Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
The Collect for the Day
O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John:
Jesus said, “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
The Gospel of the Lord
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: Mia, Wim, Hugh, Debby, Sylvia and Ian.
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: Pray for the Nippon Sei Ko Kai (The Anglican Communion in Japan)
For all who have died: especially Richard, Taylor, Alice, Shirley and Melanie.
For one another.
Something to share
The Good Shepherd
Shepherd! who with thine amorous, sylvan song
Hast broken the slumber that encompassed me,
Who mad’st Thy crook from the accursed tree
On which Thy powerful arms were stretched so long!
Lead me to mercy’s ever-flowing fountains;
For Thou my shepherd, guard, and guide shalt be;
I will obey Thy voice, and wait to see
Thy feet all beautiful upon the mountains.
Hear, Shepherd Thou who for Thy flock art dying,
Oh, wash away these scarlet sins, for Thou
Rejoicest at the contrite sinner’s vow.
Oh, wait! to Thee my weary soul is crying,Felix Lope de Vega, 1613
Wait for me: Yet why ask it, when I see,
With feet nailed to the cross, Thou’rt waiting still for me!
English translation by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Peter N shared this poem with us:
I have in my hand two boxes
Which God gave me to hold
He said, put all your sorrows in the black box
And all your joys into the gold
I heeded His words and in the two boxes
Both my joys and sorrows I stored
But though the gold became heavier each day
The black was as light as before
With curiosity, I opened the black
I wanted to find out why
And I saw in the base of the box a hole
Which my sorrows had fallen out by
I showed the hole to God and mused
I wonder where my sorrows could be
He smiled a gentle smile and said
My child, they’re all here with me
I asked God why He gave me the boxes
Why the gold and the black with the hole
My child, the gold is for you to count your blessings
The black is for you to let go
Ring the bells that still can ringLeonard Cohen, from “Anthem”
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
News & Updates
Worship for Sunday, May 3 2020
Click on this post to view the National Cathedral live stream, Children’s Bible story and Fr. James’ Homily.
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: 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.