For Sunday, September 30th
From the Rector
Calling All Prophets
The story this portion of Numbers comes from is long, but simple. The people who have followed Moses into the wilderness are pestering Moses to provide some meat instead of the manna they have been eating. Moses is so frustrated with the constant complaints that he asks God to kill him. While I have never actually wanted to die rather than put up with some annoyance, I have echoed Moses’ “Just kill me.”
God has another idea. Moses is instructed to gather some 70 leaders and God will share some of the Spirit that is upon Moses with them. Moses would not be so isolated. There would be a larger group who share his deep connection with God. They would share some of Moses’ responsibility and the base of his authority would be broadened. As a sign that this has happened, the leaders at the meeting prophesy – speak powerfully for God, as a prophet would. This is all very orderly. Until Eldad and Medad are late.
They are in camp, but not in the meeting and they prophesy like the 68 in the meeting! Joshua wants to stop them, but Moses sees what God is doing. It would be a good thing if all God’s people had the Spirit and spoke powerfully of God’s work and values.
As Christians today, it is easy to experience a distance between ourselves and God, thinking that God’s Spirit is for other people. This reading from Numbers, and the teaching of Jesus tell a different story. Like Moses, Jesus is clear that all his followers be prophets – to speak and act powerfully in support of the reconciling love of God. This calling is too vital, too crucial to be left to clergy alone.
In the Catechism of the Episcopal Church, found on page 855 of the Book of Common Prayer, the question asked is “Who are the ministers of the Church?” The answer is “The ministers of the Church are Lay persons, bishops, priests, and deacons.” All the people of God are ministers and all share in speaking and acting as partners with God in mending our world and the broken relationships between people, and between people and God.
We gather weekly to be inspired, strengthened, redirected as we take our place in this awesome calling. Our worship is the celebration of the people who are called to be prophets.
Numbers 11:24-29 CEB
So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord; and he gathered seventy elders of the people, and placed them all around the tent. Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders; and when the spirit rested upon them, they prophesied. But they did not do so again. Two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the spirit rested on them; they were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” And Joshua son of Nun, the assistant of Moses, one of his chosen men, said, “My lord Moses, stop them!” But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, and that the Lord would put his spirit upon them!”
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
If you want to join St. Paul’s or learn more about the parish, come to “St. Pauls 101.” This is a single session class with Fr. Andrew instructing. In this informal setting, you will have the opportunity to ask questions about St. Paul’s and learn how to become a member. This month’s session will be Sunday, September 30th at 9:15 AM, in the Parish Office Conference Room.
We hope you will join us for coffee and conversation in the Parish Hall after Sunday services.
Seeking Coffee Hour Hosts. There are numerous blank pages in the Sunday After Service Hospitality Sign-UP Book! …over the rest of the year. Hosting a coffee hour can be as easy as putting a few boxes of easy to serve fruit, sweets, pastries, cookies (without nuts or peanuts, please) in the St. Paul’s refrigerator in the Parish Hall. The Parish Hall has the necessary items such as napkins, cups tables. Now that our snowbirds are returning to our warm oasis, our hosted coffee hours let them, and other visitors know they are most welcome. Please check the Sign-UP Book and consider hosting a Coffee Hour. Thank you!
Want to help change the world?
St. Paul’s Social Justice Committee has changed the time and date of the meeting from what was originally posted. The meeting will now be held on Thursday, October 4, 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. For 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!
Sunday October 14th after the 8:00 and 10:30 AM Services. Each ministry will exhibit a description of who they are and the work they do. Tasty snacks will be offered at each exhibit station. This promises to be an informative and fun opportunity to see (and nosh!) your way through the various ministries at St. Paul in the Desert.
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.