Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayer – Friday, April 3, 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

Visit me not, O my loving Lord – if it be not wrong so to pray – visit me not with those trying visitations which saints alone can bear! Pity my weakness, and lead me heavenwards in a safe and tranquil course. Still I leave all in your hands – only, if you shall bring heavier trials on me, give me more grace, flood me with the fullness of your strength and consolation.

John Henry Newman, 1890

John Henry Newman was an English theologian and poet, first an Anglican priest and later a Roman Catholic priest and cardinal who was an important figure in the religious history of England in the 19th century. Originally an evangelical Oxford University academic and priest in the Church of England, Newman became drawn to the High-Church tradition of Anglicanism. He became known as a leader of the Oxford Movement, seeking to restore to the Church of England an awareness that it is part of a worldwide Church which is continuous with that of the first few centuries. Newman was also a literary figure: his major writings include the Tracts for the Times (1833-41), his autobiography Apologia Pro Vita Sua (1865-66), the Grammar of Assent (1870), and the poem “The Dream of Gerontius” (1865), which was set to music in 1900 by Edward Elgar. He wrote the popular hymns “Lead, Kindly Light” and “Praise to the Holiest in the Height” (taken from Gerontius).

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. Grant public health and government officials in our nation the strength and will to act swiftly and decisively, with wisdom and compassion in service to all. We pray especially for Donald, President of the United States, the Congress, Governors, elected officials in local municipalities, and Muriel, mayor of this City of Washington.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Sue, Art, Jeanne, Chris, Walter and Theresa.

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

Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For June R –  today is her birthday!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Medak (South India)  and West Lango (Uganda).

For all who have died:  especially Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy, Glenn and Clark.

For one another.

Something to share

Judy V shares this poem which hangs over her desk and reminds her to always seek God:

I Met God In The Morning

I met God in the morning,
When my day was at its best
And His presence came like sunrise,
Like a glory in my breast.

All day long the Presence lingered;
All day long He stayed with me;
And we sailed in perfect calmness
O’er a very trouble sea.
Other ships were blown and battered,
Other ships were sore distressed,
But the winds that seemed to drive them
Brought to us a peace and rest.

Then I thought of other mornings,
With a keen remorse of mind.
When I too had loosed the moorings
With the Presence left behind.

So, I think I know the secret,
Learned from many a troubled way;
You must seek Him in the morning
If you want Him through the day.

Ralph Spaulding Cushman

When we move with poetry and the imagination,
when we deal with symbols and images,
we become people
who are happy with mystery
and open to discovery.
To deepen the mystery,
to embrace complexity is risky.
We need to have courage
enough to be ready for an unveiling
which can be a startling process.

Rowan Williams as quoted in Lost in Wonder by Esther De Waal

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 me know (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com) and share with me 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+