Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, September 18, 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

To listen, O God. To react. To touch. To feel. To wonder. Each new moment…each new encounter…is an opportunity to learn. How wonderful that you surround us with so much and so many to encounter. How amazing and how affirming that you bless us with the ability to explore, analyze, and understand.

O God, for all the world around us and all you give us to learn, we thank you.

For our companions along the way…each of us differently abled, each of us unique in our understandings and curiosities…

For all the ways we help each other learn, grow, become.

For those who specialize in the art and science of teaching…who dedicate their lives and answer your call to nurture others even in circumstances less than ideal, we thank you.

And for our children who even in the bleakest times and places manage to find the joy, to discover the light, to grow and gather and make their way into learning…we thank you.

For all of us, your learners of this world, we pray that the vast knowledge of life be written in our hearts and in our lives, that we may find our way while finding you imprinted on every text, in every raindrop and within the spirits of all your peoples.

God who knows we will never understand everything, we pray we accept no limits to what is possible with and for you.

So we pray for safe havens of learning…We pray that together we may all strive for a world where all people may creatively respond to you from the depths of their hearts….writing, painting, reading, singing, composing, dancing, experimenting, praying, organizing, and celebrating all of this, all of you, all that is this wonder we know as life.

H. Rebecca Lockwood and Diane E. Lockwood Wendorf

H. Rebecca is an associate pastor at a United Church of Christ congregation in Indiana, while Diane ministers at a United Church of Christ Congregation in Maine. This prayer was included in the book A Child Laughs: Prayers of Justice and Hope edited by Maria Mankin and Maren C. Tirabassi, for a chapter on education. 

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 those affected by the wild fires in the west: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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 all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

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:  Oyo (Nigeria), Central New York (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Bible Study

Open the text again to every question:
Its lexicon of possibility,
Its origin and form and Sitz im Leben,
Its deep resistance and its clarity.
Untwist the thread of prejudice that binds you,
Pattern the fragments and reshape the shards,
Be lost in reading till the reading finds you,
Discern the Word that underpins the words.
Begin at the beginning, make an end
Of all your old evasions, make a start
Counting the countless stars, the grains of sand,
And find in them the fragments of your heart.
Open the text again, for it is true,
The Book you open always opens you.

Malcolm Guite

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 vikibrooks2017@gmail.com

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+