Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, July 21, 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

Gracious God, giver of love and peace, you call us to live together as one family: Give us grace to learn your ways, that all people may have the necessities of life and no one must struggle to survive, in the name of the Source, the Word, and the Spirit. Amen.

The Rev. Elizabeth Rankin Geitz, drawing on Delores Williams

This prayer was found in the collection Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated. This collection began with a meeting of the Episcopal Church’s Council of Women’s Ministries in 1999. The collection’s preface states that they had “a vision of Episcopal women speaking authentically with one another and with their church at large; a vision of women sharing the richness and diversity of their spirituality.

The Rev. Elizabeth Rankin Geitz wrote a number of collects for the church year for the book including this one. Geitz is an Episcopal priest and author of many books, including Gender and the Nicene Creed and Fireweed Evangelism: Christian Hospitality in a Multi-faith World. Geitz lists Delores Williams as a source for inspiring this prayer. Delores Williams is a notable womanist theologian and scholar, whose work centers the oppression of black women in its theological reflection. She is particularly known for her book Sisters in the Wilderness: The Challenge of Womanist God-Talk.

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 Dave Crates’ mom, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby and Joan.

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 Christopher – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Northern Zambia (Central Africa), Belize (West Indies), Kanyakumari (South India).

For all who have died:  especially Dorothy, Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret and Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

As the wind is your symbol, so forward our goings.
As the dove, so launch us heavenwards.
As water, so purify our spirits.
As a cloud, so abate our temptations.
As dew, so revive our languor.
As fire, so purge our dross.

Christina Rossetti

Perhaps the World Ends Here

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.
The gifts of earth are brought and prepared, set on the table. So it has been since creation, and it will go on.
We chase chickens or dogs away from it. Babies teethe at the corners. They scrape their knees under it.
It is here that children are given instructions on what it means to be human. We make men at it, we make women.
At this table we gossip, recall enemies and the ghosts of lovers.
Our dreams drink coffee with us as they put their arms around our children. They laugh with us at our poor falling-down selves and as we put ourselves back together once again at the table.
This table has been a house in the rain, an umbrella in the sun.
Wars have begun and ended at this table. It is a place to hide in the shadow of terror. A place to celebrate the terrible victory.
We have given birth on this table, and have prepared our parents for burial here.
At this table we sing with joy, with sorrow. We pray of suffering and remorse. We give thanks.
Perhaps the world will end at the kitchen table, while we are laughing and crying, eating of the last sweet bite.

Joy Harjo

News & Updates

How to be an Anti Racist – Dr Kendi  will speak on July 27th, next Monday, through Proctors tech system, and then there will be a 21 day anti racist follow up challenge with emails and readings sent every day to all who sign up. Schenectady Clergy Against Hate, among many others is a community partner for this event.  More information will be forthcoming.

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.

If need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

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)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays 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+