Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
God of the Loaves and the Fish, God ofArlene L. Drennan and Laura Martin
Abundance, you give us enough.
You created the earth with enough
for all, if we use it as you intend.
We confess that we have chosen not to
fully commit with our lives.
We confess that we have chosen the ease
of charity over the steep climb of justice,
giving a little bit over changing all.
We know that Jesus said, “Foxes have
dens and birds have nests,
but I have no place to lay my head.”
May we hear an invitation to turn our lives.
May we hear a call to go out,
to be the makers of sanctuaries,
to be the prophets of God’s Enough,
to be the ones who pray more than
words, pray with our lives.
Arlene L. Drennan and Laura Martin included this prayer in their chapter on “Sanctuary” in the collection A Child’s Laugh: Prayers of Justice and Hope. Drennan is a Disciples of Christ minister, while Martin is a United Church of Christ minister.
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 Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Bill, Stephanie, Hank, Nancy (Austin sister).
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 Suzanne – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Ogoni (Nigeria), Brasilia (Brazil), Brazzaville (Congo).
For all who have died: especially Anita, Elizabeth, Joanne, Joseph, Peter, Donald, William, Robert, Julie and Cynthia.
For one another.
Something to share
Our half-acre to grow flowers, vegetablesMaryily U. (Story from Center for Action and Contemplation)
And fruits to share with others (is my
sanctuary). Today began with a friend
coming to pick in our 10 x 10 foot
raspberry patch. The crop is abundance
and luscious this year. Tempting, beautiful red
berries! We laughed and shared a moment
of respite from the chaos in the world. It is
here I meet and am fed by God every day.
There will be no stars—the poem has had enough of them. I think we can agreeLeila Chatti
we no longer believe there is anyone in any poem who is just now realizing
they are dead, so let’s stop talking about it. The skies of this poem
are teeming with winged things, and not a single innominate bird.
You’re welcome. Here, no monarchs, no moths, no cicadas doing whatever
they do in the trees. If this poem is in summer, punctuating the blue—forgive me,
I forgot, there is no blue in this poem—you’ll find the occasional
pelecinid wasp, proposals vaporized and exorbitant, angels looking
as they should. If winter, unsentimental sleet. This poem does not take place
at dawn or dusk or noon or the witching hour or the crescendoing moment
of our own remarkable birth, it is 2:53 in this poem, a Tuesday, and everyone in it is still
at work. This poem has no children; it is trying
to be taken seriously. This poem has no shards, no kittens, no myths or fairy tales,
no pomegranates or rainbows, no ex-boyfriends or manifest lovers, no mothers—God,
no mothers—no God, about which the poem must admit
it’s relieved, there is no heart in this poem, no bodily secretions, no body
referred to as the body, no one
dies or is dead in this poem, everyone in this poem is alive and pretty
okay with it. This poem will not use the word beautiful for it resists
calling a thing what it is. So what
if I’d like to tell you how I walked last night, glad, truly glad, for the first time
in a year, to be breathing, in the cold dark, to see them. The stars, I mean. Oh hell, before
something stops me—I nearly wept on the sidewalk at the sight of them all.
News & Updates
I wanted to share with our church family an update on SICM procedures during the pandemic. The summer lunch program is very different this year. Trucks pull up to sites and children are given bag lunches which they take home to eat, rather than remaining on site. They only need two volunteers to assist in the distribution. Budd and I did the week for St. Stephen’s.
The pantry has instituted a new model of food delivery, instead of guests coming into the pantry to select food, it is bagged ahead of time & distributed. The pantry is looking for volunteers to assist in putting bags together. (Potential volunteers can call the SICM office for more information).
Our church was very generous with the weekly basket of items for the pantry, unfortunately because of current health restrictions, we have to have an alternative plan. I spoke to a representative of SICM and she suggested that congregants might want to donate hair and personal care items to the pantry & drop them off at the pantry site. (They are in the process of creating personal care bags, items to consider are toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, deodorant, body creams, etc.)
We are all aware how the pandemic has affected families, there has been an increase in access of services to feed families, SICM could use donations of money to procure items from the food bank. They will also be sending out an appeal letter asking for monetary donations to meet the increasing demand.
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.