Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, October 1, 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

I arise, facing East,

I am asking toward the light;

I am asking that my day

Shall be beautiful with light

I am asking that the place

Where my feet are shall be light,

That as far as I can see

I shallow follow it aright.

I am asking for the courage

To go forward through the shadow,

I am asking toward the light!

Mary Hunger Austin

Mary Hunter Austin, who lived from 1868 to 1934, was a writer in many genres, including short stories, novels, and plays, based in the American Southwest. Austin’s work tended to have a particular focus on nature. Among other things, Austin studied and wrote about Native American culture in the Mojave desert. She also wrote articles advocating for socialism and women’s rights. Her most famous book was a book of essays, The Land of Little Rain.

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:  Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, Joan.

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: Budd, Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Oto  – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Kiteto (Tanzania), Kitgum (Uganda), Kitui (Kenya).

For all who have died:  especially Ronald, Robert, Harry, Lawrence, Ralph.

For one another.

Something to share

Articulation

— After Miguel Cabrera’s portrait of Saint Gertrude, 1763

In the legend, Saint Gertrude is called to write

after seeing, in a vision, the sacred heart of Christ.

Cabrera paints her among the instruments

of her faith: quill, inkwell, an open book,

rings on her fingers like Christ’s many wounds—

the heart emblazoned on her chest, the holy

infant nestled there as if sunk deep in a wound.

Against the dark backdrop, her face is a wafer

of light. How not to see, in the saint’s image,

my mother’s last portrait—the dark backdrop,

her dress black as a habit, the bright edge

of her afro ringing her face with light? And how

not to recall her many wounds: ring finger

shattered, her ex-husband’s bullet finding

her temple, lodging where her last thought lodged?

Three weeks gone, my mother came to me

in a dream, her body whole again but for

one perfect wound, the singular articulation

of all of them: a hole, center of her forehead,

the size of a wafer—light pouring from it.

How, then, could I not answer her life

with mine, she who saved me with hers?

And how could I not, bathed in the light

of her wound, find my calling there?

         –  Natasha Trethewey

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.