For Sunday, June 14th - 2nd Sunday After Pentecost

Priest’s Message

Dear Friends,

For the past couple of weeks, I have found myself in a state of emotional overload – emotion resulting from events in Minneapolis and across the country. I must begin by telling you that I regard Washington, DC as my hometown. Actually, our family farm is located in Leesburg, Virginia, about 40 miles northwest of Washington, but my father worked at the Pentagon and other Naval sites in the DC area. I graduated from American University in DC and I am a product/child of the 60s.  I reached 73 years of age in March, so I do know a little about white privilege.

In July of 1954, when I was seven years old, my family returned to the United States from England.  I recall one time, all those years ago, riding in the car with my mother, listening to the radio.  When the news came on, the reporter said the Supreme Court had ruled on a case called Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (a landmark case in which the  justices ruled unanimously that racial segregation of children in public schools was unconstitutional).  I asked my mother what that meant, and she answered in language a seven-year-old could understand. I didn’t think much more about it, until the news in Virginia was filled with accounts of public school closings and of churches opening schools.  I asked my mother to help me understand what that meant. Again, she explained in language I could comprehend. Out of that conversation came a term which I use to this day – “Christian Bigot.”  My mother used it in the context of the church schools – opened explicitly to keep white children from attending school with black children.  I could go on, but I will refrain.

Out of all of this, there was use of a derogatory term we hear to this day; it was not permitted in our home.  A later (but related) event that is burned into my memory was the day of President Kennedy’s assassination.  I was in High School and remember being sent to my home room after hearing the horrific announcement.  My best friend (or so I thought) greeted me with, “I’m glad the n***** lover is dead!”  I was devastated, left speechless and near tears.  I could not believe anyone could be so hateful.

Black lives do matter! And if we say we are not racist, we have failed to be honest with ourselves or with others.  Prejudice takes many forms.  We have failed to make justice and liberty for all a reality in our country. It is not only contrary to our core values as a nation, but also contrary to the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  I have used the Baptismal Covenant regularly and I will quote it again: “Will you strive for justice and peace and respect the dignity of every human being?”  (BCP, p. 305)

When I use the term “white privilege,” I am speaking about never fully comprehending what it is like to be a black person in white America. We must do better in this country and this Church, St. Paul in the Desert, which has been so open and inclusive of diversity.  Jide Zeitlin, a person of color, is CEO of Tapestry, a Fortune 500 company that owns Kate Spade, Coach and Stuart Weitzman.  In a recent interview he said, “Part of it is having honest conversations, and that we’re going to have more going forward. But it’s partly also, people talk about being anti-racist, from where I sit, you should see color, you should see differences, you should see lots of types of differences, and then you should celebrate those.”

I know this is a difficult subject, but it ultimately affects all of us.

Blessings to you all!

Victoria+

The Rev. Canon Victoria T. Hatch

June 12, 2020

Parish Profile Status

The Parish Profile Team is presently focused on preparing the Profile for Vestry review.  We have completed several sections and are working to incorporate the CAT and other parish survey responses, as well as collecting photographs and developing our format.  You can find directions for submitting pictures of parish activities below.

Photo Request

The Parish Profile Team of the Transition Committee is calling for photos of church events and parishioner groups at services and other occasions for possible inclusion in our Parish Profile.  Here is the link to upload photos into our folder: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ckEFdJaSmJ_8NNkl-JRC0wkTpjPDNrzcDeadline for submissions is June 30.  Once photos are uploaded, please send an email to Mary Mann to identify which are yours.

Contact Mary (Parish Profile Co-Chair) at 775.527.8963 or email (maryhpmann@gmail.com) to identify your photos, ask questions or if you are having problems with Google Drive.

From the Search Process Team

The process of seeking and calling a pastor to serve a congregation is one of discernment. For Christians, the goal of all discernment is seeking the will of God in each situation. The call process therefore seeks to know God’s will for the future mission and ministry of a congregation and who God chooses as pastor and shepherd for that ministry. It is God who chooses. It is the work of the Call Committee, the Vestry, the congregation, the priests interviewed and the Office of the Bishop to discern God’s choice and the Spirit’s leading.
Excerpted from Discerning God’s Will: The Basics of Discernment for Call Committees and Church Councils by the Rev. Thomas L. Weitzel (p. 1)

Revised Transition Outline Timeline

The original outline without dates was used first in March 2019 during a Vestry retreat, and was revised in January 2020.  This revision now includes dates to reflect work past and present.

Phase I – Lay the Foundation

April 7, 2019: Departure of Andrew and Susan Green
May 2019: Interim Rector Called
November 2019: Search begins for Transition Committee
November 28, 2019: Committee Called
January 26, 2020: Committee Commissioned
December 2019: Budget for Call Process Established

Phase II – Embrace Transition

January 25, 2020: Transition Committee Retreat
February 2020: Communications Sub-Committee Established
March 2020: Selection of File-Sharing System
March 7, 2020: Listening Session #1
March 8, 2020: CAT Survey through March 28
May 1, 2020: Email Listening Session #2 through May 22

Phase III – Search Process

 April 1 – June 30, 2020: Parish and Office of Transition Management Profiles Written

The teams continue to meet bi-weekly via Zoom. The future dates of Phases Three and Four will be released as soon as those dates are confirmed. A printing delay for the CAT and Listening Session reports will cause both to be mailed to parishioners on June 19, 2020.

Respectfully submitted,
Clinton L Carbon, Convener, Transition Committee

A Gift of Prayer for Transition from the Daughters of the King: Almighty and ever living God, hear our prayers for this parish family. You renewed us during Advent to receive Christ’s presence and You are preparing our parish for a renewed mission and vision. We thank you for the leadership of our interim rector, our Vestry and the members of our Transition Committee. We invite you, Holy Spirit, to guide and empower us and our Transition Committee as we begin the tasks of choosing a new rector for this parish. Grant that these servants become faithful companions to each other, to the vestry and to this Parish. We pray that you grant all of us the wisdom and discernment to choose a faithful pastor, who will help us continue to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

View the Transition Updates Archive

Book Club is Zooming!

The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 7, 2020, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom.  Meeting information will follow later.

For July, Book Club has selected News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles. In post-Civil War Texas, an aging itinerant newsreader agrees to transport a young captive of the Kiowa back to her family.

New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at alanzimmerman@icloud.com.

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, June 18th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.
Password: 085627

Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
Password: 085627

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 Church of the Province of Myanmar (Burma), The

Most Rev. Stephen Than Myint Oo, Archbishop of Myanmar and Bishop of Yangon.

For the Episcopal Diocese of New York, The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Mary Glasspool, Assistant Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Allen K. Shin, Bishop Suffragan.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the clergy and lay leadership of St. Paul in the Desert and for the city and civic leadership in Palm Springs.

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:  Bob Richter, Dennis Bihner, Carolyn and Zachary Scott and family, Vera B. Nash, June Ramirez, Barbie Palmer and family, Michael Weage, Tom Schott, Dorothy Walton, Tony Ellerd, Betty Muhleck, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway, Rose Hernandez, frontline grocery workers at Jensen’s and other food markets, members of the following families: Scott, Brinker, Ratnam, Lewis and Brown, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: John Beckham, Mike Good, Paul Lubin, Alec Kady.

For those with Birthdays:  June 16: Jeanne Jennings; June 17: Jack Moore; June 18: Katherine Bigler, Gary Koch; June 20: Arthur McGhee Pollack, Finn Stein-Steele, Sally G. Irons, Aurora Sosa.

For those celebrating their anniversaries: June 16: Bonnie & Vern Suter; June 18: Susan & Andrew Green, Monicka Rueda & Aurora Sosa; June 19: A.J. Miller & Frank Stahl.

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 announcements@stpaulsps.org

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select June 14, Trinity Sunday.

Angels in our Midst

Meet the newest “angel” who has found herself in the arms of the Church of St. Paul in the Desert.  Her name is Karen Long.

Karen is retired and lives in a golf course community in Cathedral City.  Like so many of us, she is in an age category considered “at risk” for COVID-19 and has been sheltering at home in secluded safety.  She is a gifted seamstress and, with a lot of extra time on her hands, decided to apply her talent to a purpose that could benefit others struggling through the pandemic.  The idea of making face masks occurred to her and she figured out how to access the materials needed to produce them in large quantities.  Her objective was to offer them at no charge to people who could not find them or afford them.

Soon, it was time for Karen to market her newly created products and spread the word about her supply chain.  Not certain what she was getting into, Karen posted an ad on the Next-Door Neighborhood page on Facebook.  Her Cathedral City post somehow found its way to Palm Springs in the email of our Sr. Warden, Steve Moore, and the two of them connected.  Steve contacted Karen and asked if she would consider making masks that could be distributed to clients of Well in the Desert, a local agency that serves the homeless population of the West Valley.  Karen said she thought the suggestion was perfectly in line with her original objectives and was excited about the opportunity.  By partnering with the Church, she would be able to distribute her face masks to a needy segment she really wanted to help.

The Church of St. Paul in the Desert has been hosting Well in the Desert for over 20 years by providing access to the church kitchen facilities.  Every weekday, the Well prepares hot meals and catering for those who sometimes cannot care for themselves.  They also prepare hundreds of lunch meals every   week which are served at St. Paul and other churches in the West Valley.

Karen’s masks are now protecting the faces of hundreds of those who live without the blessings afforded to many of us.  Steve’s message to Karen: “We are proud to offer your gifts to the world!”

Episcopal News Service

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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.

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