For Sunday, November 25th
From the Rector
One Vision Of Jesus’ Reign
This weekend celebrates the end of the church’s year with several visions of triumph that are unbelievably hopeful. The reading I will focus on, from the Revelation to John, builds on images from the Book of Daniel. Both books are rooted in a context of suffering and oppression. And both offer a vision of the vindication of the faithful who have suffered. John’s mystic vision is a unique Christian expectation of the Crucified Jesus returning to vanquish the oppressors, to bring relief and joy to the oppressed, and to rule over everyone and everything.
Our reading is a formal greeting at the beginning of John’s vision. The Jesus of this vision is first described as “the faithful witness.” The Lord God is self-described as “the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.”
The people of the 1st century of the Common Era, were familiar with kings and emperors. God is greater than all of them and Christians believed that Jesus would rule as the King over these kings. But today, we don’t really know kings and the title is one we Americans only connect to history, fantasy, or church language about Jesus.
What if the sovereignty – the “reign” of Jesus – is about his faithful witness? What if standing for the truth about God is more important than accumulating the heavenly equivalent of coercive power?
I believe that we can stand with Jesus as faithful witnesses that God is “the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.” To me that means that God’s power is not the power of bullets, not the power racial or social superiority – but God’s power is the power of presence. And God’s presence is often experienced through people who reach out a hand, who sit quietly and listen, or who stand up for for people who would otherwise be forgotten or even crushed.
Each of these acts affirm the power of presence, and each Sunday in community we affirm we are living out this vision of Jesus’ “reign” by reaching out to all in his “kingdom.” “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” Join us.
To donate to northern California fire disaster relief:
Want to send a check?
Please make checks out to EDNC put “Disaster Relief” in the memo line.
Mail checks to:
The Episcopal Diocese of Northern California
350 University Avenue, Suite 280
Sacramento, CA 95825
The Revelation to John 1:4a-8 Common English Bible (CEB)
Grace and peace to you from the one who is and was and is coming, and from the seven spirits that are before God’s throne, and from Jesus Christ—the faithful witness, the firstborn from among the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.
To the one who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, who made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father—to him be glory and power forever and always. Amen.
Look, he is coming with the clouds! Every eye will see him, including those who pierced him, and all the tribes of the earth will mourn because of him. This is so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “the one who is and was and is coming, the Almighty.”
Fr. Andrew Green’s Anniversary
Fr. Andrew celebrates thirty years as Rector of St. Paul in the Desert. To commemorate this milestone, the Vestry and the Green Family will jointly host a festive coffee hour celebration after both services on Sunday, December 9th.
This is your opportunity to share your memories of Fr. Andrew, Susan and their children, by sending a brief description of your recollections to [email protected], prior to December 9th. We’ll all enjoy reminiscing together. Donations in honor of Fr. Andrew’s anniversary can be made to Well in the Desert.
“St. Paul’s 101” – Welcome!
If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to “St. Paul’s 101.” This is a 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 with Fr. Andrew will be Sunday, Nov. 25th at 9:15 AM, in the Conference Room in the Parish Office Conference Room.
We are well on our way to prayerfully selecting our fifth diocesan bishop. The Bishop Nominating Committee and the Standing Committee have announced one candidate for election, The Rev. Canon Susan Brown Snook. The Rev. Canon Snook is currently the Canon for Church Growth and Development for the Episcopal Diocese of Oklahoma. We appreciate your prayers as we walk this path, continually listening for God’s voice in this process.
Developing Questions for the Walkabout
Final candidates for the fifth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego will be presented to the diocese in walkabout events held across the diocese from January 13-18, 2019.
A feature of these events will be listening to the candidates respond to specific questions. The transition committee asks for your help in drafting suggested questions about candidates’ visions for our diocese, their views on mission, or whatever you believe is important to know about our candidates. Please submit your suggested questions (with your name, church name and whether you are clergy or a lay person) by e-mail to: [email protected] by December 19, 2018.
Thank you for your help as we travel this journey of change together.
Adult Literacy Program
St. Paul’s Adult Literacy Program is accepting applications for English speaking adults who need help in learning to read or who want to improve their skills in reading, writing and comprehension. If you know of anyone who would benefit from participating in this program, please have them call Gary Scott @ 760.218.3180 or Sharon Strong @ 760.285.8910 to register for the program. Those registered will be placed with a tutor as soon as possible.
Embracing Diversity in our Lives
SAVE THE DATE: Saturday, December 1st – Laura Trejo, a nationally known speaker, will lead a vestry-sponsored workshop for St. Paul’s and the community, in the Parish Hall, from 8:30 AM to 12:30 PM. Her topic is “Embracing Diversity in our Lives” and her workshop will help participants explore what things make people unique and what makes us all similar. Laura is the first Latina appointed to be a General Manager for the City of Los Angeles and is currently head of the Department of Aging. Come join us – and bring a friend! RSVP to [email protected]
Parish Life Book Club
Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday of each month at 1:00 PM in the Library. New members are always welcome. On December 4, 2018, Book Club will discuss the selected book When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi.
This is a moving memoir by a young neurosurgeon with a terminal cancer diagnosis who attempts to answer the question: What makes a life worth living? If you enjoy reading and talking about the books you read, join us! For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at [email protected].
Tuesdays During Advent
St. Paul’s Advent Tuesday services provide a quiet and thoughtful pause from what can be a hectic season, and a chance to focus on the blessings of Christmas and the joy of our savior’s birth.
Tuesdays @ 5:00 PM – December 4, 11 and 18, in the Church.
Stations of the Nativity:This prayerful Advent meditation, done in the style of the Stations of the Cross, is based on fourteen events surrounding the Nativity of Jesus.
Following Stations of the Nativity, we invite you to join our meditative Taize service.
Tuesdays @ 7:00 PM — December 4, 11, and 18, in the Church.
Taize:This service, a mixture of song, meditation and Scripture, gives one an opportunity to experience God in a quiet, contemplative setting. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details.
Interfaith Dialogue Event
God as Light in Judaism and Christianity
6pm – Thursday, December 13, 2018
Palm Springs Art Museum
Monthly Taizé Service
Our next monthly Taizé service is Thursday, December 6th at 7:00 PM in the church. This service, a mixture of song, meditation and Scripture, gives one an opportunity to experience God in a quiet, contemplative setting. Contact Nathan Ensign for more details. A good singing voice is NOT required.
Adult Faith Formation
Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library
The Episcopal Café
11/25: Reflections on Revelation (1): Why read it?
Led by Gary Scott
12/2: Be A Righteous Branch: Reflection on Jeremiah 33
Led by Alan Zimmerman
Tuesdays at 5:00 PM in the Library
The 2nd Half of Life: “Life begins at—?”
This series is designed to look at reality, concerns and spirituality for older people.
11/27: All the Ending in Life Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey
Seeking Coffee Hour Hosts
With the arrival of fall, we joyfully welcome our part time parishioners returning to the desert. It’s a time for festive hospitality at our Coffee Hours following Sunday services. Currently, there are several dates available, between now and year-end, to host a coffee hour. It’s easy! All you do is provide offerings of fruit, pastries, cookies – anything, really, that you think others would enjoy. The church provides coffee, tea, lemonade, and all service items. If you would like to sponsor a future coffee hour, please sign-up today. You’ll find the sign-up book on the table just inside the Parish Hall entrance.
Questions? Please contact Kathy Kilmer, 760.774.8233
Parish Tee-Shirts are available. The cost is $10.
Tee-shirts can be purchased from the ushers before or after services or at the parish office during regular business hours.
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.