For Sunday, January 16, 2022

epiphanytide-2022

83rd Annual Meeting January 30th

Mark your calendars – St. Paul’s 83rd Annual Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, January 30, immediately following a shortened, indoor 10:30 AM worship service.  (The Annual Meeting will be set up outdoors.)  That day, we will also celebrate our patronal feast: The Feast of St. Paul the Hermit.  Our patron St. Paul (228 – 341 AD) was the first of the Desert Fathers – early Christian men who retired to the desert and spent their lives in solitude, prayer and meditation.  The significance of our parish being named for this desert monk is a tribute to his example of kindness, selflessness and humility.  (To learn more about St. Paul the Hermit, visit our website home page, www.stpaulsps.org and click on “Welcome.”)

New Year Greetings from our Co-Rectors

Dear Beloved,

Happy New Year! We are still on a high from our wonderful Christmas services with you all! As we took a few days off to rest after that most holy week, we reflected on these past three months, and our hearts remain full of God’s goodness and faithfulness here. We are so glad to be your co-rectors, St. Paul’s. You are easy to love and there is a sweetness of God’s Spirit in this place.

As we look ahead to all that the Spirit is inviting us into, we have clearly seen the need in our Sunday services to expand from one service to two with our increasing attendance. At the same time, we have been taking very seriously our foremost call to keep everyone as safe as possible within this ever-changing landscape of a COVID-19 world full of aggressive variants.

As such, we are going to expand next Sunday by adding an 8AM service. This service will be spoken (no music) and will be vaccination required (and masked). We ask all who enter for the 8AM service to do so at the main entrance so that we can check vaccination cards. We hope this additional service will allow for a wider distribution across two services both for social distancing and for growth. We will offer 8AM services on January 16th and 23rd as a test-run and soft opening.

On January 30th, we will return to a single service at 10:30AM for two major reasons. First, we will have our Annual Meeting outdoors right after the indoor service (with lunch, so mark your calendars!). This will be a time to celebrate all the milestones of this past year as we begin to lay out a plan for what is to come. Second, we will be celebrating our patronal feast day: The Feast of St. Paul the Hermit. You won’t want to miss it!

We will then move back into two services beginning February 6th—8AM (vaccination & mask required; no music; no livestream) and 10:30AM (vaccination preferred & mask required; music; livestream). While it is difficult to plan more than a few weeks out due to the swift nature of the pandemic, our hope is that we will be able to continue these two Sunday services throughout the spring. This next phase of implementation brings us one step closer to completing our ultimate goal of returning to three services.

Along these lines, you will notice a few minor tweaks in our liturgy to accommodate trying to minimize our time indoors with such a large gathering. Of course, if you are not comfortable worshiping inside our building, you are always welcome to join us virtually through our livestream of the 10:30AM service on our website. We also remind you to wear masks inside all buildings and to hold meetings in larger spaces or outside on the patio whenever possible.

As we have all said these past few years, this is just for a time. We thank you for your patience in helping us stay healthy and bury no one in a global pandemic from COVID-19. We do not take for granted any moment we are able to gather in any capacity and worship, and we are so grateful to this community for our shared values in keeping our most vulnerable safe.

May the Light of Christ lead us to safety and wisdom as it led the Magi to Bethlehem long ago.

Blessed Epiphanytide,

Rev. Jessie+ and Rev. Dan+

Ushers needed for 8:00 AM services

This Sunday, January 16, we are reinstating our 8:00 AM worship services. These will be spoken services with no music; vaccination proof and masks required.  WE NEED USHERS FOR THE SERVICES ASAP! We need four teams of two people to cover one Sunday a month for the 8:00 AM services. It’s an easy job to volunteer for and we will train you right away.

If you think you can help one Sunday a month, please reach out ASAP to Kathy Kilmer, Jr. Warden, at

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

This year’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Celebration is scheduled for January 16 from 2:00 – 4:00 PM in Coachella The event will be held in the outdoor space adjacent to the Coachella Valley Library, 1500 6th Street.  Masks will be required. This will be the first time – since its inception 35 years ago – the celebration will not be hosted by St. Paul in the Desert in Palm Springs.  Going forward, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Committee has decided to move the event  to a different Coachella Valley city each year, believing that will give it broader exposure.

 

Sunday School is back in session after Winter Break

Sunday School classes for preschool through fifth grade have resumed and will meet (outdoors) every Sunday during the 10:30 AM service. We start the class in the church and are invited up front for a special children’s moment with our priests. Then we head outside to our Sunday School “classroom” on the library porch. We meet outside to be as protective as possible for everyone’s safety during the current pandemic.

Music of the Season

We give thanks for the glorious special music that enriched our worship during this past Christmas Season.  To help sustain unique and exceptional musical offerings for future worship, donations toward the Music Fund were taken from special offerings at two services: Lessons & Carols, December 26, and Epiphany Eve, January 5, and totaled $1,406. Thank you to all who contributed so generously.

coffee hourCoffee/Social Hour Hospitality

Our coffee hour has moved outdoors.  Beginning this Sunday, Coffee Hour will be set up outside (in the covered Columbarium area).  Due to the recent surge of the COVID variant, we want to minimize/eliminate unnecessary time indoors with masks off. All our hospitality procedures and protocols are subject to any CDC guidelines and mandates that Bishop Susan may put into place, depending on prevailing COVID conditions.

For those wishing to sponsor refreshments for a specific Sunday Coffee Hour, please call or stop by the Parish Office to sign up. (You can also find the hospitality sign-up book in the Narthex and in the Parish Hall on Sunday mornings.)

St. Paul’s chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King is sponsoring Coffee Hour this Sunday, January 16, to honor our beloved sister, Marie Berkner, who passed away August 19, 2021.  Marie had a special gift for extending hospitality to us at St. Paul’s as well as to clients of The Well in the Desert.  She was a true inspiration to all who knew her.  Our DOK-sponsored hospitality for the St. Paul’s community will honor Marie’s life and her memory.  St. Paul’s DOK chapter will be offering a preparation program this spring for any women who would like to learn about becoming a member of the Order.  Bonnie Stroock and Patty Kiker will be available at Coffee Hour to answer any questions OR you can contact Patty at or 214.497.3034.

Prayers of the Church

For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Church of England, Supreme Governor: Queen Elizabeth II; Archbishop: Justin Welby.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Olympia, The Rt. Rev. Gregory H. Rickel, Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for our Ecumenical partnerships during the Week of Christian Unity.

For those commended to our prayers:  O. J. Porche, Karen Nelson, The Corona Family of Houston TX, Patricia Sands, Alan Bates, Teri Whitmer, Chris Hilton, Dean Bruns, 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: Dick Yeargan, Bruce Beach, The Most Reverend Desmond Tutu, Bishop of Johannesburg and Archbishop of Cape Town, T. Stephen Nichols, Fred Ross, Robert Cumming, John Barber, Allen McAfee, David Collins, Charles Anderson.

For those with birthdays: January 16: Stephen Lander, Tony Martinez, Mia Olson; January 17: John Raposa; January 18: David Bragg; January 19: Jerry Di Noto; January 20: Ivonne Anderson; January 22: Clinton Carbon.

For those celebrating their anniversary: January 16: Linda Krengel & Tom Kieley.

For those for whom flowers have been given:

Today’s Altar Flowers are sponsored by the St. Paul’s chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King, in memory of “our beloved sister, Marie Berkner, who passed away August 19, 2021.”

Today’s Narthex Flowers are sponsored by Shelia Brubaker to honor The Reverend Canon Victoria Hatch on the 45th Anniversary of her ordination to the priesthood.

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

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select January 16th.

February Book Club

The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 1, 2022, at 1:00 PM via Zoom.  Meeting access information will follow later. For February, Book Club has selected Wish You Were Here by Jodi Picoult. Diana O’Toole is on track, personally and professionally. But a virus appears and affects a planned trip to the Galápagos Islands. When things start to go wrong, Diana finds herself examining her relationships, her choices, and herself – and wondering if when she goes home, she, too, will have evolved into someone completely different.

New members are always welcome at Book Club. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at .

Social Justice Ministry

Jesus said, “Whatever you do to the least of these, you do to me.”   St. Paul in the Desert Social Justice Ministry encourages you to live out the Gospel by making a financial donation to help our marginalized neighbors, OR, by donating gently used clothing.

Your check should be made payable to St. Paul in the Desert, with “Homeless” clearly marked on the memo line. If you have clothing to donate, please contact Giving Coordinator Lena Granet at 760-322-2179, or by email at  . She will schedule a time for you to leave your donated items at her home collection facility. If you would like to volunteer your time, tell Lena you want to join the groups who pack and distribute donated items.

You’re invited to join Sacred Circle

St. Paul’s Sacred Circle is a band of women who wish to deepen their spirituality and build community. We would be pleased to have you join us. Our Circle is open to all women in our Community. For information, please call Kaye Ball at 303.517.5321 or Summer Schoch at 619.804.2592

Sunday Service Livestreaming

We will be livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week, going forward. The livestream project has been a one-year journey coming to St. Paul’s and 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 St. Paul’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulinthedesert or by subscribing to our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StPaulintheDesert

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 .  Confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are not shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain.

Members of The Order of the Daughters of the King® are women who desire a closer walk with the Lord. We are Christian women, both lay and ordained, who are strengthened through the discipline of a Rule of Life, and supported through the companionship of our sisters. All women of St. Paul’s who seek deeper spiritual life and inspiration in prayer and Christian fellowship are invited to learn more about becoming a member. Our chapter meets on the fourth Tuesday of the month. Requests for additions to the confidential prayer list may be emailed to .

Contact: Patty Kiker

Revised COVID Protocol for Indoor Worship

Due to the recent spike in COVID cases in our area, Bishop Susan has issued this appeal to all clergy in our diocese.

Dear Clergy,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Jesus commands us to love our neighbors, which includes doing what we can to keep them and ourselves safe in a public health crisis. With regret, due to the spike in Covid cases in our area, I am asking you to reinstate mask-wearing for all (except while reading or preaching) for indoor worship in our diocese.

I have so enjoyed our brief respite from most restrictions in worship. Like all of you, I hoped and prayed that the drop in Covid cases we saw earlier in the summer would prove to be the end of the pandemic. Sadly, the choice of many people in our area to remain unvaccinated is allowing the pandemic to continue. Given the fact that children and some people with health conditions cannot yet be vaccinated, and that even vaccinated adults can catch breakthrough cases (albeit with far better outcomes than unvaccinated people), it seems that the responsible thing to do is keep ourselves safe with masking during indoor worship. I am saddened by the need to tighten restrictions once more, but this message comes after review of the concerning news of a Covid spike, and after discussion with members of our Public Health Task Force.

I ask you to join me in prayer that the current growth in cases is short-lived, and I ask you to urge your members to be vaccinated, for the sake of public health in our community. I hope we can remove the masking requirement soon. But for now, I believe that Jesus’ command to love our neighbor compels us to do what we can to protect our neighbors and our community from this disease. I am grateful to all of you for your leadership in this trying time.

In Christ,

The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop
The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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