St. Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, August 9. 2020

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, August 9, 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 is the nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Collect for the Day Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel: The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: Matthew 14:22-33

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them. And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.” He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!” Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?” When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

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 Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude (names are rotated daily from the “Prayer Chain List”

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 k, Joe.

For Frank – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Pray for the Province de L’Eglise Anglicane au Rwanda.

For all who have died: especially Justin, Scott, William, Elmer, Marilyn.

For one another.

Something to share


It all happened on the water
Jesus’ walking
the fishermen watching
from their boats.

When they picked up their nets
they half expected
a miraculous catch
but it was as ordinary
as the rest of the day.

Only some of them understood.
This is how it always is
with a vision.

Jesus walked on the water
only once.
This wasn’t science.
What was it the fishermen were
supposed to see.
A man moving over the surface
of the sea as if it were
some other substance like ground.

Was this all there was?
Picture yourself
you are out there on the water
you look at the horizon.
You are so used to seeing that part
of the sky it’s become
part of your eyes.
Then you blink, staring
you turn to shake your companion.

This was not what you expected to see.
Not even what you wished for.
What difference does it make
a man walking on the water?

But even so the day
going on as it usually does
is cut with a certain clarity
and you, you feel an inexplicable
happiness, the water
beneath you, the
bright air above.
– Susan Griffen

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
– St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

News & Updates

This morning August 9th 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:

This morning, August 9th 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.

Do you need a prayerbook? Unnamed congregants have donated 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: I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. Thank you to the anonymous members for your generosity!

Rector’s Homily:


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: 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.

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am. Please see our website for further information: All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

Remember – Dennie and I are here. Please keep us posted on how you are doing.

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+

James Ross McDonald
Rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal
Schenectady, NY

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