For Sunday, May 10th - The Fifth Sunday of Easter
A Note from your Clergy at Home
Dear Friends in Christ,
It seems like an eternity since we’ve been together, and I miss you all terribly. I have recovered reasonably well from my knee replacement surgery but have not been able to complete all my physical therapy, due to concerns stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic. Otherwise, Shelia and I are doing well. I am beginning to walk again, although I’m not yet ready to take our Great Dane over our usual course through the neighborhood. She doesn’t seem to mind, and she no longer pines for her walk. Shelia is enjoying her vegetable garden. She is probably one of the few who is truly appreciating being sheltered at home. It has not been all that bad.
Actually, in many ways, it truly has been a good time and a great opportunity to connect with my siblings from Virginia to Ohio to Palm Springs! I have discovered I enjoy FaceTime encounters with an affable coffee klatch or even an adult libation with family and friends. I offer that as a possibility worthy of your consideration. It is ultimately about counting our blessings (thank you, Lorenzo, for your sermon last Sunday). It is giving thanks for the roof over our heads, for friends and family, for the love that binds us together – for all the many blessings God has bestowed upon us. It is not always easy; we live in a new reality. When folks long for the way life was, and want to return to “normal,” we’re reminded we cannot live in the past. It is a new world and we are all learning to maneuver this new reality.
Be gentle with yourselves and others as we journey together, yet separately. Wash your hands, wear your masks, and maintain that physical distance – but keep close at heart. So, until we can actually be together, I give thanks for each of you and pray for you. You are all blessings.
Grace and Peace to you all,
(The Rev. Canon)
Weekly Bible Sharing
With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law
Thursday, May 14th
Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.
Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
Prayers of the Church
For the Anglican Communion, and for the Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Rev. and Rt. Hon. Justin Welby; pray for the Anglican Church of Kenya, The Most Rev. Jackson Ole Sapit, Primate and Archbishop of All Kenya.
For the Episcopal Diocese of Central New York, The Rt. Rev. Dr. DeDe Duncan-Probe, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the Clergy and people of St. Andrew’s by-the-Lake, Lake Elsinore.
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: Tom Schott, Dorothy Walton, Tracy Neldare, her husband and family, Tony Ellerd, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway, Rose Hernandez, Edward Howard, Cedric Rougely, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Tyrone Allen, Ray Patencio, Jr., Cita Wilson, Andrena Johns, Herman Upshaw, Joyce Vaughn, Rosa Taylor, Fletcher Leary, Jr., Marissa Vaughans, Betty Lemons, Dora Harris, Judy Tackett, Emily Foster, Jimmy Hanchett, Jeanita Lewis.
For those with Birthdays: May 12: Joe Noble; May 13: Trish Fisher, Bryan Ozur; May 15: Roger Allen, Bob Yeargan.
For those celebrating anniversaries: May 10: Guy Sands & Donald Hemstreet; May 12: Isabel & Nate Reineke; May 14: Rita Yribar & Robert McElroy; Al Sophianopoulos & Jeff Trachta.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select May 10, The Fifth Sunday of Easter.
Palm Springs resident and St. Paul’s parishioner Alec Kady died April 29th.
Newsletter Publishing Changes
The Abundant Life weekly newsletter is now be published on Fridays (no longer on Thursdays). The deadline for submission of announcements for publication in the newsletter is now Noon, Wednesday.
April 30, 2020
The Transition Committee hopes this communication finds you well as we continue social distancing and life away from our beloved Church of St. Paul in the Desert. We want you to know we are thinking of each of you and, because of you, the work continues. We write to you today because we need your assistance.
On March 7, 2020, we held our first and only Parish Listening Session. Our plans to hold two additional sessions were halted by the arrival of COVID-19. It has been our desire to hold those additional sessions but as we watch time march on, we feel we must find another way to get the information we are lacking. By using a familiar form of technology such as email, the committee has reimagined the Listening Session into a different format. In this version, you are asked to read and respond to each of these five questions via email. The questions are:
1. Who are we as the Church of St. Paul in The Desert?
2. Who are our neighbors?
3. What is God calling me to do right now?
4. How can our soon-to-be-Rector help us do what God is calling us to do?
5. What else is in your heart that hasn’t been shared?
These are the same five questions used at the first session. Your responses combined with the responses we have previously collected will provide us with the wider pool of data we need to write our Parish Profile. We encourage our winter guests and members to contribute your thoughts and ideas. To members who participated in the first session, we thank you for your time and the comments from that session have been collated. If you have questions, you may consult with other church members or you can send your question(s) to Clinton Carbon, Convener, at email@example.com.
You have three weeks to submit your responses via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Put Listening Session in the subject line. All submissions must be received by midnight May 22, 2020. Your responses will be kept anonymous and all traces of identity will be removed before the committee works with the data.
We appreciate you taking the time to complete this task. On behalf of the Committee, I thank you for your continued support and prayers as we seek the person God has called to be our next Rector.
Clinton L Carbon, Convener, Transition Committee
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.