For Sunday, September 15th

Transition Update

Dear Friends in Christ,

On behalf of St. Paul’s Vestry, the Wardens have prepared this letter to update you on Transition and other matters of importance and interest to the Parish.


  • The Rev. Canon David Caffrey, our Interim Rector, and The Rev. Laura Sheridan-Campbell, our Diocesan Advisor on Transition, have hosted three information sessions between Sunday services on Transition issues. All were well attended and the parishioners present were very engaged. It was stressed at these sessions that the process for discerning a new Rector requires time, thought, and prayer to be successful and the process may take up to 24 months before it is completed.
  • The Vestry, with the leadership of Vestry member Clinton Carbon, is preparing an application form that will be made available to all parishioners who wish to be considered for the Transition Committee. This Committee will be responsible for conducting a congregation assessment (CAT) of the entire Parish.  From the results of the survey, we will create a Parish Profile, which will be posted by the Diocese to solicit priests who are interested in being considered for our next permanent Rector.  In addition, this Committee will review all Rector applications submitted by the Diocese and will refer the most appropriate ones to the Vestry for its calling of the next Rector.
  • The Rt. Rev. Susan Brown Snook, our new Diocesan leader, has met with Fr. David and the Wardens to assure St. Paul’s of her support and that of diocesan staff as we move forward in the transition process.
  • The Vestry will work with office staff to add a special section for Transition news to the weekly Abundant Life online newsletter. Additionally, periodic updates will be provided from the pulpit along with usual weekly announcements.
  • Vestry member Nancy Antonius attended a Transition roundtable discussion led by Rev. Laura in Temecula and reported back valuable information to the Vestry to help in its work on Transition business. 

Other Matters

  • The Parish’s lay pastoral care ministers (Br. John Charles, Jerry Di Noto, and Rick Tinsley) have met and will ensure that one of them is available for emergency callouts that do not require the presence of a priest. Additionally, the Wardens are working on augmenting the number of assisting priests who are on the list for emergency callouts.
  • For the past several years The Well in the Desert has used the Parish Hall kitchen each weekday to prepare food for its lunch program, and they have been using the Hall as one of its five daily serving venues. Lately, there have been issues with proper food storage, kitchen cleanliness, and lack of effective security presence in the Hall during the weekly lunch service.  At the Vestry’s request, the Interim Rector, Wardens, and Parish Administrator are working with The Well to resolve these issues and enhance cleanliness and safety.
  • The Interim Rector and a small committee are working on a Stewardship educational program that will help parishioners discern where and how their talents can be used toward increasing “The Abundant Life” at St. Paul’s. During this time of Transition, there are many opportunities for the congregation to volunteer their talents to the Parish’s many ministries and to make a meaningful difference within the church and the community it serves.  Your generosity of spirit and material support will bring many blessings to you and our beloved Parish.
  • For the last quarter of 2019, the Wardens and the Interim Rector have assembled an excellent Eucharistic clergy schedule that, in addition to Fr. David, includes the Revs. Victoria Hatch, Steve Huber, Eric Law, and Peter Sickels. Peter comes to us by a recommendation from Rev. Laura, and he is delighted to be invited here to celebrate the Eucharist and preach.

As you can see, lots of good things are happening at St. Paul’s, and the Vestry is honored and pleased to be of support to the Parish during this exciting time of Transition.  Your continued prayers and support for the good of St. Paul’s are immensely appreciated.  May God bless us all as we continue forward together on our spiritual journey.

Very faithfully yours,

Peter Di Carlo, Sr. Warden
Br. John Charles Westaway, Jr. Warden

Latino Ministry Committee

The Latino Ministry Committee invites you to come to Coffee Hour this Sunday, for food, fun, and information about Mexican Independence Day.

Our next meeting is Monday, September 23 at  6:30 PM in the Parish Library. Come and help plan events and read  a Spanish Compline.

Gracias, Bonnie Stroock, Presider

Responding To Hurricanes

Episcopal Relief & Development (ER&D) partners with dioceses as they respond to hurricanes and other tragedies. We invite you to join this vital partnership.

Currently members of ER&D’s US Disaster Program are working with dioceses that were in the path of Hurricane Dorian. In addition, the organization is working through the Anglican Alliance to support the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos as they assess the damage. Your contribution to the ER&D Hurricane Relief Fund will support communities as they respond to storms like Hurricane Dorian.

Your donation will meet urgent needs by providing critical supplies such as food, water and other basics and will help provide long-term assistance as needed. You can contribute online to the Episcopal Relief & Development Hurricane Relief Fund at:

Choir Start-Up Retreat

The Adult Choir will reconvene for the fall season beginning with an all morning retreat at 8:30am on Saturday, September 14 in the Parish Hall.  New members are always welcome. All singers interested in joining the choir should contact Nathan Ensign, Director of Music, at 760.320.7488 ext. 225 for more details and a reservation for lunch. Regular Wednesday evening rehearsals will begin on September 18 at 7:00 PM.

2019/2020 Circle Supper Kickoff

Saturday September 14 at 5:00 PM in the Parish Hall.

Join us for a “meet & greet” gathering to launch the new season of Circle Supper small group potlucks. We apologize for any confusion caused by prior notices: This is not a potluck; however, this is when we’ll set the October potluck dates for each of the five groups. If you have not yet joined a group, sign up forms will be in the Parish Hall and in the Church foyer. (If you are already in a Circle Supper group you do not need to sign up again.)

The Circle Supper program is now in its fourth year and is a great way to meet new people and enrich existing friendships. For more information contact Fred Ross at

Children’s Ministry Kickoff

We are excited to announce the plans we’ve made, so far, for our reimagined Children’s Ministry. Under the leadership of Ken and Deana Huff, the Ministry will kick off on September 15 with Sunday School at 10:30 AM.

There will be three components to this Ministry:

First Sunday Supper (the first Sunday of each month) will be an intergenerational gathering at 4:00 PM, with an activity and potluck. All are welcome.

Sunday School Class will be held once per month on the third Sunday of the month during the 10:30 AM service.

A Children’s Service where the children will serve as ushers, lectors and altar ministers, will be held on the fourth Sunday at 10:30 AM.

Please invite any families you know to join us at any or all events. For further information, contact Deana Huff at 760.992.4138

Calling All Lectors!

On Saturday, September 21 at 9:00 AM, we will meet in the Parish Hall for the first retreat for the lectors of the parish.  We will gather for fun, fellowship and the honing of our craft.  We cordially invite all lectors and those in the congregation who would consider being a lector.  Lunch will be served.

For more information, contact Kathy Kilmer at or Br. John at

Salt and Light Listening Sessions

 Bishop Susan Brown Snook will hold a series of Salt and Light listening sessions during the week of September 23-30. The goal of the listening sessions is to gather input for the next strategic plan for the Diocese of San Diego. In preparation, Bp. Susan is inviting us into a 9-day season of prayer. She will be holding one of the listening sessions at St. Paul in the Desert on Friday, September 27 from 7:00-9:00 PM in the Parish Hall. We will be joined by others from our sister churches in the area. We encourage St. Paul members to attend. For more information on the listening sessions or the Season of Prayer please visit

Newcomers Welcoming Session

Sunday, September 29 – If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to this single session class led by Jerry Di Noto. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member.

Join us at 9:15 AM in the Parish Hall Conference Room.

Parish Life Book Club

The Parish Life Book Club is a group of people who enjoy reading and talking about the books they read. New members are always welcome.

The next Book Club meeting will be held on October 1, 2019, at 1 PM in the Library of St. Paul’s. For October Book Club has selected Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Stout. “Olive had a way about her that was absolutely without apology.” Olive Kitteridge offers profound insights into the human condition in a coastal Maine community — its conflicts, its tragedies and joys, and the endurance it requires.

For more information please contact Alan Zimmerman at

Monthly Taizé Service

Our monthly Taizé service resumes for the Fall on Thursday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. in the church.

This service, a beautiful mix of prayer, song and Scripture, gives one an opportunity to experience God in a quiet, contemplative setting. All are invited to participate.

Blessing of the Animals

On Saturday, October 5th at 10:00 AM, St. Paul’s will celebrate the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi as we bless the animals as Francis taught us. The Blessing recognizes our mutual interdependence with all of God’s creatures. Bring your pets to receive a special blessing.

All properly leashed or contained pets are welcome.

Alzheimer’s Coachella Valley (ACV)

The Dementia Caregiver Support Group at St Paul’s meets every Tuesday from 9:00 AM to 11:00 AM in an air-conditioned room in the Parish Hall. For more information, please see the program flyer or call Chuck Olsen, ACV Support Group Facilitator, at 760.667.3100.

As a reminder, the weekly meetings are intended for care givers only.

In Memoriam

Dorothy Simmons

Ivy Pellum

Laura Russo

Marilyn Zullo

Deseree Lopez

Jack Bevis

Fannie Nuness

Derek Hill

Adele Jones

Miss Payton

Barbara Marx

James Kyle

Toni Morrison

Daisy Williams

Anthony Kendrick

Bennie Marzett

Adult Faith Formation

Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library: The Episcopal Café
The Adult Faith Building Program offers courses, workshops, lectures and discussion groups on varied theological, biblical and spirituality topics.

Sundays in September

9/15: Lifting-up our Hearts: Communion and Springsteen at Ground Zero. Communion in Hell: a remembrance of 9/11
Led by Jerry Di Noto

9/22: Praying for Others? Reflection on 1 Timothy 2:1-7
Led by Audrey Spencer

9/29: What Kind of Bed Do You Sleep On? Reflection on Amos 6:1a, 4-7
Led by Karen Nelson

Tuesdays at 6:00 – 7:30 PM, in the Library

Violence & Religion: A video and discussion series which explores factors that contribute to violence in the name of religion.

9/17: Violence in Scripture.
Led by Jerry Di Noto and Team

9/24: Why People Commit Self-Harm for Religious Purposes.
Led by Audrey Spencer and Team

Coffee Hour after Services

We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall following our Sunday morning services.

This week, The Latino Ministry Committee in sponsoring both Coffee Hours on Sunday in Celebration of Mexican Independence Day!

Please consider volunteering to be a Coffee Hour Host sometime. It can be a great way to honor and celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other special occasion. There are still many Sundays available. The Sunday Hospitality Sign-Up Book is on the table at the Parish Hall entrance.

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 Friday. The office is closed on Mondays.

Should you call on Monday 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 during the 10:30 a.m. service.

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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