For Sunday February 5, 2023
Annual Meeting Recap
Sunday, January 29, 2023
This past Sunday we celebrated our patronal feast day—St. Paul the Hermit—and held our 84th Annual Meeting and it did not disappoint!! After a visit from St. Paul himself (and his friend St. Anthony), we heard prayers offered from parishioners for this church for 2023. We voted on new leaders, we thanked “graduating” leaders, we celebrated a wonderful and full year, we gave the first Church of St. Paul the Hermit Service Award to Lena Granet, we unveiled the exciting Strategic Plan, we ate lunch and received our new parish directories, and we honored the news of exceeding our pledge goal by “dunking” one of our co-rectors! It was a full day of joy and good food and gratitude for this wild ride the Holy Spirit has called us in together!
Senior Warden: Alex Christensen (Appointed by the Co-Rectors)
Junior Warden: Ray Tackett (Voted on by the Vestry)
Treasurer: Raffaele Alberto (Voted on by the Vestry)
Clerk: Jan Wacker (Voted on by the Vestry)
New Vestry Members (Voted on at the Annual Meeting)
Alan Glass (First Three Year Term)
Jan Wacker (First Three Year Term)
Rick Nauman (First Full Three Year Term – Finished One Year Remaining Term of a Vestry Member who abdicated in 2022)
Alex Christensen (Second Three Year Term)
Diocesan Convention Delegates (Voted on at the Annual Meeting)
Missed the Annual Meeting?
Watch Gratitude for Steve Moore’s Service as Senior Warden
Rectors’ Discretionary Fund
The first Sunday of the month loose-plate offerings (i.e., general giving, not pledged giving) will be designated for the Rectors’ Discretionary Fund (sometimes referred to as “Benevolence.”) This fund is to be disbursed at the rector’s discretion to help those in immediate need, and payments usually go directly toward the most crucial bills (rent, food, medical costs, et cetera).
Upcoming Meetings & Events at St Paul’s
- Sunday, February 12 – The Feast of Blessed Absalom Jones (Transferred) – First African American Priest (Episcopal).
- Saturday, February 18 – Movie Night at St. Paul! – 6:00 PM – Parish Hall – “Harriet.”
- Sunday, February 19 – 9:00 – 10:00 AM – Book Review: “A History of Coachella and its People” – library – sponsored by the Latino Ministry.
- Tuesday, February 21 – Shrove Tuesday 5:00 – 7:00 PM.
- Wednesday, February 22 – Ash Wednesday 12:00 PM and 6:00 PM services.
- Saturday, February 25 – 2023 Palm Springs Black History Month Parade and Town Fair – parade begins at 11:00 AM, Palm Canyon Drive, Downtown Palm Springs.
- Sunday, February 26 – The First Sunday in Lent.
- Sunday, February 26 – “Last Call” – Library – Between services and 12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
The Latino Ministry Committee
The Latino Ministry Committee is presenting a summary of the booklet, “Coachella – A History of Coachella and Its People,” on Sunday, February 19, between the services, in the library. You are invited to come and hear about issues that have affected our valley cities and created our cultural diversity. The meeting will be conducted in English with a Spanish closing prayer. Gracias!
February is Black History Month, and the 2023 Palm Springs Black History Parade is February 25
Black History Month is an annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time for recognizing their central role in U.S. history. President Gerald Ford officially recognized Black History Month in 1976, and every American President since has designated February as Black History Month and endorsed a specific theme. The theme for 2023 is “Black Resistance” and “explores how African Americans have resisted historic and ongoing oppression in all forms,” since the nation’s earliest days.
In observance of Black History Month, the Palm Springs Black History Committee will host the 36th annual City of Palm Springs Black History Month Parade and Town Fair, Saturday, February 25, 2023. The parade begins at 11:00 AM at Palm Canyon and Arenas and ends at Francis Stevens Park. Following the Parade, the Town Fair will be well under way, located at the Downtown Park near the PS Art Museum. As in years past, The Church of St. Paul in the Desert will be represented in the Palm Springs parade. If you would like to walk or ride with the St. Paul’s contingent, please add your name to one of the sign-up sheets you’ll find in the Narthex OR call the Parish Office (760.320.7488).
Throughout February, St. Paul’s will honor these Black Saints:
- February 5 – The Rev. George Freeman Bragg
- February 12 – The Rev. Absalom Jones
- February 19 – The Rev. Dr. Pauli Murray
- February 26 – Francis Joseph-Gaudet
Absalom Jones Fund
The Absalom Jones Fund for Episcopal HBCUs – Our Presiding Bishop, the Most Rev. Michael Curry invites us to support the hope-filled, life-impacting work of two historically Black institutions of higher education that were started by The Episcopal Church: Saint Augustine’s University in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina. These two schools were founded after the Civil War to create educational opportunities for formerly enslaved persons, and they continue to provide a liberal arts education to thousands of students today.
Bishop Curry has encouraged us to take up a collection for this fund on the Feast of Absalom Jones on February 12 (transferred). Blessed Absalom Jones was the first Black person ordained an Episcopal priest. All loose plate offerings donated Sunday, February 12, will go toward this important cause.
The Reverend George Freeman Bragg, D.D. 1863-1940 – African American civil rights leader, priest, editor, and author.
The early history of African Americans and the Episcopal Church would be nearly impossible to recover without the historiographical work of George Freeman Bragg. He served as the secretary and historiographer of the Conference of Church Workers Among the Colored People for 35 years beginning in 1882. As a historian, Bragg authored First Negro Priest on Southern Soil, Men of Maryland, History of the Afro-American Group of the Episcopal Church, and Richard Allen and Absalom Jones. At the time, these works served as a primary source of information on African American Church.
Bragg was an educational leader both within and beyond the Church. He was born into an Episcopalian family on January 25, 1863, in Warrenton, North Carolina. In 1879 he campaigned for the Readjuster Party in Virginia, which endorsed black voting and state-supported higher education for blacks. Bragg was appointed a page and postmaster in the Virginia House of Delegates in 1881 and began the publication of a secular weekly for African Americans entitled The Lancet the following year. He re-entered the theological department of the Bishop Payne Divinity School in 1885 and retitled his newspaper the Afro-American Churchman that same year.
The grandson of a slave who helped to found St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church for Negroes in Petersburg, Bragg was ordained a deacon in 1887 in Norfolk, Virginia. He successfully challenged the diocese’s practice of keeping black men in deacon’s orders for five or more years and entered the priesthood in 1888. Bragg served as rector of St. James First African Church, Baltimore, Maryland from 1891 until his death in 1940. He also knew how to connect with the social needs of his people by establishing the Maryland Home for Friendless Colored Children in 1899. During his appointment he worked to advance the education of African Americans within society and the Church, fostering some twenty vocations including that of the Rev. Tollie Caution. Bragg agitated against the exclusion of African Americans from participation in the Episcopal Church’s central missionary society and field work. Evangelizing African Americans was not a priority of the white church, which left black congregations to survive on their own devices and paltry resources to build up their numbers in a Church that would not engage its black heritage.
You are invited to the church on Wednesday evenings at 6:00 PM each week for contemplative Eucharist/Evening Prayer. The church will be open the hour prior (5:00-6:00 PM) for silent, personal prayer. Come and rest.
Join us as we prepare for Holy Lent
Shrove Tuesday, February 21, 5:00 – 7:00 PM
Burning of the palms, burying of the alleluias, and pancake supper.
Ash Wednesday, February 22
The Imposition of Ashes will occur at both services – 12:00 Noon and 6:00 PM.
Ashes-to-go will be offered downtown in front of Starbucks during the day. (More details TBA.)
Winter Coat Donations Needed
Now that cooler weather has arrived in the desert, the Social Justice Ministry is seeking donations of new or gently used winter coats and jackets to distribute to our needy neighbors. Winter hats, scarves and gloves are also appreciated. Remember, donated used clothing should first be dry cleaned. Please place your donated items in the collection “barrels” located in the narthex.
This week, we received a note of thanks from The Rev. Deacon Cindy Campos, Archdeacon of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego. (St. Paul’s Social Justice Ministry recently donated a huge supply of Bombas brand socks to the Deacons of our Diocese for distribution to the needy. See the Bombas story below.)
Dear Rev. Dan, Rev. Jessie and all the people of St. Paul’s,
Thank you for your generous gift of socks to the deacons of the diocese. We met yesterday and have come up with several ways to distribute them to the most needy. When distributed, we will send you a list of recipients.
If there is any way we can help you grow this ministry, please let me know.
Blessings to all,
Bombas socks are often featured in television special reports. The company is known for its unique system of giving back to “the community.” For every pair of socks sold retail, a pair is given to someone in need. The company was started in 2011 by two men from the corporate world seeking a greater purpose in life. Through their research, they learned socks are requested at homeless shelters more often than any other clothing item.
Our former Sr. Warden Steve Moore saw an interview with the Bombas founders on Good Morning America in 2013 and contacted the company to see if St. Paul in the Desert could be considered a Giving Partner. After some interviews and an application process, St. Paul was accepted as a Partner for our region of California. There are currently some 1,300 partners across all 50 states.
Our first giving allotment was 1,500 pairs of socks and, as of last year, we have worked up to a distribution level of 8,500 pairs. We hope to receive the maximum amount of 10,000 pairs next year, which we will share with the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego to expand our reach into communities of need. Bombas socks are made especially for the unhoused folks we call our neighbors and friends.
St Paul’s Book Club
The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 1:00 PM via Zoom. Meeting information will follow later. For February, Book Club has selected Briefly, A Delicious Life by Nell Stevens. Charming, original, and emotionally moving, the novel follows an unconventional love triangle between George Sand, Fredrick Chopin, and Blanca, a 400-year-old ghost. A gorgeous and surprising exploration of artistry, desire, and life after death.
In Memoriam – Gary Koch
It is with deep sadness that we inform the parish of the passing of Gary Koch, a longtime member and friend of St. Paul’s. There will be a Zoom service on Saturday, February 18th at 11:00 AM. Zoom link details will be in next week’s Abundant Life. Grant to Gary eternal rest. Let light perpetual shine upon him. May his soul and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day our brother, Gary. We thank you for giving him to us, his family, and friends, to know and to love as a companion on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console us who mourn. Give us faith to see in death the gate of eternal life, so that in quiet confidence we may continue our course on earth, until, by your call, we are reunited with those who have gone before, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea, The Right Reverend Nathan Ingen, Acting Archbishop and Primate.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Louisiana, The Right Reverend Shannon Rogers Duckworth, Bishop.
For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Right Reverend Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for all congregations of the diocese in transition.
For those commended to our prayers: Billy Kiker, Stan Spooner, Frank Riviers, Amber Burns, Chris Rogers, Griff Linsenmayer, John Ketchum, Ashley Mount Family, Bert M., Darlene Noon, Charles Russuel Thomas, Jr., Tim Johnson, Bret Caton, Ken Smithers, George Dodge, Candace Rinette, Don Hamilton, Spencer, Connie, Joel Cutler, AJ Miller, Tom Lutgen, Brian Nealy; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Gary Koch, Rita Leary, Deborah Caraway, Betty Burris, Tom English, Shirley Harrison, Gordon Zentner. Rest eternal grant to these, your servants, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. Amen.
For our Vestry members: as they retreat this weekend.
For those with birthdays: February 7: The Rev. Jessie Thompson; February 8: Marc Kassoof; February 9: Mike Gorman.
For those celebrating anniversaries: February 7: Larry Wilson & Ray Tackett; February 9: John Alex Houlton & Michael Patino.
For those for whom flowers have been donated: This week’s Altar Flowers are sponsored by Teresa Ball, in thanksgiving for restored good health.
For next Sunday’s Lectionary readings, go to The Lessons Appointed for Use on the Feast of Absalom Jones: Isaiah 42:5-9; Psalm 126; John 15:12-15.
Sunday Service LiveStreaming
We are livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week. The livestream project 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. 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
Episcopal Relief & Development
Episcopal Relief & Development is mobilizing with Anglican agencies and other partners to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the violence in Ukraine. Working through the Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance), Episcopal Relief & Development will provide cash, blankets, hygiene supplies and other needed assistance. Please pray for all those affected. To donate directly to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ukraine Crisis Response Fund, visit (https://support.episcopalrelief.org/). If you prefer, you can donate through St. Paul’s Parish. Be sure to designate “ERD Ukraine” on your check or cash envelope.
Episcopal News Services
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