Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Almighty God, by whose providence your servant John the Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of your Son our Savior by preaching repentance: Make us so to follow his teaching and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching; and, following his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth’s sake; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.Book of Common Prayer, p. 241
Today is the Nativity of St. John the Baptist
John the Baptist was a Jewish itinerant preacher in the early 1st century AD. He is mentioned by the Hebrew historian Josephus and revered as a major religious figure in Christianity, Islam, and the Baha’i Faith. John is considered a prophet by these faiths and he is considered a saint in many Christian traditions. According to the New Testament, John anticipated a messianic figure greater than himself, and the Gospels portray John as the forerunner of Jesus. He announces Jesus’ coming and prepares the people for Jesus’ ministry. In the Gospel of Luke, John the Baptist and Jesus are cousins, whose births are six months apart.
John the Baptist is the patron saint of many different subjects, including builders, tailors, printers, conversion to faith, and people dealing with storms and their effects (like hail). He also serves as the patron saint of a variety of places throughout the world, such as Puerto Rico, Jordan, Quebec (Canada), Charleston (South Carolina), and Cornwall (England).
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: Charles, Josh, 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: Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe, Matt and Lisa.
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Nord Kivu (Congo), Armidale (Australia).
For all who have died: especially Hugh, Tom, Louis, Michael and Mary Ann.
For one another.
Something to share
“Rivers do not drink their own water; trees do not eat their own fruit; the sun does not shine on itself and flowers do not spread their fragrance for themselves. Living for others is a rule of nature. We are all born to help each other. No matter how difficult it is…Life is good when you are happy; but much better when others are happy because of you.”Pope Francis
To St. John the Baptist
Of course you are the messenger, you whoAndrezj Morsztyn
Shed the grey brightness which the sun breaks
As when pale dawn provokes the birds to play
Their music glorifies the shape of day,
So your birth violates your father’s tongue
Till, from his lips, a shriek of praise is wrung.
And as the sun burns red when the last gleam
Of styptic dawn admits a blood-red stream,
Your blood, too, gushes on the world whose fate
The sun you herald will illuminate.
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.