Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world to himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.– Book of Common Prayer, p.244
Today is Holy Cross Day
According to Christian tradition, the True Cross was discovered in 326 by Saint Helena, the mother of the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great, during a pilgrimage she made to Jerusalem. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre was then built at the site of the discovery, by order of Helena and Constantine. The church was dedicated nine years later, with a portion of the cross. One-third remained in Jerusalem, one-third was brought to Rome and deposited in the Sessorian basilica Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross in Jerusalem), and one-third was taken to Constantinople to make the city impregnable.
The date of the feast marks the dedication of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in 335. This was a two-day festival: although the actual consecration of the church was on September 13, the cross itself was brought outside the church on September 14 so that the clergy and faithful could pray before the True Cross, and all could come forward to venerate it.
The Second Council of Nicæa of 787, drew the distinction between veneration of the cross and worship or latria, “which, according to the teaching of the faith, belongs to the Divine nature alone. It was noted that this cult must be considered as not belonging to the substance of religion, but as being one of the things not absolutely necessary to salvation. Thus, the honor paid to the image passes to the prototype; and he who adores the image, adores the person whom it represents.
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.
Members who request our prayers for strength and 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
The royal banners forward go
The royal banners forward go,
The cross shines forth in mystic glow
Where He through whom our flesh was made,
In that same flesh our ransom paid.
Fulfilled is all that David told
In true prophetic song of old;
How God the nations’ King should be,
For God is reigning from the tree.
O tree of beauty, tree most fair,
Ordained those holy limbs to bear
Gone is thy shame, each crimsoned bough
Proclaims the King of Glory now.
Blest tree, whose chosen branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore,
The price which none but he could pay
To spoil the spoiler of his prey.
O cross, our one reliance hail!
Still may thy power with us avail
To save us sinners from our sin,
God’s righteousness for all to win.
To Thee, eternal Three in One,
Let homage meet by all be done;
As by the cross Thou dost restore
So rule and guide us evermore.
Amen.Hymnal 1982, #162; Venantius Honorius Fortunatus
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: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 link: email@example.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!
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.