For Sunday, June 28th - Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

A Note from your Clergy

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

It seems change is one of the constants in our world, made even more so by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of us acknowledge its presence, but few of us like it.

Change as defined in the dictionary is: to  make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone;  to transform or convert (usually followed by into); to substitute another or others for; exchange for something else, usually of the same kind.

Change is all around us, whether manifested in the seasons, our own features (all we need to do is look in the mirror) or climate change.  The list goes on from there. The new order and how we do Church in this new world of COVID-19 will take some getting used to because we do not yet know what Church will look like. Let us be clear, COVID-19 is not over or losing its strength. The reports this week have shown us rising numbers of cases throughout California, especially in Riverside, Orange, and San Bernardino counties.  That is discouraging, but real. Church will look different and feel different. It is so very important that we open our hearts and minds to all this change because it is essential for our health and well-being. It is not about being confused or annoyed, but rather being responsible and thoughtful and concerned for all the Holy People of God.

Once again, we are reminded that we are all in this together.  It is “holy distancing,” washing our hands, wearing our masks, and demonstrating our concern for the other, which is a primary, core value of being a follower of this Jesus whom we call Lord.

I miss you all; know you are in my prayers regularly.

Blessings,
Victoria+

The Rev. Canon Victoria T. Hatch

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, July 2nd
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

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.

June 26, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

The Transition Committee has been working steadily to keep our search for a new rector moving forward. COVID-19 has had an impact on all organizations and as such our timelines have had to be adjusted.  The Committee has met using Zoom meeting technology in order to move the work forward. I am pleased to report that we completed the Congregational Assessment Tool (CAT) in late March, and the Parish Listening Sessions in May. This mailing contains the Executive Report from Holy Cow! Consulting, and the compiled Summary Report of the In-Person/Email Listening Sessions for your review.  A parish CAT Review Session scheduled after we are back having services and activities within the guidelines of social distancing.

Before you begin to read the CAT Executive Summary, please bear in mind:

  • The data from this survey is not the end of our conversation, but the beginning.
  • Holy Cow! Consulting has worked with over 600 congregations of all faiths and when congregation comparisons are made it is not an exclusive Episcopalian pool.
  • This survey looks at the pattern of responses based on two types of drivers or focus:
    • 1) Satisfaction with your church experience
    • 2) Energy (or Excitement for worship/programs)

The Listening Sessions Report is a compilation of the two events (one in person and via email) held to hear the voices of our parish. The raw data collected has been edited into a summary of each question.

View the Executive Summary
View the Report Summary

Information from both documents will be used to inform the completion of our Parish Profile and our Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) form.  The profile provides potential candidates with concise information about our church and community.  The OTM form provides standard information required of any parish in transition and will be posted by the diocese to the National Episcopal Church secure, password protected OTM site for prospective candidates.  We are prayerful to have both completed and approved by Vestry and the Diocese by the end of July 2020.

The timeline of our work is posted in the Transition Update Archive

Your prayers are encouraged and appreciated,

Clinton L. Carbon
Convener, Transition Committee


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)


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

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 united Church of North India, The Most Rev. Dr. Prem Chand Singh, Moderator of CNI and Bishop of Jabalpur. 

For the Episcopal Diocese of Rochester, New York, The Rt. Rev. Prince G. Singh, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the clergy and people of St. Margaret’s, Palm Desert.

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:  Joseph Bielanski, Nancy Martinez, Donna Saunders, Mike & Julie, Amanda Richard, Bob Richter, Dennis Bihner, Tom Schott, Dorothy Walton, Tony Ellerd, Betty Muhleck, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway, Rose Hernandez, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: Theresa Sweeny, John Beckham, Mike Good, Paul Lubin.

For those with Birthdays:  July 1: Rick Reed; July 2: John Murren, Erik Palmer; July 3: Alex Finlay-Christensen, Shelia Brubaker, Kirk Pickerel; July 4: Carolyn Etherridge, Joel Cutler.

For those celebrating their anniversaries:June 28: Roger Donnelly & Stephen Lisante, Betti & Ken Hendrickson; June 29: Doug Hairgrove & Woody Wood, Tempe & John Essell; July 2: Natasha & Navin Hemrajani.

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 28th.

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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