2013 Annual Report

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Pastoral Care Committee

The Pastoral Care Committee continues its mission of caring for parishioners and others in the community who have physical, social or other needs.  The Committee has been ably led by Fr. Troy Mendez and we will all miss his presence and wish him well in his new calling.

We maintain a running list of people who have needs.  Our “front page” includes those who are ill, at home or in a hospital, or folks who have pressing problems which we can help alleviate either through direct contact or by referral.  This list is renewed and updated weekly, or more often by E-mail if necessary.

We maintain a bereavement list.  When a loved one is lost our bereavement coordinator mails an appropriate Care Note, and more are mailed at the first holiday season and at the end of the first year.

Other lists include those who are chronically ill at home or in an extended care facility, and those who desire home communion.

Finally we maintain an on-going list of men and women associated with this Parish who are serving in the military, either abroad or at home.

Current members of the committee are:  Jean Smith, Jane Daugherty, Steve Smith, Lori Meena, Ann Wilkins RN, Kate Reeves RN, Joan Minnick RN, and Judy Burton RN.  Associate members are Suzanne Peterson RN, Kenn Hughes, and Gladys Martin.

We look forward to 2014 and a new Pastoral Care priest.  Meanwhile we are very pleased to have Fr. David Burgdorf join us.


St. Margaret’s Pre-School had an outstanding 2013. We continue to have a caring staff that always puts children’s needs first.

Our school had had a few profitable fundraisers with excellent family involvement. We have had increased enrollment adding to the growth of our school. St. Margaret’s Pre-School is a gem at the top of the hill and we pray that it continues to grow and thrive.

 Whitewater Park

As an agency for F.I.N.D. (Food in Need of Distribution), St Margaret’s has a small out reach operation  which takes place every Tuesday morning in Rancho Mirage’s Whitewater Park.  We normally distribute 3 sacks of groceries to 65 to 80 families which would include 190 to 210 persons of various ages.  A conservative estimate for total giving in 2013 would be 95,000 to 102,000 pounds of groceries at a very modest cost—probably less than $11,000.   (I wouldn’t believe it myself if I didn’t witness it every week!)  We have zero overhead costs due to the venue and no necessity for storage.

The goods are delivered on pallets in a FIND delivery truck at a modest cost.  The pallets are taken up from the street to the shelter house where they are then unloaded.  Most of the heavy lifting is willingly done by some of the aid recipients.  The cases of food are then opened and the contents are fairly equally and randomly distributed among the open sacks.  In all, it takes about 20 to 30 minutes from when the truck arrives till the food is finally passed out to the recipients.  Because we do it so early in the morning (some of us are there at 6:00 AM) we don’t have a spoilage problem in the summer and the volunteers and recipients have the rest of the day free to do as they want.  We’re usually through and the park cleaned up by 8:00.

Usually there are 3 St Margaret’s volunteers who go to the warehouse in Indio on Mondays and put the order together.  On Tuesday mornings we have from 5 to 9 church volunteers in the park helping with the record-keeping, bag filling, and delivery to home-bound clients. The total volunteer man-hours of labor range from 15 to 20 per week.

Music at St. Margaret’s 2013

The year 2013 was a very full and productive one in the music ministry of St. Margaret’s Church.

The Desert Friends of Music had another great year with outstanding concerts. In addition to organ concerts by Frederick Swann, James O’Donnell from Westminster Abbey, and a night at the Silent Movies with organist Bob Salisbury, the Chamber Singers of St. Margaret’s sang the beautiful Requiem by Maurice Durufle.  Desert Friends of Music has continued to grow in national exposure as a respected music concert series.  Special thanks is offered to the members of the Board of this great group and to all those who support and attend our concerts.

Appreciation is offered to all the many donors who make our special days so great including a large number of people who contributed to the unbudgeted music of St. Margaret’s Day music for bagpipes, drums, brass quintet, choir and organ.

The annual Festival of Nine Lessons & Carols for Christmas was well received with a full church offering great appreciation to the singers and musicians for a beautiful service of music and readings.

Special appreciation is given for the fine assistance in the music ministry to Frederick Swann, Craig Gahnz, Tom Barker, Karen Hathaway and Rita Saari.

Special thanks also to all the members of the Adult Choir and Chamber Singers.  Their dedication to our work together has allowed us to continue to grow immeasurably in musicianship, fellowship as a community, and working well as a “large” small group.

Many organists from all over the country continue to stop by St. Margaret’s while in town to see our wonderful Quimby Pipe Organ.  This instrument continues to gain national attention through our concert series by our increased presentation of well-known national and international performers.


The Newcomer Team has as its mission to welcome and embrace everyone who enters St. MArgare3t’s with the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ.  We achieve this by providing a welcoming atmosphere that links newcomers with existing members and by sharing information that connects newcomers to our community life.  We welcomed over 90 newcomers this year at our brunches.

Supper Clubs

SMEC Supper Clubs is an exciting program comprised of members and friends of St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church.   Each group of approximately six to nine people get together four or more times during the winter and spring to host a dinner in their home or other location with dates and locations chosen by each host.   The clubs provide a great way for people to meet and get to know fellow parishioners in a small group setting and on a personal level.  Currently there are ninety-eight people participating in thirteen groups.


Every baptized person is called to ministry!!

The Education for Ministry (EfM) program provides people with tools to carry out that ministry.  EFM helps people develop an understanding of their faith through the study of scripture, church history, theology, and then to bring that understanding into dialogue with the events of everyday life.

St. Margaret’s launched our EfM program in 2012-2013 with two classes, then expanded our offerings in 2013-2014 with an additional one, and now support three groups….27 committed and energized seekers exploring God’s guidance in discernment for ministry.

EfM is in session from September through May.

Please contact Rev. Cherry Remboldt at 760-832-5122 for further information…

Read With Me

 The Read With Me program is where volunteers go into the schools and in a variety of ways help children learn to read better, comprehend, speak English and know that people care about them as individuals.  At the present time, St. Margarets has eight volunteers who join forces with the Presbyterian church and take the school bus to  Oasis Elementary (Thermal) on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For further information contact Kathy Coplen 760-341-4139.
If you need more:  Are we doing any good?  In the past four years the AYP for English-Language Arts proficiencies have continued to increase.  This year alone the state test scores at Oasis increased 25 points.   Our volunteers commit to one day a week.  We meet the school bus at La Quinta Costco at 8 a.m. and return by noon.

Daughters of the King

Daughters of the King, St. Margaret in the Desert Chapter, had a very active second season.  On April 28 we installed six new members, bringing our total membership to 12.  Ministries in our 1-1/2 year-old chapter include praying at the altar rail with those who need healing or guidance or have intercessory requests, following the 8 and 10 AM Sunday services.  We prepared ourselves for this ministry by reading one of Fr. Francis McNutt’s books on healing, studying healing prayers in the BCP, having Bishop. Shannon Mallory speak to us about healing and laying on of hands, going to pray three times with one of our members who has multiple sclerosis.  Other ministries include making prayer shawls for those who are sick, depressed, lonely or grieving; leading and assisting in the Labyrinth Guild walks; gathering food and clothing for our Outreach Center; studying a spiritual book of our choice during Lent; praying daily for our list of those in need of healing or guidance, and for DOK Diocesan, National and International; leading the stations of the Cross on Good Friday; and whatever else the Rector would have us do for the spiritual enrichment of the parish. We are now training prospective new members and will install them in the spring.

Labyrinth Guild

The Labyrinth Guild of St Margaret’s has had a very busy 2013.  Our introductory speakers included Fr. Joseph Lund, Fr. David Burgdorf, Fr. Lane Hensley, Fr. Clark Trafton, Br. Michael-Gregory Norrie, Diane Noble, Fr. David Burgdorf, Fr. Dennis Maynard, Fr. Dan Rondeau. Our talks are usually based on the appropriate liturgical topics of the season. We had excellent attendance at all walks, and anticipate even greater growth in 2014.  We shall be raising funds for badly needed repair of the labyrinth.