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.
Wherever God shows up today,
may I not be too hurried to notice,
nor too aloof to care.
When the Sacred surprises me
like an unexpected guest,
may I not hesitate to greet Them with open arms.
Let not my bias be a barrier,
to embracing The Holy’s mysterious ways.
May I be hospitable to God enfleshed
in even the dullest circumstances,
and the hardest situations,
and the strangest of places.
I am open
to encountering Love,
to meeting with Justice,
to being held by Awe.
May it be so. AMEN.
This is a prayer from a non-profit organization called enfleshed (https://enfleshed.com) which creates liturgies and spiritual resources focusing on justice, liberation, and delight for Christian communities. It is directed by Rev. M. Barclay, a Methodist clergyperson. The organist’s theologian-in-residence is Rev. Anna Blaedel, a campus minister at the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. student in Theological and Philosophical Studies.
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: Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Sabrina and Jim.
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 Chris E – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Muyinga (Burundi), Zanzibar (Tanzania), Ikwo (Nigeria)
For all who have died: especially Harry, Gwendolyn, Grant, Donald, John H. and David.
For one another.
Something to share
In the beginning O GodJ. Philip Newell
You shaped my soul and set its weave
You formed my body and gave it breath.
Renew me this day in the image of your love.
O great God, grant me your light
O great God, grant me your grace
O great God, grant me your joy this day
And let me be made pure in the well of your health.
Zen of Housework
I look over my own shoulderAl Zolynas
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.
My hands lift a wine glass,
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake.
Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
above the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches
is setting in Western America.
I can see thousands of droplets
of steam—each a tiny spectrum—rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly—like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.
Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!
News and Updates
We came through! During Lent and Easter, St. Stephen’s raised $930 for Episcopal Relief & Development for a Children’s Care Package. Thank you for your wonderful support!
COVID-19 Response: Episcopal Relief & Development is providing financial and technical support to partner organizations in Asia, Africa, and the Middle East in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The organization continues to be in close contact with partners in 44 countries, including the United States, to provide assistance for communities affected by the novel coronavirus. If you would like more details on what they are doing, ask Richey Woodzell to send you their latest disaster response update or check out their website at episcopalrelief.org.
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.