St. Paul's at Midweek

November 1, 2023

Whoever you are,

and wherever you find yourself on your journey of faith,

we welcome you to our inclusive faith community.

This Week

by Rev'd Luis Rodriguez, Priest-in-Charge

Some years ago Pew Research conducted a survey investigating religious knowledge among Americans. Atheists and agnostics averaged 20.9 correct answers out of a possible 32. Jews ranked second with an average of 20.5 correct answers. White mainline Protestants (I can only assume that Episcopalians would be included in this group), averaged less than half – 15.8 – correct answers. While “nearly six-in-ten U.S adults say that religion is ‘very important’ in their lives, and roughly four-in-ten say they attend worship services at least once a week”, the survey “shows that large numbers of Americans are uninformed about the tenets, practices, history and leading figures of major faith traditions – including their own.” America may be, as the survey says, “the most religious of the developed nations”, yet her ignorance belies appearances. This ignorance begs the question as to how much of what religious people spout has really anything to do with the actual tenets of their faith, but instead with social convention and personal prejudice clothed in the robes of “religion”? The continued scapegoating of the immigrant and stranger, the hateful language and “theology” that drives LGBT youth to commit suicide, the selfishness expressed in a commitment to tribe or family over and against the well-being of the wider community; none of these have any grounding in genuine Christianity, and yet all are voiced or practiced by supposedly Christian people. What these stances signify on the part of many is sheer ignorance of Gospel tenets, or an unwillingness to enter into the truly difficult and transforming work the Gospel of Christ demands. They signify a refusal to accept that most basic call of Christ – to die; to die to self, to die to social convention, to die to our narrow ideas of how things should be. They signify an unwillingness to be genuinely transformed or renewed, while still getting that buzz only self-satisfied and self-righteous religiosity can give.

All this hits particularly close to home this month as we celebrate the feast of All Saints. Those we admire and honor in the calendar of saints are not those who turned religion to their purposes, nor those who used the Gospel to defend the status quo. At a time when countless numbers benefited from the system of slavery and used the Scriptures to defend their position, William Wilberforce and a few others discerned the Gospel imperative of the dignity of every human person and worked tirelessly for slavery’s abolition. He had to die to much of what his society and culture taught. He lost the approval of the “tribe”, that is friends and family. He jeopardized his standing in “polite” society. And all because he gave himself up to be truly transformed by the Good News of Jesus Christ, the Good News of the dignity of every human person. 

Francis and Clare were both raised in the lap of luxury and social acceptance. According to the social convention of their day, poverty and disease were situations that could hardly be helped. Moreover, human beings were increasingly learning ways in which to manipulate creation to their benefit, not to mention financial gain. Their native Italy was on the verge of an economic revolution which would make her the trading center of the emerging mercantile capitalism. Yet, these two young people were moved by the Gospel call to poverty, and by the truth made manifest in the incarnation that God reveals God’s self in nature and the beauty of creation. For love of Christ’s Gospel, they died to all the perks their birth and rank afforded them but were utterly renewed into creatures of joy, love, and compassion. 

The list could go on: Thomas Ken, who forsook the social dignities and power of being a bishop, because of the deeper call to be true to his word, to be a person of integrity, and consequently lived the remainder of his life in obscurity; or Pope John XXIII, who defied the tribal mentality of the Roman curia in order to open the Church of Rome to the Gospel values of transparency and inclusivity no matter the costs.

St Paul writes to the Galatians that “neither circumcision nor uncircumcision [that is, any kind of social convention or tribal identity] is anything; but a new creation is everything!” (Galatians 6:15). To the Romans he wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2) Adherence to religion means nothing if all we do is use it to bolster what we already believe or keep the status quo intact so that our worldview remains undisturbed. Religion is nothing if it does not effect in us a daily dying and transformation. That is the way of the saints. It is the way of Christ. It is the way we are called to imitate and which we have promised to live. Not social convention, nor the status quo, not tribal or familial allegiance, nor personal safety or comfort are anything, “but a new creation is everything! As for those who will follow this rule – peace be upon them, and mercy”. (Galatians 6:15-16)

Quick Links

The Coming Days at St. Paul's

Wednesday, November 1

All Saint's Day

8.30am Morning Prayer

6.00pm Evening Prayer

6.30pm Eucharist

Thursday, November 2

All Soul's Day/All the Faithful Departed

8.30am Morning Prayer

6.00pm Evening Prayer (Chapel)

7.00pm Requiem Eucharist (Church)

Friday, November 3

Richard Hooker, Priest and Theologian, 1600

8.30am Morning Prayer

Saturday, November 4

8.30am Matutina (Morning Prayer in Spanish)

9.00am Quiet Day (ends at 1pm)

November 5, 2023

All Saints Sunday

8.00aEucharist (Rite I)

9.00 am Forum in the Forum: Episcopal 101

10.00am Eucharist (Rite II)

Monday, October 6

William Temple, Archbishop of Canterbury, 1944

8.30am Morning Prayer

10.00am Food Pantry

Tuesday, October 7

Willibrord, Bishop and Missionary, 379

8.30am Morning Prayer

6.30pm Lectio Theologica

Wednesday, November 8

Ammonius, Hermit, c. 403

8.30am Morning Prayer

Thursday, November 9

Richard Rolle, Walter Hilton, and Margery Kempe, 1349, 1396, c. 1440, Mystics

8.30am Morning Prayer

Friday, November 10

Leo of Rome, Bishop, 461

8.30am Morning Prayer

Saturday, November 11

Martin of Tours, Bishop, 397

Liliʻuokalani of Hawaii, Queen and Hymnographer, 1917

8.30am Matutina (Morning Prayer in Spanish)

November 12, 2023

The Twenty-Fourth Sunday After Pentecost

8.00aEucharist (Rite I)

9.00 am Forum in the Forum: Episcopal 101

10.00am Eucharist (Rite II)

The 10am service is live-streamed via our Facebook page.


All Saints' Day Evening Prayer and Eucharist

All Saints is one of the Principal Feasts of the Church Year. Each November 1, the Church gathers in celebration of and thanksgiving for the wonderful and sacred mystery of the Body of Christ which transcends time and space. These saints are patterns for holy lives lived in the difference that Christ makes. St. Paul's will commemorate with Evening Prayer at 6pm and Eucharist at 6:30pm in the chapel. All are welcome.

Thursday, November 2: Evening Prayer and Requiem Eucharist on All Souls' Day

Tomorrow is All Souls’ Day when we particularly remember and pray for all the faithful departed.

On Thursday, November 2, Evening Prayer will be said in the chapel at 6.00pm, and a Requiem Eucharist will be celebrated at 7.00pm. As we have done in the past, names will be gathered and read at that service, and their names will be entered in the parish book of remembrance to be used throughout the year near their year's mind (anniversary of their death). If you would like someone remembered by name please contact Fr. Luis by email.

All Souls’ Day is also known as the Day of the Dead or El Dia de los Muertos. A Day of the Dead altar will be set up the St. Francis Chapel. Feel free to bring framed pictures of those who have died and ofrendas (i.e., a piece of candy or a favorite drink they might have enjoyed, flowers, etc). For information on the altar, contact Arcie Toia via email or at 661.337.2325.

Parish Announcements:

November Edition

Our Bishop, The Rt. Rev’d David Rice, will be making one of his regular visitations on Sunday, November 19, at the 10am Eucharist.  It is always a special day when the Bishop visits, but this Sunday is particularly special as a number of our parishioners will be confirmed or received into the Episcopal Church. Please make every effort to be here on that day. 

Copies of the November Prayer Diary are available in the narthex, but digital copies can be downloaded here.  Each day lists the special commemoration of the day (if any), but also the intentions of the Anglican Cycle of Prayer, those of our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer, and that of our parish.  These can serve as a focus for your daily prayer.

Harvest Fest and Chili-Cookoff Thanks!

A big THANK YOU goes out to all those who helped plan and implement our First Annual Harvest Festival. It truly was a fun-filled success! We had great homemade chili from many of our parishioners, beer from our local Temblor Brewery, baked goods from our neighborhood bakeries (Cornerstone and Ghila Dolci), a face painter and many raffle prizes donated by local owned businesses, with some made by our fellow parishioners. We could not have pulled this off without everyone’s help and support!  Mark your calendars because we are coming back next year with bigger ideas for a more fun-filled event! 

November 4, 2023

A Day of Hope, A Day of Prayer

Reflecting on The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Doug Abrams

The Daughters of the King invite you to a Quiet Day of prayer and reflection on the theme of hope. Using insights from The Book of Hope by Jane Goodall and Doug Abrams, The Rev’d Kathie Galicia (lately Priest-in-Charge at St. Francis, Turlock), will facilitate the day, with guided reflections, communal prayer, private contemplation, and fellowship.


In trying times, remaining hopeful can be a challenge. Nevertheless hope is the ground and beginning of transformation, holding out to us possibilities we cannot always fully envision. Only by coming to the center of our life in God can we begin to discern the meaning and power of hope. Only by stilling the anxious spirit can we discern the abiding hope inherent in our faith, but also glimpse God’s own hope for us and for all creation. Only in discerning and embracing hope can we ever generate the will and spirit to make the changes we need to make in ourselves and the world.


On Saturday, November 4, you are invited to spend some time reflecting on the significance and power of hope. Our time together will begin at 9.00am and end at 1.00pm. Lunch is includedThere is no cost to the day but please register by no later than November 1. You can do so by emailing Fr. Luis at You can access a schedule for the day by clicking here.  

November 5:

St. Paul's Potluck: Baked Potato Bar!

On November 5, we will be having a potluck in lieu of Coffee Hour (after the 10am service) in the Parish Hall. The Theme is Baked Potato Bar! Items needed include:

Sour cream, Cheese, Butter, Lemon pepper, Bacon bits, Chili, Broccoli, Chives, Pepper, Salsa, Nacho Cheese sauce, Refried beans, Taco meat.

If you would like to bring something or want more information, contact Arcie Toia at 661-337-2523, or April Brown. A sign up sheet will be available during Coffee Hour next Sunday.

Food Pantry Needs

Our food pantry needs are growing! Those whom we serve are so appreciative to have St. Paul's as a resource. We are running through our stock of food with each week's distribution. Please commit to putting the pantry on your shopping list or consider making a monetary contribution designated for the food pantry.

Please pick from the following items when making your donation of food items:

Canned chicken, Chili, Cereal, Hearty soups, Chef Boyardee, Cup of soup, Ramen noodles, Crackers, Corn, Spam, Spaghetti sauce, Peanut butter

Shampoo, Lotion, Razors

We also welcome socks (new or used) and winter clothing as temperatures begin to fall.

If possible, all canned items should have pop-tops.

Thank you for supporting this vital ministry! If you have any questions, contact Jan Dunlap or Marilyn Droppers

Stewardship Campaign:

Rooted in Abundance

Our Annual Stewardship Campaign is underway with the theme, Rooted in Abundance, which is a reminder to us that we are inspired to give because so much has been given to us. This is not transactional--we do not give in proportion to how we feel we have benefitted or suffered--rather we give because of the love we have experienced in the story of our faith.

Here are four ways to submit your financial pledge commitment for 2024 to St. Paul's. Please submit by Sunday, November 5, 2023.

  • Use the online pledge card linked in the QR Code below
  • Pick up a pledge card in the church narthex, complete and drop in the Sunday collection plate.
  • Pick up a pledge card in the church narthex, complete and mail to St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Attn: Treasurer, 2216 17th Street, Bakersfield, CA 93301
  • E-mail your commitment to

Don't miss our St. Paul's Stewardship Speakers Series in the coming weeks during services and coffee hour.

They shall be like a tree planted by water, sending out its roots by the stream. It shall not fear when heat comes, and its leaves shall stay green; in the year of drought it is not anxious, and it does not cease to bear fruit. ‐ Jeremiah 17:8

In Our Prayers...

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

In Our Prayers

Remember in your prayers Grace, Sophia, Irene, Mac, Mary, Be, Noga, Jon, Ariel, Shane, Amber, Muggs, Lorraine, and all those in any kind of need.

Remember in your prayers the recently departed; as well as those whose year's mind falls at this time.

Monthly Prayer Diary

You can access the

Prayer Diary for November here.

Forward Day by Day

The "Forward Day by Day" devotional booklets for November, December, and January are available now. Many people use this publication as part of their regular prayer life. If you do or would like to, be sure to pick one up in the narthex. 

Altar Guild

The task of making the Eucharist possible is entrusted to the Altar Guild, a volunteer group of women and men in our parish who assist the Priest-in-Charge in creating beautiful worship services as well as all other services or ceremonies such as funerals and weddings. Altar Guild members care for the altar, vestments, altar linens of the parish, and eucharistic instruments. We are currently looking for more volunteers who can help for a few hours once a month.

For more information on how to get started, contact Jan Dunlap.

Daughters of the King

The Order of the Daughters of the King is an order for women whose mission is the extension of Christ’s Kingdom through prayer, service and evangelism. At the St. Paul's the order serves our community through their prayers and acts of service.

Do you have a special concern you'd like the Daughters to pray for? Contact Cathy Henry who heads our parish chapter. You can also contact her for further information on the DOK, or you can visit the Order's website here. The Daughters of the King are also at the front of church during the distribution of communion to pray with you for your needs and concerns.

Finding the Sunday Readings

Did you know you can always find the readings for Sunday by following this link? Did you find two sets of readings for the Sunday? If there are two "tracks", at St. Paul's we are using "Track 2"

Our Bishop's Committee meets next on

Sunday, November 19.

Connecting with St. Paul's

and The Episcopal Church

St. Paul's Website

St. Paul's Facebook page

Want to Get in Touch?

Church Office

(661) 869-1630


The Rev'd Luis Rodriguez

follow Fr. Luis on facebook

Parish Deacon

The Rev'd Cathy Kline

Deacon Associate

The Rev'd Lisa Jacoby

Bishop's Warden

Martin Brown

Junior Warden

Jan Dunlap

Midweek or