Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, July 9, 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

Perhaps the cup was broken here
That Heaven’s new wine might show more clear.
I praise Thee while my days go on.
I praise Thee while my days go on;
I love Thee while my days go on!
Through dark and dearth, through fire and frost,
With emptied arms and treasure lost,
I thank thee while my days go on!
And, having in thy life-depth thrown
Being and suffering (which are one),
As a child drops some pebble small
Down some deep well, and hears it fall
Smiling–so I! THY DAYS GO ON!

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, 1861

Elizabeth Barrett Browning was a popular English poet of the nineteenth century. In addition to being a prolific poet, Browning was also active in campaigns related to reforming child labor laws and abolishing slavery. She was married to another notable English writer, Robert Browning. Shortly after their marriage, Elizabeth and Robert moved to Italy in 1846, where they lived together until Elizabeth’s death in 1861. Much of Elizabeth’s poetry explores her Christian faith. Browning once stated that, “Christ’s religion is essentially poetry—poetry glorified.”

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, Bruce and Jean.

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: Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe, Matt and Lisa.

For Joan – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Northern California (The Episcopal Church), Badagry (Nigeria), Ballarat (Australia)

For all who have died:  especially Peg, Roger, Elsie, Louise, Ada, Dorothy, Agnes and George.

For one another.

Something to share

I cannot dance O Lord

I cannot dance, O Lord,
Unless You lead me.
If You wish me to leap joyfully,
First You must dance and sing –
Then I will leap into Love –
And from Love into Knowledge,
And from Knowledge into Fulfillment,
A harvest of sweet fulfillment beyond human sense.
There I will stay with you, circling
and circling
forevermore.

Mechthild of Magdeburg

Thank you Jesus

When the blue and red sirens pass you,
when the school calls because your child
beat the exam and not a classmate,
when the smart phone drops but does not crack,
the rush escaping your mouth betrays your upbringing:
thank you Jesus—a balm over the wound.
When the mammogram finds only density,
when the playground tumble results
in a bruise, not a broken bone,
like steam from a hot tea kettle
thank you Jesus—and the pent-up fear
vents upward, out. Maybe it’s a hand
over breast, supplication learned deeper
than flesh as if one could shush the soul,
the fluttering heartbeat with three words.
Maybe it’s not so dire—an almost trip on the sidewalk,
the accumulated sales total showing savings upon savings,
maybe it’s as small as an empty seat on the Metro
or maybe thank you Jesus—becomes the refrain
every time your husband pulls into the driveway,
alive and whole, and no one has mistaken him
for all the black, scary things. You mutter it,
helpless to stop yourself from the invocation
of a grandmother who gave you your first bible,
you say it because your mother, even knowing
your doubt as a vested commodity, still urges prayer.
You learned early to cast the net—thank you Jesus
and it’s a sweet needle that gathers the fraying thread,
hemming security in steady stitches. From birth
you’ve heard this language; as an adult
you’ve seen religion used nakedly as ambition yet
this sacrifice of praise, still slips past your lips,
this lyrical martyr of your dying faith.

Teri Ellen Cross Davis

News & Updates

If you are planning to come to the Eucharist on Sunday and do not own a prayerbook, here is a free PDF version you can download:

Book of Common Prayer PDF

We are having trouble with our Google account.  Suddenly, Google is seeing the Morning Prayers as SPAM!  If you receive an email asking to be on a GoogleGroup list, but using an email address you don’t use often, just refuse to be included.  If you are not receiving Morning Prayers on your preferred email address, let me know: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. Together we will solve this problem. Thanks.

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 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. Our first Eucharistic Ingathering will be on July 12th at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other 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+