Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, May 28, 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

O God, it is easy to love the whole world, but hard to love the person
one works next to;
O God, it is easy to campaign for world peace, but hard to contribute
to the peace within my own home;
O God, it is easy to be fascinated with some new truth, and miss you in
the thing I have known so long;
O God, it is easy to share my home and possessions with people I like.
Teach me how to be generous towards others.
Enable me today to say something, or do something that will make a
difference to the discouraged, to the inexperienced, to the despairing.
Let no selfish concern with my own affairs shut me off from any today.
For your love’s sake.

Rita Snowden, 1999

Rita Snowden lived in New Zealand and from an early age was active in the Methodist Church. As a young woman, her leadership skills were quickly evident, given her involvement in almost every aspect of the life of her church. After training as a Methodist Deaconess, Rita traveled many miles on rough roads on her motor bike, John Wesley, preaching, teaching, and ministering to people in need. After suffering a serious illness, she dedicated her life to writing. Over a period of 56 years, she averaged more than one book a year – most of them devotional in nature. It was said that her chief indoor sport was conversation, and her passion ‘people’.

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:   Debby, Sylvia, Irene, Barbara and Frank.

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 Richey & George – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Navajoland Area Mission (The Episcopal Church, Aipo Rongo (Papua New Guinea), Ajayi Crowther (Nigeria).

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

For one another.

Something to share

The art of awareness of God,
the art of sensing His presence in our daily lives
cannot be learned off-hand.
God’s grace resounds in our lives
like a staccato.
Only by retraining the seemingly disconnected notes
comes the ability
to grasp the theme.

Abraham Joshua Heschel

LORD, you have searched me out and known me; *
you know my sitting down and my rising up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places *
and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *
but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before *
and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *
it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *
where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *
if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning *
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me *
and your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *
and the light around me turn to night,”

Darkness is not dark to you;
the night is as bright as the day; *
darkness and light to you are both alike.

Psalm 139:1-11

News & Updates

Day of Mourning and Lament – As we mark the death of 100,000 people in the U.S. from COVID-19, an unprecedented group of 100+ national faith leaders—from Christian, Jewish and Muslim traditions representing major denominations, national faith-based organizations, local congregations, and millions of people of faith across the country—call for a National Day of Mourning and Lament. Together, they look to federal, state, and local elected officials to observe Monday, June 1 as National Day of Mourning and Lament, a day marked by moments of silence, lowering of flags, interfaith vigils, ringing of bells, and civic memorials.

Here at St. Stephen’s I will toll our bell at noon on June 1st.

It is hoped that the vocation of remembering will unite across lines of religion and traditions and transcend our politics. 

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+