Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, August 16, 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 twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

 The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: Matthew 15:10-28

Jesus called the crowd to him and said to them, “Listen and understand: it is not what goes into the mouth that defiles a person, but it is what comes out of the mouth that defiles.” Then the disciples approached and said to him, “Do you know that the Pharisees took offense when they heard what you said?” He answered, “Every plant that my heavenly Father has not planted will be uprooted. Let them alone; they are blind guides of the blind. And if one blind person guides another, both will fall into a pit.” But Peter said to him, “Explain this parable to us.” Then he said, “Are you also still without understanding? Do you not see that whatever goes into the mouth enters the stomach, and goes out into the sewer? But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this is what defiles. For out of the heart come evil intentions, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile.”

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, “Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon.” But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, “Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us.” He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” He answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” Then Jesus answered her, “Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

The Gospel of the Lord

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, Laurel and Greg.

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 Doreen – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For Ganon – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Pray for the Scottish Episcopal Church.

For all who have died:  especially Edwin.

For one another.

Something to share

Becky Holder shares this written by a friend:

Mary’s Sisters

Life comes because a woman has said yes
In spite of fear and certainty of pain.
Dragging, like chains, her family’s distress
Across an ocean, through an unmapped plain
To mountain slopes where yes invents a home.
In danger, mocking death with violent birth.
In sorrow, sowing comfort she alone
Knows how to cultivate from beggar’s earth.
The power of her yes brings up the sun
To warm her childrens’ flesh. Yes calms their nights
And feeds their hungry days as one by one
They dawn. Yes is their nest and yes their flight.
She answers love, not knowing what will be:
“As You have willed it, be it unto me.”

Joan Mistretta

A Place at the Table

Do we wish to learn the meaning of God’s love among us?
Let us listen to the words of the Canaanite woman,
who knew she had a place at the table.

The clouds have paused their travelling to listen
to the song, the song of faith Christ hears her sing
in witness to the welcome of the table.

Send the letter to the cities, to the lonely
high-rise dwellers, to the stranger, to the poor.
Tell them they have places at the table.

Dial the telephones of the hurting, the ill and
the despairing; bring them in their neediness
to the healing in the welcome of the table.

The birds have sung their praises to the beauty
of the morning, of a new world beginning,
rejoicing in the bounty of the table.

The words are echoed in the blossoms,
in the sunrise, in the starlight: the words
that welcome us to our places at the table.

Do we yearn to see the face of God, to know
the nearness of the Beloved? We lift
the blindfold from our eyes at the table.

Andrew King

News & Updates

Chris Jones is back doing the Messenger! For the last 50 years the Messenger has been “a means of communicating church news and views” (quoted from the first Messenger, September, 1970).  Please send ‘news & views’ to Chris  by August 20th for the September newsletter.  Thank you.

Worship for Sunday, August 16th 2020

Click on this post to view the instructions on returning to church, National Cathedral live stream and recorded 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.  (contact me for the

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.

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.



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