St. Anthony of the Desert
Episcopal Church
Desert Hot Springs, California

 

St. Anthony's Newsletter

Welcome to our church newsletter page. For a schedule of our services, see our Events & Calendar Page. Thanks for visiting our website!

September - November 2015

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King, Jr

If we follow Jesus into the Church in faith, let us follow Jesus into the world in service.”

Autumn 2015, Snow-bird re-entry

 

Dear Fellow Travelers of the Son of God returning to Saint Anthony’s from northern climes and distant lands,

Welcome home!

We, the faithful remnant, have not just been basking by the pool here in the glorious summer of the Coachella Valley, the “Anvil of the Sun”. Nor have we been squandering our Mission’s substance in riotous living! Read the included notes from Vicar Julie and Bishop’s Warden Betty on summer doings, current concerns, and upcoming events.

We look forward to seeing you any and every Sunday at 10 AM at Mountain View Road and 20th Avenue.

When you arrive at Saint Anthony’s you will see that Vicar Julie has made a few alterations to the worship space to better reflect our particular ministry.

Here is a preview photo. What do you think?


Uh oh! Wait! Wrong photo. Here is the right one.

From the Vicar

When speaking about church, how many times have you heard it said, “It’s not the building, it’s the people”? For St. Anthony’s, I doubt there could be a truer statement. Why else would we joyfully gather each week in a simple square room that lacks stained glass windows or soaring vaulted ceilings or a magnificent pipe organ or exquisite silk and satin paraments

During the past two years, we at St. Anthony’s have explored what makes a church and have discovered that, for our particular congregation, gathering in community, mutual participation, sharing our concerns and dreams are what makes us a church. We’ve changed our furnishings, reconfigured our space, painted and redecorated, and generally remade the way we come together each week. We’ve recaptured old space to make it new again and opened up the way we come into St. Anthony’s. We continue to explore and engage our surroundings. We enjoy our glimpses of our mascot, Tony the Owl. We treasure our views of the mountains and desert that surround us. We find great solace and spiritual connection in using the Memorial Garden for quiet moments of worship. Having more flexible furnishings allows us that latitude. And we are not finished yet. We will continue to dream, continue to be imaginative in our ways to meet God in this space, and to invite others in our communities to join us in the journey to the heart of God. 

But we also recognize that, for a lot of people who’ve grown up in traditional churches, it is the architecture and the decor of the building and all the other traditions of European style and church worship that speaks to them and says, “This is what church is supposed look like.” We hope and pray that, regardless of one’s previous experiences with “church” and prior expectations of what “church” should look like, all our members - year-round and seasonal and all our visitors will keep “Open Hearts and Open Minds” as we go forward in faith together. 

This is the current configuration of Saint Anthony’s worship space.

And here is how it looks with people.


And here is the Atrium with the former storeroom glass cleared and cleaned and new ceiling fans, a memorial gift from Bob Mellon’s family which will be dedicated later this autumn.


Celebrating Creation

On September 24th, the National Cathedral will webcast of an event they are hosting entitled Coming Together in Faith on Climate Celebration, beginning at 4:30 pm West Coast Time. Faith communities will share inspirational messages, music and poetry to inspire and connect faith and climate leaders and build momentum for action.

St. Anthony's will be celebrating its own Season of Creation in our liturgies during October and November. We begin on October 4th with our remembrance of St. Francis of Assisi and his love for all creation along with the blessing of the animals. Come and bring your favorite critter - furry, feathery or finny - for our pet blessing, appropriately leashed, caged or otherwise contained.  (Maybe the Vicar might even have a new critter by then!) The next 3 weeks our focus will turn to Earth, Sky and Mountain in our focus on God's good creation.

On November 1st, we will turn our focus toward humanity with our remembrance of All Saints and All Souls, followed by a focus on Humanity, Church and Thanksgiving for the next 3 weeks. We will be especially honored to have as our guest preacher the Rev. Dr. Sylvia Sweeney, Dean of Bloy House at Claremont School of Theology, on November 15th. 

This indeed will be a special season of celebration with special music and prayers to lift to God our praises, our petitions and our thanksgivings for the well-being of all the parts and creatures of the universe. We have so much for which to be thankful, so much to treasure and so much of which we are called to be stewards. Come and join the celebration. Come and join the work as co-creators with God to protect all that is precious in God's sight.  

 

From the Bishop's Warden

As we come to the end of September and eagerly anticipate the arrival of our seasonal residents, let's give God praise and thanksgiving for our summer together and for St. Anthony's outreach to our community.

Thank you to our entire congregation for putting together the small gifts we took to the faculty and staff of Bubbling Wells Elementary School.  Those gifts consisted of assorted chocolates and one of our St. Anthony's stylus/pens or flashlight/pens.  Vicar Julie and I delivered the gifts along with Starbucks coffee, muffins, and other treats as the faculty and staff gathered for their in-service prior to beginning the school year with the students.  The faculty and staff members were not only pleased but very surprised to receive their special "coffee hour" and gifts and expressed their appreciation to Julie and me as we visited with them (and in a lovely card we received later). 


The school officials also expressed their delight in knowing that we are collecting Box Tops for Education for them.  Please see the information posted at church about this program--and please ask your family and friends to save the labels for us.  Each year, the Box Tops for Education program provides much-needed funds for schools to use for items the budget does not cover (including books and materials for children whose families cannot make those purchases).

Russ continues his weekly work at Food Now and takes our offerings of food to that organization. Thank you to all who support this ministry.

Jackie continues to assemble the Blessing Bags for our ministry with the homeless.  Please pick up those bags in the narthex (a $1 donation per bag helps to purchase the supplies to continue this ministry). These small packets are really a blessing to the homeless and needy to whom we give them.

Paul worked over-time this summer to prepare for our audit (as the diocese requires of all parishes and missions).  Thank you, Paul, for that great work.

Paul's work continues in a senior center but moved this summer from the Mizell to the Joselyn Center in Palm Desert.

Our summer congregants saw work progress each week as Fr. Del, Vicar Julie, and I (plus anyone else who happened by when we were working) reupholstered chairs, painted, and cleaned.  We now have a most inviting space for worship and fellowship. Thanks to a gift from Bob Mellon's family, we have two great ceiling fans in the patio.

Thank you to all who provided lovely treats for our coffee hours and picnics. 

Thank you, Vicar Julie and Richard, for liturgical leadership.  We have enjoyed beautiful liturgy, music, and lively discussions.  The latter often extends through coffee hour!

HOW YOU CAN HELP:  We purchased chairs from Faith Episcopal Church, and those chairs required reupholstering prior to use. You can help with this project by "sponsoring" one or more chairs for $5 each.  We have 57 chairs, and right now they are all "orphans" waiting for sponsors!!

St. Anthony's shirts:  Many people have admired my St. Anthony's shirts and inquired about purchasing such for themselves.  Great news--my friends own the company which produces these lovely shirts, and they have our design all set up.  We now have a catalog at church, and you may choose any item from the catalog.  Please let me know the item number (not the color or size yet); and I will get the price for the item.  Then we will place an order.  My friends are very generous when working with church groups.  We do not pay a set-up charge or have to order a minimum number of items.

Again, thank you to all who continue to support St. Anthony's with presence, prayers, and gifts of time/talent/treasure.


Faithfully, Betty

 

Church Calendar highlights:

29 September. Saint Michael and All Angels.

4 October. Francis of Assisi, Friar

19 October, transferred from 18. Saint Luke, Evangelist

23 October. Saint James of Jerusalem, Brother of our Lord Jesus Christ and Martyr

28 October. Saint Simon and Saint Jude, Apostles

1 November. All Saints Day

2 November. All Soul’s Day

16 November. Saint Margaret, Queen of Scotland

22 November. Christ the King, Last Sunday of the Church Year

26 November. Thanksgiving Day

 

Mission, the practice of our Faith

What concerns of the world can you inform us about that need Christ’s healing love?

  • Blessing Bags: We need to make more Blessings in a Bag so that folks in the congregation can buy them to keep on hand to give out. Jackie is coordinating this. 

  • Office help: Be an office volunteer on occasional Thursdays. You can stuff bulletins, make phone calls or help file.

  • Food Now contributions: Next time you are shopping for groceries, can you please consider buying a few extra non-perishable items to contribute to Saint Anthony’s Food Now box? Food Now is a community organization that helps to feed the poor, hungry and homeless. The staff and volunteers in the organization now know about St. Anthony's and send us their sincere thanks for helping them out.

  • Father’s Heart Ranch: When you have a birthday, bring a birthday gift to church to share your joy with the boys at the Ranch. Remember, the concept is that we gather presents suitable for boys aged 6-12 years old and wrap them in Birthday wrapping paper (you can label the gift with the appropriate age range) and tag it as a gift from Jesus for a boy's birthday. We can even get involved and host birthday parties for the kids or take them out to lunch, maybe with a friend or two, also! If you are grandchild deprived as I am, this could be lots of fun!

  • One more thing: the boys at Father’s Heart Ranch really treasure stuffed animals, so even if it isn’t Christmas or a birthday occasion, we can gather new, soft, plushy, cuddly stuffed animals for these kids who have not known much, if any, love in their young lives. Something they can hold onto when they feel sad or lonely, something that is theirs and theirs alone, something they can take with them when they move on to the next home, something to remind them that someone, somewhere loves them.

Saint Anthony’s on the World Wide Web!

Yes, Saint Anthony’s has arrived in cyberspace with its own web site thanks to Russ. It has photos, news, and links to other interesting websites. Type www.stanthonydhs.org into your web browser and have a look. Then, bookmark it as a favorite so that it is easy to visit. In the 21st century digital communication and exposure is essential to Christian mission and evangelism.

Summer 2015

During the summer months, St. Anthony's parish hosted informal services at 10 am Sundays along with social gatherings afterward. See our Events & Calendar Page for details. Our newsletter was on vacation for the summer season. Please also see our Facebook page for announcements of parish activities and events.

March - May 2015

Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’” Martin Luther King, Jr
If we follow Jesus into the Church in faith, let us follow Jesus into the world in service.”

How are your Lenten devotions going? As we follow Jesus into Holy Week here are two things worth thinking about: Who does God want you to be? What does God want you to do for others?

For most of us, wholly giving up our lives to God and for others seems an improbable if not impossible idea. Yet, the evidence of human experience is that when we give of ourselves, we really do get back more than we give. Heavenly Father help us to be not only hearers of your Word but also doers of your Mission.

  • Paul Thompson: Receives the Bishop’s Award certificate from Vicar Julie.

  • Saturday 7 March: Vicar Julie and Doctor Betty wheeling and dealing at Caliente Springs lawn sale for the greater glory of God and the benefit of Saint Anthony’s.

  • Saturday 14 March: We had a farewell service for Paul Morand, longtime member and supporter of Saint Anthony’s. His family were there and members of Saint Anthony’s. Though Paul lived a full life, dying shortly after completing his 92nd year, still there was sadness that he is no longer here with us. A son and grandson gave testimony of Paul’s wisdom and caring. Paul had equanimity, he handled life with grace. Remembering his service in the US Navy in WWII, three naval personnel performed a solemn ceremony and Taps was played. Paul’s earthly remains were placed in Saint Anthony’s Columbarium alongside those of his wife Dorothy. Paul now rejoices with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light. So long Paul, vaya con Dios.

  • Sunday 22 March: Our winter guests Bishop Logan McMenamie and Canon Neil Haines celebrated and preached for us.

  • Wednesday 25 March: The Annunciation. The Angel Gabriel brought God’s request to Mary of Nazareth. She said “Yes” and conceived by the Holy Spirit. Jesus became human in her womb and was born for us and we saw his glory, such glory as befits the Father’s only son, full of grace and truth. Hail Mary full of grace. God is with you. Blessed are you among women. Blessed is your child Jesus.

  • Thursday 26 March 10:30 AM:

In Lent, we will gather on Thursdays for prayer and education. At 10:30 AM, we will begin with a Healing Service and Holy Communion. At 11:30 we will move to the Parish Hall for a program entitled The Renegade Gospel. It has videos and a book and, of course, time for discussion about what we see and hear and read. Hopefully this time will prove to be a) enlightening; b) exciting; c) frightening; d) inspiring; e) educational; f) fun; g) heretical or h) all of the above. Bring a brown bag lunch or something to share with the group. This is another one of those occasions when the more who gather, the merrier the gathering. What a great way to get better acquainted with folks you only see on Sunday!

  • Holy Week:

Palm Sunday 29 March 10 AM, the Sunday of the Passion: Procession & Passion Gospel. Bring palm leaves! The Passion will be a simple dramatic reading for the congregation. “Ride on! Ride on in majesty! In lowly pomp ride on to die; bow thy meek head to mortal pain, then take, O God, thy power, and reign.”

Maundy Thursday 2 April 5-7 PM: Agape Supper. “That last night at supper lying mid the twelve, his chosen band, Jesus, with the Law complying, keeps the feast its rites demand; then, more precious food supplying, gives himself with his own hand.”

Good Friday 3 April Noon: Stations of the Cross. “Here the King of all the ages, throned in light ere worlds could be, robed in mortal flesh is dying, crucified by sin for me.”

  • Easter Day

The Sunday of the Resurrection 5 April 10 AM:

Let us celebrate this happy day in joyful worship. Please bring your most delicious culinary creation to share in our Easter Day feast! “Hail thee, festival day! Blest day that are hallowed forever, day whereon Christ arose, breaking the kingdom of death.”

“Was it not like fire burning in us when he talked to us on the road and explained the scriptures to us?”

Let us go forth rejoicing in the power of the Spirit to be Christ in the world!

Let us exercise the gifts and talents God has given us for the benefit of others and for ourselves. Just one hour of your week (1 out of 168 is not much of a sacrifice) given in service can do wonders for our community, and you! To paraphrase Saint Teresa of Avila, Saint Anthony's has no body but yours. Please help us be the most vibrant, active body in the whole Diocese! Though the Vicar says, “I'll settle for being the most vibrant, active Episcopal church in the Coachella Valley”.

  • Altar Guild:

Be among the saints who make our altar beautiful and perfect for our worship. Speak with Sandy about assisting with our Altar Guild.

  • Bishop’s Committee:

Outreach and Publicity: (position open)

Facilities and Grounds (Junior Warden): (position open)

Is it possible that Jesus is calling you to one of these good works? Please give it some thought.

If so, please talk with Betty and/or Julie. Thank you.

  • Blessing Bags:

We need to make more Blessings in a Bag so that folks in the congregation can buy them to keep on hand to give out. See Frank or Paul or Julie to help coordinate this. 

  • Office help:

Be an office volunteer on occasional Thursdays. You can stuff bulletins, make phone calls or help file.

  • Labels for Education:

One of the very easiest ways to support Susan Green and her kids at Two Bunch Palms Elementary School is to save the labels on a lot of every day products we buy. For all the labels we donate, the school receives cash - that green stuff that is so important for schools. Do you use Campbell soups and sauces? Save the label! How about Pepperidge Farm products - cookies, breads, etc. Save the label! Same for V-8, Swanson broths and chicken, Bic pens, Spaghettios and/or Wolfgang Puck (now there's a combo!), Dannon products, even Pace Picante sauce and salsas! The Labels are easy to see - they are bright pink or orange so they are hard to miss on the can or the package. Bring your labels to church and put them in the big envelope on the bulletin board in the breezeway - you can't miss it either because it's bright pink too! What an easy way to help our neighbors! Let's fill up the envelope!

  • Sharing our Faith, Street Fairs at Local Communities:

A number of the communities in Desert Hot Springs sponsor Saturday events that offer us opportunities to rent a table and tell folks about our Faith. One idea is to make simple needlepoint crosses to hand out along with information sheets. The Holy Spirit would love to help us in this. Could you staff a table, answer questions, and chat about God’s grace, Saint Anthony’s, and the Episcopal Church? Could you create some simple craft items to hand out and please people? If so, please contact Vicar Julie.

  • Tutoring Opportunity:

Do you like kids? Do kids like you? Saint Anthony’s has received a grant to establish an after-school tutoring program for elementary age children who need some academic help. The program will begin next autumn. We are recruiting volunteers and have information about the diocesan-mandated Safeguarding God’s People program. Please see Betty for more information.

  • Food Now contributions:

Next time you are shopping for groceries, can you please consider buying a few extra non-perishable items to contribute to Saint Anthony’s Food Now box? Food Now is a community organization that helps to feed the poor, hungry and homeless. The staff and volunteers in the organization now know about St. Anthony's and send us their sincere thanks for helping them out.

  • Father’s Heart Ranch:

Our gathering of Birthday Presents for Jesus was so successful at Christmas that we've come up with a new way to keep replenishing the supply of gifts for the boys at Father's Heart Ranch. When you have a birthday, bring a birthday gift to church to share your joy with the boys at the Ranch. Remember, the concept is that we gather presents suitable for boys aged 6-12 years old and wrap them in Birthday wrapping paper (you can label the gift with the appropriate age range) and tag it as a gift from Jesus for a boy's birthday. We can even get involved and host birthday parties for the kids or take them out to lunch, maybe with a friend or two, also! If you are grandchild deprived as I am, this could be lots of fun!

One more thing: the boys at Father’s Heart Ranch really treasure stuffed animals, so even if it isn’t Christmas or a birthday occasion, we can gather new, soft, plushy, cuddly stuffed animals for these kids who have not known much, if any, love in their young lives. Something they can hold onto when they feel sad or lonely, something that is theirs and theirs alone, something they can take with them when they move on to the next home, something to remind them that someone, somewhere loves them.

  • Saint Anthony’s on the Worldwide Web!

Yes, Saint Anthony’s has arrived in cyberspace with its own web site thanks to Russ. It has photos, news, and links to other interesting websites. Type www.stanthonydhs.org into your web browser and have a look (this is a link to our Home page on this site). Then, bookmark it as a favorite so that it is easy to visit. In the 21st century digital communication and exposure is essential to Christian mission and evangelism.