Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, September 12, 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

Father, Mother, God,
Thank you for your presence
during the hard and mean days.
For then we have you to lean upon.
Thank you for your presence
during the bright and sunny days,
for then we can share that which we have
with those who have less…
For those who have no voice,
we ask you to speak.
For those who feel unworthy,
we ask you to pour your love out
in waterfalls of tenderness.
For those who live in pain,
we ask you to bathe them
in the river of your healing.
For those who are lonely, we ask
you to keep them company.
For those who are depressed,
we ask you to shower upon them
the light of hope.
Dear Creator, You, the borderless
sea of substance, we ask you to give to all the
world that which we need most—Peace.

Maya Angelou, 2014

Maya Angelou was an award-winning American author and civil rights activist who died in 2014. Her writing spanned a variety of genres, including autobiography, poetry, and plays. Maya Angelou’s most famous book may be one of her autobiographies, I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, but she was also often known as the “black women’s poet laureate.” Angelou’s poetry received more widespread public attention after she read a poem at Bill Clinton’s presidential inauguration in 1993, making her only the second poet in U.S. history to read at an inauguration.

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 Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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 East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Wildfire uncontained,
stripping the hillside, raging
poker-hot: anger.

Haiku: Wildfire

we entered ancient forest: grand fir, mountain hemlock,
silver fir. On the forest floor we found the familiar:
wild ginger, twayblade, oak fern, bedstraw.
There was bunchberry, too, and twisted stalk, endless

thickets of red huckleberry, the trail overgrown,
sodden. Bracken fern, salal. As we climbed toward
Fall Peak en route to Top Lake, we entered
a blackness not mentioned in the book. When

had it happened: 2014? The year before?
Singed bark sloughed off in thick, dark sheets.
Not spooky or ghostly or haunting. It was more
like reverence. Here was the lecture on succession,

on fire suppression’s unforeseen consequence,
on the ways of those who tended the land before
white settlers arrived, those who knew the dangers
of letting the underbrush grow thick. An ecology textbook

brought to life, though brought to death is more precise,
though only the firs, the maidenhair and Queens Cup,
had lost their lives; the path now cleared for regrowth,
the canopy opened for seedlings. Even while

it was burning, it hadn’t been dead. Roots survived,
animals hid, then surfaced, brought uncharred soil
to the duff. Seeds had already taken hold in the ash,
begun to sprout. Acres of fireweed signaling disturbance,

the first seer. By now my partner far ahead, while I
lingered behind, listened to the tapping of a woodpecker,
another crash of bark from a wind-tossed snag. Took in
completely the botched message of Smokey the Bear.

Soon, but not as soon as we’d imagined, only a few trees
that had been licked by flames, scorched by winds
that had shifted. Lushness returned. Lousewort,
valerian, bistort. Likely, a lightning strike left to burn

because humans don’t live here, because there’s
so much fuel. Must’ve been the year before last,
one of the hottest on record. Firefighters built
a line it didn’t cross. The wind died down, the fall rains
doused it. All conjecture as we headed down, farther
and farther from having to see it, smell it, make up stories
of how it came and went. Out of the pitch, where we’d been forced
to confront it. All attempts to keep it from happening a mistake.

Martha Silano is the author of five poetry books, including Gravity Assist , The Little Office of the Immaculate Conception, and Reckless Lovely. She also co-authored, with Kelli Russell Agodon, The Daily Poet: Day-By-Day Prompts For Your Writing Practice. Her poems have appeared in Paris Review, Poetry, and American Poetry Review, among others. Martha teaches at Bellevue College, near her home in Seattle, WA.

Autumn Embers

There’s smoke and panic in the air.
Our autumn landscape is now black and bare.
We’ve run away from the flames that taunt us.
To open arms our neighbors offer us.
We’ve found strength in numbers
And from the fallen embers.

Madelyn Burgo

News & Updates

Tomorrow morning, September 13th at 9:00am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist at Saint Stephen’s Church.  To help you understand what to expect please click on this link: https://youtu.be/2iu_mbwXF4s.

Tomorrow morning, September 13th  at 11:15am, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

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+