For Sunday, September 13th

Weekend Worship Services

Our weekend our service broadcasts will be available per the following schedule:

On our Home Page or YouTube Channel: Friday afternoons after our e-mail notification goes out.

On our Facebook Page: The Service will premiere on Saturdays at 4pm.

Those of you who were accustomed to attending our 4:00 PM and 8:00 AM services will be able to return to your preferred worship day/time – or even find a new time that works for you.

Holy Cross Day

September 13, 2020 – The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

On September 13, the church celebrates Holy Cross Day in honor of Christ’s self-offering on the cross for our salvation. This feast day is also known in some churches as the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross. It was one of the 12 great feasts in the Byzantine liturgy and remains a major feast day for the Episcopal Church.

The celebration of the Holy Cross occurs on September 14 to commemorate the consecration of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on that day in 335 by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Constantine’s mother, Saint Helena, is said to have discovered the True Cross during a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of her discovery. A portion of the Cross is said to have been placed inside the church.

The legend also tells of Persians carrying away that portion of the cross in 614 and that it remained missing until 628, when the Byzantine Emperor Heraclius recaptured it and returned it to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

As “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church” (Church Publishing, 2000) points out, “Although the authenticity of alleged relics of the cross may be questionable, Holy Cross Day provides an opportunity for a joyous celebration of Christ’s redeeming death on a cross.”

Collect for Holy Cross Day

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen (Book of Common Prayer, p. 244).

Hispanic Heritage Month

This annual celebration pays tribute to the many American Latinos who have positively influenced and enriched our nation and society. The observance begins September 15th and ends October 15th.

On the West Coast the observance has been celebrated as Mexican Independence Day (September 16th). However, other Spanish colonies in Central and South America, the Caribbean and elsewhere joined in winning their independence from Spain. We honor Latino contributions, diverse cultures, and the history of the Americas.   Viva La Independencia!  Roberto Thais – The Latino Ministry Committee

Weekly Bible Sharing

With the Rev. Canon Eric H. F. Law

Thursday, September 17th
12:00 p.m.

Join via Zoom: Click here to join meeting.
Password: 085627

Or, join by phone: (408) 638-0968
Meeting ID: 101-690-960#
Password: 085627

Book Club is Zooming!

The next Book Club meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 6, 2020, at 1:00 PM via Zoom.  Meeting information will follow later. For October, Book Club has selected The Book of Longings: A Novel by Sue Monk Kidd.

This is a story set in first-century Galilee, of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her. This novel is grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity.

New members are always welcome at Book Club meetings. For more information contact Alan Zimmerman at

Camping Ministry

St. Paul’s Camping Ministry is leaving home!  We are heading to Black Rock Campground in Joshua Tree National Park, Friday, September 18.  If you can spend the night – or if you just want to come by for a shared meal, contact Bonnie Stroock, 760.324.7949

St Paul on Facebook

St. Paul in the Desert has a new Facebook email address.Is there an event, or someone or a group you think deserves attention, recognition and/or promotion?  St. Paul’s now has a portal where you can present your suggestions:  This email address is set up to receive your newsworthy submissions.  Please include a brief narrative and, if possible and appropriate, enhance your text with a digital photo or some graphic art.  (Always be sure to have permission to use the artwork submitted.)  We look forward to hearing from you!

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 Anglican Church of South America, The Most Rev. Gregory James Venables, Presiding Bishop of the Anglican Church of South America and Bishop of Argentina.

For the Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, The Rt. Rev. Susan Bunton Haynes, Bishop.

For the Diocese of San Diego, The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, Bishop; pray for the clergy and people of St. Luke’s, San Diego; for our Ecumenical partnerships on the International Day of Prayer for Peace, September 21.

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:  Harvey & Suzanne Trackman, Neal Leiffer, Brian Nealy, Barbara Nussbaum, Norma Westaway; and for all those for whom no prayers have been said.

For those who have died: Betty Muhleck, Rose Kasee, Vera Ruggiero, Sr. Mary Seraph (aka Ann Jones), Jill Borak, Willie Durias, Lacy Archie, Elizabeth Zentner, Dan Barber, William Mason, Donald Wells.

In Memoriam . . . Long time parishioner and former Parish Office staff member, Betty Muhleck, died September 8, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Betty died peacefully at home, with family at her side.  Rest eternal grant to her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her.

For those with Birthdays:  September 13: Kitty Kieley Hayes, Marie Ratnam, Steven Chacon, Stan Bisho, Joyce Oneko; September 15: Thomas Baxley, Michael Rowley; September 16: Jim Whitten, Norma Westaway, Alan Hampson; September 17: Johnny Miller; Sepember 19: Dirk Beach-Barrow, Allan Coe.

For those celebrating their anniversary:September 13: Stan Bisho & Craig Coleman.

For those for whom flowers are given: The flowers at the Altar are placed by Duane and Robert Beach-Barrow in grateful Thanksgiving for their 42 years together, for their seventh Wedding Anniversary September 9, and for Duane’s 66th birthday September 19. 

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

For this Sunday’s Lectionary readings Click Here. From the calendar, select September 13th.

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  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

In Memoriam

Long time parishioner and former Parish Office staff member, Betty Muhleck, died September 8, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   Betty died peacefully at home, with family at her side.  Rest eternal grant to her, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon her.

We have just learned of the death of Rabbi Joe Hurwitz, longtime friend of St. Paul, and Rabbi of Temple Isaiah for some 40 years.  In March 1965 Rabbi Hurwitz went to Alabama with the then Rector of St. Paul’s and marched for civil rights with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

August 12, 2020

The Transition Teams have been busy creating final drafts of both the Parish Profile and the Office of Transition Management Form. These documents will be critical as we move forward through the Rector search/selection process.  Both contain considerable, in-depth information that will help introduce our parish to future Rector candidates. After the draft documents are finalized by the Transition Teams, they will be reviewed by Vestry leadership and Parish Administration, and then passed along to the Diocese for approvals.  It is a lengthy and deliberative process. We ask for your continued prayers.

The Parish Profile and Search Process Teams

A Gift of Prayer for Transition from the Daughters of the King: Almighty and ever living God, hear our prayers for this parish family. You renewed us during Advent to receive Christ’s presence and You are preparing our parish for a renewed mission and vision. We thank you for the leadership of our interim rector, our Vestry and the members of our Transition Committee. We invite you, Holy Spirit, to guide and empower us and our Transition Committee as we begin the tasks of choosing a new rector for this parish. Grant that these servants become faithful companions to each other, to the vestry and to this Parish. We pray that you grant all of us the wisdom and discernment to choose a faithful pastor, who will help us continue to share the abundant life of Jesus Christ. This we pray in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

View the Transition Updates Archive

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.


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.

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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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