Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
O Source of life and strength! Many of Thy mercies we do plainly see, and we believe in a boundless store behind. No morning stars that sing together can have deeper call than we for grateful joy. Thou hast given us a life of high vocation, and Thine own breathing in our hearts interprets for us its sacred opportunities. Thou hast cheered the way with many dear affections and glimpses of solemn beauty and everlasting truth. Not a cloud of sorrow, but Thou hast touched with glory; not a dusty atmosphere of care, but Thy light shines through! And, lest our spirits should fail before Thine unattainable perfections, Thou hast set us in the train of Thy saints who have learned to take up the cross of sacrifice. Let the time past suffice to have wrought our own will, and now make us consecrate to Thine–Amen.James Martineau, 1900
James Martineau was a 19th century English philosopher and Unitarian minister. As a minister, he primarily served in Liverpool – a position from which he eventually resigned to focus on his academic career in London. He served as a Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. During this time, he often preached as a guest at congregations. Martinaeu advocated for the use of the terminology “Free Christian Church” over “Unitarian,” since he did not want to be defined by one particular doctrine, and founded a short-lived organization called the Free Christian Union for those of various beliefs who desired to worship together. Much of his written work explored ideas around reason and conscience.
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 Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce.
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 Jersey (The Episcopal Church), Amazon (Brazil), Jabalpur (North India)
For all who have died: especially Allison, Charles and Hiola.
For one another.
Something to share
Good Morning, Holy Spirit
Good morning, Holy Spirit.
I need you this day.
Fill me with your presence
And guide me on my way.
Good morning, Holy Spirit.
I need you this day.
Fill my mind, my soul, my thinking,
And guide me as I pray.
Precious Holy Spirit,Jacqueline Russel
I need you every day.
Surround me with your Being,
And in my heart, please stay.
Sabbaths 2006 (VII)
O saints, if I am even eligible for this prayer,Wendell Berry
though less than worthy of this dear desire,
and if your prayers have influence in Heaven,
let my place there be lower than your own.
I know how you longed, here where you lived
as exiles, for the presence of the essential
Being and Maker and Knower of all things.
but because of my unruliness, or some erring
virtue in me never rightly schooled,
some error clear and dear, my life
has not taught me your desire for flight:
dismattered, pure, and free. I long
instead for the Heaven of creatures, of seasons,
of day and night. Heaven enough for me
would be this world as I know it, but redeemed
of our abuse of it and one another. It would be
the Heaven of knowing again. There is no marrying
in Heaven, and I submit: even so, I would like
to know my wife again, both of us young again,
and I remembering always how i loved her
when she was old. I would like to know
my children again, all my family, all my dear ones,
to see, to hear, to hold, more carefully
than before, to study them lingeringly as one
studies old verses, committing them to heart
forever. I would like again to know my friends,
my old companions, men and women, horses
and dogs, in all the ages of our lives, here
in this place that i have watched over all my life
in all its moods and seasons, never enough.
I will be leaving how many beauties overlooked?
A painful Heaven this would be, for I would know
by it how far I have fallen short. I have not
paid enough attention. I have not been grateful
enough. And yet this pain would be the measure
of my love. In eternity’s once and now, pain would
place me surely in the Heaven of my earthy love.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org)
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 (email@example.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!
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.