Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;George MacDonald, 1905
I think thy answers make what I am.
Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,
But the still depth beneath is all thine own,
And there thou mov’st in paths to us known.
Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;
If the lion in us pray–thou answerest the lamb.
George MacDonald was a nineteenth century Scottish author whose works included Christian apologetics, fairy tales and fantasy, and poetry. He was also a minister in the Congregational tradition, though he was not always well-received in this role. An article from the BBC describes MacDonald being accused of heresy in his first church position in Arundel, Scotland. He is described as an influence on many fantasy writers, including C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Lewis himself wrote this about MacDonald: “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.”
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: Anne, Mary Alice, Pauline, John, Jane, Molly and David.
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 Donald and Doreen – today is their birthday!
For Shirley & Robert – today is their wedding anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Northern Indiana (The Episcopal Church), Bangor (Wales)
For all who have died: especially Peg, Roger, Elsie, Louise, Ada, Dorothy, Agnes and George.
For one another.
Something to share
“Sometimes it feels like there are so many things in this world that we can’t control. Earthquakes, floods, reality shows. But it’s important to remember the things that we can – like forgiveness, second changes, fresh starts. Because the one thing that changes the world from a lonely place to a beautiful place is love. Love, in any of its forms, love gives us hope.”source unknown
Little Blessing for My Floater
After George Herbert
This tiny ruin in my eye, smallJeanne Murray Walker
flaw in the fabric, little speck
of blood in the egg, deep chip
in the windshield, north star,
polestar, floater that doesn’t
float, spot where my hand is not,
even when I’m looking at my hand,
little piton that nails every rock
I see, no matter if the picture
turns to sand, or sand to sea,
I embrace you, piece of absence
that reminds me what I will be,
all dark some day unless God
rescues me, oh speck
that might teach me yet to see.
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:
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 Google Group 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: firstname.lastname@example.org. Together we will solve this problem. Thanks.
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: email@example.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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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!
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.