Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, July 13, 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

Prayer of Awe

You, O Eternal Trinity,
Are a deep sea into which,
The more I enter,
The more I find,
And the more I find,
The more I see.
O abyss, O eternal godhead,
O sea profound,
what more could you give me than yourself?

Catherine of Siena, 1380

Catherine of Siena is recognized by the Episcopal Church with a feast day on April 29th. Catherine, born in 1347, had a vision at age six of the “Lord seated in glory with St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John” and then smiling at her, which began her dedicated commitment to prayer. Despite some initial resistance from her family, they eventually allowed her to become a nun in a Dominican order. She also served as a nurse for patients who other nurses did not want to care for, such as people with leprosy. She had a number of visions, some of which are included in her mystical work The Dialogue

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, Jean and Anne.

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 Raymond and James – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Kajiado (Kenya), Kajo-Keji (South Sudan), Kamango (Congo).

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
and sounds
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
this day,
and considerately cheer one another one.

Life will always provide matters for concern.
Yet each day brings with it reasons for
joy.

Each day carries the potential
to bring the experience of heaven;
have the courage to expect good from it.

Be gentle with this life,
and use the light of life
to live fully in your time.\

John McQuiston II from Always We Begin Again, The Benedictine Way of Living

Contraband

The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.
That’s why the taste of it
drove us from Eden. That fruit
was meant to be dried and milled to a fine powder
for use a pinch at a time, a condiment.
God had probably planned to tell us later
about this new pleasure.
We stuffed our mouths full of it,
gorged on but and if and how and again
but, knowing no better.
It’s toxic in large quantities; fumes
swirled in our heads and around us
to form a dense cloud that hardened to steel,
a wall between us and God, Who was Paradise.
Not that God is unreasonable – but reason
in such excess was tyranny
and locked us into its own limits, a polished cell
reflecting our own faces. God lives
on the other side of that mirror,
but through the slit where the barrier doesn’t
quite touch ground, manages still
to squeeze in – as filtered light,
splinters of fire, a strain of music heard
then lost, then heard again.

Denise Levertov

News & Updates

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+