Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is Ascension Day
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Grant, we pray, Almighty God, that as we believe your only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into heaven, so we may also in heart and mind there ascend, and with him continually dwell; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer, p. 226
In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.”
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”
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: Debby, Sylvia, Irene, Barbara and Frank.
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Namirembe (Uganda), Abyei (South Sudan), Accra (West Africa)
For all who have died: especially Myrtle, Belle, Mildred, Della and Ellen.
For one another.
Something to share
How can you leave your flock,
O holy shepherd,
in this valley deep and dark,
while you break the pure
air, departing to regions immortal and secure?
Those once blessed,
now sad, afflicted,
those nourished at your breast
and now by you dispossessed,
where will they turn their faces?
Can their eyes,
having seen the beauty of your face,
see anything now that does not fret them?
And to ears that hear your sweetness,
is not all else clamor and dullness?
And that swollen sea,
who now shall calm it?
Who tame the burning wind?
With you in eclipse,
what star shall guide the ship to port?
O envious cloud,Fray Luis de León, 1591
do you grudge even our brief delight?
Where do you fly in such haste?
Your departure, so splendid and bright!
But how poor and blind you leave us!
News and Updates
Chris Jones writes:
Jam Season: The jam season is just ending – or is it just beginning? Anyway, there are 27 jars of jam on my shelves including quince, peach, strawberry, currant, elderberry, blueberry, gooseberry, raspberry (jam and jelly), and blackberry. Give me a call (or a note at firstname.lastname@example.org) and tell me what you’d like. We’ll arrange a time that you can come by and pick it up. Don’t bring me any money, but make a nice donation to SiCM, the YWCA, the Salvation Army, or City mission, who are all feeding those in our community who are facing food insecurity. One jar costs you a nice donation. Two jars: a super donation. Three jars: a FANTASTIC donation. And if you don’t want the jam, make a donation anyway!
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: email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone, 518-522-3906) 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.