Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Thursday, March 26, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

God, we thank you for the inspiration of Jesus. Grant that we will love you with all our hearts, souls, and minds, and love our neighbors as we love ourselves, even our enemy neighbors. And we ask you, God, in these days of emotional tension, when the problems of the world are gigantic in extent and chaotic in detail, to be with us in our going out and our coming in, in our rising up and in our lying down, in our moments of joy and in our moments of sorrow, until the day when there shall be no sunset and no dawn. Amen. 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1968

Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. is recognized with a feast day by the Episcopal Church on April 4th. Martin Luther King held a Ph.D in systematic theology from Boston University and was also a pastor of church in Montgomery, Alabama. Prayer was a strong support for him throughout the many dangers he faced as a civil rights leader.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all who are in danger, sorrow, or any kind of trouble; for those who minister to the sick, the friendless, and the needy.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sabrina, Joan, Charlie, Jim, Joe, Doug Kelly and Debbie

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Those who are imprisoned: especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For those in need of healing: Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, Clark, Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mauritius (Indian Ocean) Waikato & Taranaki (Aotearoa NZ & Polynesia)  Wangaratta (Australia)

For all who have died:  especially Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin, Glenn and Eleanor.

For one another.

Something to share

Practicing our faith at home

While walking in our neighborhood, I was surprised to find a beautiful rainbow drawn on the   sidewalk and a rainbow picture in a window.  I noticed other homes with similar pictures and even a paper chain draped like a rainbow.  I quickly learned that people in other states are also displaying similar drawings in their windows and driveways. A close friend told me that with so many people walking outside during the quarantine, that enlightened messages might be a source of inspiration and hope. This idea quickly spread through FaceBook. 

We may recall that after the flood, God established the rainbow as a sign of his covenant with humankind and as a symbol of his promise never again to destroy the earth with a flood. (Genesis 9:13-17).  I have noticed that rainbows appear when least expected.  The stormy weather ends, the sun shines brightly and suddenly there is an arc of blended colors in the sky.  They don’t stay for long and are a vivid reminder of God’s promise and love for all.

If you like get out colored pencils, markers and crayons! Draw rainbows and display them in your home. Tape them on windows, doors or even outside!  This is one way we can practice our faith at home!    ~ Dennie +

PS I have included a picture of a rainbow taking on the morning our Ohio family were driving our 14 years old grandson away to boarding school.  As I paused to look at this rainbow, I thought all will be well.  God with God.  

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News and Updates

Is Anyone Not Able to Receive these Prayers?  We will print them and deliver them (safely with no contact).  Let us know if you are aware of this situation.

Church Website – Also remember that Daniel Schuldt has been making improvements to the Saint Stephen website and all the Morning Prayers and video homilies are there. You can find it: https://st-stephens.church/

Lent Madness – Today, in an exciting Saintly Sixteen matchup featuring two faithful women, it’s Eva Lee Matthews vs. Margaret of Castello. Don’t remember who they were?  If you don’t have a Lenten Madness booklet, there’s always Google.  Yesterday, Margery Kempe embraced her “gift of tears” as she was routed by Brother Lawrence 81% to 19%. Time to vote! https://www.lentmadness.org/…/eva-lee-matthews-vs-margaret…/  Even in a pandemic you can have a little fun!

Reminders                                 

If you did not receive a phone call this last week from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let us know and share with us the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.

If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.

Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Peace,

James+