Saint Stephens Daily Prayers, Monday, August 10, 2020

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, August 10, 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

…every morning I sit, I kneel, waiting, making friends with the habit of listening, hoping that I’m being listened to. There, I greet God in my own disorder.

I say hello to my chaos, my unmade decisions, my unmade bed, my desire and my trouble. I say hello to distraction and privilege, I greet the day and I greet my beloved and bewildering Jesus. 

I recognize and greet my burdens, my luck, my controlled and uncontrollable story. I greet my untold stories, my unfolding story, my unloved body, my own love, my own body. I greet the things I think will happen and I say hello to everything I do not know about the day. I greet my own small world and I hope that I can meet the bigger world that day. 

I greet my story and hope that I can forget my story during the day, and hope that I can hear some stories, and greet some surprising stories during the long day ahead. I greet God, and I greet the God who is more God than the God I greet. Hello to you all, I say, as the sun rises above the chimneys of North Belfast. Hello.”

  -  Pádraig Ó Tuama 

Pádraig Ó Tuama is an Irish poet and prose writer who also hosts Poetry Unbound, a podcast produced by On Being. Outside of poetry, Ó Tuama has experience in the world of conflict resolution, having led the Corymeela Community, an Irish community dedicated to peace and reconciliation, for several years.

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 Spang’s sister) (names are rotated daily from the “Prayer Chain List” – if you have people for whom you would like us to pray, please contact Suzanne Taylor- popage@aol.com or 518-393-9035; Louise – peakelouise@gmail or 374-0480).

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 White

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Ohaji / Egbema (Nigeria), Brisbane (Australia).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Concerning That Prayer I Cannot Make

Jesus, I am cruelly lonely
and I do not know what I have done
nor do I suspect that you will answer me.

And, what is more, I have spent
these bare months bargaining
with my soul as if I could make her
promise to love me when now it seems
that what I meant when I said “soul”
was that the river reflects
the railway bridge just as the sky
says it should—it speaks that language.

I do not know who you are.

I come here every day
to be beneath this bridge,
to sit beside this river,
so I must have seen the way
the clouds just slide
under the rusty arch—
without snagging on the bolts,
how they are bore along on the dark water—
I must have noticed their fluent speed
and also how the tattered blue t-shirt, caught,
and the white islands of ice flying by
and the light clouds flying slowly

under the bridge, though today
the river’s fully melted. I must have seen.

But I did not see.

I am not equal to my longing.
Somewhere there should be a place
the exact shape of my emptiness—
there should be a place
responsible for taking one back.
The river, of course, has no mercy—
it just lifts the dead fish
toward the sea.

Of course, of course.

What I meant when I said “soul”
was that there should be a place.

On the far bank the warehouse lights
blink red, then green, and all the yellow
machines with their rusted scoops and lifts
sit under a thin layer of sunny frost.

And look—
my own palm—
there, slowly rocking.
It is my pale palm—
palm where a black pebble
is turning and turning.

Listen—
all you bare trees
burrs
brambles
pile of twigs
red and green lights flashing
muddy bottle shards
shoe half buried—listen

listen, I am holy.

  -  Jane Mead 

News & Updates

Our own Vincent is now Corporal Avila in the New York Army National Guard. Congratulations, Vincent, on your hard-earned recognition.

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.

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.

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