Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, September 10, 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

We wait, watch, hope, and yearn
for the next steps of clarity and direction
in our personal, congregational, national, and global lives.
We might attend more deeply to the places of light and shadow
with a holiness of presence
even when the brightness blinds and the darkness darkens.
We might respond more deeply
to the invitation of birthing anew this life we love and cherish
even when the birthing includes dying.
We might accept more deeply
the mystery and unknowing of our day and time
in a stance of contemplative gaze
and embrace it, joyfully, even when it is most difficult.
We might listen long and lovingly
and answer faithfully and fearlessly even when the cost is great,
for the sake of the One Who Is.

Sister Carol Zinn, Reflections on Annunciation, inspired by Henry Ossawa Turner’s painting “The Annunciation”

Dr. Carol Zinn is a Sister of St. Joseph, a Roman Catholic religious order for women. This is the same order that has a house in Albany and the sisters have been active in ministry in the Hamilton Hill area in Schenectady for over a hundred years.

Zinn has served as president of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious, a group that gathers together leaders from about 80% of Roman Catholic religious orders for women in the United States. Zinn has also done interfaith work as part of the United Religions Initiative, which brings people of different religions across the globe together to resolve conflict and work for the good of their communities, and has represented the Sisters of St. Joseph to the United Nations, participating in UN meetings on human rights, poverty, education, and more. In addition, Zinn also has worked with individual congregations and led retreats. She holds a Master’s in Theology from St. Bonaventure University and a Doctorate in Curriculum Development and Education from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro.

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, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Osun North (Nigeria), Cape Town (Southern Africa), Carlisle (England).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Speaking in Tongues

This poem begins in 1987.
My grandmother dragged us to meet the Lord
under a tent in St. Catherine. From here
I trace the heritage of standing spellbound
as women worship. Always I am on the outskirts.
I remember my grandmother unbecoming
the kind of woman who sets her table each Sunday,
who walks up from the river, water balanced easily
on her head. My grandmother became, instead,
all earthquake – tilt and twirl and spin,
her orchid-purple skirt blossoming.
She became grunt and rumble – sounds
you can only make when your shoes have fallen off
and you’re on the ground
crying raba and yashundai, robosei and
bababababababba. Years later a friend tells me
tongues is nothing but gibberish – the deluded
pulling words out of dust. I want to ask him
what is language but a sound we christen?
I would invite him to a tent where women
are tearing their stockings, are on the ground
pulling up fresh words to offer as doves to Jehovah.
I would ask if he sees no meaning here
and if he never had the urge to grunt
an entirely new sound. The poem, always,
would like to do this, always want to break
from its lines and let a strange language rise up.
Each poem is waiting on its own Day of Pentecost
to thrash, to robosei and yashundai,
and the poem will not care that some walk past,
afraid of the words we try out on our tongues
hoping this finally is the language of God,
that he might hear it and respond.

Kei Miller

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+