Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

The Canticle of the Sun

O Most High, almighty, good Lord God! All praise is yours, all glory, all honor, and all blessing. To you, alone, Most High, do they belong. No mortal lips are worthy to pronounce your name.

Praise to my Lord, with all his creatures: and specially our brother the Sun, who brings us the day and who brings us the light. Fair is he and shining with a very great splendor: O Lord, it is you that he signifies to us.

Praise to my Lord for our sister the Moon: and for the stars, which he has set clear and lovely in heaven.

Praise to my Lord for our brother the Wind: and for air and cloud, calms, and all weather, by which you uphold in life all creatures.

Praise to my Lord for our sister Water: who is very serviceable to us, and humble, and precious, and clean.

Praise to my Lord for our brother Fire, through whom you give us light in the darkness: he is bright and pleasant and very mighty and strong.

Praise to my Lord for our mother the Earth, which sustains and keeps us; and brings forth divers fruits, and flowers of many colors, and herbs, and grass.

Praise to my Lord for all those who pardon one another for his love’s sake: and who endure weakness and tribulation. Blessed are those who peaceably shall endure; for you, O Most Highest, shall give them a crown.

Praise to my Lord for our sister Bodily Death from whose embrace no living person is deprived: blessed are those she finds doing your most holy will.

Praise and bless the Lord and give thanks to him and serve him with great humility. Alleluia, alleluia.

Francis of Assisi, 1226

The new merchant classes were growing rich and powerful. Francis of Assisi belonged to a wealthy family, but rejected his father’s cloth business to embrace Lady Poverty. So many sought to follow his example that he formed them into a community of Little Brothers or Friars Minor. He told them to ‘Preach the gospel at all times; and if you must, use words.’ His introduction of live animals into the Christmas nativity display was an attempt to show that Christ was born among the poor. His preaching to the birds was a protest at the unwillingness of the rich to listen to him. He retreated to Mount Verna in Tuscany to meditate, and so intense was his identification with the crucified Jesus that wounds or “stigmata” appeared on his hands, feet, and side.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let’s pray:

For the just and proper use of your creation; for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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 all essential workers; 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:  Kevin, Ted, Nick, Joe, Doug, Irene and Pauline.

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 and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Moosonee (Canada), Winchester (England)

For all who have died:  especially Jennifer, James, Lorraine, George, Ronald Jr., John and Sarah.

For one another.

Something to share

Praying

It doesn’t have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch
a few words together and don’t try
to make them elaborate, this isn’t
a contest but the doorway
into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

Mary Oliver, Thirst

All creatures of our God and King – verses 3,4

Swift flowing water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear,
Alleluia, Alleluia!
Fire, so in intense and fiercely bright, you give to us both warmth and light,
O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Dear mother earth, you day by day, unfold your blessings on our way, O praise him, Alleluia!
All flowers and fruits that in you grow, let them his glory also show:
O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.

Becky H writes:

“I was moved today by this video from Presiding Bishop Curry.”

Habits of Grace

Reminders                                

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+