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 is the Sixth Sunday of Easter
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
The Collect for the Day
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John: John 14:15-21
Jesus said, ”If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
”I will not leave you orphaned; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me; because I live, you also will live. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them.”
The Gospel of the Lord
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: Jeanne, Chris, Walter, Theresa, Emily and Bridget.
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, Joe, Matt and Lisa.
For Maggie – For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Pray for the Anglican Church of Korea.
For all who have died: especially Harry, Gwendolyn, Grant, Donald, John H. ane David.
For one another.
Something to share
I wanted to share a poem with you from Robert Frost. One of Robert Frost’s homes/farms was in Derry, New Hampshire (where I grew up) and he taught English at Pinkerton Academy (where I went to high school). We studied him a lot in high school and I always enjoyed how his words captured the sights and sounds of New England and all its beauty. More on Robert Frost and his farm in Derry: https://www.robertfrostfarm.org/robert-frost-bio-farm
The Road Not Taken is a great one: https://poets.org/poem/road-not-taken
My favorite from him was always Mending Wall: https://poets.org/poem/mending-wall.
Today is also Rogation Sunday
Traditionally, Rogation days in England were associated with the blessing of fields at planting. The vicar “beat the bounds” of the parish, processing around the fields reciting psalms and a litany. They also have been associated with rural life and with agriculture and fishing. Here at Saint Stephen’s in thanksgiving for God’s creation, normally, following the 10:30 service after coffee hour, I would process around the campus quietly blessing our beautiful gardens. The term is from the Latin ‘rogatio’, “asking.”
A Prayer for Rogation Sunday
O God of springtime and harvest, we give you thanks for all the seasons of our lives. From birth to death, you hold us in your hands and feed us with the abundance of the earth and the love of your Spirit. Especially on this day, we give you thanks for those who work in the earth you have created–farmers and gardeners, who till the soil, plant the seed, tend the crops, and harvest so others may eat. We give you thanks for those who, with hard toil and long hours, will fill our tables with the gifts of your gracious hand. Remind us often that every good and perfect gift comes from you and that those who live close to the land we love work with you as co-creators of the crops that feed us. And Lord please give us wisdom and reverence for the right use of your creation, that no one may suffer from our abuse of what is truly yours, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
In thanksgiving for our beautiful gardens everywhere, and for all who tend them.
All creatures of our God and King
Sung at the first station (The Front Door [The Plaza] Garden)
1 All creatures of our God and King, lift up your voices, let us sing: Alleluia, alleluia!
Bright burning sun with golden beams, pale silver moon that gently gleams, O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia.
Sung at the second station (The Sacristy Garden)
2. Great rushing winds and breezes soft, you clouds that ride the heavens aloft, O praise him, Alleluia!
Fair rising morn, with praise rejoice, stars nightly shining, find a voice, O praise him, Alleluia!
Sung at the third station (The Rectory Gardens)
3. Swift flowing water, pure and clear, make music for your Lord to hear, Alleluia, alleluia!
Fire, so intense and fiercely bright, you give to us both warmth and light, O praise him, Alleluia!
Sung at the fourth station (The Labyrinth Courtyard)
4. Dear mother earth, you day by day unfold your blessings on our way, O praise him, Alleluia!
All flowers and fruits that in you grow, let them his glory also show. O praise him, Alleluia!
Sung at the fifth station (The Columbarium)
5. And even you, most gentle death, waiting to hush our final breath, O praise him, Alleluia!
You lead back home the child of God, for Christ our Lord the way has trod: O praise him, Alleluia!
Sung at the conclusion
6.. Let all things their creator bless, and worship him in humbleness, O praise him, Alleluia!
Praise God the Father, praise the Son, and praise the Spirit, Three in One: O praise him, Alleluia
A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787
News and Updates
Worship for Sunday, May 17 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.
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.