Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, June 5, 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

Bless our beautiful land, O Lord,
with its wonderful variety of people,
of races, cultures and languages.
May we be a nation
of laughter and joy,
of justice and reconciliation,
of peace and unity,
of compassion, caring and sharing.
We pray this prayer for a true patriotism,
in the powerful name of Jesus our Lord.

Desmond Mpilo Tutu

An outspoken opponent of apartheid, Desmond Tutu has also condemned violence as a means of seeking to overcome injustice. Bishop of Lesotho, Secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches, the first black Bishop of Johannesburg, and Archbishop of Capetown, he continuously preached a simple message of the love of God. In time, he may be found to have changed the way the human race resolves conflicts by his development of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which he chaired after his retirement. Let us hope and pray that that be true.

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: New Guinea Islands, The (Papua New Guinea), Algoma (Canada)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Still I Rise

You may write me down in history
With your bitter, twisted lies,
You may trod me in the very dirt
But still, like dust, I’ll rise.

Does my sassiness upset you?
Why are you beset with gloom?
’Cause I walk like I’ve got oil wells
Pumping in my living room.

Just like moons and like suns,
With the certainty of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still I’ll rise.

Did you want to see me broken?
Bowed head and lowered eyes?
Shoulders falling down like teardrops,
Weakened by my soulful cries?

Does my haughtiness offend you?
Don’t you take it awful hard
’Cause I laugh like I’ve got gold mines
Diggin’ in my own backyard.

You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.

Does my sexiness upset you?
Does it come as a surprise
That I dance like I’ve got diamonds
At the meeting of my thighs?

Out of the huts of history’s shame
I rise
Up from a past that’s rooted in pain
I rise
I’m a black ocean, leaping and wide,
Welling and swelling I bear in the tide.

Leaving behind nights of terror and fear
I rise
Into a daybreak that’s wondrously clear
I rise
Bringing the gifts that my ancestors gave,
I am the dream and the hope of the slave.
I rise
I rise
I rise.

Maya Angelou

Joe shared this wonderful appreciation:

Absolutely breathtaking! Enjoy!

As a real Dutchman, I am a big fan of our flowers. And as a landscape
photographer, I enjoy our beautiful spring each year in which I always
find time to photograph the flowers and show the beauty of the Dutch
flowers to the whole world. Most of you probably know the world-famous
Keukenhof, the most beautiful tulip garden in the world. Every year
millions of tourists visit this garden. That’s a huge lot considering
the garden is only open in spring! Every year, a hard-working crew makes
sure the garden looks as good as ever, including this year!

(for Joe’s full description and many more pictures, see tomorrow’s post)

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News & Updates

Food distribution is of the highest priority during this pandemic.  Roxbury Farm, (locally produced)  will be using the parish hall for their weekly distribution beginning June 9.  I just want to let the parish know that there will be people coming into the hall on Tuesdays between 4 and 6:30. If you want more information, contact Richey Woodzell,  erwoodzell@gmail.com.

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+