Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
God, our creator, out of love and for love you made us. We are all the work of your hands. We walk the same earth and breathe the same air, and yet. . .
God of righteousness, it is your will that all people live in equity and peace, that all have a share in your abundant life, that there is liberty and justice for all, and yet. . .
God of life, you claimed us in baptism, buried us with Christ in a death like his, and promised to unite us with Christ in a resurrection like his. We have already died the only death that really matters, and yet. . .
We do not recognize the full humanity in others. There is not justice for all. In our fear, we doubt the resurrection.
The hard work of truth-telling—and truth-hearing—is set before us. The painful reality that racial equity does not exist in our nation or our church cannot be ignored. Help us resist any rush to reconciliation before repentance. The oppressed will not be comforted until their voices are heard. The oppressors will find no comfort until they relinquish power.
In your love, compassionate God, keep us in this tension. In your severe mercy, use this pain to bring action and change. We pray this through Christ, our Lord, in whom the dividing wall of hostility has already been broken down. Amen.Bishop Elizabeth Eaton
Elizabeth Eaton is the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), a denomination with which the Episcopal Church is in full communion. Last year, she was re-elected for a second six-year term as presiding bishop. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School and, prior to her time as presiding bishop, served congregations in Ohio followed by serving as bishop of the Northeastern Ohio Synod.
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 Bassi, Crevelling and Dewey families, Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan andCraig.
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 Linda – yesterday was her birthday! Belated wishes!
For Gerald – today is his baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Owerri (Nigeria), Central Ecuador (The Episcopal Church), Kita Kanto (Japan).
For all who have died: especially Marian, Robert, Lucie, Margaret and Ruth.
For one another.
Something to share
“Before people question why the contact was made in the first place, they should understand that Myers was no angel … This is not a victim, this is a victim-maker. This is not a martyr.”Jeff Roorda, business manager of the St. Louis police union
The steel blue ghost standing
at the podium says VonDerrit Myers
was no angel & all I can hear is
the boy was a human boy. The boy
had a best friend & 206 bones. The boy
had a name that God didn’t give him.
When he died, he did not bleed
starlight or gold. He was not half-bird.
The gun spoke, & no flaxen wing shot
from each shoulder, as if to carry him beyond
the bullet’s swift assignment. No, the boy
was not a pillar of white smoke bright
enough to break a nonbeliever, make a penitent
fall prostrate, heaving, heavy with contrition, but
let me be clear: we are simply running out
of ways to shame the dead. How else to say
that we are guilty & yet unburied? How else
to erase him, if we cannot feign omnipotence,
lay claim to the sky, excise heaven,Joshua Bennett
take aim at the boy just one more
time while everyone watches?
News & Updates
A message from the Myron Street Farmers Market (Chris Jones):
There are two peach trees in my backyard. Almost all of the peaches have been removed (by me and the squirrels) from one of them, but the other has a good crop of ripe, juicy, tasty peaches. I have made jam, peach pie, peach cobbler, and peach butter. We have feasted on ripe peaches over ice cream, in our breakfast cereal, and just plain sliced. It’s been the best year that I can remember for peaches.
I invite you to have some. There is a tray of ripe peaches in my kitchen. There is a good crop of ripe peaches on the second tree. If you would like to pick some, please come by and do so. Or stop by and I’ll give you some (or all) from my tray.
It would be helpful (but not necessary) that you call ahead. Tree ripened peaches are special. My small peach orchard was started years ago so that I could pick a ripe peach. If you don’t come by and get some, the excess is going to be buried.
In Schenectady schools all classes for 7-12 grades are returning to virtual learning. District officials still haven’t received an order of Chromebook laptops they placed in March, and there is a real need for Tablets, Chromebooks and Laptops. They do NOT have to be the latest and greatest, but the actual devices are needed. If you can donate even one device, please contact Viki Brooks at email@example.com.
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.