For Sunday, November 22nd
African Team Ministries Returns with a “Virtual” Gift Store and Catalog
African Team Ministries is a Christian ministry working as an intermediary between African and American churches. They receive assistance from Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Anglican denominations, providing funding for orphan and refugee relief missions and evangelism in east Africa.
For many years St. Paul’s has supported the African Team Ministries and their help to African communities. We have always displayed their handmade crafts, jewelry, and clothing for sale in the Parish Hall during coffee hours throughout Advent. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this display will be offered virtually this year.
During the annual African Team Ministries sale, you can peruse and purchase crafts, jewelry and soapstone made by women in East Africa. This outreach program provides funding for orphan and refugee relief missions, clergy and lay education, clothing and books for students, and evangelism in East Africa. They are also focused on providing family-sized drip irrigation systems which provide a controlled release of water for maize (a staple food) using only 5 buckets of water daily. This important work relies on support they receive from parishes like ours.
Access the Virtual Display at https://africanteamstore.square.site/
Would you like to take a walk?
New Date! Due to the rain, The Hiking Club had to postpone their Walking Tour of Downtown Redlands to Saturday, November 21. We will meet in St. Paul’s parking lot at 8:00 AM and carpool to Redlands, where we will meet our Tour Guide, Chris Kelly.
The tour will cover about three miles. Please wear comfy walking shoes and bring water and a mask. Also, if you have items of clothing you would like to donate to the Anthony Flores Memorial Clothing Drive, please bring them with you that morning.
If you want to join us, please contact Nancy Antonius at 516.353.2566
Book Club is Zooming!
The next Book Club meeting will be Tuesday, December 1, 2020, at 1:00 PM, via Zoom. Meeting information will follow later. For December, Book Club has selected American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.
A bookseller flees Mexico for the United States with her son while pursued by the head of a drug cartel.
New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grateful Giving: 2021 Pledge
Why We Give
Today let’s consider God’s generosity and abundance by calling to mind the bounty of God’s creation and the richness of God’s blessings to us.
We acknowledge that all that is belongs to God. We are instructed to imitate God’s open-handedness as we share with the family of believers. As you consider your pledge, think about the many St. Paul’s activities that are supported by your generous giving. God blesses us with generosity and abundance.
Please reflect on your giving and imitate God by sharing that abundance in a generous gift.
Thursday, November 26. Virtual service available for viewing Thanksgiving Day after 10 am.
The Rev. Lorenzo Lebrija, Presider and Preacher
A Message from our Interim Rector
THE MINISTRY OF VESTRY
Along with many other things in parish life, at this time of year we begin to contemplate the selection and calling of members to serve on the Vestry – those members who will be officially elected at the Annual Meeting in January.
I think there is always some confusion and misunderstanding about Vestry membership in the church and it might be helpful to briefly review what a Vestry is. Perhaps it would be useful to start with examining what a Vestry is not. It is not a committee or a board of directors – and it is decidedly not simply a glorified finance group. (We have a separate, stand-alone Finance Committee.) As the title of this paper suggests, this is a very special Ministry of the Church that is characterized by service to the congregation as leaders. It is not an honor or a privilege, but rather a calling to care for the life and work of St. Paul’s parish for what is typically a three-year term.
Put in a positive way, the vestry members are the “elders” of the congregation (but not in any chronological age context). This is the one group that is concerned about the entire life of the parish – not just one aspect or favored project. Yes, this includes working with the clergy and, yes, it involves dealing with financial and property concerns as well. But it also includes the spiritual, educational, and pastoral welfare of parish members. It is an “oversight” ministry of the whole picture, a function that is usually translated as “Bishop” in the New Testament. In effect, the vestry is a group of “bishops” (I will use the lower case here) of the parish – the local overseers of our church life together.
Vestry membership certainly calls for persons who are willing to take counsel for the practical matters of the church and who are willing to be involved, where able, in at least some areas of church life. It goes without saying such persons are regular in their worship with us, who pledge, and who want to be leaders and supporters of all facets of parish life and not just some limited part of it.
A team that includes the rector, wardens, some vestry members and other leaders will be meeting to discern and reflect on who we might call and invite to this ministry to begin their service in the coming year. Not everyone is suited to this office – any more than everyone should count money or do youth work or sing in the choir. It is a matter of gifts for ministry and using the gifts we have been given. It is never about being better than others or being more important. All of us who are baptized have been given different gifts.
Perhaps you will consider this ministry and decide if you are being so called. If you feel called to this description of ministry you could certainly share your thoughts with the rector or the wardens or a current vestry member. In any event, know this is a ministry that is a joyful responsibility for those who share it. I ask for your prayers for St. Paul in the Desert as we once again discern new leadership for the next chapter in our church life together.
The Rev. Canon David L. Caffrey
Prayer for an Election
Almighty God, to whom we must account for all our powers and privileges: Guide the people of the United States in the election of the President, the Vice-President, and other officials and representatives; that, by faithful administration and wise laws, the rights of all may be protected and our nation be enabled to fulfill your purposes; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. – Book of Common Prayer, page 822.
Looking for a home?
St Paul in the Desert has been endowed with a gift of residential real estate located in Sun City, Palm Desert.
One of our longtime parishioners has bequeathed a beautiful home to the church. The proceeds from the sale of the property are to be shared by St. Paul and two other parishes that were dear to the heart of the donor. The residence is currently on the market and is move-in ready. If you know of someone who is looking for a home in a quiet community, we ask you to share this information.View more about this home
Forward Day by Day
Our shipment of Forward Day by Day daily devotional booklets for November 2020/December 2020/January 2021 has arrived. Although St. Paul’s campus is not open for business due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you may pick up your copy of Day by Day at the Parish Office by appointment between 9:00 AM and 4:30 PM, weekdays.
Please call the church (760.320.7488) to schedule a pick-up time/date that works for you and the church office staff. If you are homebound, let us know and we will mail your copy to you.
Longtime member, Oz Kraus, died Saturday, November 14, at his home in Palm Springs. Oz and his late wife, Ruth, were regular worshipers at our 10:30 services. May he rest in peace.
We have recently received word that seasonal worshiper, Shirley Winters of Lewiston, NY, died Wednesday, May 13, 2020, at Mount St. Mary’s Hospital in Lewiston. For the past several years, Shirley and her husband, Gary, have spent January through April in Palm Springs and worshipped at St. Paul’s. She was a member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church in Niagara Falls.
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 Church of Bermuda (Extra-Provincial to the Archbishop of Canterbury), The Rt. Rev. Nicholas Dill, Bishop of Bermuda.
For the Episcopal Diocese of East Tennessee, The Rt. Rev. Brian Lee Cole, Bishop.
For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; for the Clergy and people of St. Paul’s, Yuma; for the Dioceses of Province VIII: Oregon, San Diego, San Joaquin, Spokane, Taiwan, Utah. Let us give thanks this week for blessings we have received.
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: Bonnie Ong, Alzinia Jackson, Brian Nealy, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.
For those who have died: Oz Kraus, John (Jay) Cubbage, Shirley Winters, Louis Saggiani, Bert Dignan, Roger Reyes, Johnetta Allen.
For those with birthdays: November 22: Anthony Jewiss; November 23: Kay Walker; November 24: Katie Martin; November 25: Patrick Von Bargen; November 27: Luis Valdez, David Hayden, Alan Glass; November 28: Allan Offermann.
For those celebrating anniversaries: November 22: Sandra Shaw & Bruce Blauvelt; November 25: Gary Scott & David Hayden; November 26: George Holliday & Rick Tinsley; November 28: Peter Smurthwaite & Patrick Von Bargen.
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 email@example.com
For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select November 22nd.
October 30, 2020
As stated in our update of October 9, 2020, we were waiting for our Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) form and our Parish Profile to be reviewed by our diocesan contact. That review has taken place and the documents have been returned to us with edits and suggestions. I have enlisted the aid of our co-chairs and teams to assist me in weighing those suggestions and making the necessary edits. We hope to have them back in the review and approval process by early November.
The documents will once again go through proofing and approvals by the Vestry and Diocese. Once approved, our diocesan contact will publish our OTM form and rector position materials on the national website, while the Parish Profile will be posted on our parish website.
This process, which, by design, is a long one, has been extended even more, due to COVID restrictions on gatherings. Our sessions for writing and editing documents have been conducted via Zoom and the Transition Committee worked through the summer to complete these tasks. We learned a great deal about the process and the amount of time it can take while working exclusively online. The Committee has worked steadily, prayerfully and through discernment to get us to this point. Once we have the documents published, we will know better how to adjust our next steps and will post a new timeline in the near future.
We appreciate your understanding, continued prayers, and support.
Clinton L. Carbon
Pray 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)
Daughters of the King Prayer List Requests
St. Paul’s Order of the Daughters of the King chapter maintains a confidential prayer list, praying daily for our families, friends, congregation, and the world. If you would like to ask the Daughters to pray for you or someone else, email your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. Confidentiality of this list means that names on our list are not shared beyond our chapter members and Chaplain.
Questions? Contact Patty Kiker, 214.497.3034
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
Due to the COVID-19 health crisis, the Parish Office is closed to the public until further notice.
Office phone: 760.320.7488
If you call, please leave a message. In case of emergencies, a priest will return your call.
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.