For Sunday, November 17th

Grateful Heart: 2020 Pledge

A hearty “thank you” to all who have submitted their 2020 pledge cards. We hope to be in receipt of all 2020 pledges by Sunday, November 17.

Pledge cards can be found in the pew pockets and in the Narthex. You can submit your pledge card by placing it in an offering plate or by mailing it to the Parish Office.

Bishop’s Servant Ministry Award

The Episcopal Diocese of San Diego held its annual diocesan convention this past Friday and Saturday, November 8 and 9 at St. Margaret’s. At Friday evening’s reception for the delegates, Fred Crawford received the Bishop’s Servant Ministry Award. Fred was nominated by our parish for this award for his 20 plus years of “servant ministry” to our parish.

Fred has been active in several ministries over the years. He has been a faithful Eucharistic Visitor, taking Communion to those who are unable to attend church services. Fred has also been a member of the “offering counters” on Monday mornings and a member of the bulletin assembly team on Fridays. He frequently provides transportation to church for fellow parishioners. When you see Fred, be sure to congratulate him on his award and express your gratitude for his many years of ministry at St. Paul’s.

The Latino Ministry Memorial Altar

Has a family member passed away recently, or has a special pet died? Show your love for them by bringing their photo or a small favorite possession to put on a Memorial Altar. On November 16 in the Narthex, and November 17 on the east wall table in the Parish Hall, we will reverence a collection of memory items. Please label items with your name and a phone number so they can be returned to you.

The Latino Ministry – Bonnie Stroock 760.324.7949.

Newcomers Welcoming Session

Sunday, November 24

If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to this single session class led by Jerry Di Noto. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member. Join us at 9:15 AM in the Parish Hall Conference Room.

Thanksgiving Worship

Plan to worship with us Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 28. Holy Eucharist at 10:30 AM with Fr. David.

The Messiah Concert

The 25th Annual Community Presentation of George Frideric Handel’s Messiah is scheduled for Sunday, December 1 at 3:00 PM, at the Palm Springs Seventh-Day Adventist Church (620 South Sunrise Way). Many of the Coachella Valley’s top musical artists will perform.

You are welcome to sing along with the chorus during many parts of the concert, including the “Hallelujah Chorus.” Doors open at 2:30. Refreshments will be served following the concert. The concert is free. For more information contact the SDA Church office at 760.327.5112.

Parish Life Book Club

The Parish Life Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. New members are always welcome.

The next Book Club meeting will be held on December 3, 2019, at 1:00 PM in the Library. For December, Book Club has selected The Hours Count by Jillian Cantor. This is a spellbinding historical novel about a woman who befriends Ethel and Julius Rosenberg and is drawn into their world of intrigue.

For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at

Taize Service

“With candlelit altar and icons, simple refrains capture the attention of the soul.  They break through the noise of our lives to seize our spirits and give us courage.” 

You are invited to be a part of our next monthly Taize service on Thursday, December 5th at 7:00 PM in the church. All are invited!

Social Justice Outreach

The Social Justice Committee would like to extend sincere and heartfelt thanks to those who have so generously supported our outreach to those in need with donations of “gently used” clothing and openhanded financial gifts. Looking forward, the Committee has chosen three projects for our Christmas Outreach Program in our continuing ministry to the needy in our community:

Adopt a Family, Father’s Heart Ranch and the LGBTQ Sanctuary. Your donations will help make the Holidays brighter for the needy people served by these programs. Please make your check payable to St. Paul’s and note “Social Justice Christmas” on the memo line.

If you have any questions or want to know more about the three projects we have chosen to support, please contact Lena Granet at 760.322.2179.

Alzheimer’s Coachella Valley (ACV)

The Dementia Caregiver Support Group at St Paul’s meets every Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM in an air-conditioned room in the Parish Hall. For more information, please see the program flyer or call Chuck Olsen, ACV Support Group Facilitator, at 760.667.3100.

As a reminder, the weekly meetings are intended for care givers only.

Children’s Ministry Calendar

November – December 2019

November 17, 10:30 AM — Monthly Sunday School Class
November 24, 10:30 AM – Children’s Sunday Worship Service

December 1, 4:00-6:00 PM First Sunday Supper — Parish Hall
December 15, 10:30 AM — Monthly Sunday School Class
December 22, 10:20 AM — Children’s Sunday Worship Servicer
December 24, 6:00 PM – Family Christmas Eve Service

For additional information, contact Children’s Ministry Leaders Deana and Ken Huff at 760.992.4138  or email

About this thing called a “Vestry”

This is the time of year in the life of a parish when some among us begin to think about “running” for the vestry and replacing those rotating off at the Annual Meeting in January. So just what is a “vestry” anyway?

Contrary to popular thought, the vestry is not just another committee or a “board of directors” for a business or service club. This is a vital ministry within the Body of Christ that governs the affairs of the parish in concert with the Clergy and other lay leaders. A good and more suitable term might be “elders” or overseers of the community. (In this case, the term “elder” in no way connotes anything about a person’s age.) The vestry is the one group in parish life whose primary concern is the whole of parish life and not just a particular area of personal interest. While it is true that finances and facilities are important areas of responsibility, the elders are ultimately concerned with all of parish life and are hopefully involved with as many aspects of the parish as is possible and reasonable.

Vestry ministry is for those whose gifts for ministry and inclinations are in the area of oversight, teamwork, and seeing the “big picture.” Not everyone can sing in a choir, count money, do youth work or fix machines. It is always a matter of the gifts that you have been given being used in appropriate ways for building up the Body of Christ.

One excellent job description of this ministry comes from the former Bishop of Alabama which I have found very useful over the years and have discussed at length with your current vestry. It looks like this:

  1. Committed to Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and to the spreading of the Good News to all people.
  2. Regularly attends Church and demonstrates good stewardship by pledging a proportionate amount of income to the support of the Church.
  3. Deeply cares about people because the Lord does, and in this light believes that the Church is people and that buildings are only incidental.
  4. Listens compassionately but can also make hard decisions when necessary.
  5. Prays regularly, reads the Bible and is open to the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

When we match our gifts with ministry that is appropriate there can be great joy and energy. Nothing impedes a church more than asking people to do things that are not their gift or inclination. Vestry should be fun. Yes! (You may never have heard that in connection with vestry service.) But if this is something you feel drawn toward, it could be a very rewarding ministry indeed! Do pray about this and perhaps talk to the wardens (Peter or John) or myself. Perhaps the Spirit is calling you to consider being one of the pastors of St. Paul’s as a vestry member.

With gratitude for the many and rich ministries at St. Paul’s,


Adult Faith Building

Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library: The Episcopal Café
The Adult Faith Building Program offers courses, workshops, lectures and discussion groups on varied theological, biblical and spirituality topics.

11/17: Developing a Discipline of Gratitude
Led by Karen Nelson

11/24: I’m Grateful for Being Better Than You!
Led by Br. John Charles

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

Lives of Great Christians:  “If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of God is resting on you.” (1 Peter 4:14)

11/19: From Slavery to Martin Luther King, Jr.
Led by Alan Zimmerman

11/26: Gustavo Gutierrez and Liberation Theology
Led by Gary Scott

Deck the Halls!

This year’s “Call for Elves” will be here before you know it! A professional firm will handle the outside decorating on Tuesday, December 3, just in time for the annual Festival of Lights Parade. We will call on our Elves to help decorate the interior of the church and the Parish Hall later in December. Watch this space for further details.

Christmas Flower Offering

If you would like to contribute toward the cost of Christmas flowers, please use the special offering envelopes found in the pew pockets.

Save the Dates

Accepting God’s Gift of Faith Program 2020

Twelve weekly sessions, consecutive Tuesday evenings, February 4 – April 21. This program is for adults who wish to explore what it means to be a Christian in the Episcopal tradition. The program culminates with Baptism, Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation, Bishop Susan presiding, Sunday, April 26, 2020, 10:30 AM. More information to follow.

In Memoriam

Earl Smith

Ira Andersen

Archie Caddell

Mary Lou Feenstra

Coffee Hour after Services

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

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 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.

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