For Sunday March 17, 2024

1PS Event March 23rd

Come in your St. Paul’s T-shirt and be a parish ambassador at the 15th annual 1PS neighborhood event at Ruth Hardy Park. Over 1100 residents and dozens of community organizations, businesses, and agencies share about the good work they do in the community. Help us to get the word out about Easter services and have a good time doing it. To participate, sign up at the Welcome Table or call the Parish Office at 760.320.7488.

Don’t miss Easter Vigil! This is the central liturgy of the entire church year and tells the entire story of the Christian faith in one service. In addition to the Easter fire, processions by candlelight, incense, and moving readings, the service will also feature combined members of the St. Paul and St. Margaret choirs. The anthem will be John Rutter’s “Christ the Lord is Risen Again,” and St. Margaret’s choirmaster/organist, Douglas Leightenheimer, will play everyone’s favorite Easter postlude: the Widor Toccata from Symphony No. 5.

Easter Flower Donations

If you wish to make a memorial donation to our Easter Flower Fund, please mark your check or donation envelope with the name(s) of those you wish to remember. (Find special Easter flower donation envelopes in the pews.) Your donation/dedication will be listed in our special Easter bulletin insert if received by March 25. As in years past, we want to share the beauty of our Easter Flower Display with parishioners who won’t be able to attend Easter services.  We will gather a group of volunteers in the church after the 10:30 Easter service and collect the flowering potted plants from the display so they can be delivered to parishioners – our way to spread Easter cheer. Here’s how you can help:

  • Provide the names of any parishioners you may know who should be on our flower recipient list. (Send to or call the Parish Office at 760.320.7488.)
  • Let us know if you can volunteer as a flower delivery driver or assistant.

Note: During Lent the altar is not decorated with flowers.

Good Friday Offering

For more than a hundred years, Episcopalians have generously shared their love, compassion, and financial gifts to support the ministry of the Anglican Communion Province of Jerusalem and the Middle East. As has long been our practice, St. Paul in the Desert will donate our entire Good Friday offering to this Anglican ministry in the homeland of Jesus.  In this time of exceptional circumstances, our gifts will support schools, medical services, and many other important ministries across the region.

Security Grant Update: “Let There Be Light”

This past week, new lighting has been installed on the campus. Come to an evening service or meeting to see the new lights in all their glory! There are new overhead lights in the colonnade and on the front of the Church. You will also notice new bollards that line the walkways and new lighting in the parking lot. Light is a major crime deterrent. If you see a member of the Security Grant Team (Steve Moore, Derek “Eduardo” Stanfill, John Raposa, Valerie Rogers, Alex Christensen, Alan Glass), please  thank them for their months of work in getting us to this point. Up next: new fencing, security cameras, and internet to power the cameras.

Sign-up for Lenten Spiritual Formation Classes

Morning Prayer with the Co-Rectors

8am Monday – Thursday on Facebook 

Join us every weekday morning (except Fridays) to pray Morning Prayer from the Daily Office. What is the Daily Office? Use of daily prayers to mark the times of the day and to express the traditions of the praying community is traditional in Judaism and in Christianity. The congregational or cathedral form of office developed in Christianity under the Emperor Constantine (274 or 288-337) with the principal morning and evening services of lauds and vespers. Additional times of prayer were added over the centuries. By the late Middle Ages, the Daily Office was seen as the responsibility of the monks and clergy rather than an occasion for participation by all in the prayers of the community throughout the day. After the Anglican Reformation, Archbishop Thomas Cranmer (1489-1556) reduced the eight monastic offices to the two services of Morning and Evening Prayer. These services were printed in vernacular English, not just Latin, and intended for use by all members of the church. Participation in the Daily Office is at the heart of Anglican spirituality. It is the proper form of daily public worship in the church. The Book of Common Prayer provides a Daily Office Lectionary that identifies readings and psalm choices for Morning and Evening Prayer (pp. 936-1001), and a Table of Canticles with suggested canticles for use at Morning Prayer and Evening Prayer (pp. 144-145). The officiant in the Daily Office may be a member of the clergy or a lay person.

If you’ve ever wanted to deepen your prayer life or learn how to use the Book of Common Prayer for yourself, please join us on the church’s Facebook page as we commit ourselves to this ancient prayer practice!

View one of our weekday Morning Prayer sessions!

Wednesday Simple Eucharists at 6PM

During Lent will be Rite 1

Give Up Your Stuff for Lent

Searching for a Lenten Practice that will have you looking at what you have, getting rid of what you don’t need, and creating literal space for God’s Spirit to flow and your home to be a place of resurrection?

Join us this Lent with the 40 Bags in 40 Days Challenge.

You determine the size of the bags, and going through each room, drawer, closet, and cupboard, each day collect the items you don’t need, don’t use, or have too much of and discard, recycle or find a new home for those items. Ask yourself, can I donate my unused clothing to those in need? Do I let food go to waste? Am I spending my money on new possessions when I am not using the ones I have or when I could be helping those in need?

While this might seem a different Lenten practice, Lent is a time of prayer, sacrifice, and self-denial. Getting a little uncomfortable is what Lent does, allowing us a time of confession, reconciliation, and new habits as we deepen our spiritual lives. Clearing out our space isn’t just the new ‘minimalist’ fad. We are called to be good stewards of our things and the more things we have, the more energy we take in keeping them up, and the less time we have to spend with those we love and with those we are called to serve. By using/having less and by being less wasteful, we can make more room for prayer and to hear God’s Voice.

Join us. #40bagsin40dayslentchallenge

The Reconciliation of a Penitent: Remember Confession in Lent

The Book of Common Prayer contains two orders of service for private confession, known officially as the Reconciliation of a Penitent. Making a private confession is a traditional and powerful spiritual practice, and the choice to confess or not confess to a priest is governed by the old adage: All may, some should, none must. This Lent, Rev. Jessie and Rev. Dan will be reserving Sunday afternoons for hearing confessions and will also be available by appointment. If you would like resources or help preparing for confession, or if you would like to set up a time for this sacrament, please email or .

Reconciliation of a Penitent: What Is It and What Can I Expect if I Try It?

Here is an excerpt from the Rev. Hillary Raining’s book, Joy in Confession: Reclaiming Sacramental Reconciliation:

Reconciliation of a Penitent Explained

The theological explanation of reconciliation is both complicated and simple. At its heart, reconciliation is the very cornerstone of our faith—the love of God proclaimed in the forgiveness and healing offered to us by Jesus. We often hear the phrases “Jesus died for our sins” or “Jesus died to save you.” Yet, understanding how that forgiveness works in our day-to-day life can be difficult. The Rite of Reconciliation exists so that we can live into the forgiving action of Jesus as found in his Body, the community of the Church, and as people of God.

In the Episcopal tradition, Reconciliation of a Penitent (as defined in the Book of Common Prayer) it “is the rite in which those who repent of their sins may confess them to God in the presence of a priest, and receive the assurance of pardon and the grace of absolution.” It is often referred to as “private confession.”

Reconciliation invites us to leave our tombs (our sins and failings) and live the life God calls us to. Reconciliation means we become one again with our Lord and Savior—that we experience the Easter promise of new life. When people truly embrace and practice Reconciliation of a Penitent, they will be transformed—as will the world around them.

What to Expect When Making Confession

Although each location will be different according to your church’s traditions and the style of your confessor, here are some things that you can expect when you make a confession.

Begin your journey to reconciliation with prayer and self-examination. Knowing that this opportunity is a call to grace and not a call to feel shame, ask God for clarity in those parts of your life that may need healing and change.

When you feel the desire to seek reconciliation, call your church to make an appointment with your priest or make note of any previously scheduled times of confession that are posted in your church.

The place where you make your confession will be confidential and sacred. Very few Episcopal churches have confessional booths; however, if yours does, simply enter and either sit or kneel as the priest takes her or his place on the other side of the screen. If your church does not have a booth, you will most likely be invited to kneel at the altar rail or meet with the priest in his or her office. The confessor may sit facing you or in such a way as to not make direct eye contact with you; this may make the moment more comfortable for you and is a sign that your confessor is listening deeply on behalf of God.

Using one of the reconciliation rites from The Book of Common Prayer, you will confess your sins and ask God for forgiveness. Don’t worry if you can’t remember everything! God knows what is on your heart.

The priest may offer pastoral conversation and some spiritual practices (such as a psalm, prayer, or hymn to be said or something to do) to offer as a sign of penitence and an act of thanksgiving.

The priest will then absolve you from your sins and remind you of the wonders of God’s grace and forgiveness that you have received.

Spend some time in prayer afterward to revel in the freedom and joy that God offers you in this pastoral gift of reconciliation.

St. Paul’s Monthly Movie Night

This Saturday, March 16th 6 PM: Cecil B. DeMille’s The Ten Commandments

St. Paul’s Hiking Club – Big Morongo Canyon Preserve

The Hiking Club will be going to a location everyone in the desert should visit at least once, if not many, many times: the Big Morongo Canyon Preserve in Morongo Valley, an easy half-hour drive from Palm Springs.  This surprising wetland in the Little San Bernardino Mountains is one of the ecological and scenic jewels on the Sand-to-Snow National Monument – a dense oasis of cottonwoods and desert willows filled with unique desert plants and wildlife.  Beloved by local birdwatchers, there is also a good chance of seeing mule deer, bighorn sheep, coyote and even the occasional black bear on these trails.

The Preserve also has some small trail closures due to the recent storms, but we will avoid them and piece together a very enjoyable route of around 2-2.5 miles.  The trail is easy and well-maintained overall, with a nice mixture of sun and shade and one or two moderate climbs with an elevation change of between 400-500 feet. As always, everyone should carry at least a liter of water and wear good walking shoes with hard rubber treads for traction. Trekking poles or walking sticks are not required but may be useful for any needing extra stability.

We will meet at the Preserve on April 13, 2024, at 8:30 a.m. sharp. – please be on time.  We will send out an email with any updates and (simple) driving instructions, to all who have signed up as the date approaches.  If you haven’t yet RSVP’d, please let Nancy () know you’re coming.  And don’t hesitate to let either of us know if there are any questions.

If you have been there before or if this will be your first time, we look forward to having you join us on this unique and scenic hike.  See you there!

Chris Kelly ()

The Church of St. Paul in the Desert Legacy Society

Who are you?
Cheryl & Ray Kelley

How long have you been at St. Paul’s and what brought you here?

26+ years… we were not looking for a church.  While driving home from dinner on a Friday evening, we happened on to El Alameda.  Cheryl saw the church, thinking it was kind of “cute.”  Cheryl asked Ray if he had ever seen this church before. Neither of us had. Then, Cheryl asked Ray to drive around the block to see what time was posted for the service on Sunday. We lived (a different place at the time) close enough that 10:30am was just perfect.  Cheryl believes that God tapped her shoulder and told her to look at ‘that’ place—and she listened.  

What keeps you here?

We found a lot of peace in our hearts/souls at St. Paul’s. Andrew was an excellent sermonizer and teacher. The people have always been a big part of what keeps us at ‘our’ church. Far from being shy, we have many friends over the years—more friends than in any other parts of our lives. Our co-parishioners are, indeed, a major part of what keeps us at St. Paul’s. That being said… the ‘new’ co-rectors are also amazing to us… in that we learn—in a different way—the meanings and ideas to think about during each week’s sermons…  and through the announcements, which sometimes give us pause for thought. On December 10, 2003, after 27 years together… we got married at the church of St. Paul in the desert. One evening while learning about ‘sacraments’ during a confirmation class… I asked Ray if he knew that marriage was a sacrament. After that question, we made plans to make it happen… and it did. We put our wedding invitation in the bulletin, asking for rsvp’s … and were humbled by the number of people who joined us on that special day. The church was filled from each side—east and west—and to the front and back—north to south.  What a wonderful tribute to our many friendships over the years.

Why did you join the Legacy Society?

We were happy to join the Legacy Society since we already had named St. Paul’s in our will. Whenever we needed to make changes or re-iterate something regarding our wills, we increased our ‘legacy’ by some amount… it is higher than it was.  Next time around… I would think it will be higher.

What are your big dreams for St. Paul’s future as we embark on our annual stewardship campaign this year?

We love our church and our co-parishioners… and whatever is happening… continuing or something new… we do our best to be supportive and ‘jump in.’  That being said, we had been so busy over the years… sometimes as members of 5-6 ministries every year.  We found the time, although being in LA. often… I guess it’s because we were younger—we have plenty of energy now, but we were over-the-top filled with energy in the last decades!

What is something interesting that St. Paul’s folks might not know about you?

Ray’s been a professional musician (cello) for over 62 years.  He has 12 years of symphony experience, including the LA. philharmonic.  He changed course, and was always busy in the commercial/studio work field.  He has played on thousands of television shows (including the days of variety/musical shows), and hundreds of motion picture scoring sessions.  Altogether it was over 12,000 shows and motion pictures.  His favorite things to work on were records.  He went through an amazing time of music—from Elvis and Sinatra to the carpenters, eagles, smokey robinson, neil diamond, Chicago and the whole spectrum of rock and disco while it was the happening music of the day… and more! Cheryl has held many positions over the years… including the last 35 years working with Ray on our company: resort music.  Her prior work gave her all the necessities for handling many tasks.  In her earlier years, she worked for banks, stock brokers, lawyers, accountants, had her own business, sold life/health insurance… and worked as the first development director at the los angeles children’s museum… and then moved on to the los angeles natural history museum—where her ‘greeter’ every day was a mummy parked just outside the door to her office!  😊  Cheryl was also a meeting/party planner for a short time as Ray was setting up resort music … making it the perfect ‘next’ and ‘final’ position for Cheryl.

If you would like to find out more information about planned-giving, end of life care, or joining the St. Paul in the Desert Legacy Society please email

Lost Something? Want to find it?

Lent is a time for letting go and finding what was lost. Mother Mary invites you to look in the Lost and Found box in the narthex of the church this Sunday and claim your items. Coffee mugs, hats, lots of glasses, a journal, jewelry, and other such things have been left behind at St. Paul. Dig through and find your things before we find a new home for all of them at the end of Lent.

Prayers of the Church


For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Right Honourable Justin Welby; for The Church in Wales, The Most Reverend Andy John, Archbishop of Wales.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Joaquin, The Right Reverend David C. Rice, Bishop.

For the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego, The Right Reverend Dr. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for Camp Stevens; for those who love Camp Stevens and those who are discovering camp today for the first time; for the youth and leaders participating in the Night Watch Pilgrimage to the Desert.

For those commended to our prayers: David Smitherman, Layla Alexia, Richard, Patrick, Donald, Cindy Jiovani, Paul Mattaliano, Michael Marguet, Delores Swanson, JoEllen Doering, George Doering, Jeffrey Ratnam, Randy Hoepfner, Julian Assange, Edward Snowden, Chelse Manning, the family of Tracy Conair, Gary Grant, Charla, Nesbitt Hatch, Jerry Morrissey, Scott Jones, James Rougely, Cedric Rougely, John Hollis, Brooke Wolford, Howard Cecil, Michael Neill, Vern Marken, Henry Clock, Justin & Ashlee Thiessen, Spencer & Connie Thiessen, Garrison Turgoose, Sheila Heath, Carol H., Ben Palmer, Wayne Berkner, Marie Ratnam, Terry Garrity, Rob Porter, Rus Butler, Joe Christopher, Hap Blaisdell, David Valenzuela, Amelia Grinstead, Chloe Grace Wilson Barton, Marilyn De Silva Currie, Greg Gowdy, Tom Lutgen; pray for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: The Reverend Tom Kennedy, Dr. William C. Swanson, Tracy Conair, Steve Lind, Kenn Catterlin, Andrew Hollinger, The Reverend Brian Bajari, Leona Hille Erickson, Janice Brackens, Kent Noyes. Rest eternal grant to these, your servants, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them. May their souls and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

For those with birthdays: March 18: Tim Johnson; March 20: Patricia Thompson; March 21: Kristy Nugent, Bret Caton; March 22: Robert Woods; March 23: Mary Wyton, Sahanan Koompoo.

For those celebrating anniversaries: March 17: Rex Comer & Lanny Tucker; March 19: Joanne & Roland Lampela; March 22: Dee Dee & Greg Barton.

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 . The weekly print deadline is Wednesday noon.

For next Sunday’s Lectionary readings, go to www.lectionarypage.net and click on March 24, the Sunday of the Passion: PALM SUNDAY.

Upcoming Meetings & Events at St Paul’s

  • Sunday, March 17 – 6:00 PM – Lent V – St. Brigid of Kildare & St. Patrick of Ireland – Celtic liturgy
  • Saturday, March 23 – 11:00 AM-2:00 PM – One PS Picnic & Community Expo – Ruth Hardy Park
  • Sunday, March 24 – Palm/Passion Sunday
  • Tuesday, March 26 – Daughters of the King – 1:30 PM, Closed Meeting for members; 2:00 PM, Open Meeting; Noonday prayer and discussion of Lenten study for all interested women – Parish Hall Conference Room
  • Wednesday, March 27 – 12:00 PM & 6:00 PM – Stations of the Cross
  • Thursday, March 28 – 6:00 PM – Maundy Thursday / Altar of Repose
  • Friday, March 29 – 12:00 PM (spoken) & 6:00 PM (sung) – Good Friday
  • Saturday, March 30 – 9:00-11:00 AM – Holy Saturday with Mother Mary (in the meorial garden)
  • Saturday, March 30 – 8:00 PM – Easter Vigil
  • Sunday, March 31 – Easter Day – 7:30 AM (spoken), 9:00 AM (family), 11:00 AM (choir)

Stay Connected

Sunday Service LiveStreaming

St Paul Streaming Worship Services

We are livestreaming our 10:30 AM Sunday Eucharist every week. You can view the livestream on our Home Page, YouTube Channel, and Facebook Page.

Missed a service?  Or want to rewatch a liturgy? All our past services are available to watch either on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/StPaulintheDesert or on our Facebook timeline: https://www.facebook.com/stpaulinthedesert

Join our E-Mail List

You’ll find this invitation on the front page and many pages throughout our website. It’s intended for anyone who wants to receive communications from St. Paul’s via email. This includes The Abundant Life weekly, online newsletter. If you haven’t already, sign up today!

Get “Social” with St. Paul’s!

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