Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, August 14, 2020
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church, We continue our life of daily prayer.
The Lord be with you!
Half-starved of soul and heartsick utterly,
Yet lift I up my heart and soul and eyes
(Which fail in looking upward) toward the prize:
Me, Lord, Thou seest though I see not Thee;
Me now, as once the Thief in Paradise,
Even now, O Lord my Lord, remember me.
- Christina Rossetti, 1894
Christina Rossetti was a prominent nineteenth century poet who is acknowledged with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on April 27th. She produced a great wealth of poetry – with over 500 poems dealing with obviously Christian themes and subjects. The Christmas carols “In the bleak midwinter” and “Love came down at Christmas” take their lyrics from her words. Christina was a part of an artistic family; her father was a poet and her brother was a poet and painter.
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: Dave Crates’ parents, Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan (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- email@example.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
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Oke-Ogun (Nigeria), Bukavu (Congo).
For all who have died: especially Justin, Scott, William, Elmer, Marilyn.
For one another.
Something to share
The road in the end taking the
path the sun had taken,
into the western sea, and the
moon rising behind you
as you stood where ground
turning to ocean: no way
to your future now but the way
your shadow could take,
walking before you across
water, going where shadows go,
no way to make sense of a
world that wouldn’t let you pass
except to call an end to the
way you had come,
to take out each frayed letter
you had brought
and light their illumined
corners; and to read
them as they drifted on the
to empty your bags; to sort this
and to leave that;
to promise what you needed to
promise all along,
and to abandon the shoes that
had brought you here
right to the water’s edge, not
because you had given up
but because now, you would
find a different way to tread,
and because, through it all,
part of you would still walk on,
no matter how, over the waves.
Yom Kippur Sonnet, with a Line from Lamentations
Can a person atone for pure bewilderment?
For hyperbole? for being wrong
In a thousand categorical opinions?
For never opening her mouth, except too soon?
For ignoring, all week long, the waning moon
Retreating from its haunt above the local canyons,
Signaling her season to repent,
Then deflecting her repentance with a song?
Because the rest is just too difficult to face–
What we are–I mean–in all its meagerness–
The way we stint on any modicum of kindness–
What we allow ourselves–what we don’t learn–
How each lapsed, unchanging year resigns us–
Return us, Lord, to you, and we’ll return.
- Jacqueline Osherow
News & Updates
The recent massive explosion at a warehouse in Beirut killed hundreds of people, injured thousands, and left approximately 300,000 people homeless. All Saints Episcopal Church in Beirut, located about a mile from the blast, was damaged but not destroyed. The Anglican Archbishop of Jerusalem, The Most Reverend Suheil Dawani, has issued an appeal to the international partners of the Diocese of Jerusalem for contributions in support of a relief effort. Donations towards this appeal will allow the Diocese of Jerusalem to make repairs to All Saints as well as to engage in a larger outreach effort to those members of the communities in Beirut most stricken by this tragedy. Thank you for any gift you are able to give.
You can write a check payable to St. Stephen’s Church and add “August Outreach” on the memo line, and mail it to us at the Church Office:
St. Stephen’s Church Outreach
1229 Baker Ave
Schenectady, NY 12309
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.
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