For Sunday, January 13th

Weekly Message

Feast of the Baptism of Jesus

You are my Beloved!
We started the Christmas Season with the Birth of Jesus – the Word Made Flesh – and end with commemorating the Baptism of Jesus and our own spiritual re-birth in the renewal of our Baptismal promises.

As I contemplate the Sacrament of Baptism, I can’t help but look beyond the physical signs and symbols to the spiritual reality of its meaning. I am reminded of what one of my theology professors offered as a baptismal reflection. Namely, that the meaning of baptism can be found in the four letters of the word RICE: Rebirth, Initiation, Consecration and Empowerment. In short, we are reborn in Christ, initiated into the community of faith, consecrated and dedicated to God’s purpose and empowered to demonstrate God’s love.

Jesus’ baptism was not just a question of what he could receive but very much a question of what he could contribute to the cause of the kingdom of God on earth. John F. Kennedy’s saying, “Ask not what your country can do for you, rather ask what you can do for your country,” can also be applied to our relationship with God, with one another and with our world community.

I believe that for Jesus, it was a commitment to do whatever was necessary to promote the cause of the kingdom of God on earth. In that passage I hear God’s voice saying to me and to all of us: YOU are my beloved daughter/son. You have been reborn in me; you have been called; you have been consecrated; you have been empowered.
And so, I ask myself what am I doing to promote the Love of God? What can we do? How can I consecrate and dedicate myself more deeply to the service of God, just as Jesus did? How can I demonstrate my rebirth, my spiritual initiation within our community, my consecration to God’s purpose and my empowerment to do the work I am called to do? As we renew our Baptismal promises, we can ponder these questions as we work to demonstrate Christ’s fearless love for the world.

We gather around the Lord’s Table to be spiritually fortified to live out the promises and commitment we made at Baptism. Let us take to heart and bring into action the comforting words, “You are my beloved with whom I am well pleased.”


Jerry DiNoto
Ministry Development Coordinator

Featured Scripture

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 Common English Bible (CEB)

The people were filled with expectation, and everyone wondered whether John might be the Christ. John replied to them all, “I baptize you with water, but the one who is more powerful than me is coming. I’m not worthy to loosen the strap of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. The shovel he uses to sift the wheat from the husks is in his hands. He will clean out his threshing area and bring the wheat into his barn. But he will burn the husks with a fire that can’t be put out.”

When everyone was being baptized, Jesus also was baptized. While he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit came down on him in bodily form like a dove. And there was a voice from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I dearly love; in you I find happiness.”

Bishop Transition Walkabout Event Jan. 14, 7pm

Walkabout events are just around the corner. All members of the diocese are invited and encouraged to attend one of these important events where you can meet the candidates for the 5th bishop of San Diego.

The Desert Walkabout will be held at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church at 47535 Highway 74, Palm Desert on Monday, January 14 at 7:00 PM.

Please mark your calendar for this important opportunity to get to know our candidates and to hear them respond to questions submitted by members from throughout the diocese.

See the full Walkabout Week schedule

Accepting God’s Gift of Faith

Coming soon: “Accepting God’s Gift of Faith” is a spiritual renewal program for Episcopalians, as well as an instructional preparation program for persons seeking Baptism, Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation in The Episcopal Church.

The program consists of seven consecutive Tuesday evening sessions, January 29 through March 12. All sessions are scheduled for 6:00 PM – 7:30 PM, in the Parish Hall. At the culmination of the program, our Assisting Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, will preside at Baptisms, Confirmations, Receptions, and Reaffirmations during her Bishop’s Visitation at St. Paul’s on Sunday, March 17.

Program registration information is available in the Narthex and Parish Hall. For additional information, contact Jerry Di Noto at 760.320.7488. If you are interested in serving as a sponsor to one of the program participants, contact Deacon Susan Green at 760.808.0714

Guest Preacher Rev. Tracey Lind

On Sunday, January 20, The Very Rev. Tracey Lind will be our guest preacher and will also be the speaker at the 9:15 AM Episcopal Café session.

Rev. Lind is a newly retired Episcopal priest and city planner whose ministry has included work for social and environmental justice, interfaith relations, sustainable urban development, arts and culture, and progressive theology. Most recently, her ministry has extended to include the spiritual insights and lessons she has gained from a life complicated by dementia.

On November 8, 2016, Tracey was diagnosed with early stage Frontotemporal Dementia. This diagnosis hasn’t stopped her from fully immersing in what life has to offer, and what she has to give. From October to December last year, she was invited to speak at seven European churches in Belgium, France, Germany, Italy and Switzerland. Rev. Lind’s spouse, Emily Ingalls, will also be with us and will share her insights as a caregiver at the Episcopal Café session.

Visit Rev. Tracey’s Website

Potluck Events

Save the Dates:
St. Paul’s Parish Life Committee announces the upcoming Potluck events…

Sunday January 13: Social Hour Brunch Pot Luck 11:45 AM to 1:30 PM

Tuesday March 5: Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper 5:30 to 7:30 PM

Thursday April 11: Spring Pot Luck: 5:30 PM-7:30PM

All of these festive events will take place in the Parish Hall

Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration

The Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration Celebration Committee will hold its 34th annual event on Sunday, January 20, 2019, at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert. The program begins at 2:00 p.m. with guest speakers, live performances, and refreshments to follow.

St. Paul’s is honored to host this annual celebration of the life, work and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The committee’s mission is to promote unity among the diverse cultures of our community and the Coachella Valley. All are welcome to attend.

Reasonable Gun Safety Regulations

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 40,000 people died from guns in the U.S. last year, the highest count in 50 years. And because of this, Americans from across the country are aggressively addressing gun safety.

Lawmakers understand that inaction in the wake of tragedy is no longer acceptable, and state legislatures are responding to the demands of Americans to act to save lives from gun violence. Sixty-seven gun safety bills were signed into law in 26 states and the District of Columbia in 2018. We are all encouraged to support legislators who advocate reasonable gun safety regulations.

Taize Services Begin February 7th

Our first Taize service of the new year will be Thursday, February 7, at 7:00 PM. This service, a mixture of song, meditation and Scripture gives one an opportunity to experience God in a quiet contemplative setting. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details 760.320.7488 ext. 225.

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.


1/13: Do Not Fear; I have Redeemed You: Reflection on Isaiah 43
Led by Alan Zimmerman

1/20: Dementia and its Effects
Guest Speaker, Tracey Lind

Tuesdays at 5:00 PM in the Library

1/15: Three Kings Really???
Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey

1/22: Candlemas Instructional Service
Led by Gary Scott and Team

Mural Project

Click the image for full-size.

Palm Springs Public Arts Commission, has commissioned a mural for the South-East side of the church facing My Little Flower Shop. Bernard Hoyes is the artist and his mural is called “Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters.” The mural celebrates iconic images of St. Paul the Hermit, Water, Agriculture, Hollywood-Palm Springs connections and the images of three local clergy who worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and on Civil Rights in Palm Springs. There will be an image from the Agua Caliente tribe, and affirmation of several of the cultures that are an important part of our community.


Upcoming Events!

1/25: Newcomers Welcoming Session – for those interested in pursuing membership at St. Paul’s. This Friday session is scheduled for 10:30 AM, in the Conference Room.

1/27: Annual Meeting – 9:15 AM, in the Parish Hall.

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 February 5, 2019, Book Club has selected Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. This is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. 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 [email protected]

The Palm Springs Library has 4 books and 1 audiobook to loan.

Baroque Music Concert

On Friday, February 15, 7 pm Palm Springs Desert Baroque presents “A Perfect Match – Music and Instruments” performed by two Fortepianists, on two rare instruments based on Viennese models from 1800.

From New England, Monica Jakuc Leverett and Desert Baroque’s founder/director, Margaret Irwin-Brandon perform. Solo sonatas and fantasias by F.J. Haydn, Marianna von Auenbrugger and C.P.E. Bach plus Mozart’s Sonata in D for Two Pianos. A master class will take place from 2:30-4 pm with Professor Randall Love of Duke University. Modern pianists will find this an opportunity to play period instruments.

Concert tickets: $25/$35 reserved seating
Master Class: $60 (with advance registration) $70 at the door.

Call Meg Irwin-Brandon at 413-285-6881 for more information.

Hospitality Ministry

Seeking Coffee Hour Hosts
With the arrival of fall, we joyfully welcome our part time parishioners returning to the desert.  It’s a time for festive hospitality at our Coffee Hours following Sunday services.  Currently, there are several dates available, between now and year-end, to host a coffee hour. It’s easy!  All you do is provide offerings of fruit, pastries, cookies – anything, really, that you think others would enjoy.  The church provides coffee, tea, lemonade, and all service items.  If you would like to sponsor a future coffee hour, please sign-up today. You’ll find the sign-up book on the table just inside the Parish Hall entrance.

Questions?  Please contact Kathy Kilmer, 760.774.8233

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.

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