Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Lord Jesus, think on me,
And purge away my sin;
From earthborn passions set me free,
And make me pure within.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
With care and woe oppressed;
Let me thy loving servant be,
And taste thy promised rest.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
Nor let me go astray;
Through darkness and perplexity
Point thou the heavenly way.

Lord Jesus, think on me,
That when the flood is past,
I may the eternal brightness see,
And share thy joy at last.

Synesius, 430

Synesius was a Greek bishop in ancient Libya. He was born into a wealthy family, destined for a career in government administration. In his youth he was sent to Constantinople to obtain tax remissions for his country. In 410 Synesius, whose Christianity had until then been by no means very pronounced, was popularly chosen to be bishop of Ptolemais. After a lengthy hesitation, he accepted the office that was thrust upon him. Regarding orthodox theology which was developing and evolving, Synesius expressly stipulated for personal freedom to dissent on the questions of the soul’s creation, a literal resurrection, and the final destruction of the world. His tenure as bishop was marked by invasions, which resulted in him living in exile.

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

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 Lisa – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Nevada (The Episcopal Church), Alabama (The Episcopal Church).

For all who have died:  especially George, Carl and Elizabeth.

For one another.

Something to share 

It’s good news for the stay-at-homes,
The new consensus among astronomers
That the night sky appears roughly the same
From any spot in the universe,
With roughly the same number of visible stars
At similar distances, in similar congregations.
Those who’ve labeled the view from Earth provincial
Turn out to be mired in provincial thinking.
No capital can be found on the star map, no center
Where all roads lead, no giant mass
Whose pull proves irresistible to the ambitious,
As if only there can their plans unfold.
The stars above any roof will be stars enough
Once the gauzy curtain is drawn back,
The veil of dust and ash that obscures their shining.
Let the Milky Way be visible once again
To the naked eye and compared to a stream
Or glassy roadbed or bank of flowers.
Nightfall then will be all that’s longed for.
The morning and afternoon of a cloudless day
Will seem to pass so slowly that the watchers
Will wonder if the stars they think they remember
Are only fancies. But no, look up.
Here they are again.

Carl Dennis

News & Updates

Cindi wrote:

It was so wonderful seeing everyone on Monday. I wish we could have socialized and I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to say hi to you.  It was a great article in the Gazette so I’m glad there was positive exposure during this horrible time in our society. 

I received a beautiful gift today and would like to thank everyone so I was hoping you could put the following in one of your emails this week:

It was so nice to be part of a worthy gathering on Monday at St. Stephen’s. We truly miss our church community so imagine my surprise and delight when I received a lovely plant and beautiful box full of cards from everyone on Tuesday. (Thank you Sara and Linda for delivering them.) The cards are beautiful as are the caring sentiments. They truly lifted my spirits and warmed my heart more than you can imagine.

We feel we are on a roller coaster ride through this cancer journey. Some good news, some not so good news.  We had a bit of a setback last month as a result of my scans.  The good news was they asked me to come back. I am on a new treatment and so far am tolerating it. Some fatigue and aches and pains but no complaints as it’s all a part of the journey. God has a plan. I have attached a picture of the cards and flowers with one of my paintings in the background, as painting is my happy place. Between painting, gardening, and napping, I’m staying busy. Evan has several projects in progress, and we both enjoy taking walks and biking in this beautiful weather. We are blessed to have our grandkids nearby and visit them when we are able, as they are our happiest place. We count our blessings and thank God for each new day. Our strong faith has sustained us, as has family and friends. Thank you again for being part of our circle and for your outpouring love.  I received cards from people I haven’t even met but I am hoping to very soon. What an amazing community we have in St. Stephen’s Church.
 

We hope everyone is finding something pleasurable to do and staying safe. Much love and so many thanks to everyone. God bless you all. 

Community Discussion – Racially charged issues never go away; every now and then it makes the news. But it is time to learn how to be an ANTIRACIST. Schenectady Clergy Against Hate invites you to read Ibram X. Kendi’s book “How To Be An Antiracist” and then join us for a community discussion on Monday June 15 at 7 pm. Join Zoom Meeting

https://zoom.us/j/97496292939…

Meeting ID: 974 9629 2939
Password: 608558

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+