For Sunday, November 8th

Grateful Giving
A new dawn and a new day for St. Paul in the Desert

As our journey through Ordinary Time ends for 2020, the dawning of a new church year will begin with Advent. In the coming church year, St Paul’s will begin a new day with the selection of a new Rector.

This past year has been difficult for all of us, but we are not alone. Our community and our nation suffer from a worldwide pandemic, economic strife and social unrest. We have been separated from one another and, for those living alone, from the human touch. The good news is that St. Paul’s, while closing its doors to worship services, continues to have an open heart for its community and parishioners.  Yes, the work of God continues at St. Paul in the Desert!

As the dawn of a new year approaches, we ask for your continued support. Now, as much as at any time in our history, our community needs the help of our Lord and St. Paul’s.  As we begin a new day at St Paul’s with a new Rector we need and ask for your support.

When it comes to “giving,” many think first of financial support for St Paul’s and, of course, that is very important. But we should also think of other ways we, as individual members, can contribute to the parish. Take a moment to ponder these questions: “Is my God given gift an asset for the parish? Can I volunteer an hour or an afternoon this week? Can I help others in need?”  President John F. Kennedy stated in his inaugural address, “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” Can we apply this credo to our giving at St. Paul in the Desert?

Dear ones, our God is mighty and has done much for us.  St. Paul’s is a special place for us and for our community.  May we prayerfully and with gratitude consider giving to help continue the work of Christ in our parish and community.  With Jubilation let us welcome a new dawn and a new day at St. Paul in the Desert!

Your Stewardship Committee

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.

Fr. David

The Rev. Canon David L. Caffrey

A Message from Our Clergy 

Advent Tells Us, Christ is Near

Advent tells us, Christ is near.
Christmas tells us Christ is here!
In Epiphany we trace
All the glory of His grace.

Those three Sundays before Lent
Will prepare us to repent.
That in Lent we may begin
Earnestly to mourn for sin.

Holy Week and Easter, then,
Tell who died and rose again.
O that happy Easter day!
“Christ is risen indeed,” we say.

Yes, and Christ ascended, too,
To prepare a place for you.
So, we give Him special praise,
After those great forty days.

Then, He sent the Holy Ghost,
On the day of Pentecost.
With us ever to abide,
Well may we keep Whitsuntide!

Last of all, we humbly sing,
Glory to our God and King.
Glory to the One in three,
On the Feast of Trinity.

 

Dear Friends in Christ,

This hymn from the children’s section of The Episcopal Hymnal 1940 was always a good reference point for navigating the church year.  We are now approaching the close of another liturgical year when we will celebrate the Feast of Christ the King. Then, the Sunday after Thanksgiving, we will begin a new year with the first Sunday in Advent.

For me, one of the joys of being an Episcopalian is the repetitive nature of our Church calendar. Every year the liturgical cycle repeats. It is always a reminder that it is not rocket science, but a journey that we travel together, while, at once, separately. I love the Church calendar because it is such a good reminder of what is important.  And it’s color coded!  White or gold is used for special celebrations like Easter, Christmas, All Saints and Christ the King. Advent goes to blue, (but I remember it was purple when I was growing up).  Epiphany and the long season after Pentecost are green, representing the growth of the Church and the manifestation of Christ to the world.  As we enter Lent we change to purple, signifying the penitential sense of the season. Holy Week brings red out as symbolic of the martyrs’ blood. With Eastertide we go to gold or white as a sign of celebration. We then proceed to Pentecost and red, the color of the Holy Spirit and then white for Trinity.  Finally, we enter the long green season following Pentecost, which is now drawing to a close, with a definite change in tone for these last few Sundays – and a bit more judgment and questions addressed to us about our preparation.

This is the Church year in a nutshell and the hymn is as it should be!

Blessings,

Victoria+

The Rev. Canon Victoria T. Hatch

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.

 

Latino Ministry Memorial Altar

The Latino Ministry has created a Memorial Altar outside the church in the west side memorial garden.  It honors people who have recently died from COVID, racial injustice, and other causes.

Please come by the church from now through November 14, to pray for these friends who have left us.  Write their name on a provided ribbon and attach it to the altar.  Or bring a copy of their picture for display. A short Service of Thanksgiving will recognize their names on November 12 at noon.  Social distancing will be observed, and masks required.

Questions?  Contact Parish Registrar at 760.320.7488 ext. 222 or registrar@stpaulsps.org

The Latino Ministry Committee

Would you like to take a walk?

The Hiking Club will host A Walking Tour of Downtown Redlands, Saturday, November 7th.  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.  If you would like 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 alanzimmerman@icloud.com.

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

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, November 12th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.

Or, join by phone: (669) 900-6833
Meeting ID: 841 2829 0982

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 only 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.

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 in the Province of the West Indies, The Most Rev. Howard Gregory, Primate and Bishop of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Central Gulf Coast, The Rt. Rev. J. Russell Kendrick, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the Chaplains of the Armed Forces and for Members of Religious Orders, especially the Society of St. Paul.

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:  Alzinia Jackson, Ronnie Gwin, Steve Platter, Robert Beach-Barrow, Debbie Beach, Rebecca Beach,  Tracey Neldare, Carl Boutte, Brian Nealy, and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: Shirley Winters, Louis Saggiani, Bert Dignan, Roger Reyes, Johnetta Allen, Audrey Moran, Jonathan Reynosa Darling, Carol Lawrence, Norma Westaway, Bertie Faye, Gwin Prayer, Antoinette Crawford, Keeshon Manning.

For those with birthdays:  November 8: Christopher Nance; November 9: Patrick Jarvis, Mick Welch; November 10: Terrie Donohue; November 11: Robert Perry; November 12: Pete Conley, Jeff Johnson, Norma Graves; November 14: Tom O’Mara.

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 announcements@stpaulsps.org

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select November 8th.

October 30, 2020

Dear Parishioners,

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.

Respectfully submitted,

Clinton L. Carbon

Convener

 

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)

View the Transition Updates Archive

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 dokstpaulsps@gmail.com.  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

Weekend Worship Services

Our weekend worship service broadcasts have been expanded and are now available for viewing any time after 4:00 PM Saturday. Please tune in at a time that works best for you.

Join us on our Home Page , YouTube Channel or Facebook Page

Be informed – know your risk during COVID-19

We borrowed this risk chart from the Texas Medical Association.  It is intended as a guide, prepared by physician experts, to help people make smart and educated choices of activities to pursue amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  The chart was prepared by the TMA COVID-19 Task Force and the TMA Committee on Infectious Diseases.  Please assume that participants in these activities are following currently recommended safety protocols when possible.

Click image to enlarge.

covid-risk-chart

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.

Episcopal News Service

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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.

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