Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, August 21, 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

Spirit of love
That flows against our flesh
Sets it trembling
Moves across it as across grass
Erasing every boundary that we
accept
And swings the doors of our lives
wide—
This is a prayer I sing:
Save our perishing earth!

Spirit that cracks our
single selves—
Eyes fall down eyes,
Hearts escape through the bars
of
our ribs
To dart into other bodies—
Save this earth!
The earth is perishing.
This is a prayer I sing.

Spirit that hears each one of us,
Hears all that is—
Listens, listens, hears us out—
Inspire us now!
Our own pulse beats in every
stranger’s throat,
And also there within the flowered
ground beneath
our feet,
And—teach us to listen!—
We can hear it in water, in wood,
and even in stone.
We are earth of this earth, and we
are born of its bone.
This is a prayer I sing, for we have
forgotten this
and so
The earth is perishing.

Barbara Deming

Barbara Deming, born in New York City in 1917, was a non-violent activist who demonstrated for peace, civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights, among other causes. Her commitment to non-violence was inspired by an interest in Gandhi and a trip to India in 1959; it also connected to the formative influence of the Quaker schools he attended as a child. Deming was also a writer – working as a journalist in addition to writing in other genres such as fiction and poetry. In 1975, Deming organized The Money for Women Fund which granted money to feminist artists. Its work continues today as the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.

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 and Joan.

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion Oleh (Nigeria), Bunyoro-Kitara (Uganda).

For all who have died:  especially Edwin McCullough.

For one another.

Something to share

Mrs. Noah Amidst the Birds

Frigate birds circled overhead,
orienting us to the turning sky.
Our claustrophobic fowls gawked
to see such free-wheeling. Crated
on deck, they took the spray.
The peacock, palsied with salt,
paled, and the turkey shriveled.
All that time we drifted aimlessly,
the long-winged albatross observed
our position. Out of the empty sky,
she came calling to perch among
our phantoms, preening and posturing
in the serenity of her freedom.
She’d flown over islands yesterday,
would head for shaley shores tomorrow.
I, too, was crated, my span limited to
this man, these gunwales, this horizon,
and out of spite, I wished the albatross
dead from a madman’s crossbow and
nets as endless as the seas she traced.
Desperate for variety, I set the raven free.
Like soot, he dissolved into mist. We waited.
When he did not return, I was glad
for this one bird. A narcissist, he would
survive without us. I chose his opposite
to send out next. Pliant and plump,
the dove would not follow the albatross’ high course.
She vanished into light drizzle. We waited.
When she returned and flew through
the rainbow’s arch, I gave up spite, and
opening all our cages, sang with the fowls.

Elizabeth Schultz

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.  (contact me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.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.

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+