Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, May 14, 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

God of the branches, God of the vine, God of the fruit that will last, when much of the familiar is pruned away –– the work routine, the school run, the certainty of our day – may we see what is good and true blossom in reassuring ways: colleagues working as one, children learning from home, families praying together. May these days of great disruption bear out what is always true: that we can reach others with the love you provide when our roots remain in you.

Amen.

The Corymeela Community, “Prayers for Community in a Time of Pandemic”

The Corymeela Community is located in Ballycastle, Northern Ireland and was initially founded to address sectarian division in the country. Today the community continues to do work around peacemaking and conflict, as well as organize programs centered on public theology, such as a project on “Brexit and the Book of Ruth,” reflections on the spirituality of conflict in the Gospels, and programming dedicated to LGBTQ+ inclusion in churches. More about their work – and more prayers! – can be found on their website: https://www.corrymeela.org/.

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:  Sylvia, Irene, Barbara, Frank, Jeanne, Chris and Walter.

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: Mytikyina (Myanmar), Zonkwa (Nigeria), Zululand (Southern Africa).

For all who have died:  especially Harry, Gwendolyn, Grant, Donald, John H. and David.

For one another.

Something to share

Tune thou my harp;
There is not Lord, could never be,
The skill in me.

Tune thou my harp;
That it may play thy melody,
Thy harmony.

Tune thou my harp;
O Spirit, breathe thy thought through me,
As pleaseth thee.

Amy Carmichael

Creed

I believe in the life of the word,
the diplomacy of food. I believe in salt-thick
ancient seas and the absoluteness of blue.
A poem is an ark, a suitcase in which to pack
the universe—I believe in the universality
of art, of human thirst

for a place. I believe in Adam’s work
of naming breath and weather—all manner
of wind and stillness, humidity
and heat. I believe in the audacity
of light, the patience of cedars,
the innocence of weeds. I believe

in apologies, soliloquies, speaking
in tongues; the underwater
operas of whales, the secret
prayer rituals of bees. As for miracles—
the perfection of cells, the integrity
of wings—I believe. Bones

know the dust from which they come;
all music spins through space on just
a breath. I believe in that grand economy
of love that counts the tiny death
of every fern and white-tailed fox.
I believe in the healing ministry

of phlox, the holy brokenness of saints,
the fortuity of faults—of making
and then redeeming mistakes. Who dares
brush off the auguries of a storm, disdain
the lilting eulogies of the moon? To dance
is nothing less than an act of faith

in what the prophets sang. I believe
in the genius of children and the goodness
of sleep, the eternal impulse to create. For love
of God and the human race, I believe
in the elegance of insects, the imminence
of winter, the free enterprise of grace.

Abigail Carroll

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+