Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Spirit of Life and Love,
Today I wrestle with angels. Perhaps, like Jacob, I will win this fight, but I know full well that nothing is without cost. I will be changed by this struggle. I will never be the same. Today, I open my heart to that mysterious beauty we call Love and try to comprehend its stubborn, grandiose vastness…
Today, I struggle to stretch myself so that I can hold–for even one brief moment–a vision of Love that fails no one. A love that can redeem the irredeemable, comfort those who suffering appears beyond comfort, and when rejected, grow ever more vast, ever more patient, ever more ready to forgive.
In struggling to know this unfathomable Love, may my heart be stretched and opened, making room for more Love, more Love, ever more Love.Sean Parker Dennison
Sean Parker Dennison is a Unitarian Universalist minister and author of a book of meditations, Blessing and Breaking. He serves a fellowship in Oregon and is cofounder of an organization for transgender leaders in Unitarian Universalism. This prayer was published in the book Conversations with the Sacred: A Collection of Prayers, featuring contributions from many writers.
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 Dave Crates’ mom & dad, Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan and Hank.
For those who are homebound: Stephen Gray, Pauline Northrop, Joan Halstead, Janet Schlansker and Marilyn Causey.
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: Karnataka Central (South India), Karnataka North (South India), Karnataka South (South India).
For all who have died: especially Anita, Elizabeth, Joanne, Joseph, Peter, Donald, William, Robert, Julie and Cynthia.
For one another.
Something to share
I Don’t Want to be a Spice Store
I don’t want to be a spice store.Christian Wiman
I don’t want to carry handcrafted Marseille soap,
or tsampa and yak butter,
or nine thousand varieties of wine.
Half the shops here don’t open till noon
and even the bookstore’s brined in charm.
I want to be the one store that’s open all night
and has nothing but necessities.
Something to get a fire going
and something to put one out.
A place where things stay frozen
and a place where they are sweet.
I want to hold within myself the possibility
of plugging one’s ears and easing one’s eyes;
superglue for ruptures that are,
one would have thought, irreparable,
a whole bevy of non-toxic solutions
for everyday disasters. I want to wait
brightly lit and with the patience
I never had as a child
for my father to find me open
on Christmas morning in his last-ditch, lone-wolf drive
for gifts. “Light of the World” penlight,
bobblehead compass, fuzzy dice.
I want to hum just a little with my own emptiness
at 4 a.m. To have little bells above my door.
To have a door.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.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!
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.