For Sunday, March 24th

From the Rector

The Spirit of God is Always Present

The portion of the reading from 1st Corinthians is short and very selective. It is part of St. Pau’s effort to reimagine the Exodus as an experience that included the Corinthian Christians. As the Israelites were immersed (baptized) into the cloud of God’s presence as God’s Spirit led the people out of Egypt, and were immersed in the Red Sea as they fled Pharaoh – so the Corinthian Christians have been immersed in the same Spirit and Water in their Baptism. (Thanks to Bryan J. Whitfield, Assistant Professor of Christianity, Mercer University, Macon, GA.)

God’s Spirit is always present with St. Paul’s and with Susan and me – even as we leave. I am amazed by the unexpected ways in which that presence is revealed in our Parish. During baptism preparation for infants and children, I always ask the parents and godparents why the child should be baptized. Recently, a godparent responded: “I want him to be a part of that abundant life of Christ we recite in our mission statement, part of the welcoming, supportive, empowering community.”

Another sign of God’s presence happened when Susan and I were removing our vestments from the church. (We left what we need for the last three Sundays.) We found a box that held the Book of Common Prayer belonging to F. Gillar Boyd. His BCP was nowhere to be found, just the box.

Gillar died in 2013 at 91 years old. Fr. Barnhill invited him to be the Parish Chancellor in the 1960’s. He told him that the commitment was one meeting a month and he only had to come to church 3 times a year. Eventually, he took over running the 8:00 am Sunday Service every week. Gillar loved being a delegate to our Diocesan Convention and had voted in the election of every Bishop of San Diego and voted to establish the Diocese of San Diego. (So did Jan Heller.) Gillar was a curmudgeon of the highest order. In addition to being a founding member of the Wednesday morning Bible Study 29 years ago, he also timed every sermon I preached and let me know when they were too long.

When we found the box, without the Prayer Book, we looked at the other items that he had kept there. We found his Diocesan Delegate name tag, the Bulletin for the Confirmation Service in which our daughter, Sarah was confirmed, and the bulletin for my Installation as Rector in 1989. I had not even kept a copy. There was a side of Gillar, a place where the Spirit of God had always been present, that I never knew.

As we worship this week, reminded of the cloud and water that testify to God’s abiding presence with us, I will give thanks for Gillar and so many more who have been God’s witnesses. Join us, assured of God’s presence.

Fr. Andrew

Featured Scripture

1st Corinthians 10:1-4 Common English Bible (CEB)

Brothers and sisters, I want you to be sure of the fact that our ancestors were all under the cloud and they all went through the sea. All were baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. All ate the same spiritual food, and all drank the same spiritual drink. They drank from a spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.

ONE-PS Neighborhoods Fair

THIS Saturday, March 23, 2019, Ruth Hardy Park, 11:00 AM – 2:00 PM.

St Paul’s will participate in this 12th Annual Picnic and Community Fair. We will have a tent/table to showcase our parish and all our events/activities. Food-Fun-Prizes. Come to the Fair!

Good Enough Project

In Father Andrew’s February 17, 2019 message in the service bulletin, he invited those who have experienced his ministry to share with him a story about how this interaction affected you (deadline is March 31).

Address them to “Good Enough Project”

St. Paul’s
125 West El Alameda
Palm Springs, CA 92262
For a submission or a brief Cell Phone Video.

Fr. Andrew’s Retirement Reception

Save the Date!
On Sunday April 7, following the 10:30 A.M. service, please join us for a retirement reception honoring Fr. Andrew. More details will follow.

We need your used clothing!

As part of its “Emporium” outreach to our brothers and sisters in need, St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee is holding a used clothing donation drive throughout the month of March 2019, in hopes of matching a generous donation of clothing left by St. Paul’s late sexton, Jeff Swanson. Bring your shirts, pants, shoes, coats and other clothing items (please no socks or underwear) to church any Sunday and leave them in the Narthex with the ushers (or contact Chris Kelly at to make arrangements). Your support and donations are much appreciated.

Latino Ministry

If you are interested in joining other church members to learn about our newly formed Latino Ministry, please plan to attend a meeting at 6:30 pm, Monday, March 25, in the Parish Office Library.

We’ll get acquainted, worship in Spanish and discuss ways to reach out to the local Latino community. Call Bonnie Stroock to RSVP – 760.324.7949

Newcomers Welcoming Session

If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to this single session class led by Fr. Andrew. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.

The next session is Sunday, March 31, in the Parish Office Conference Room, at 9:15 AM.

Women’s Bible Study

Women of St. Paul’s are invited to share in reading “Bible Women – All their Words and Why They Matter,” by Lindsay Freeman, an Episcopal priest. “Through these women, God spoke, intervened, changed, illustrated and proclaimed the story of redemption.”

We meet each Thursday at 2:00 PM and Deacon Susan will join us at our March meetings. Call Sharon Strong at 760.285.8910 if you wish to join us at her home.

Parish Life Book Club

Our 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 April 2, 2019, Book Club has selected The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty. At the heart of the novel is a letter that’s not meant to be read. Its discovery anchors a gripping story about how well it is possible to know our spouses and, ultimately, ourselves. Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at

The United Thank Offering

The United Thank Offering of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, will be collected at all services on March 30 and 31. Please use the blue giving envelopes in the pew pockets or the special UTO collection boxes for your donations. Collection boxes can be found in the Parish Hall and the Narthex (Church lobby).

Since 1871, The Episcopal Church has gathered funds for this special offering as an expression of thanks for personal blessings. Donations fund grants in support of ministries in communities at home and around the world where there are no other sources of aid available. For more information please see the UTO information brochures in the pews. Take your copy with you today and read the interesting history of this missionary outreach ministry of the Episcopal Church. Questions? Contact Bonnie Stroock at 760.324.7949.

Social Justice Committee

Time to get involved . . . ?

St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee, which advocates for a more just and peaceful world, is holding a combined fundraising and volunteer drive throughout the month of March 2019. From the Emporium project, which provides clothing and essential toiletries for the homeless and others in need, to the “Living Without Fear” initiative, which seeks to examine and curtail the epidemic of gun violence in our society, the Social Justice Committee has a project or cause that needs your financial support and time.

Simply leave your check in the Sunday collection plate earmarked for “Social Justice,” or contact Chris Kelly at for volunteer opportunities or more information. Your help means everything to those in need.

Taizé Service

Our last Taizé service for the season will be Thursday, April 4th.

As one person put it, “A Taize evening is a time to be still within as we quietly sit with our brothers and sisters in Christ and experience the Holy Spirit’s love and power through chant, scripture, sacred art and silence.”

Easter Sunday Flower Donation

Sunday, April 21st

If you would like to donate to our Easter floral display please use the envelopes in the pews or note on your check memo line, “Easter Flowers.”

Donations must be received by April 7 to be acknowledged in the Easter Sunday Bulletin.

Spring Parish Potluck

April 11, 2019, from 5:30 – 7:30pm  in the Parish Hall.

Please join us for the last potluck of “The Season.” Sign up forms are in the narthex (foyer of the church) as well as in the Parish Hall. Dinner will begin at 6:00, following the blessing. It will be an excellent time to be together following Fr. Andrew’s last Sunday at St. Paul’s. Please come.

Holy Week Worship Schedule

April 13-21, 2019

The Sunday of the Passion: Palm Sunday
Saturday, April 13, 4:00 PM
Sunday, April 14, 8:00 AM and 10:30 AM
Blessing of palms and entry into Jerusalem.

Tuesday in Holy Week – April 16
The Service of Tenebrae at 7:00 PM
Candles are extinguished and the darkness grows.

Maundy Thursday – April 18
Supper at 5:45 PM (sign up)
Foot Washing
Holy Communion at 7:00 PM
Altar of Repose at 8:00 PM
Watch with Jesus through the night (sign up)

Good Friday – April 19
Good Friday Liturgy – St. John’s Passion at 12:00 PM
Stations of the Cross at 7:00 PM

Holy Saturday – April 20
The Great Vigil of Easter at 8:00 PM
The First Communion of Easter

Easter Day – April 21
Service and Music at 7:00 AM.
Family Service with Choir at 9:00 AM
Easter Egg Hunt at 10:15 AM
Festival Service with Choir at 11:00 AM
All services are Holy Communion
(Childcare provided at 9:00 and 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.

3/24: Who’s to Blame? A reflection on Luke 13:1-9.
Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey

3/31: Gilgal – Rolling It Away: A reflection on Joshua 5:1-9.
Led by Gary Scott

Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, in the Library

Life Transformed: The Way of Love in Lent.
This series is based on the work of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. It will feature soup suppers and Lenten themed Scripture study.

3/26: Deliverance Through Prayer (Exodus 14:10-15:1)

4/2: Learn Wisdom and Live (Proverbs 8:1-8, 19-21; 9:4-6)

4/9: A New Heart and A New Spirit (Ezekiel 36:24-28)

Coffee Hour after Services

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

And, please consider volunteering to be a Coffee Hour Host sometime during this new year. 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 for both the 8:00 a.m. and the 10:30 a.m. services.

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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