For Sunday, September 23rd
From the Rector
In Jesus’ Name
Our Gospel reading this week begins with Jesus instructing his disciples for the second time about his crucifixion. The disciples do not understand, and they are afraid to ask. Perhaps they feel shamed by Jesus’ disappointment and they wonder if they will ever understand. Later, Jesus responds to a question they could not ask him. What is greatness? His response turns their world upside down.
In the midst of a busy house, Jesus takes the disciples aside and instructs them on greatness, on being the first or most important. Modern readers might have a very different perspective about placing a child in the middle of the group. As grandparents, Susan and I are delighted whenever one of the granddaughters is in front of us. Our perspective is borne of the connection we have with the girls and our observations of their learning and innocent gentleness. But that is not how children were viewed in the Gospels. If you imagined a continuum of the least important people to the most important. A King would be ranked as the most important and a child would be at or near the least important.
To the disciples who were wondering about greatness, Jesus welcomes a child and tells his disciples that the path to greatness in following him, is to welcome In Jesus’ name. Welcoming a child is to welcome one without status, but it is also to welcome weakness and vulnerability. If the disciples want to understand what Jesus is about, they need to be vulnerable like a child. Being vulnerable like a child is to be vulnerable like Jesus and to be open to the power of God that works through weakness.
Jesus has a different way of training his disciples. He is not asking them to be wiser or stronger, as if they were competing to be his successor. He is asking them to be vulnerable enough to be broken by the hurt of the world, so they can be used to mend it. In Jesus’ name.
Join us this weekend in our imperfections and weakness, Welcome our vulnerabilities, and yours, in Jesus’ name.
Mark 9:30-37 (NRSV)
Jesus and his disciples passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it; for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, “Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
Sundays at 9:15 AM in the Library
The Episcopal Café
9/30 – The Myth of the Good Old Days A Reflection on Numbers 11:4-6, 10-16, 24-29 Led by Gary Scott.
10/7 – In Solidarity With Jesus Reflection on Hebrews 1:1-4. 2:5-12. Led by Craig Ewing Read about it
10/14 – MINISTRY FAIR No Episcopal Café Session.
10/21 – From Weakness to Greatness Reflection on Isaiah 53:4-12 Led by Alan Zimmerman Read about it
10/28 – He is More than Able Reflection on Hebrews 7:23-28. Led by Gary Scott Read about it
Tuesdays at 5:00 PM in the Library
Biblical Wisdom Literature – The Wisdom of Solomon. This five-week series is a video presentation and discussion of the Book of Wisdom and the Solomon’s reflections.
10/2 – The Wisdom of Solomon on Divine Justice. Led by Gary Scott
10/9 – The Wisdom of Solomon on Divine Providence. Led by Jerry Di Noto
10/16 – The Wisdom of Solomon on Prayer. Led by Alan Zimmerman
10/23 – The Wisdom of Solomon on Death. Led by Rev. Canon David Caffrey
10/30 – Overview of Biblical Wisdom. Led by Br. John Charles
Monthly Taizé Services Resume
Our monthly Taize service resumes for the fall on Thursday, October 4th at 7:00 PM 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.
We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall after Sunday services.
There are many upcoming opportunities for you to sponsor a Sunday Coffee Hour after either the 8:00 AM or 10:30 AM service. The sign-up notebook is on the table as you enter the Parish Hall.
Want to help change the world?
St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee will be holding its regular monthly meeting on Thursday, September 27, 2018, at 7:00 PM in the Church Office Library. Topics of discussion will include our continuing programs for the homeless, our adult literacy project, social justice advocacy and other important outreach initiatives. If you are looking for ways to put your own faith into practice, consider joining us and finding out how you can help. Contact Chris Kelly — [email protected] —for more information.
Parish Life Book Club
Parish Life Book Club meets on the first Tuesday each month at 1 PM in the Library and new members are always welcome. On October 2, 2018, Book Club has selected The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. The Book Thief tells how book-stealing and story-telling sustain a young German girl amid the horrors of World War II. 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 protected]
The Palm Springs Library has 1 book and 1 audiobook to loan.
Blessing of the Animals
St. Paul’s invites members and friends of the Parish to a special ceremony on Saturday, October 6th, at 10:00 am. We will give thanks to God for the amazing gift of creation and especially for our Animal Companions. The special prayers will take place in the Church. All well-behaved animals are welcome and will receive a special blessing and affirmation of God’s love. (We believe the animals already know this, but the Human Companions enjoy a reminder.) Representatives from the Palm Springs Animal Shelter will be with us to promote their community programs.
Parish Life Pot Luck – Thursday, October 11, 5:30 PM
Sign-up sheets are in the Church Lobby and Parish Hall. This is our first pot-luck of the season, come and enjoy fellowship and share food. Join us as we celebrate a Palm Springs Oktoberfest!
New Parish T-Shirts
Parish Tee-Shirts are available. The cost is $10. T-Shirts can be purchased from the ushers before or after services or at the parish office during regular business hours.
Music Tour in Spain
Our “Vacation Organist” at St. Paul’s, Meg Irwin-Brandon, invites you to join a small-group tour for aficionados of the organ in Spain, October 23rd – November 2nd. Private visits to historic organs in churches and cathedrals, Salamanca, Tordesillas, Valladolid and more. Contact Meg for more information: 413-285-6881.
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.