For Sunday, March 10th
From the Rector
Season Your Life with Thanksgiving Above All
The reading from Deuteronomy for this first weekend in Lent doesn’t seem like it, but it is all about temptation. In the Gospel, Jesus is facing the devil, who is attempting to redirect Jesus’ purpose. The devil offers power and success, if only Jesus will forget God’s mission. In Deuteronomy, Moses is instructing the people who are the descendants of those who escaped Pharaoh. He is instructing them to begin their worship of God in the promised land with a thank-offering.
They have a script to recite about being the children of a starving Aramean -Abraham. The script reminds them of their lives as slaves in Egypt and immigrants to the land flowing with milk and honey. Moses instructs them to be very specific and to give thanks.
The temptation they face is insidious and is common to all people, especially people who experience success in realizing their dreams. They are tempted to forget the one who made the promise and who led them through the wilderness for more than 40 years – God. Their temptation is to believe they did it themselves.
Moses gives them a script to recite whenever they bring the bounty of this promised land and offer a portion to God. When they are tempted to “spin” the story to emphasize their hard work and deservedness, or to downplay their times of faithlessness, this script can guide them to gratitude.
Today, we exist in an abundance that is not totally our own doing. We are tempted to emphasize the ways in which our own efforts have brought us success. And we are tempted to ignore the contribution of many people – most especially the outsider or immigrant – the coincidence of many of us being born into advantage, and most of all, that God is the source if our abundance.
We have scripts to recite on the First Sunday in Lent that remind us to wrap ourselves in gratitude. When we remember all that God has given us and how the contributions of many have built our success, we are able to hold that success reverently, as God’s gift, so it can be shared with those whose need is great. Join us.
Deuteronomy 26:1-11 Common English Bible (CEB)
Once you have entered the land the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance, and you take possession of it and are settled there, take some of the early produce of the fertile ground that you have harvested from the land the Lord your God is giving you, and put it in a basket. Then go to the location the Lord your God selects for his name to reside. Go to the priest who is in office at that time and say to him: “I am declaring right now before the Lord my God that I have indeed arrived in the land the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.”
The priest will then take the basket from you and place it before the Lord your God’s altar. Then you should solemnly state before the Lord your God:
“My father was a starving Aramean. He went down to Egypt, living as an immigrant there with few family members, but that is where he became a great nation, mighty and numerous. The Egyptians treated us terribly, oppressing us and forcing hard labor on us. So we cried out for help to the Lord, our ancestors’ God. The Lord heard our call. God saw our misery, our trouble, and our oppression. The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, with awesome power, and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land—a land full of milk and honey. So now I am bringing the early produce of the fertile ground that you, Lord, have given me.”
Set the produce before the Lord your God, bowing down before the Lord your God. Then celebrate all the good things the Lord your God has done for you and your family—each one of you along with the Levites and the immigrants who are among you.
It’s SPRING FORWARD TIME!!
Sunday, March 10th
That’s right – Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 AM this Sunday, March 10. We’ll want to see you in church Sunday morning, so remember to set your clocks and watches forward before you retire Saturday night.
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”
125 West El Alameda
Palm Springs, CA 92262
For a submission or a brief Cell Phone Video.
The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Assisting Bishop, Diocese of San Diego, will visit St. Paul’s the weekend of March 16 – 17. She will preach at all three worship services and preside at the baptism and confirmation rites of parishioners who have just completed our seven-week spiritual enrichment program.
Music Fund Benefit Concert
Sunday, March 17th
As a benefit for the Music Fund, on Sunday, March 17 at 4:00 PM, we will present our own John Granet in a piano concert featuring works by Bach, Beethoven, Chopin and some of John’s most recent compositions. No tickets are needed, but donations will be graciously received at the door. There will be a reception to greet John and one another following the program.
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 email@example.com for volunteer opportunities or more information. Your help means everything to those in need.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements). Your support and donations are much appreciated.
ONE-PS Neighborhoods Fair
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. Come to the Fair for food, fun and prizes!
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.
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.
3/10: Wilderness Tests: Reflection on Luke 4 — Led by Deacon Susan Green
3/17: Bishop’s Visit. NO SESSION
Tuesdays at 6:00 PM, in the Library
Renewing our Lives and Accepting God’s Gift of Faith
This seven-week spiritual enrichment program is designed to review and enhance our beliefs and confirm or receive new members.
3/12: Instructional Eucharist: Step by step instruction on the Eucharist Service, liturgical elements and procedures.
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.
3/19: Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ (Romans 6:3-11)
3/26: Deliverance Through Prayer (Exodus 14:10-15:1)
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.
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.