Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is the Fifteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Collect for the Day
O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: Matthew 13:1-9,18-23
Jesus went out of the house and sat beside the sea. Such great crowds gathered around him that he got into a boat and sat there, while the whole crowd stood on the beach. And he told them many things in parables, saying: “Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen!”
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But as for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
The Gospel of the Lord
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: Chris, Theresa, Emily C, Bridget, Gail, Charles, Josh and Luca.
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 Gillian – today is her birthday!
For Susan & Doug – today is their wedding anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Pray for the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.
For all who have died: especially Barbara and Betty.
For one another.
Something to share
At the beginning of each day,
after we open our eyes
to receive the light
of that day,
As we listen to the voices
that surround us,
We must resolve to treat each hour
as the rarest of gifts,
and to be grateful
for the consciousness
that allows us to experience it,
recalling in thanks
that our awareness is a present
from we know not where,
or how, or why,
When we rise from sleep let us rise for the joy
of the true Work that we will be about
and considerately cheer one another one.
Life will always provide matters for concern.
Yet each day brings with it reasons for
Each day carries the potential
to bring the experience of heaven;
have the courage to expect good from it.
Be gentle with this life,John McQuiston II from Always We Begin Again, The Benedictine Way of Living
and use the light of life
to live fully in your time.
Although the letter said
On thistles that men look not grapes to gather,
I read the story rather
How soldiers platting thorns around Christ’s Head
Grapes grew and drops of wine were shed.
Though when the sower sowed,
The wingèd fowls took part, part fell in thorn,
And never turned to corn,
Part found no root upon the flinty road—
Christ at all hazards fruit hath shewed.
From wastes of rock He bringsGerard Manly Hopkins
Food for five thousand: on the thorns He shed
Grains from His drooping Head;
And would not have that legion of winged things
Bear Him to heaven on easeful wings.
A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787
News & Updates
If you are planning to come to the Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s on Sunday and do not own a prayerbook, here is a free PDF version you can download:
Worship for Sunday, July 12 th 2020
Click on this post to view the National Cathedral live stream and Homily.
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: 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.