Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, August 1, 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

You, Lord, are all I have,
and you give me all I need;
my future is in your hands.
How wonderful are your gifts to me;
how good they are!

I praise the Lord, because he guides me,
and in the night my conscience warns me.
I am always aware of the Lord’s presence;
he is near, and nothing can shake me.

And so I am thankful and glad,
and I feel completely secure,
because you protect me from the power of death.
I have served you faithfully,
and you will not abandon me to the world of the dead.

You will show me the path that leads to life;
your presence fills me with joy
and brings me pleasure for ever.

Psalm 16:5-11, adapted

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:  Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband.

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 and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Offa (Nigeria), Bolivia (South America), Karimnagar (South India).

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

For one another.

Something to share

God, in whose heart is love and justice, show us this day whom we must love and what we should challenge or change in order that your will for the earth might be done.  Increase our hope, dispel our apathy; inspire our imagination, and deepen our commitment until we become the signs of your kingdom for which we and others pray.  Amen. ~ Iona Abbey Worship Book

My soul is at rest in You

My soul is at rest in You,
For I am like a tree
planted beside streams of water,
bearing fruit in season.

My mind is fed by You
For Your wisdom comes
like fresh rain on parched land,
growing oaks of righteousness.

My heart is refreshed by You
As softly You speak in Spirit
like a gentle breeze at Horeb,
each breath a speech of love.

My being is lifted in You
As I scale to the Rock higher than I
reaching clouds of Your Presence,
standing in the heights of refuge.

You dress me up with Peace,
Adorn me Kindness, Joy, and Love-
Your Faithfulness embraces me,
And I enjoy being with You, God.

Cynthia Buhain Baello

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, August 2nd at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Update from the Church Reopening Taskforce:

Can you believe that just over 4 months ago Governor Cuomo signed the NY Pause executive order which has changed the way we live our lives in 2020? We resumed church services three Sundays ago with a modified service which has begun to bring some weekly routine back into our lives.  MANY hours of work and research into the plan which has brought us back together in a safe and effective manner.  Many parishioners are asking questions and here are some of the answers.

Q: Overall, what is the general feeling about the reopening?

A: Nothing but positive feedback has been received from those in attendance at the services.  After the first service a few tweaks were made but nothing that changed the overall outcome.  The church is sparse (for cleaning purposes), but we do have music (prelude, offertory and postlude – no singing) and the altar is adorned with flowers each week.  Most importantly, worship is happening and people are gathering to give thanks to God. 

Q: About how long does the service take?

A: The service is about 40 minutes in length.

Q. Are reservations needed to come to a service?

A. No, we are not taking reservations at this time.

Q. What happens if upon arriving, the church is full?

A. We do not see this occurring in the immediate future. If needed. we will use the Nave Extension with proper distancing. 

Q: On average how many people are attending the service?

A: Over the past three Sundays we have averaged 17 people in attendance with a high of 21 people and a low of 13 people.  As we know attendance during the summer months tends to fluctuate with people on vacation and while we are experiencing a pandemic people are still making the effort to take time away from Schenectady whether it be camping, at a second home or visiting family.

Q: Since we are only having one 9AM service, what is the mix of people from 8AM and 10:15AM services?

A: The attendee mix is similar to the summer service under normal circumstances.

Q: Will St. Stephen’s services have a live streaming or recorded option?

A: There is a team looking into streaming capabilities and cost.  In the meantime, if you are looking for services closer to home, the following parishes are doing streaming and/or recorded services which you can find by doing a web search of the parish name and location. 

St. George’s. Schenectady has been recording their church services and broadcasting them on a local access station for over twenty years. Now they have a live stream of the 10am Holy Eucharist on their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/Saint-Georges-Episcopal-Church-116891431698806/

Other nearby churches with accessible worship services:

· St. John’s in Johnstown
· St. John’s in Troy
· St. James’ in Lake George
· St. Stephen’s in Delmar
· Calvary in Burnt Hills
· St. Paul’s in Kinderhook
· St. Andrew’s in Scotia
· St. George’s in Clifton Park

Of course, St. Stephen’s will continue daily Morning Prayer via Zoom.

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 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. 

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 linkjames.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+