Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, May 7, 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

Be O Lord,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me
and a bright flame before me;
today, tonight and forever. Amen.

Attributed to St. Columba, Abbot of Iona, 597

Columba is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on June 9th. Columba was the abbot and founder of a monastery in Iona in the sixth century. He was considered an influential person in converting Picts, a Celtic people group, to Christianity. He also founded monasteries in Derry and Durrow. He is a patron saint of Ireland, in addition to Patrick and Brigid of Kaldare. A fun fact about Columba is that many people argue his biography, Life of St. Columba written by the abbot following him, includes the first known report of the Loch Ness monster! He is recorded as making the sign of the cross at a water beast in the River Ness and successfully commanding it to turn back.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us 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: Mumias (Kenya), Yola (Nigeria), York (England)

For all who have died:  especially Richard, Taylor, Alice, Shirley and Melanie.

For one another.

Something to share

“On Liturgy”

Fear not, little flock. —Luke 12:32

When he likened us to a flock
he certainly meant sheep
but this morning from the back pew
of a building, stone and chancelled, nothing like
the over lit, shag carpet church of my childhood,
here amid arch and echo I think
we are a flock of birds—
starlings gathering in their murmuration.
The pensive organ, the hushed
chatter now dips, now crests, and at the bells
we all together fold to silence,
as when the helixing black cloud drops
down to feed across a reed bed.
All at once the stillness breaks
into a great applause of wings, the mounting up
in doxology, the downsweep then
of many heads in prayer. How
strange, how ominous almost
for one on the ground to watch
this cluster heave itself
heavenward, obeying powers
invisible as magnetism,
forming and reforming in the shape
of something too large to be likened.

Jennifer Polson Peterson, published in Image (https://imagejournal.org/article/on-liturgy/)

The Swan

This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.

And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down

into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.

Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly in Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation

News and Updates

Forward Day by Day is a booklet of daily inspirational meditations reflecting on a specific Bible passage, chosen from the daily lectionary readings as listed in the Revised Common Lectionary or the Daily Office from the Episcopal Church’s Book of Common PrayerThe meditations are rich in substance and offer a wide range of witness and experiences. Each month’s meditation is written by a different author. Anyone that would like one of the books can email Elissa P (see Directory for email) and a group from St. Stephen’s will arrange to get them to the parishioners who would like them.

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+