Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, May 2, 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

Lord! Teach me to bestow charity willingly, kindly, joyfully, and to believe that by bestowing it I do not lose, but gain, infinitely more than that which I give. Turn my eyes away from hard-hearted people who do not sympathize with the poor, who meet poverty with indifference, who judge, reproach, brand it with shameful names, and weaken my heart, so that I may not do good, so that I, too, may harden my heart against poverty. O my Lord, how many such people we meet with! . . . Lord, grant that every charity I bestow may be profitable, and may not do harm! Lord, accept yourself charity in the person of your poor people. Lord, the all-merciful, almighty, most wise, wonderful – deign to help me.

John of Kronstadt, 1908

John Ilyitch Sergieff was born to a poor peasant family in the northern province of Arkhangelsk. He went to a seminary in Siberia and later was appointed to the church in Kronstadt, a naval base near St. Petersburg. He became well known for his passionate preaching and his holy celebration of the liturgy, for his practical activity in finding work for the poor, and for his ministry of healing. So many people wanted him to hear their confessions that eventually he told them all to shout them out at the same time, in the belief that in that way nobody could hear anybody else’s sins, but God would hear them all!

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:  Mary Alice, Kevin, 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, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Muhabura (Uganda), Yeri (South Sudan), Ijumu (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Pilar and Daniels Weinberg’s son was baptized on the coast. The baptism taught him what was sacred.
They gave him a sea shell: “So you’ll learn to love the water.”
They opened a cage and let a bird go free: “So you’ll learn to love the air.”
They gave him a geranium: “So you’ll learn to love the earth.”
And they gave him a little bottle of water sealed up tight. “Don’t ever,
ever open it. So you’ll learn to love mystery.”

Eduardo Galeano in Walking Words

Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education. Remember, too, every day and whenever you can, to repeat to yourself, “Lord, have mercy on all who appear before you today.” For every hour and every moment thousands of people leave life on this earth, and their souls appear before God.…How touching it must be to a soul standing in dread before the Lord to feel at that instant that for him too there is one to pray, that there is a fellow creature left on earth to love him. And God will look on you both more graciously, for if you have had so much pity on him, how much more will He have pity who is infinitely more loving and merciful than you. And He will forgive him for your sake.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov, as quoted in The Gospel in Dostoyevsky

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, May 3rd at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral. Dennie and I will watch the service from our computers and we hope you will do so as well. This is a way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

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+