Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, May 26, 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

Christ Jesus, in your life hatred and death did not have the last word. You are risen. Even though invisible to our eyes, you are present for every human being. Your Holy Spirit brings to birth in us the courage of mercy for those who are nearby as well as for those who are far away. In a world where we are often disconcerted by violence, you enable us to hope against all hope.

Brother Alois, Prior of Taizé, France

This prayer is written by the prior of the Taizé community in France, which is an ecumenical monastic community that was founded in 1940. The community has become a popular pilgrimage site, particularly for young people. Their musical worship, where simple phrases are often sung many times meditatively, has become a model for many churches. 

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:  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 Alice, John, Sabrina, Jim, Nick, Jane,  Joe and Molly.

For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader

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 Allison and Marilyn – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Natal (Southern Africa), Aguata (Nigeria)

For all who have died:  especially Elwood, Olive Carter and Marge.

For one another.

Something to share

Easter

My mother woke us that Sunday – her voice
a bell proclaiming spring. We rose
diving into our clothes, newly bought.
We took turns standing before mirrors,
combing, staring at our new selves.
Sinless from forty days of desert,
sinless from good confessions, we
drove to church in a red pickup, bright
and red and waxed for the special
occasion. Clean, polished as apples,
the yellow-dressed girls in front
with Mom and Dad; the boys in back,
our hair blowing free in the warming
wind. Winter gone away. At Mass,
the choir singing loud: ragged
notes from ragged angel’s voices;
ancient hymns sung in crooked Latin.
The priest, white robed, raised his palms
toward God, opened his mouth in awe:
“Alleluia!” The unspoken word of Lent
let loose in flight. Alleluia and incense
rising, my mother wiping her tears
from words she’d heard; my brother and I
whispering names of statues lining
the walls of the church. Bells ringing,
Mass ending, we running to the truck,
shiny as shoes going dancing. Dad
driving us to see my grandmother. There,
at her house, I asked about the new word
I’d heard: resurrection. “Death,
death,” she said, her hands moving downward,
“the cross – that is death.” And then she
laughed: “The dead will rise.” Her upturned
palms moved skyward as she spoke. “The dead
will rise.” She moved her hands toward me,
wrapped my face with touches, and
laughed again. The dead will rise.

Benjamin Alire Sáenz

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 weeks 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+