Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, August 12, 2020
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
To Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
All pray in their distress;
And to these virtues of delight
Return their thankfulness.
For Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is God, our father dear,
And Mercy, Pity, Peace, and Love
Is Man, his child and care.
For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.
Then every man, of every clime,
That prays in his distress,
Prays to the human form divine,
Love, Mercy, Pity, Peace.
And all must love the human form,
In heathen, Turk, or Jew;
Where Mercy, Love, and Pity dwell
There God is dwelling too.
– William Blake, 1827
William Blake, the poet and artist, was a man out of kilter with his times. Born in London in 1757, he grew up in a culture that prized reason, order, and moderation. For Blake, who from early childhood reported visions of angels, these were values to disdain. Instead of reason he valued the power of imagination. By this, he did not mean simply creative fancy, but insight, the ability to see reality in its full spiritual dimension.
For Blake, his poetry and art were the expression of his own spiritual vision – a protest against everything acceptable in the worlds of art and religion in his day. He deplored the moralism that passed for virtue; the hypocrisy and dogmatism of organized religion; the ugliness and cruelty of industrialism. He was in some sense a spiritual anarchist, a kind of biblical prophet who looked at the world in light of the coming judgment. Perhaps not many who sing ‘And did those feet . . .’ realize what is meant by the ‘arrows of desire’, and that the dark Satanic Mills are probably not just the industrial revolution, which was only beginning, but also a sharp commentary on the state of the Church.
At the very least, those who spend much time in the company of Blake may be influenced to become conscious of the fact that the only way to live is to live in a world that is charged with the presence and reality of God.
On this day, August 12, 1827, at the age of 69, William Blake entered paradise, the holy city, the new Jerusalem, where God wipes away every tear, and where mourning and crying and pain are no more.
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 (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 Woodcock, Vicki Hoshko, Jean Stefanski, Cindi Love, Mary Frances Hatfield, Debbie Trawick, Joe White
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Oji River (Nigeria), British Columbia (Canada).
For all who have died: especially Justin , Scott , William , Elmer , Marilyn .
For one another.
Something to share
And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon Englands mountains green:
And was the holy Lamb of God,
On Englands pleasant pastures seen!
And did the Countenance Divine,
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here,
Among these dark Satanic Mills?
Bring me my Bow of burning gold:
Bring me my arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!
I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In Englands green & pleasant Land.
– William Blake
News & Updates
One thing we’ve been talking about as Schenectady Clergy Against Hate is that Schenectady’s census count is well under 2010 in the midst of COVID. The census that takes place every ten years affects all of us when it comes to government programs, representation and justice. If you haven’t already filled out the census for your household, please do so today at https://my2020census.gov!
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: 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!
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.
James Ross McDonald
rector, St. Stephen’s Episcopal