For Sunday, June 7th - Trinity Sunday

Priest’s Message

The Bush is blazing, but does it have to consume?

“In faithfulness to our Savior who lived a life of non-violence and sacrificial love, we align ourselves with those seeking justice for the death of George Floyd and countless others, through the sacred act of peaceful protest.” Thus, ends one of the first statements that Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde of the Diocese of Washington made in response to President Trump’s deployment of the military – in riot gear, using tear gas and force – to clear Lafayette Square so he could stand in front of St. John’s Episcopal church lifting up a bible.  Presiding Bishop Michael Curry of the Episcopal Church also responded, “For the sake of George Floyd, for all who have wrongly suffered, and for the sake of us all, we need leaders to help us to be ‘one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all.’”

I am thankful that both bishops helped us focus on the real issue: the murder of George Floyd. In the midst of the diverging coverages of the protests – destructive activities and conflicts between the demonstrators and the police – our country has a habit of following the sensational distractions: looting, smoke producing tear gas, the sound of rubber bullets firing, conflicts between the hand-raising protesters and the riot gear-enhance police force – and forgetting the deep-seeded issue that we need to address if we are to work toward lessoning the possibility of this happening again.

In the wake of the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, as a result of coordinating and facilitating interracial dialogue involving 9 major religious communities across the greater Los Angeles area, I wrote a book titled, “The Bush Was Blazing but not Consumed.”  The central idea is how to develop and facilitate time and place where we can burn with passion for justice and yet not be consumed or consume others.  We had witnessed racial injustice “fire.”  But instead of it being a burning bush, a holy fire that brings people together to transform the oppressive system, it inevitably got coopted into an unholy fire that burned and consumed people and properties.  These types of unholy, distractive fires, embraced by the media, reinforce and spin one more time the cycle of destruction, setting the stage for the next destructive fire.  This cycle has replayed itself many times in my lifetime and surely will replay again if we do not act to disrupt the unholy fire and transform it into the burning bush.  Just as the burning bush was the place where Moses and God made a plan to liberate the Israelites who were enslaved for generations, we must build a burning bush that gathers leaders, whether they know they are leaders or not, to plan a transformative and liberating strategy so we can truly blaze with our passion for justice but not be consumed or consume others.

The Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law



Andrei Rublev’s icon painted in the early 15th Century is the most famous attempt to capture the concept of the Trinity in art.  It leaves the impression that our God resides in an ongoing conversation of creation, redemption, and sanctification, and that we are invited to sit at God’s table and enter the conversation.

This Sunday is Trinity Sunday, one of the seven principal feast days of the year and the only one that addresses squarely what we believe as Christians. The tradition of the Sunday following Pentecost marking the Holy Trinity began when Thomas Becket was consecrated Archbishop of Canterbury on that day in 1162 and called for the observance of Trinity Sunday on that day ever after.

While the Trinity is a statement of doctrine it is at its heart an affirmation of mystery. Throughout Christian history people have attempted to nail down the doctrine surrounding the Trinity into declarative statements. The most famous is found in The Creed of Saint Athanasius. This statement written for Christian worship in the 5th Century (though not likely the work of St. Athanasius) lays out in strong language Trinitarian belief:

And the Catholic Faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity,
neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.
For there is one Person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.
But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one, the Glory
equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.
The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate.
The Father incomprehensible, the Son incomprehensible, and the Holy Ghost

Book of Common Prayer, Historical Documents, p. 864.

The key word here is incomprehensible. As Anglicans we are comfortable with the incomprehensible. We worship the incomprehensible. Having mystery and paradox – rather than certainty – at the heart of our faith is not disturbing for us. The opposite of certainty is not doubt, but faith.

So, pay heed when we as a church try to wrap our minds around the great paradox at the heart of our belief. Father, Son and Holy Spirit invite you to the table to drink deeply of the mystery of our faith.

Adapted from Peter Strimer’s “Trinity Sunday,” May 31, 2012, Episcopal Church Foundation “Vital Posts.”

June 5, 2020

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. CAT and Listening Session reports will be released before June 15, 2020.

Respectfully submitted,
Clinton L Carbon, Convener, Transition Committee

May 29, 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: 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 ( to identify your photos, ask questions or if you are having problems with Google Drive.

Thanks, The Parish Profile Team

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

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, June 11th
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 La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico, The Most Rev. Francisco Moreno, Presiding Bishop of La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico and Bishop of Northern Mexico.

For the Episcopal Diocese of New Jersey, The Rt. Rev. William H. Stokes, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the Anglican Communion and the ministries of all its provinces.

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: Paul Lubin, Alec Kady.

For those with Birthdays:  June 7: Leroy Potts, Chuck Coursey; June 8: Jim Panos; June 9: Nathan Ensign; June 10: Terry Ardizzone; June 11: Mary Holmes, Mike Shaw; June 12: Alan Zimmerman; June 13: Terry Arnett, Will Tacchi.

For those celebrating their anniversaries: June 9: Terri & Judi Miller-Steele; June 11: Lyn & Mark Pease; June 12: Vern Marken & Luis Valdez.

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 7, 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!”

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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

Office Hours are 9 am – 4:30 pm Tuesday through Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.

Should you call on Monday 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 during the 10:30 a.m. service.

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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