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.
A devotional prayer for a time of pandemic
Jesus, you are my friend and Savior. You know me through and through, and you are with me in every part of my life: in my sadness, anger, and fear, and in my gratefulness and joy.
Gracious Jesus, on the day of your resurrection you came to your frightened disciples and breathed the Holy Spirit into them. Breathe into me, as you breathed into them, the same creative wind and energy that moved across the face of the deep at the very beginning of creation.
As I breathe in, I breathe in your courage and strength. As I breathe out, I breathe out your loving-kindness and compassion.
Help me to remember that you are with me always and that every day you invite me to bear witness to your healing love. Thank you for the people you have given me to love and for the tasks you have given me to do. Give me the guts, audacity and resolve to stand up in the midst of a great catastrophe and to do what is mine to do.
Speak in my heart and grant me the peace that passes understanding, so that I may know in my deepest core that whether I live or die, I am yours, and you will never leave me.The Rev. Dr. Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, 2020
Missioner for Creation Care
Written at the request of Chautauqua Institution
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: John, Sabrina, Joan, Charlie, Jim, Nichol and Kelly.
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: Mount Kilimanjaro (Tanzania), Wusasa (Nigeria), Ijesha North (Nigeria)
For all who have died: especially Margaret, Caroline, Jeanette, George, Clinton, Anne and Katherine.
For one another.
Something to share
Allison found this article helpful (paywall): Where is God in a Pandemic?
The VoiceMs Sally Edwards, Women’s Uncommon Prayers
The voice in the waves as they curl ‘round the rocks
in a whisper both gentle and clear,
the voice in the clouds as they float in the dome
is the voice I continue to hear.
The voice in the sun as it burns through the mist
till it glistens on mottled grey sea,
the voice in the ancient, still barnacled rocks-
can the voice be the One calling me?
The voice in the waves, and the clouds, and the sun,
and the rocks, when I ask, “Is it Thee?”
replies in a whisper. My soul floats and burns.
In the stillness I hear, “Taste and see.”
Eternal Lord, Who Calmed the Waves
Eternal Lord, who calmed the waves,
We look to you this day to save;
Across the world, we live in fear
And yearn for when we might be clear
Of danger none with eyes can see,
That now has brought us to our knees.
To Lazarus, “Come out!” you called,
To those who cried, you’d not withhold
A word to banish evil’s power—
So thus we cry to you this hour
To heal a world so ill at ease
From what has brought us to our knees.
O Lord, who lives to break down walls,
By meeting not, we’re all appalled,
And yearn for when, no longer bound,
Our friends and neighbors we’ll surround
With handshakes, hugs, again at ease,
When you will strengthen feeble knees.
O Trinity of love and power,Scott Barton, a retired Presbyterian minister, recently wrote the words. This could be sung to “Eternal Father, Strong To Save”, Hymn 608, also known as the Navy Hymn.
All healers guard in danger’s hour;
Protect them as they treat and care
For all your people, here and there,
Thus praises e’er will rise to thee
From all who pray on bended knee.
News & Updates
A voyage of discovery – During this pandemic I continue to discover the wealth of resources offered by our National Cathedral. Tom and I often begin our day listening to the short morning prayer and reflection service that available beginning at 7 am and continues all day.
On Wednesday April 29 at 8 pm, the “Honest to God” program will be led by Nadia Bolz-Webster, ordained Lutheran pastor and the founder of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver. She will be leading a conversation about personal failings, recovery, grace and faith. It can be accessed through the Cathedral’s Facebook or in the archives on Youtube. I am looking forward to this!
I took a quick look at the Resources for Children and Families and discovered an online program called “d365.” This offers short inspirational and relevant reflections on scripture for young people.
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.
Parish Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning of Holy Week join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact me for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org)
If you did not receive a phone call in the last few days from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (email@example.com) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.
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!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
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.