June 1, 2023   

I had coffee with a friend last week and he was excited to introduce me to a place I’d never tried before: Provision on Missouri at 7th Street. As it turns out, he knows the owners and has been connected to them and their business as it’s unfolded over the last decade. He was genuinely invested in their story and the relationship that they’ve developed over several years and it was apparent. On that particular Tuesday morning, there was lots of joy: Joy in a newly developing friendship, joy in a good cup of coffee, and the joy of sharing that particular place and that experience.

It reminded of when I had a place like that. There’s a coffee shop (and at night, a pizzeria) in the North Park neighborhood in San Diego called Caffe Calabria that I love. When we lived in San Diego, I scheduled almost all my off-campus meetings there, and I took all my friends there for coffee or dinner. I got to know the staff and the owners. And even though we left San Diego almost seven years ago, we still buy our coffee from their roastery and have it shipped to our house.

The enthusiasm that we all have over sharing our favorite things with people is just a part of what makes us human. We want the people we care about to share in our excitement over the things we love. Is it too far-fetched to think about a cup of coffee in those terms? That depends on how much you like coffee. Personally,

I love coffee. I drink 4-5 cups of coffee a day, sometimes more. So when a friend invites me to a new coffee place, I register that as good news. I look forward to the experience of sitting at the table to share good coffee and good conversation.

I used the phrase good news on purpose because of its significance in our identity as the Body of Christ. The word in Greek that is translated as good news (or gospel in other places) is evangelion, the basis of our modern word evangelism. Evangelism can be a bad word in the Episcopal Church because we associate it with street-corner preachers and others who focus primarily on conversion rather than conversation. But that’s not what Jesus did. In fact, Jesus rarely preaches in the Gospels, preferring instead to spend time sharing meals with outcasts and sinners, healing the sick, and answering questions with stories (and sometimes, more questions!). Jesus’s ministry was about dialogue and relationship first and foremost – the change of heart and amendment of life just flowed from that.

In a world that is full of bad news, sharing the things we love with others and giving our loved ones a moment of rest from the doom and gloom is indeed good news.

So this summer, before you invite a friend to church, invite them to coffee. Start a spontaneous book club with some friends and gather to discuss that novel you’ve been wanting to read. Plan a day trip to get out

of the heat. Host a movie night at your house. Share the things that give you joy with the people who give you joy. And then…let your graciousness and hospitality be the sign of a life that has been transformed by the radical love of God.

When the Bishop visited our parish a few weeks ago,

she said something that’s stuck with me: One of the most evangelistic things a suburban parish like ours can do is serve people a good cup of coffee with a smile. So that’s going to be one of our projects here at All Saints’. Michelle and I bought 15 pounds of extra coffee on our latest order from Caffe Calabria and we are excited to share it with all of you. It should be enough to get us through the summer. So, try a cup of coffee at church and let me know what you think. And who knows – maybe you can invite a friend to meet you for coffee here on a Sunday?

We’re going to try something else new this summer: During the month of July, we are going to have TWO weekend services, Saturday at 5PM and Sunday at 9AM. We’ll have the coffee ready before the 9AM service, and after church at about 10AM, we are planning a series of all-ages activities to give us the chance to spend some time together and build relationships with one another. After all, we are a community of faith at All Saints’.



May 25, 2023   

I had planned to write something different this week, but the news out of Douglas this afternoon changed my plans. In her weekly E-pistle, Bishop Reddall confirmed what many of us had suspected or feared: The fires that destroyed St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church and heavily damaged First Presbyterian Church on Monday morning appear to have been intentional. St. Stephen’s was a total loss by Monday afternoon. According to our local ABC 15 News, the fire at First Presbyterian was contained Monday morning before the fire unexpectedly reignited in the middle of the night early Tuesday morning. The investigation is ongoing and someone has already been arrested in connection with the fires.

Over the last 3+ years serving congregations in our diocese, I’ve been at churches that have been vandalized and robbed. Since coming here to All Saints’, I’ve learned about similar incidents that have happened right here at our parish. When we hear about these kinds of events, the reaction is always the same. At first we feel sick to our stomach, then we ask the inevitable question: Who would do something like this to a church? To our church? 

And that’s the thing – for most of us, All Saints’ is our home away from home. My kids are here with me, day after day, roaming the grounds, spending time in the office, going to after school activities, being with friends. They feel completely safe here because they know that they are surrounded by a community of people who are all watching out for them, who are invested in them, and who will do whatever they can to keep them safe. I love that this is a place of safety and comfort–a home in the truest sense of the word–and I know I am not alone in that feeling.

To my All Saints’ family, I know it is not hard for us to understand what the people of St. Stephen’s and First Presbyterian are experiencing right now: They have lost their home and they are devastated. And as I write this, I am reminded of our Gospel from this past Sunday when Jesus prayed for all his disciples: Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one.

So let’s do what we can to be the kind of community for our siblings in Christ that Jesus prayed we would be. Let’s remember St. Stephen’s and First Presbyterian in our prayers. If you’re able to join me in giving to support St. Stephen’s financially, the Bishop has already set up a fund and you can online via our eblast or the link below* (make sure “St. Stephen’s, Douglas” is the designated fund). And we will consider what we can do to continue to support them in love and prayer, with our finances (fundraiser anyone?), and in shared mission and ministry in the weeks and months to come.




*You can copy and paste this link into your browser:



May 18, 2023

This Tuesday, we were running late yet again. For those of you who have spent time around preteen kids–like my two–you’ll understand what I mean. Statements like “we need to leave the house at 7:30” are often interpreted as “you should walk into the kitchen at 7:32, barefoot, without socks or shoes even in hand, with a vague intention of getting to school at some point today.” So by the time we got to school (eight minutes later than our target), I parked in a different spot than I normally would (I am an Episcopalian, after all, and definitely have “my spot” in the parking lot) to try to help them get all their stuff into school. I hurried into the church and put my vestments on and somehow, despite the chaos, we were all in our places when school chapel started at 8:05.

By the time I got out of chapel and back to my office at about 9:20, I was surprised to see that a crew of tree trimmers was here, trimming our last three date palms on the property. Those palms are pretty tall, probably 30 or 40 feet high, and as the trimmers cut the palm fronds they threw them down to the parking lot below…right on the spot where my Jeep would have been had we been here on time.

In that moment, I paused, took a deep breath, smiled, and shook my head. I was frustrated and pretty upset Tuesday morning. I definitely let my emotions get the better of me, and I’m pretty sure my kids got a stern dad lecture on the way to school that morning. The daily grind that we all experience, in a variety of situations, can wear us down. And in the grand scheme of things, running a few minutes late for a school chapel is nothing compared to the daily realities that so many people here at All Saints’ and in our neighborhood face each and every day. Grief, frustration, anxiety, and anger can become near constant companions that affect the way we perceive and interact with the world around us.


Today, on this Ascension Day, the words of Mark 16 mean a little more to me. Mark’s account of the Ascension is very short, just a single verse, and it occurs right after Jesus appears to all the disciples to scold them. His rebuke is telling. The disciples have been through a lot: watching their friend and teacher suffer and die, fearing for their own arrest, trying to figure out what comes next. But Jesus does not rebuke them for any of these emotional experiences; he doesn’t tell them their grief or worries are invalid. Rather, he tells them that their emotions have gotten the better of them and affected their faith. He reminds them that he will always be there, working in them and through them, and the evidence of Jesus’s love and faithfulness will be their lives and their ministry to the world. Evil will lose its power, the sick will be healed, and nothing will defeat them.

I think Jesus’s message to us this Ascension Day would be the same as it was in Mark 16: Don’t lose heart. Keep the faith. Even when you’re struggling, remember that you are loved and called by God. There is goodness in the world, and we all, by virtue of our Baptismal Vows, have a part to play in making the world a kinder and better place. I know we all carry a variety of things in our hearts, and whatever those things are for you, know that you can work through them AND STILL be loved by God and used to see God’s Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven.

This morning, we were running behind again (it happens a lot at our house, please don’t judge us). This time, after I dropped the kids off just on time–7:59 is not late–I did park in my usual spot and noticed a baby bird on the ground who had fallen out of the nest. With Nanette’s help, we got a ladder and put the little baby back in the tree. It was a small act of kindness on a morning that I was again frustrated, and it is my hope and prayer that I will continue to see the good that ought to be done and do it, despite my emotions and state of mind.

Peace to you all on this Ascension Day.



May 11, 2023

I had the opportunity to worship with some members of our All Saints’ community who make their home at the Terraces this past Tuesday. As is the custom at most churches, we look to the Episcopal Church’s calendar(s) of observances for our texts for midweek services. It just so happened that Tuesday was the observance of St. Gregory of Nazianzus (according to the website I consulted, you pronounce it nah-zee-AHN-zuus). He is perhaps the least known of the Cappadocian Fathers, probably because of the difficulty of pronouncing his hometown, BUT…among his peers from Cappadocia, he might have exerted the greatest influence on our inherited faith tradition even though there are numerous churches named after St. Gregory of Nyssa and St. Basil had “the Great” appended to his name.

In addition to affirming the full divinity of Christ, Gregory of Nazianzus worked to develop a comprehensible Trinitarian theology. People used to flock to the church he started in his living room to hear his sermons on the Trinity. Because of his passion and eloquence, he moved through the ranks quickly and became the Bishop of Constantinople. That is significant to us today because, in the year 381, while Gregory was still Bishop, a second church council was convened in Constantinople to resolve what the previous church council at Nicea had been unable to do: decisively affirm the full divinity of Christ and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit in the lives of believers. These were both doctrinal points that Gregory fully endorsed–and the subject of those legendary sermons–and he was able to settle these debates once and for all as the seated bishop at the Council of Constantinople.

Most of this tale of struggle has been lost to history even though we say the “Nicene Creed” every weekend when we gather for Holy Eucharist. I had a professor at seminary who often referred to the “Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed,” and his repeated references to the later church council generated curious and confused looks more than anything else.

I think there is something really significant about the fact that we generally don’t  acknowledge or even remember that second church council, though. Because we’re drawn to sensational stories, we love the drama of the Great Showdown at Nicea, but we forget about the people like Gregory–solid, faithful, grounded, and very UNdramatic–who continued to toil away quietly in the background. It is their commitment to their faith and their legacy of faithfulness that shaped our ideas about the nature of God perhaps even more than the fiery debates and public spectacles.

That willingness to work behind the scenes is something that I think many of us at All Saints’ can relate to. We do our work quietly, behind the scenes, hoping most of all that our work will make a difference in the world. We don’t do what we do in the world for the recognition, and as good Episcopalians, we consciously do our best to avoid drama and spectacle. But here’s what I’ve learned in two months as your rector: There are truly remarkable things happening throughout this community, and I believe it is time for us to enter into a period of gratitude, thanksgiving, and celebration.

If you were in the 10AM service two weeks ago, you were there to participate in our first public blessing of cards sent to women incarcerated in Maricopa County prisons. The Prison Ministry is a great example of the attitude and work ethic I’m describing: They work year-round largely behind the scenes writing literally thousands  of cards to people in prison each year. They might ask for help from the broader community at All Saints’ a couple times a year for toy drives to help the families of those incarcerated, but those toy drives are not all they do. They are there week after week, month after month, solid, faithful, grounded.

And here’s the amazing thing I’ve learned: they are a good example, but they are not the only ones. Since I’ve been here, I’ve also met with the Altar Guild, the Choir, our Sunday School team, (most of) our Young Adults, and our Vestry. They too are here week in and week out, working hard, mostly behind the scenes. More meetings with ministry teams are already scheduled, and more are on the way. For the next several months, I want to hear from you–all of you–about the good work you are doing and learn what we can do together to accomplish even more.

I mentioned this briefly in my sermon this past Sunday, but I want you to know that this is a project I have been working on with the Vestry for several weeks now (also behind the scenes). Over the next several months, we are going to be connecting with as many people and ministry teams as possible to hear your stories and learn more about your life and ministry. At the end of this process, we’re going to compile something that will point us in the direction we’re headed for our future together.

As a way to kick this off, a word of thanks. Thank you for all you do. This community is indeed solid, faithful, and grounded, and I look forward to sharing the good news of the ministry happening at All Saints’. 

April 20, 2023  

I will let you know up front that this is going to be a long post this week. There is a lot going on here at All Saints’ and it’s all exciting, so please bear with me…(TL;DR: Holy Week was amazing and we are going to clean up the church database this Sunday).

I want to begin by offering a sincere thank you to everyone who participated in Holy Week and made it such a great experience. Between April 1 and April 9 (Palm Sunday - Easter Sunday), we had 13 services at All Saints’. That would not have been possible without the hard work and dedication of so many people. From the clergy to the staff, the Altar Guild to the ushers, the choir and those who serve around the altar, and to those who were here worshiping day after day, the only thing I can say to all of you is this: thank you. My first Holy Week as your rector was truly unforgettable, and it’s only because so many people gave so much of themselves to make it possible.


After those 13 Holy Week and Easter services wrapped, I was a little tired and took some time away from All Saints’. And believe it or not, the thing that re-energized me during my down time was cleaning. You read that right…good old-fashioned spring cleaning. I spent Easter Monday in the yard at home, clearing out some long-neglected weeds and (re)planting some succulents. I came into the office one day to hang some pictures and reorganize some furniture. 


I was working out in the yard when I started thinking about the spiritual discipline of spring cleaning. The thing is, nothing can go without maintenance forever. The metaphor of a yard that needs to be weeded or a car that needs to be serviced can be applied to virtually every aspect of our lives. Right after a clean up (or a tune up), things will go along fine for a little while and we won’t even notice little things that are amiss. But after a season of neglect, the pain becomes obvious: the weeds start getting as high as your knees and the noises from the car get so loud that the radio won’t drown them out.


Nothing can go without maintenance forever, and that includes the big things in our lives: our relationships, our careers, and the physical and emotional health that we rely on to make everything else work. All of those things require work and effort to function well. I think that is true of us spiritually as well. I know Lent is the time when many of us do our annual spiritual maintenance – we take stock of our lives, we return to the disciplines of prayer and study, and we might even try new spiritual practices for a season. Once we’re into Eastertide, it can be tempting to catch our breath and take a break and let these new habits go, the same way that we might neglect new weeds that sprout just days after we’ve weeded the yard. So here’s the thing I would like you to do: If you (re)adopted a new spiritual practice over Lent, let me know about it. What did you do? How did it go? Are you finding time to keep it up? Send me a note (ppauley@allsaintsoncentral.org) and let’s begin a conversation.


Now that we’ve talked about the spiritual side of things, here’s my practical appeal. Nothing around the church can exist without maintenance either. We had a team of youth, young adults, and even some vestry members here on April 1 cleaning up the campus right before the Holy Week marathon started. They did a wonderful job and I’m grateful for all that they did to make All Saints’ look great for Easter! Facilities maintenance is important, but behind the scenes, a bigger problem lurks…the church database. We use a cloud-based software called Realm to keep track of everyone here at All Saints’. I’m guessing you have not given much thought to our church database, but I have. I’ve tried to call people whose phone numbers have changed, we’ve sent mail that’s been returned, you get the idea. Our database is in desperate need of some spring cleaning of its own because it’s not a very useful tool after a period of neglect.


So this Sunday, April 23, is Spring Cleaning Sunday for our church database. There are THREE opportunities for you to help us get the most complete and up-to-date information in our database so that it is a useful tool once again:


On Sunday after the 10AM service, we will have a team of volunteers available in the Barbara rooms with laptops in hand to help you update your database profile and make sure your information is current.


        1.   If you won’t be here Sunday at 10 or you don’t want to mess with the computer, that’s OK – we would still like your information to be current! We will have paper forms available this weekend or you can download one HERE and fill it out before church.


      2.     If you are tech savvy at all it is relatively straightforward to update your database record yourself. I just updated mine last week, and even though I couldn’t remember my password, I was still able to do it in a matter of minutes.


    3.    On your computer, just go to www.onrealm.org/AllSaintsPhoenix. On a tablet or smartphone, visit your appropriate app store and look for “Realm Connect.” 


You can choose whether your information is available to the whole community or not (and that’s fine either way), but our database is the tool that clergy and staff use to communicate with parishioners every day: pastoral phone calls, cards / notes / emails, giving statements, all of that starts with the Realm Database.


And here’s a special appeal from me. If you add a picture to your profile (which you will see I did), it would be very helpful for me as I am trying to learn names. It’s nice to look through the directory and see the smiling faces of our parishioners when I need to give someone a call or write them a note.


Thank you all and God bless you as you do the hard work of maintenance every day! 


April 6, 2023


The Great Vigil of Easter is my favorite service of the year. I will admit that at least part of that special place it holds in my heart stems from the fact that both of our kids were baptized at Easter Vigils over the years. But even without that association, the service itself is still beautiful and moving. We gather in darkness–the same darkness we experience starting on Maundy Thursday–to hear the stories of salvation history. The only light comes from the Paschal candle, the light of Christ, and the individual candles we carry with us. It’s a beautiful reminder of the way that we carry the light of Christ within each of us, and although our individual candles might not be very bright on their own, together they shine like stars against the dark.


If the services of the Three Days (The Triduum) are not part of your Holy Week observance, consider adding one (or all) of them this year. The changes in our liturgical texture are striking. We begin with what appears to be a very normal service on Thursday that ends in darkness and silence. On Friday (at 7PM), we will experience one of the most unique services of the year – there is almost nothing in our Good Friday observance that has a parallel in other liturgies throughout the year. And on Holy Saturday, you can feel the anticipation of the resurrection building as the service moves from darkness to light, from hope to reality.


Peace and blessings to each of you on these final days of our Holy Week journey. I look forward to seeing you at church as we remember together the reason we are all here at All Saints’ week after week: love so strong that it could not be destroyed, even by suffering and death.


March 30, 2023

This week, Chesirae stopped by my office to show me the project she had been working on, a beautiful set of images she drew for the Holy Week Passport. They will be available this Sunday at church for our children and youth to have on hand for the journey through Holy Week. We’ll also have stamps available for the services of the Triduum (Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Saturday’s Great Vigil of Easter) and Easter Sunday so everyone can get their passports stamped when they check in. Bring them to church, color the pictures, and reflect on the questions in the Holy Week Passport. And even if you’re not in the children/youth demographic, I would still encourage you to check the Passports out – they are beautiful and meant to be a source of joy and meditation for people of all ages.


The point of that conversation with Chesirae was not about the Passports themselves but the ordering of the events in the Passport: On which dates should we place these various scenes from the last week of Christ? It’s a fair question – every year, we read John’s account of Holy Week during our evening Eucharists. The Gospel of John in its entirety is 21 chapters, but the events of Holy Week are the heart and soul of the text. Those events begin in chapter 12 with a dinner at the home of Mary and Martha and conclude with the story of the resurrection in the first half of chapter 20. Think about that: assuming Jesus lived here among us for 30 or so years as most people believe, John devotes 11 chapters to all of Jesus’s life leading up to Holy Week and 8 ½ chapters to that one week.


For me, that is a good reminder not to rush through the events of this week. It’s an invitation to slow down, to be immersed in the richness of the Holy Week narrative, to walk with Jesus during his final days and to anticipate what is to come. The joy of a dinner party, the hurt of betrayal, the agony of saying goodbye, the torture and humiliation of crucifixion. These are human experiences steeped in human emotion, and that is the richness of the Holy Week encounter year after year.


This year, steep yourself in this story with us. Come and hear the stories as we reflect on Jesus’s final days Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 6 pm in the Chapel of the Holy Innocents. Join us on Maundy Thursday at 7 pm where we will gather around the Table of our Lord. Walk the journey to Golgotha on Good Friday for Stations of the Cross and our choral devotional (Haydn’s Seven Last Words) at noon. Sit and meditate during the Veneration of the Cross at 7 pm on Good Friday. And then…we get to experience the hope of resurrection with fresh eyes.


And don’t forget to bring your Holy Week Passport with you for the journey.

March 16, 2023

Thank You . . .  and an Invitation


It has been an eventful week to say the least, but I am grateful for the opportunity to have met with so many people over my first few days here at All Saints’. Day 1 started at 8AM with the all school chapel service and continued with meetings and conversations throughout the rest of the day. I even met our mail carrier and shared a bagel with her! Since then, I’ve met with the staff, the vestry, the pastoral care team, our members at The Beatitudes, our Young Adults, our liturgy planning team, and more (it’s only Wednesday as I write this)! It’s been a wonderful week and my heart is so full – thanks to all of you who have brought cards, sent emails, brought bagels by the office, and just taken the time to introduce yourself and say hello. Our welcome has been warm and wonderful.


If I haven’t had the chance to meet with you yet, don’t worry . . . there’s a committee of dedicated volunteers who are putting together events that we’ll be starting after Holy Week and Easter. And that’s where the invitation part of this comes in. I really want to get to know you, to learn from you, and to hear what gives you hope, what keeps you coming back to All Saints’, and what you’re excited about for this season of our common life. So say hello, introduce yourself, and make plans to come to one (or more) of the meet-and-greet events as they’re announced. During this season of introductions, please be patient with me . . . I try very hard to learn and remember names and faces, but there are a lot of you and only one of me. And know that my family would love to meet you too: my wife Michelle, son Elias, and daughter Alayna (Aly is fine too) are all excited to be part of this community.


It’s been an eventful first week, and we are so excited about what’s happening at All Saints’. Thank you for entrusting me with the opportunity to serve as your Rector, and know that we are looking forward to great days ahead.







February 16, 2023 A Note from Our New Rector

To All of God’s Beloved at All Saints’:

I wanted to pass along my greetings and let you know how excited I am to journey with you as your Rector starting next month. When Michelle and I began exploring what a future in the Episcopal Church might look like, All Saints’ was the first church we visited. To be called back to All Saints’ these many years later as your Rector begins a new chapter in our faith journey that I never could have imagined.

I look forward to spending time with you, getting (re)acquainted with you, learning what gives you hope, and hearing about your dreams for the future of All Saints’. This community has a rich heritage rooted in its 70-year history and there is much in the past for us to honor and celebrate. But All Saints’ doesn’t just live in the past—our dreams for this place are vibrant and there is newness all around. New ministries are cropping up all over the parish. New people are visiting the church and discovering what All Saints’ is all about. New communities are forming within the broader community. And new opportunities are still out there waiting to be discovered.

And the newness isn’t just limited to the church. Our Day School campus is almost completely brand new, and when the extensive renovations are finished in the very near future, they will only reinforce its position as one of the finest schools in our community. And our dreams for the school are not just new facilities. I am excited to partner with Dr. Whitman and the faculty as they build creative and collaborative models of classroom instruction, explore new ways to integrate design and technology throughout the curriculum, and work to build a safe and supportive environment to nurture God’s littlest children.

Friends, when I think about All Saints’, when I think about those pioneering members who founded a church in a date barn 70 years ago, when I think about their hopes and dreams for what this community could be, I think we are that dream. And I think the way we honor their legacy is by continuing to dream about what this parish and school community will be 70 years from now. Together, we will work the soil that they planted, preparing for a harvest that we might never see, because that is the work of God’s Kingdom that we are called to do.

There is much for us to do, and I am so excited about the future of All Saints’. It is an honor to be called as your Rector and to discern this next phase of our journey together. With the Holy Spirit’s help, we will continue to build something rooted in the dreams of those who have gone before us that points to our future.