Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Friday, March 27, 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

I cannot dance, O Lord,
Unless You lead me.
If You wish me to leap joyfully,
Let me see You dance and sing–
Then I will leap into Love–
And from Love into Knowledge,
And from Knowledge into the Harvest,
That sweetest Fruit beyond human sense.
There I will stay with you, whirling.

Mechthild of Madgeburg, 1282?

Mechthild of Madgeburg was a thirteenth century German mystic. In 1235 she became part of a community of Beguines. Jane Hirshfield describes the Beguine movement this way in her book Women in Praise of the Sacred: “When, in the twelfth century, the Catholic Church refused to open new convents to house any additional women….laywomen with a genuine vocation for religious life banded together to create their own forms of practice…The women who entered these communities took no formal vows, and had no official connection to the Church, but for the duration of their stay they observed the rules of chastity and poverty and the practice of charitable work.” In that community she wrote her mystical work The Flowing Light of the Godhead. Eventually, she took formal vows at the convent of Helfta.

From Our Prayers of the People

Let us pray:

For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.

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:  Sylvia, Peter, Irene, Barbara and Frank.

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 (still in the hospital), Bud and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mbaise (Nigeria) and  Warri (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share 

What Gorgeous Thing
I do not know what gorgeous thing
the blue bird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
in the world that is without
questions that can’t and probably
never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
with the pink, then clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.

Mary Oliver

Before we get to Easter, we go through Holy Week and Good Friday. This year, these holiest of days align with some of the darkest days of our modern era.  The COVID-19 Pandemic is testing us and our faith in ways that few imagined just a few weeks ago. The cost—human, economic, social—is huge and growing. It is easy to lose faith in these times.
But as the prophet Zechariah reminds us we are called to be “prisoners of hope.” That is the promise of Easter morning and the resurrection. Despair is not an option.  If there was ever a time to live out our faith, surely it is now. We can demonstrate faith, hope and love through our own acts every day. By doing so, we are not only united with Christ, but also with one another as siblings in Christ.  It is through that strength of unity that we can be of real service to those in need even as we face challenges like the COVID-19 Pandemic right now. We get through such difficulties together as one in the body Christ.

Robert W. Radtke – Episcopal Relief & Development

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.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

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+