Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 1, 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

Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace
and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being
mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the
Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p.240

Today is the Feast of St. Philip and St. James

Have you ever tried really hard to make a good impression and say just the right thing, only to embarrass yourself? If you have, St Philip understands. One of the twelve apostles, Philip was present at the Last Supper. During the meal, Jesus explained that he was going to prepare a place for his followers. Thomas interrupted, asking, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way . . . . If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

We can almost see what is coming next. Thomas is still not sure what to make of what Jesus said, so Philip tries to make things better by asking, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” In a likely state of frustration Jesus answers, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?” Philip must have wanted to join Thomas under the cushions at the table.

There are several people in Jesus’ life named James. Today’s James is known as James the Less to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee and from James, “the brother of the Lord”. James the Less is known to us from the list of the Twelve, where he is called James the son of Alpheus. He may also be the person referred to in Mark’s Gospel as James the younger who, with his mother Mary and the other women, watched the crucifixion from a distance.

St. Philip is the patron saint of Cape Verde, hatters, pastry chefs, jockeys and riders of horses. St, James the Less is the patron saint of pharmacists, fullers, hatters, and the dying.

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, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For Liz V – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mthatha (formerly St John’s) (Southern Africa), Ndwandwe Yei (South Sudan)  

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

For one another.

Something to share

It may or may not be a sin, but I cannot hear your name, St. James
the Less, without crocheting apocrypha for you, without drafting
sentences, all of which start Nonetheless, St. James the Less
and then lapse, describing a world whose vividness—the molting sycamores
and lepers, an urn lurching on the potter’s wheel, the fishermen darning
their nets—always trumped your quiet rectitude.
Nonetheless, St. James the Less—after the Greater James, his fervor
all joy and rage, and not unlike simple imprudence, anointed the contrite
and doused those who had it coming—it must have been you (was it not?)
blotting kerosene from all the penitents’ habits.

Jane Zwart

I long to accomplish a great and noble task, but it my chief duty to accomplish small tasks as if they were great and noble. (Richard) Green, the historian, tells us that the world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pulses of each honest worker.

Helen Keller

News & Updates

Bill F writes:

Peace. Both Joanne and I and our family are all doing well. Hope everything is going well for you and yours.      God bless.

Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) is asking for an emergency gift to support COVID-19 Pandemic Response Fund.  Jesus’ first commandment is to love God with all our heart. Yet, equal to this is his next commandment: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”   The COVID-19 pandemic has quickly made clear that we are all neighbors — and our neighbors in the world’s poorest regions urgently need our help. As the virus outbreak has spread, ERD has been supporting their program partners at home and around the world. They are committed to safely serving the most vulnerable communities, but the challenges are great. We will get through this crisis by helping one another. In doing so, we will grow stronger.

SUPPORT OUR COVID-19 PANDEMIC RESPONSE — DONATE NOW

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 Parish 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+