For Sunday, June 20, 2021

COVID Update from the office of our Bishop

Bishop Susan has lifted many COVID restrictions pertaining to the way we can now worship together, following the advice of the Diocesan Public Health Task Force.  Reservations, occupancy limits and social distancing are no longer required.  We will continue to ask that you wear a mask while on the church campus if you have not been vaccinated (but we will not require verification).  For now, Communion will be administered with bread only.  Sharing a common chalice is still not permitted.  More information will be forthcoming as it is available.

A Message from our Interim Rector

June 11, 2021

I am writing to you at St. Paul’s this one last time to announce my final day as Interim Rector will be June 30, a date I have already shared with the Vestry and Wardens of the Parish.  On that date, or thereabouts, we are hoping the Vestry will be issuing a call to the person who will become the new and full-time Rector of St. Paul’s.  This is the high moment of a long and arduous process in which your fellow parishioners, especially the Search Committee, have labored mightily on your behalf.  At this point it is now your Vestry that is putting in many extra hours to finalize a decision that will launch the next chapter in the history of this faith community we all care about.

To say it has been a privilege to serve you would be an understatement.  I am very grateful to have had (so unexpectedly!) one more opportunity to be a parish priest – and with a parish community I already loved and felt a part of.  Indeed, had I still been in the midst of my “career,” I would most definitely have wanted to put my hat in the ring!  Now, however, it is time for me to retire (again) and rejoice in the new thing God is doing.  Part of what went into that decision and timing is my belief that it’s very important to create some “space” between me and the next rector, to pave the way for welcoming a new pastor at St. Paul’s.

I know having been half-time has had its limitations and I do regret any omissions in ministry that may have resulted.  The pandemic seriously compromised much of what I or we might have been able to do, and yet I think, as a parish, we have done a fantastic job of staying together and keeping the important things in place.  I cannot say enough about the strong clergy team that has been a part of this picture and will continue to be with you during the summer interim period until the new rector arrives.  I will step back for now to make space and will gladly continue as a member of the parish in any way that is helpful to the rector when they are in place.

I will refrain from naming anyone for fear of inadvertently overlooking someone, but I do believe that one of the strengths of St. Paul’s is strong and firm lay leadership.  I have nothing but praise for all the wardens I have worked with these past two years – and the same goes for the parish staff.

As it says in the Scriptures, “Behold, I make all things new.”  And that is exactly what is happening now for us.  We are all part of a new beginning in the life of a unique and special parish community.  Together, let us follow the Risen Christ into a new day that is dawning in our midst.

With love and friendship,


The Rev. Canon David L. Caffrey

Farewell, Interim Rector Fr. David

All are invited to a reception for Fr. David immediately following his final service as Interim Rector, Sunday, June 27.  Join us in the Parish Hall for a special social hour as we close this chapter of our journey to call a new Rector.  Light refreshments will be offered.

June 18, 2021

Dear Parishioners,

The candidate visits have concluded, and all materials have been handed over to the Vestry for discernment.  Once a decision has been made, the following steps must be completed:

  • The candidate must say yes to the offer and the compensation package agreed upon.
  • The Bishop must give final approval.
  • Three forms of Diocesan paperwork must be completed and signed by the Senior Warden, the Candidate, and the Bishop.
  • Announcements must be coordinated between our parish, the new rector’s current parish and the Diocese in order to go public with the naming of the candidate as our new Rector.

We hope to have a new Rector named on or around July 1.

This is my last Transition Update.  It has been an honor for me and the Transition Committee to represent the members of this parish in this important endeavor.  Since our commissioning January 25, 2020, we have worked through a pandemic and mostly online to create the essential documents that are the cornerstone of the search process: the Parish Profile and the Office of Transition Ministry Portfolio Form.  Our work to find candidates to meet the criteria set forth in those documents is complete and the selection of the next Rector rests with our Vestry.  Thanks to The Rev. Canon Gwynn Lynch, Canon to the Ordinary, the Parish Office Staff and countless others who answered our calls for participation, assistance, and support.  We ask for your prayers of thanksgiving for the service of our Interim Rector, The Rev. Canon David L Caffrey and the members of the Transition Committee listed:

Parish Profile Team Search Process Team
Stan Bisho, Co-Chair Audrey Spencer, Co-Chair
Mary Mann, Co-Chair Ed Walsh, Co-Chair
Brian Blueskye, Editor Dee Dee Barton
Craig Ewing Hap Blaisdell
Lena Granet Alexis Clark
Gary Scott, CAT Coordinator Tom Lutgen
Roberto Thais Rick Tinsley
Russ Uthe


Please continue to pray for the Vestry and our parish as we enter this period of discernment.

With dedication to Service,

Clinton L Carbon, Convener

View the Transition Updates Archive

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)

Altar flower sponsorships

Fresh flowers at the altar honor God and add to the beauty of our worship.  Now that we have resumed in-person services on Sundays, we invite you to consider sponsoring altar flowers to recognize or honor special people and events.

You can reserve your sponsorship Sunday(s) by calling the Parish Office (760.320.7488).  Or you can stop by the office and browse through the Flower Sponsor Register to see which weeks are available.  A donation of $85 for each sponsorship is suggested.

July Book Club

The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, July 6, 2021, at 1:00 PM via Zoom.  Meeting information will follow later. For July, Book Club has selected The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson. This novel follows Cussy Mary, a packhorse librarian and her quest to bring books to the Appalachian community she loves. It is a story of raw courage, fierce strength, and one woman’s belief that books can carry us anywhere — even back home.

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

St. Paul’s Camping Ministry

Cool off near Big Bear with the St. Paul’s Camping Ministry, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, June 21 to 23.  Up in the tall pine trees, at the shore of Jenks Lake, our campground is Barton Flats on Hwy 38, about 18 miles from Yucaipa.  Some spots are open to camp overnight (we still have room for more campers).  Day-trippers can bring a picnic and join us.  Just pay for parking ($8), Site #7.

Contact Bonnie Stroock at 760.324.7949.

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, June 24th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.

Or, join by phone: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 841 2829 0982

Prayers of the Church

For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon Justin Welby; for the Church of North India (United).

For the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa, The Rt. Rev. Alan Scarfe, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for our President; for the leaders of the nations and for all in authority.

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:  Teri Whitmer, Laurine Di Rocco, Donna Piazza, Mary Kipe, Jeanette Hale, George, 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: Juanita Felix, Patricia Clipper, Tanya Clipper, Pam Mihalich, Wanda Saulmon, Gary Rodney, Ruth Mathes.

For those with birthdays:  June 20: Arthur McGhee Pollack, Finn Stein-Steele, Sally Irons, Aurora Sosa; June 21: Charles Mader, Robert Richter; June 22: Bob Edgerly; June 24: Sharon Strong; June 25: Charles Hull; June 26: Mark McMillan, Ruth Wylie.

For those celebrating their anniversary: June 22: Marie & Jeffrey Ratnam

For those for whom flowers have been given:Today’s Altar Flowers are given by Lena and John Granet in loving memory of Irma L. 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

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select June 6th.

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.

Questions? Contact Patty Kiker, 214.497.3034

Church Office Hours

The Parish Office is now open for business as usual and observing regular summer office hours:

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
9:00 AM – 11:30 AM; 1:00 PM – 4:30 PM

9:00 AM – 11:30 AM

Episcopal News Service

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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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