The people who make Palm Springs like no place else
If you’re looking for love and acceptance, you’ll often find it in a community’s churches. You’ll certainly find it at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert, where you’ll also find co-rectors Dan Kline and Jessie Thompson. The duo began serving the community in early October, and quickly learned that their parish is unique. Many of the people who worship at the church were told growing up that God did not love them and that the love they felt for others was wrong. At St. Paul in the Desert, Kline and Thompson help dispel those myths, teaching the most basic of human rights: Love is love, and God’s love knows no bounds. As you celebrate the final day of our annual Pride festival today, get to know Rev. Kline and Rev. Thompson below.
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OCCUPATION: Co-rectors at The Church of St. Paul in the Desert.
NEIGHBORHOOD: We live at the church, which is in Old Las Palmas.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU LIVED IN THE DESERT? About 6 weeks.
WHAT BROUGHT YOU HERE? We accepted the call to serve at St. Paul’s.
WHAT KEEPS YOU HERE? The people of our parish. The people are lovely. And Palm Springs is like paradise.
DO YOU HAVE FAMILY HERE? We have a dog, Pork Chop, who is 16-and-a-half.
HOW DO YOU BEAT THE HEAT? We stay inside in the air conditioning and eat our weight in guacamole. But we’re looking for a pool invite. So if you have a pool …
DO YOU HAVE A PERSONAL PHILOSOPHY BY WHICH YOU LIVE? Jessie: Always leave people and things better than you found them. Dan: I like what Martin Luther King Jr. said when he said, “Try to make the invisible visible.”
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PLACE TO EAT? So far we would say Salsa’s in Cathedral City. We really cannot believe all the Mexican food here and we are trying to eat at as many places as we can find.
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST ISSUE FACING OUR COMMUNITY? So far since we’ve been here we have been doing a lot of listening. Housing seems to be the biggest issue. We need to figure out how to find people housing while recognizing this is a tourist-based economy. We need to learn to find the balance.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE THING TO DO OR PLACE TO GO IN THE DESERT? We like all the coffee shops. And we love national parks. So we try to get out and do some hiking in them. And we like to go to the movies.
WHAT WOULD YOU TELL PEOPLE ABOUT PALM SPRINGS THAT THEY MIGHT NOT ALREADY KNOW? The perception is that this is like Las Vegas or New Orleans. People come here to get away for a weekend. But it’s a really livable city. It’s so small, but there are so many cool amenities.
WHAT’S YOUR GUILTY PLEASURE? You mean other than the guacamole? We like to watch “What We Do in The Shadows.” It’s just a really ridiculous mockumentary about vampires.
For more information about services at St. Paul’s or its history in Palm Springs, which goes back to 1929, visit https://stpaulsps.org/.