Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, September 23, 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

You who called us to hope in your Name,
which is first of all creation,
open the eyes of our heart
that we may know you
who alone remains Highest among the highest
and Holiest among the holy.

Save those of us who are in affliction,
have mercy on the lonely,
raise up those that are fallen,
be manifested to those that are in need,
heal the sick,
bring back those of your people that go astray.
Feed the hungry,
redeem our captives,
lift up those that are weak,
comfort the faint-hearted.

Clement of Rome, 1st century

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be taught personally about Jesus by the apostle Paul or Peter? Clement of Rome was a first century convert who had that wonderful privilege. Philippians 4:3 mentions a Clement who very well could be Clement of Rome.

After Paul and Peter were martyred at Rome, Clement become a leader, in fact, bishop, of the church there. Tradition holds that about the year 100 AD he was martyred by being cast into the sea tied to an anchor. Not much detail is known about Clement of Rome, but some of his writings provide valuable insight into the early church. His letter to the church at Corinth may be the earliest document we have outside of the New Testament. With love and compassion, Clement urged his readers to: be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings. His letter was read in the Corinthian church as part of the liturgy for many years.

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 wildfires 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:  Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband, Donald and Mark.

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:  Pankshin (Nigeria), Central Philippines (Philippines).

For all who have died:  especially Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, Elsie, Robert, Dorothy and Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Give Me This

I thought it was the neighbor’s cat back
to clean the clock of the fledgling robins low
in their nest stuck in the dense hedge by the house
but what came was much stranger, a liquidity
moving all muscle and bristle. A groundhog
slippery and waddle thieving my tomatoes still
green in the morning’s shade. I watched her
munch and stand on her haunches taking such
pleasure in the watery bites. Why am I not allowed
delight? A stranger writes to request my thoughts
on suffering. Barbed wire pulled out of the mouth,
as if demanding that I kneel to the trap of coiled
spikes used in warfare and fencing. Instead,
I watch the groundhog closer and a sound escapes
me, a small spasm of joy I did not imagine
when I woke. She is a funny creature and earnest,
and she is doing what she can to survive

Ada Limón

News & Updates

Carole Merrill-Mazurek gives an update concerning SICM:

The pantry is in desperate need of volunteers, duties would include sorting food and packing food boxes. They have strict guidelines in place to protect guests and volunteers. Anyone interested can call and ask to speak to Laura, the volunteer coordinator.

The pantry is in need of feminine hygiene products.

St. Joseph’s House cannot distribute sandwiches at this time, but expressed appreciation for the lunch ministry that St. Stephen’s offered. I spoke to Sr Anne & Sr Lynn yesterday & they need assistance in providing help for their guests, warm gloves, thermal shirts & grocery gift cards will help them get through the cold months.

Donations for either SICM or St. Joseph’s Place can be individually dropped off.

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,
he 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+