Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, April 29, 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

O eternal Trinity
Eternal Trinity!
O fire and deep well of charity!
O you who are madly in love
with your creature!
O eternal truth!
O eternal fire!
O eternal wisdom!
Grant us your gentle and eternal benediction.
Amen.

Catherine of Siena, 1380

Catherine of Siena was the youngest of twenty-five children of a wealthy dyer. She joined a Dominican lay sisterhood when she was only sixteen. She had numerous visions and frequently felt abandoned by God. As a nurse she cared for patients that others disliked to treat – those with leprosy or cancer. Catherine was a courageous worker in time of severe plague; she visited prisoners condemned to death; she arbitrated feuds and prepared notorious sinners for confession.

During the great schism of the papacy, with rival popes in Rome and Avignon, Catherine wrote tirelessly to princes, kings, and popes, urging them to restore the unity of the Church. She even went to Rome to advocate for this cause.

Besides her many letters to many people, Catherine wrote her Dialogue, a mystical work dictated in ecstasy. Exhausted and paralyzed, she died at the age of thirty-three.

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:  Ted, Kevin, Nick, Doris, Joe, Mia, Wim, 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 Carole & Budd – today is their wedding anniversary!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mpumalanga (Southern Africa) , Wyoming (The Episcopal Church)

For all who have died:  especially Margaret, Caroline, Jeanette, George, Clinton, Anne and Katherine.

For one another.

Something to share

Be a Gardener

Be a gardener
Dig and ditch
Toil and sweat,
And turn the earth upside down
And seek the deepness
And water the plants in time.
Continue this work
And make sweet floods to run
And noble and abundant fruits
To spring.
Take this food and drink
And carry it to God
As your true worship

Julian of Norwich, Translator Unknown (Sacred Voices, edited by Mary Ford-Grabowsky)

Smells of Good Food

Truth never frightens.
I remember once walking out in the winter
to greet my father as he returned from work.

He was a little late that night
and I waited by a street corner near our house.

The cold can enliven thanks, my wool coat
became a sacred robe, how happy I felt to be alive.

I waited in a world of magic,
smells of good food,
the street lamps, the smoke coming from chimneys,
the candles burning in windows,
the snow.

Angels feasted, as I did, on existence and God kept saying,
“Have more of what I made.”

I saw him coming. We ran into each other’s arms
and he lifted me as he so often had –
twirled me through the air,
his hands beneath
my arms.

That is what the Truth does:
lifts and lets us
fly.

Catherine of Siena

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.  

Today, 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!
https://cathedral.org/event/honest-to-god-nadia-bolz-weber/

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.

~ Dennie+

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.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

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 (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.

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!

Irish Blessing

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.

Peace,

James+