For Sunday, January 3rd, 2021
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Celebrating 3 Kings Day – Los Tres Reyes – Los Tres Magos
In Spain and Latin America, children get gifts after Christmas on January 6, the Feast of Epiphany. Parades are held on January 5 with costumed Kings throwing out candy from floats. This tradition started from a dictate by the King of Spain in 1885.
Today, children write a letter to the Kings – Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar – asking for a toy, and put out a pair of shoes for the Kings to fill with candy on their overnight mysterious visit. A round cake called a rostro is served with a baby Jesus doll and some candied fruit baked inside.
The Latino ministry suggests you google Los Tres Reyes for more information on this faithful celebration. The next Latino Ministry Committee meeting is January 25, at 6:30 PM, via Zoom. Contact chair Bonnie Stroock – email@example.com – to join the meeting.
Feliz Navidad y Prospero Ano en 2021!
A Note from our Stewardship Ministry
The Stewardship Committee and the Vestry are very appreciative of the response to date to our request for your pledges of estimated giving for 2021.
As you may remember, our goal is 200 individual pledges with a total giving amount of $400,000. We are in our final stretch of reaching that goal. As of this week, we have received 132 pledges totaling $312,105; we will continue to update and report these numbers as new pledges arrive.
It is not too late to join those who have submitted their pledges of estimated giving. You can do so by returning the pledge card previously sent to you or by submitting your pledge online. You can even pledge by phone by calling the church office (760.320.7488, ext. 222). Thank you all once again for your financial support to keep our ministries, worship and other services going.
Wishing you all a Christmas Season filled with joy, love and peace and many blessings for the New Year!
The Stewardship Committee
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby; pray for The Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria, The Most Rev. Dr. Mouneer Hanna Anis, Bishop of Egypt and Archbishop of Alexandria, Primate and Metropolitan of the Province.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Mississippi, The Rt. Rev. Brian R. Seage, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop. On this first Sunday of the year, intercessions will be offered for the congregation, for the clergy and wardens, and for all others in leadership positions, with particular petitions for wisdom and guidance in the year to come.
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: Debbie Williams, Vincent Thomas, Marie Berkner, Brenda Relerford, Sandi Alejandro Sprankle, Sharon Reed, Duane Beach-Barrow, Brian Nealy, for health care workers everywhere, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Ronda Wade, Dr. La Vera Small, Alton Prior, Robert Beach-Barrow, Mary Cone, Peter Musto, Sandria Sampson Mathis, Joyce Baker.
For those with birthdays: January 3: George Barros; January 6: Steven Holm, Isabel Reineke; January 7: Gary Gillespie, Gary Scott; January 8: George Holliday, Michael Spillane; January 9: Ed Walsh, Nathan DePetris.
For those celebrating their anniversary: January 7: Lena & John Granet.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select December 27th.
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 email@example.com. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
December 23, 2020
To Parishioners and friends of the Church of St. Paul in the Desert,
I hope this email finds you and yours in good health. This is certainly a Christmas season unlike any other. It is my pleasure to share details of Transition Committee events and good news of the past several weeks with you.
The Parish Profile and Office of Transition Ministry Form
On Tuesday, December 8, I submitted the drafts of both documents for review by the Senior Warden, the Parish Registrar, and The Canon to the Ordinary. The comments that came back from Rev. Canon Gwynn Lynch, Canon to the Ordinary, who is also our diocesan contact, were very supportive and appreciative of the work on our drafts since our initial submissions. She noted a few additional questions to be answered and suggestions of a few changes. Those questions have been answered and changes made, and both documents were resubmitted to Rev. Gwynn last Friday, December 18. She will review them again and forward them to the Bishop for review and approval. With the holidays upon us, I have no idea how long this review will take. Once approval is received, we can then move on to the process of posting to our website. And although this is Christmas week, I will reach out to our Webmaster to schedule a consultation about the posting of the Parish Profile.
Compensation Package for our new Rector
The Vestry received and reviewed the Compensation Package on December 5. Tentative approvals of those submitted numbers enabled us to complete the Office of Transition Ministry Form. The motion to formally accept the Compensation Package was passed at the Vestry meeting last Thursday, December 17.
There has been a generous and arduous learning curve throughout this process which we began in late January 2020. The Committee has been able to work steadily through the COVID-19 pandemic by meeting exclusively online and through phone calls. We conducted most of the research in much the same manner, while writing, rewriting, and editing independently and collectively as we allowed the Holy Spirit to guide us toward our next steps. Through your prayers, we have persevered and hopefully produced an honest and thoughtful Parish Profile and Office of Transition Ministry Form. Once I hear from Rev. Gwynn about the Bishop’s review, I will begin to rework our timeline and it will be published in several ways.
My thanks to the Committee and all of those who have supported us to this stage of the process. Your continued prayers help us in our work and discernment. May the peace of Christmas fill your hearts and bring you joy as we look forward to the new year and a new Rector!
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)
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.