Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 8, 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

Citizens and friends, I am not out of my mind as you seem to think. I’m freeing myself of those who were oppressing me and making me a lover of money more than of God. This act I do for myself and for you. For myself, so that if from now on I possess anything you may label me a fool for you in order that you too may be led to put your hope in God and not in riches. The decision we have taken is this to maintain until our death faith in God and the church’s sacraments to preach freely according to the grace given by God to us. This we will not cease to do for any cause.

Peter Waldo, 1209?

We do not know a great deal about Peter Waldo’s life. He was a wealthy merchant in Lyon, France who decided to embrace poverty possibly upon hearing a troubadour sing about the life of Alexis, who was a 5th century mystic who abandoned wealth for a life of begging and poverty. Waldo began to preach and teach in the streets, and others started to follow him. At some point Waldo commissioned a scholar to translate parts of the New Testament into the local language.

It is not surprising that this ministry of preaching paupers was met with opposition from the institutional church. After being banned by the archbishop of Lyons, Waldo sought papal approval for his movement. In 1179 Pope Alexander III approved Waldo’s vow of voluntary poverty but forbade his preaching. Waldo tried to comply with the pope’s decree but was mindful of Christ’s own instruction, “Preach the gospel to every creature.” Eventually Waldo resumed his preaching.

The “Poor Men of Lyons” or Waldensians, as they came to be known, based their life on the Sermon on the Mount. They embraced poverty, refused to take oaths, and rejected any excuse for taking life. On all other doctrinal matters, Waldo remained entirely orthodox, but because he violated a papal decree Waldo was charged with heresy. The Waldensians did not seek to leave the church but were driven from it, subjected to terrible persecution.

Peter Waldo died around 1209, about the same time another “Embracer of Poverty” – this time from Assisi, and with happier results – was petitioning the pope for approval of his mendicant community.

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:  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 our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Mundri (South Sudan), Ysabel (Melanesia)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Diane R wrote:

Just sending you a wonderful musical piece of music done around the world. Made me realize how uplifting, inspiring, and sustaining MUSIC is to me and to others.

 “The Weight,” features musicians performing together across 5 continents. Great songs can travel everywhere bridging what divides us and inspiring us to see how easily we all get along when the music plays. No matter where we live, no matter the politics, no matter the conditions, music rises up. We are meant for joy.  Thanks, Diane

God, is in all that is more living and incarnate in Him, is not far away from us, altogether apart from the world we see, touch, hear, smell and taste about us.  Rather He awaits us every instant of our action, in the work of the moment……He is at the tip of my pen, my brush, my needle – of my heart and of my thought.  

Teilhard de Chardin

Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is
hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where
there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where
there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where
there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to
be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is
in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we
are born to eternal life. Amen.

A prayer attributed to St. Francis
Book of Common Prayer, p. 833

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+