Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Saturday, March 28, 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

Throw away thy rod,
Throw away thy wrath:
O my God,
Take the gentle path.

For my heart’s desire
Unto thine is bent:
I aspire
To a full consent….

Though I fail, I weep:
Though I halt in pace,
Yet I creep
To the throne of grace…..

From the poem “Discipline by George Herbert”, 1633

George Herbert is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on February 27th. Herbert, born in 1593, was both a poet and a parish priest in the Church of England. All of the poetry we have of Herbert’s today were first published after his death in 1633.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

For those on the front-line 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, Nick 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: Mbale (Uganda), Washington (The Episcopal Church), Ibadan (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Becky shares this poem which has been comforting to her:

 Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry

Shalom: A Prayer from Many Spiritual Sources to Begin and End the Day

Let me be at peace within myself,
Let me accept that I am profoundly loved and need never be afraid.
Let me be aware of the Source of Being that is common to us all and to all living creatures.
Let me be filled with the presence of the Great Compassion toward myself and toward all living beings.
Let me always be an instrument of my own liberation and not of my own oppression.
Let me see the face of Jesus in others.
Let me be the face of Jesus for others.
Let me be at peace within myself. Amen.

The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton, Women’s Uncommon Prayers

News and Updates

Sunday Morning – We have another opportunity to participate in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist on the Fifth Sunday of Lent, this Sunday morning, March 29th at 11:15am live-streamed from the National Cathedral. As a virtual, communal experience we can watch the service from our computers or smart televisions.  All you have to do is click on this link by 11:15am Sunday morning, and it should take you to the service.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kDCsaJ56uog

Schenectady Clergy Against Hate holds a virtual service on Zoom with prayer and songs of healing on Thursday, April 2nd.  Due to the generosity of our virtual hosts the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, up to five hundred individuals can zoom into the event in addition to various opportunities to call in or watch elsewhere online. Community members of all faiths and all those of goodwill are encouraged.  All you have to do is click on this link by 6:30pm, Thursday, April 2nd, and it should take you to the service.   https://uuma.zoom.us/j/199805063

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+