For Sunday, June 9th

This Week’s Message

By the Power of the Holy Spirit . . . . . . .

The disciples were gathering on that morning in the “upper room,” the morning that we now know as the “Day of Pentecost.” They may have been gathering for prayer or consolation, but their reason for gathering was completely different from God’s reason for gathering them together. The disciples were still stuck – in the physical death of Christ, in their grief, in their sense of abandonment and in their inability to see a way forward. They were stuck in the past.

Through the power of the Holy Spirit, which is unfathomable to the human mind, God wanted to fortify their spirits and show them a new way forward. God also wanted to introduce them to the power of the Holy Spirit, and they didn’t see it coming. How could they? Christ promised the disciples that he would not abandon them. But in their human minds, they felt abandoned because the “body” of Christ was dead. Even after the Ascension, they were stuck in their misunderstanding.

So, God sent the Holy Spirit to the upper room and to the world. And what a spirit it was! It sounded like a violent wind. There were “divided tongues, as of fire, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the spirit gave them ability.” Even the streets were filled with the ruckus of what was going on. And they were amazed. Aren’t these Galileans who are speaking other languages? And how is it that we Galileans understand these foreign languages in our own tongue? How could this happen? It was almost psychedelic and completely outside of their understanding of how God can be at work in the world! But It happened—by the power of the Holy Spirit.

God was using the Holy Spirit to paint a new picture of the resurrected Body of Christ. The future was unimaginable until God intervened to show the disciples a new way. They weren’t abandoned after all! And what’s more, we were shown what the Church would look like in the future. We know that the Church today ministers in most foreign lands, on all the continents of the earth and dwells in the hearts of people from a multitude of cultures, races, ethnicities and orientations. And in this new body of the resurrected Christ, our differences are our strength. This is the power of the Holy Spirit.

So what does this mean for us today at St. Paul in the Desert? While we certainly are not stuck in the past, the future seems a little uncertain. Today we celebrate the new ministry of our Interim Rector, Fr. David Caffrey. Together, with the collaboration of our Vestry, the parish staff and every member of our congregation, we will find our way forward. But we can’t do it alone. We must listen for the stirrings of the Spirit in our midst and what it is saying to us as a community of faith. Then, and only then, by the power of the Holy Spirit, will we begin to find our way forward together.

Sending you the power of Christ at Pentecost –
Join the ruckus, be amazed!
Br. John Charles

St. Paul’s Gun Violence Ministry

June 7-9 is Gun Violence Awareness Weekend

This is a national movement supporting gun violence prevention and raising awareness of lives lost by gun violence. Orange bracelets will be available in the Narthex (church lobby) and Parish Hall. Orange is the color that Hadiya Pendleton’s friends wore in her honor after she was shot and killed in Chicago at the age of 15 – just one week after performing at President Obama’s second inaugural in 2013. The color has become a nation symbol to raise awareness about gun violence. Also available will be related information and a listing of organizations involved with this critical issue. Please take and review the information and support an organization of your choice.

Day of Pentecost / Whitsunday

Sunday June 9th the church celebrates the Day of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Day. The word “Pentecost” comes from the Greek word Pentēkostē, which means “the 50th day.”

In the Old Testament, “Pentecost” refers to the Feast of Weeks, a seven-week agricultural event that focused on the harvesting of first crops. Josephus, a first-century Jewish historian, also used the word “Pentecost” to refer to the 50th day after the first day of Passover.

In the New Testament, “Pentecost” refers to the coming of the Spirit shortly after Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension: “When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each” (Acts 2:1-6, NRSV).

Christians came to understand the meaning of Pentecost in terms of the gift of the Spirit, and the Pentecost event as the fulfillment of Jesus’ promise concerning the return of the Holy Spirit.

Speaking in tongues, a manifestation of receiving the Spirit, is interpreted by some to symbolize the church’s worldwide mission, and the Day of Pentecost is thought to be the origin of sending the church out into the world.

The Day of Pentecost is identified by the Book of Common Prayer as one of the feast days “especially appropriate” for baptism (Book of Common Prayer, p. 312). Because of this, Pentecost is also known as “Whitsun” or “Whitsunday” (“White Sunday”), a term used to describe the white baptismal garments worn by those who were baptized at the Vigil of Pentecost and then worn to church on the Day of Pentecost.

Interim Rector

On Sunday June 9th we will welcome The Rev. Canon David Caffrey as our Interim Rector. There will be a reception after all three services and everyone is invited. The 10:30 reception will also recognize and thank the Choir for another season of wonderful music. Come celebrate with us!

Adult Literacy Program

The Adult Literacy Program is looking for new tutors for English speaking adults who want to improve their skills in reading, writing and comprehension. We have learners waiting for a tutor. If you would like to volunteer for this program, please call Gary Scott at 760-218-3180

Parish Life Book Club

Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00 PM in the Library. New members are always welcome!

For July 2, 2019, Book Club has selected The Second Mountain by David Brooks. Everybody tells you to live for a cause larger than yourself, but how exactly do you do it? The Second Mountain explores what it takes to lead a meaningful life in a self-centered world. Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. The Book Club will not meet in August.

For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at

Youth Ministry

On Sunday June 23, at 4:00 PM in the Parish Hall, Charlette Presler, Diocesan Missioner for Youth Ministry will lead a workshop to assist us in re-imaging our Children/Youth Ministry.

We are inviting families with children and those without children who may have a talent they feel they can bring to this endeavor or just a willingness and/or interest in participating in this Ministry. Feel free to invite friends who may not be members of our parish, but you think may be interested in our plans and goals for this Ministry. Children are welcome. There will be pizza following the workshop.

Please call the office to register, 760.320.7488 or email or

The Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, Bishop-Elect

The Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook, Bishop-Elect

Consecration and Ordination

The Diocese of San Diego will welcome our Fifth Bishop on Saturday, June 15 at 11:00 AM at St. Paul’s Cathedral, 2728 Sixth Avenue, San Diego. The Diocese is providing free bus transportation to the Cathedral.

If you would like to reserve a space on the bus traveling to the service, please do so online at You are strongly encouraged to take the bus or carpool because parking at St. Paul’s Cathedral is limited. The maximum capacity on the bus is 55 people, so please RSVP today:

Funeral Announcements

Long time parishioner, Betty Berryman, died Tuesday, May 28, at Hallmark Assisted Living, Palm Springs.  Funeral arrangements will be announced later.  May she rest in peace.

Thomas Dean Milne

There will be a Celebration of Life Service for Thomas Dean Milne on Saturday, June 8th at 11:00 AM

Anthony (Tony) Amato

There will be a Celebration of Life Service for Anthony (Tony) Amato on Saturday, June 15th at 11:00 AM

Adult Faith Formation

Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library: The Episcopal Café
These sessions are designed to facilitate discussion of Sunday scripture readings.

6/9: Reflection for Pentecost: The Difference that the Spirit Makes
Led by Gary Scott

6/16: The Trinity: A Reflection
Led by Jerry Di Noto

6/23: Transition Part 1
Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey

6/30: Transition Part 2 
Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey

Tuesdays at 6:00 – 7:30 PM, in the Library

6/11: Book of Revelation: What is the Rapture all about?
Leader TBA

6/18: Book of Revelation: Revelation’s value in our current society.
Led by Br. John Charles

6/25: NO TUESDAY NIGHT SESSION – Summer Recess begins

Coffee Hour after Services

We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall following our Sunday morning services.

This week we will be celebrating Rev. Canon David Caffrey as our Interim Rector and the Hospitality Is being hosted by the Vestry.

Please consider volunteering to be a Coffee Hour Host sometime. It can be a great way to honor and celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. There are still many Sundays available. The Sunday Hospitality Sign-Up Book is on the table at the Parish Hall entrance.

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 Thursday and 9 am – 11:30 am Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.

Should you call on Monday or Friday afternoon 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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