Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, June 6, 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 Christ, I thank you for your love so strong
May that love flow through me to others
May I be patient when change comes slowly
May I be kind when life seems harsh
May I be gentle when others feel bruised
May I be humble when things go well
May I be peaceful when anger rises within
When I forgive when wronged
May I rejoice when the truth is discovered
Love never fails, but I do
May I hope when things seem hopeless
May I persevere when the way is hard

Roger Hurding, 2019

Known to generations of students at Trinity College, Bristol, Roger Hurding was a visiting lecturer teaching counselling and pastoral care. His writings included: Roots and Shoots – A guide to counselling and psychotherapy; Coping with Illness; Understanding Adolescence; The Bible and Counseling; and Pathways to Wholeness. He was a medical doctor who later trained as a Reader (similar to Allison de Kanell) in the Church of England. His Evangelical faith was radical, risk-taking, open, and big-hearted. He joined Affirming Evangelicals to support LGBTQ people. He was described as having “an aversion to conformity and routine”.

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: New Hampshire (The Episcopal Church), All Saints Cathedral Diocese (Kenya), Isikwuato (Nigeria)

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

For one another.

Something to share

Open Our Eyes

It was dark in the garden-
grief dark, bereft dark.
She had seen him laid to rest
and now he was gone,
emptiness- emptiness-
Mary stood weeping.

We, too, stand weeping:
we grieve for our world-
for suffering innocents, for pain inflicted,
for shattered bodies, lonely lives-
it is still dark in the garden.

With Mary, we know tears that blind;
we fail to recognize the risen Lord.
Holy Spirit, radiance of God,
open our eyes to Love’s presence;
open our ears as Love calls us by name.
Show us the glory of resurrection
piercing the darkness of our gardens.

Sister Cecilia, C.S.F.

Goodbye to Tolerance

Genial poets, pink-faced
earnest wits—
you have given the world
some choice morsels,
gobbets of language presented
as one presents T-bone steak
and Cherries Jubilee.
Goodbye, goodbye,
I don’t care
if I never taste your fine food again,
neutral fellows, seers of every side.
Tolerance, what crimes
are committed in your name.

And you, good women, bakers of nicest bread,
blood donors. Your crumbs
choke me, I would not want
a drop of your blood in me, it is pumped
by weak hearts, perfect pulses that never
falter: irresponsive
to nightmare reality.

It is my brothers, my sisters,
whose blood spurts out and stops
forever
because you choose to believe it is not your business.

Goodbye, goodbye,
your poems
shut their little mouths,
your loaves grow moldy,
a gulf has split
the ground between us,
and you won’t wave, you’re looking
another way.
We shan’t meet again—
unless you leap it, leaving
behind you the cherished
worms of your dispassion,
your pallid ironies,
your jovial, murderous,
wry-humored balanced judgment,
leap over, un-
balanced? … then
how our fanatic tears
would flow and mingle
for joy …

Denise Levertov

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, June 7th 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 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+