Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, July 25, 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

O gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 242

Today is the Feast of St. James the Apostle

James the Great also known as James, son of Zebedee was one of the Twelve Apostles as recorded in the New Testament. He is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus.  When Jesus called James and his brother John, they were in the boat mending the nets, and they immediately left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands. James and his brother seem to have had a fiery temper. They onetime wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town, but were rebuked by Jesus, who nicknamed them Boanerges or “Sons of Thunder”.

James is the patron saint of Spain, and according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Celebrating this day there, a fiesta is held with a spectacular fireworks show over the cathedral, plus concerts and other street performances. A special mass is held in the cathedral which features the swinging of the enormous and famous incense burner, the botafumeiro.

In chapter 12 of Acts of the Apostles, King Herod had James executed by the sword, while Peter is miraculously liberated from prison. The murder of one apostle while another apostle is saved is beyond explanation and highlights the mystery, unknowability, and unpredictability of divine providence.

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’s 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 Brian and Oto– today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Northwestern Pennsylvania (The Episcopal Church), Bethlehem (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Something to share

God,
Keep my anger from becoming meanness.
Keep my sorrow from collapsing into self-pity.
Keep my heart soft enough to keep breaking.
Keep my anger turned towards justice, not cruelty.
Remind me that all of this, every bit of it, is for love.
Keep me fiercely kind. Amen.

Laura Jean Truman

St. James’s Day

Sit down and take thy fill of joy
At God’s right hand, a bidden guest,
Drink of the cup that cannot cloy,
Eat of the bread that cannot waste.
O great Apostle! rightly now
Thou readest all thy Saviour meant,
What time His grave yet gentle brow
In sweet reproof on thee was bent.

“Seek ye to sit enthroned by me?
Alas! ye know not what ye ask,
The first in shame and agony,
The lowest in the meanest task –
This can ye be? and came ye drink
The cup that I in tears must steep,
Nor from the ‘whelming waters shrink
That o’er Me roll so dark and deep?”

“We can–Thine are we, dearest Lord,
In glory and in agony,
To do and suffer all Thy word;
Only be Thou for ever nigh.” –
“Then be it so–My cup receive,
And of My woes baptismal taste:
But for the crown, that angels weave
For those next Me in glory placed,

“I give it not by partial love;
But in My Father’s book are writ
What names on earth shall lowliest prove,
That they in Heaven may highest sit.”
Take up the lesson, O my heart;
Thou Lord of meekness, write it there,
Thine own meek self to me impart,
Thy lofty hope, thy lowly prayer.

If ever on the mount with Thee
I seem to soar in vision bright,
With thoughts of coming agony,
Stay Thou the too presumptuous flight:
Gently along the vale of tears
Lead me from Tabor’s sunbright steep,
Let me not grudge a few short years
With thee t’ward Heaven to walk and weep:

Too happy, on my silent path,
If now and then allowed, with Thee
Watching some placid holy death,
Thy secret work of love to see;
But, oh! most happy, should Thy call,
Thy welcome call, at last be given –
“Come where thou long hast storeth thy all
Come see thy place prepared in Heaven.”

John Keble

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, July 26th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s Church.  To help you understand what to expect please click on this link.

Tomorrow morning, July 26th at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral. Dennie and I will watch the service from our computers and we hope you will do so as well. This is a way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. 

Do you need a prayerbook?  Unnamed congregants have donate 20 prayer books for those in our congregation who are unable to obtain one. If you 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.  Thank you, anonymous members for your generosity!

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. Here is the link to sign-up:  https://www.proctors.org/antiracism.

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+