek, Chris shared a brief history of the area, the role navel oranges played in its development, and how it was known, around 1900, as the City of Millionaires.
Along the way, the group saw examples of several different architectural styles and heard the stories behind many of these beautiful structures, including Trinity Episcopal Church. The Parish was holding a clean-up day and invited the group in to view their two magnificent, stained glass windows, crafted in Germany.
In conjunction with the walking tour, the group donated bags of clothing and sneakers to the Anthony Flores Memorial Clothing Drive. (Lena Granet is still accepting donations for this worthy cause. Smaller sizes and sneakers are especially needed but donations of all sizes are gladly accepted and appreciated. You can contact Lena at email@example.com or 760-760-322-2179 to arrange for a drop-off.)
The next walking tour will be held mid-late April in the Riverside area. If you would like to be added to the Hiking Club mailing list, please contact Nancy Antonius at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Forward Day by Day
Our shipment of Forward Day by Day daily devotional booklets for February/March/April 2021 has arrived. Although St. Paul’s campus is not open for business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may pick up your copy of Day by Day at the Parish Office between 9:00 – 11:30 AM and 1:00 – 4:30 PM, weekdays.
Please call the church (760.320.7488) to schedule a pick-up time/date that works for you and the church office staff. If you are homebound, let us know and we will mail your copy to you.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby; pray for Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America, The Most Rev. Julio Murray Thompson, Archbishop and Primate.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina, The Rt. Rev. José A. McLoughlin, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for our full communion partners, especially the ELCA, on the World Day of Prayer, March 5
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: Marie Berkner, John Roy, Dana Pollard, Ruth Mathes, David & Josie Zavala, Alberto Canas, Ed Vittoria, 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: Rosie Anderson, Clifford Anderson, Gloria Smith, Noel Smith, MD, Tenet Ferguson, Bishop Charlie Simmons, Maurice Wright, LaGretta Harris, L. David Zimmerman, Debbie Biddick, Antoinette Crawford, Darrell Crawford, Rosemarie Tribble.
For those with birthdays: February 28: Stephen Geist, Roberto Thais; March 1: Cookie Zingg, Everett Greider; March 2: James Nindel; March 3: Rose Coslett, Craig Ewing, Fr. Gaylord Hitchcock; March 4: Kara Knutson; March 5: Bill LaMarche; March 6: Terri Miller-Steele, Shirley Schott.
For those celebrating anniversaries: February 28: Glenda & Mike Shaw; March 2: Stan Deller & David Weir; March 3: George Barros & Gale Enger; March 5: Kimberly Yang & Erik Palmer.
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 February 28th.
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
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 email@example.com
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.