Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, September 1, 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

Great is, O King, our happiness
in your kingdom, you, our King.
We dance before you, our King,
By the strength of your kingdom.
May our feet be made strong;
Let us dance before you, eternal.
Give praise, all angels,
To him above who is worthy of praise.

A prayer in a sacred dance of the Zulu Nazareth (Nazarite) Church

Isaiah Shembe founded the Zulu Nazareth Church following the Bambatha Rebellion of 1906. This Zulu uprising was the largest ever by a Black group in South Africa and is considered one of the greatest moments in Zulu nationalism. It came twenty years after the defeat of the Zulu by the British in the Anglo-Zulu War during a time of political struggle between the British and Boers for political control.

This new branch of Christianity, which Shembe founded, was a reflection of the times in 1910. The church adopted Christian teachings but placed them within a Zulu context.  Members wore traditional skins to worship services, listened to sermons in isiZulu, and worshiped their ancestors. Zulus were attracted to the church because as an organization it did not demonize their culture.

Today the church is comprised primarily of Zulus, but not entirely. It also includes Swazi, Xhosa, Basotho, Tswana, Pedi, Stonga, and Venda. Those who are not Zulu are encouraged to show their ethnic heritage by the laws of the church. The church states that any person may celebrate their own culture in the church as long as it does not break the laws of the church. People of the church see themselves as Nazarites before anything else and their fellow followers provide them with a large, strong community in which to participate.

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 the Crates’ parents, Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan and Hank.

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:  Priscilla, Sid, Vicki, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For James – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Ondo (Nigeria). Calabar (Nigeria), Kinshasa (Congo).

For all who have died:  especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.

For one another.

Something to share

Africa Has A Soul

From the mouth of asmara
To the ears of praia
I see a soul
From the desert of tunis
To the flats earth of cape town
I see a soul clinging to the skin of africa

From the tombs of cairo
To the ports of abuja
I feel a soul
From the grains of rabat
To the giant isle of antanarivo
I feel a soul clutched to the skin of africa

From the stem of kilmanjaro
To the gentle rains of victoria falls
I hear a soul
From the shores of tripoli
To the jungles of congo
I hear a soul whaling in skin of africa

From the dusk of bamako
To the sweats of bujumbura
I smell a soul
From the huts of khartoum
To the hives of mogadishu
I smell a soul yelling in the skins of africa

From the ocean waves of freetown
To the birds chimes of nairobi
I touch a soul
From the thunder grumbling of monrovia
To the bloody smiles of kigali
I touch a soul rooting from the skins of africa
Africa has a soul
Africa my country, has a soul
bloody, smiling, crying soul

kemurl fofanah

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+