Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, May 23, 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

In
my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, s mosque, a church
where I kneel.

Prayer should bring us to an altar where no walls or names exist.

Is there not a region of love where the sovereignty is
illumined nothing,

where ecstasy gets poured into itself
and becomes
lost,

where the wing is fully alive
but has no mind or
body?

In
my soul
there is a temple, a shrine, a mosque,
a church

that dissolve, that
dissolve in
God.

Rabia of Basra, 801 Islamic saint

This weekend is Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast. It is the conclusion of Ramadan for our Muslim sisters and brothers.  Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting, prayer, reflection and community. It lasts 29 – 30 days, from one sighting of the crescent moon to the next.

Rabia is considered one of the most popular Islamic saints and a central figure in the Sufi tradition. She grew up in a part of ancient Mesopotamia that is now Iraq. Hers was not an easy life. She was born into poverty, sold into slavery, and suffered physical and sexual abuse. In her later years she devoted her life to meditation and prayer, and would often see visitors seeking guidance. Many miracles are attributed to her, and apparently she was offered large sums for curing people. Refusing a bag of gold, Rabia said, “Dear, if you leave that, flies will gather as if a horse just relieved himself, and I might slip in it while dancing.”

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:  Mia, Wim, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug and Hugh.

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 Denise and Dave &   Katryn and Brian – today is their wedding anniversary!

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Nasik (North India), Afikpo (Nigeria), Ilesa (Nigeria), Ilesa South West (Nigeria)

For all who have died:  especially Myrtle, Belle, Mildred, Della and Ellen.

For one another.

Something to share

Jealous of a Pond

When God said, “My hands are yours,” I saw that I could heal any
creature in this world;

I saw that the divine beauty in each heart
is the root of all time
and space.

I was once a sleeping ocean
and in a dream became
jealous of a
pond.

A penny can be eyed in the street
and a war can break out
over it amongst
the poor.

Until we know that God lives in us
and we can see Him
there,

a great poverty
we suffer.

Rabia of Basra

News and Updates

Tomorrow morning, May 24th at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral. Dennie and I will watch the service from our computers and we hope you will do so as well. This is a way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

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+