Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, June 20, 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

Last night as I lay sleeping,
I had a dream so fair . . .
I dreamed of the Holy City, well ordered and just.
I dreamed of a garden of paradise,
well-being all around and a good water supply.
I dreamed of disarmament and forgiveness,
and caring embrace for all those in need.
I dreamed of a coming time when death is no more.

Last night as I lay sleeping . . .
I had a nightmare of sins unforgiven.
I had a nightmare of land mines still exploding
and maimed children.
I had a nightmare of the poor left unloved,
of the homeless left unnoticed,
of the dead left ungrieved.
I had a nightmare of quarrels and rages
and wars great and small.

When I awoke, I found you still to be God,
presiding over the day and night
with serene sovereignty,
for dark and light are both alike to you.

At the break of day we submit to you
our best dreams
and our worst nightmares,
asking that your healing mercy should override threats,
that your goodness will make our
nightmares less toxic
and our dreams more real.

Thank you for visiting us with newness
that overrides what is old and deathly among us.
Come among us this day; dream us toward
health and peace,
we pray in the real name of Jesus
who exposes our fantasies.

Walter Brueggemann, “Dreams and Nightmares, On reading 1 Kings 3:5-9; 9:2-9

Walter Bruggemann is a noted Old Testament scholar and theologian, with a Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary in New York and a Ph.D. from Saint Louis University. Bruggeman is also an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He is a prolific author who has published over 50 books, in addition to Bible commentaries, articles, and prayers.

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:  Wim, Mia, 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 Linda – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Nike (Nigeria), Arizona (The Episcopal Church), Jebba (Nigeria)

For all who have died: especially Charles, Ruth, Paul and Lila.

For one another.

Something to share

“I think we think in terms of systems and continuities and predictability and schemes and plans. I think the Bible is to some great extent focused on God’s capacity to break those schemes open and to violate those formulae. When they are positive disruptions, the Bible calls them miracles. We tend not to use that word when they are negative. But what it means is that the reality of our life and the reality of God are not contained in most of our explanatory schemes. And whether one wants to explain that in terms of God or not, it is nonetheless the truth of our life that our lives are arenas for all kinds of disruptions because it doesn’t work out the way we planned.”

Walter Brueggemann

From a conversation between Walter Bruggeman and Krista Tippett 
https://onbeing.org/programs/walter-brueggemann-the-prophetic-imagination-dec2018/

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, June 21st 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.

Coffee Hour:

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87323439543?pwd=d1NXSmhuMkxhYlZZd0E2bFByaWxkQT09

St. Stephen’s will be serving as a drop-off point for Church World Service kits during the last week in August, by appointment.  If you would like to assemble a hygiene kit, school kit or emergency clean-up bucket for CWS’s use in disaster areas around the world, here is the link to instructions for each type of kit:  https://cwskits.org/assemble-kits/.  If you would like to make a contribution you can do it online at cwskits.org/donate.  Contact Richey. 

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+