For Sunday, November 11th
From the Rector
Giving and Praying From the Heart
The story about the “widow’s mite” which we read this week in Mark is tangibly present with us every Sunday at St. Paul’s. Several years ago, our Head Usher, Ron Shepherd taped two pennies to the collection plates we pass each week – encouraging generous giving.
The widow in the story has given two coins which were worth a penny. Her sacrificial generosity is called out by Jesus as being a more substantial gift than that of the rich who have so much that they never even notice what they give – even though it looks impressive. The woman is giving from the heart. Her gift out of her “hopeless poverty” has inspired many sermons and perhaps even heartfelt giving.
Jesus uses the example of the woman he observed as a contrast with the expert in religious law who not only was a rapacious crook, but even his prayer was insincere – certainly not from his heart. His prayer was not of confession or remorse, but was a cover-up to obscure his wrongdoing.
Each of these episodes has echos in our own time. The financial abuse of Older Adults is a real problem in the Coachella Valley. Many elders are taken advantage of and it is believed that a small minority are ever reported. (You can report Elder Abuse at 1-800-491-7123) The generosity of the widow is also echoed today. People who are poor and whose prospects appear hopeless, regularly surprise me with their generosity as they listen to and care for others.
Jesus is teaching about authenticity in this week’s Gospel reading. God desires that our actions and our prayers be consistent so that we can be authentic. Her faith in God meant everything to the widow and the “everything” she gave was her authentic gift.
I imagine that most of us are somewhere in the middle, in terms of our faith and our means. I recognize that many of our “rich” at St. Paul’s do indeed give out of a sincere reflection of their faith, and that their gifts are so honored. My hope is that any internal discernment of giving, or pledging, or generosity starts with a reflection on faith. How do I understand God’s love for me and how does my sense of sharing what I have mesh with that spiritual awareness? This is one internal discussion that is more important than any result.
The prayers we share with each other week by week remind us of God’s love and call us to a deeper reflection and an authentic response. Join us.
Mark 12:38-44 Common English Bible (CEB)
As he was teaching, he said, “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They want to be greeted with honor in the markets. They long for places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off they say long prayers. They will be judged most harshly.”
Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny. Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I assure you that this poor widow has put in more than everyone who’s been putting money in the treasury. All of them are giving out of their spare change. But she from her hopeless poverty has given everything she had, even what she needed to live on.”
Celebration Weekend, November 17th-18th
Transforming Generosity is our theme for the coming year. How would “generosity” be transformed if we remembered what Jesus is always calling us to do? We are indeed called to establish new priorities for ourselves and our communities of faith. That transformation will call us to look for generosity in every aspect of our work, in every aspect of our lives.
We will celebrate this theme and receive Pledge Cards at all services.
Adult Literacy Ministry
The Adult Literacy Ministry is seeking tutors to help English speaking adults improve their skills in reading, writing and comprehension. No prior experience is necessary. Volunteers are asked to commit to six months for this program. If interested, please join us at our introduction and training session on Saturday, November 10th, at 10:00 AM, in St. Paul’s Library. You can register to become a tutor at that meeting. We look forward to seeing you there.
VETERANS’ DAY PARADE
Sunday, November 11th
For those who wish to honor all veterans, join St. Paul’s contingent as we walk together in the Palm Springs Veterans’ Day Parade. Participants should gather at the downtown Palm Springs staging area by 2:45 PM. It’s located at E. Palm Canyon Drive and E. Camino Parocela (by Bank of America). We will be Contingent 51 and will line up near the bank. The Parade kicks off at 3:30 PM on Palm Canyon at Ramon Road, and travels north through downtown, ending at Alejo Road.
Daughters of the King
St. Paul’s chapter of The Daughters of the King (DOK) is sponsoring a thought-provoking workshop, “Spirituality in the Second Half of Life,” Saturday, November 17, from 9:00 AM to Noon, in the Parish Hall. The workshop facilitator is the Rev. Canon David Caffrey.
Participants will explore the promise of a richer spiritual life that awaits each of us as we grow older. Come share what is sure to be an intriguing examination of this fascinating subject. Sign-up sheets are in the Narthex, the Parish Hall and the Parish Office. For more information contact Sharon Strong at 760.285.8910.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanksgiving Day Worship at St. Paul’s
Thursday, November 22, 2018, 10:30 AM, Holy Communion
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.
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. Our Tee-Shirts are perfect attire for local parades, such as the Veterans’ Day Parade on Nov 11th!
Adult Faith Formation
Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library
The Episcopal Café
11/11: Giving Our Best: The Least We Can Do: Reflection on 1 Kings 17
Led by Alan Zimmerman
11/18: Hope beyond Disaster: Commentary on Daniel 12:1
Led by Jerry Di Noto
11/25: Reflections on Revelation (1): Why read it?
Led by Gary Scott
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.
11/13: Spirituality of the 2nd Half of Life Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey
11/18: Orphan Elders Led by Audrey Spencer
11/27: All the Ending in Life Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey
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.
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 Life Book Club
Parish Life Book Club will meet on the second Tuesday of November this month only at 1 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome. On November 13, 2018, Book Club has selected Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan. Manhattan Beach is a story about a woman mesmerized by the sea and her struggle to understand the disappearance of her father during World War II and the complexity of his life. Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at email@example.com
The Palm Springs Library has eight copies in the book club section
and an audiobook to loan.
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.