Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Well, Jesus of Nazareth, it takes us a long, long time to make any sense out of what you’re doing with us, doesn’t it?…
You aren’t just a gadfly, irritating us with increasingly difficult requests so that we want to shoo you away, or hit back, or obey you to get rid of you – just, we hope, to keep you quiet.
But you don’t stay quiet, do you? You always keep coming back to confront us. That’s it. You confront us.
It’s not really the demands that confront us. It is you…It is you we are after, not your demands.
You are ours when we are poor in spirit and mourn and are meek; when we hunger and thirst after righteousness and are merciful, pure in heart, and peacemakers; when we are persecuted and reviled for your sake.
It is impossible – humanly impossible. And yet, of course, it is possible. It is your possibility – not ours….
“Thy Kingdom come.” That’s not quite right, is it? It has come. You have come. Let us live as sons of the King – your sons – right where we are – in trust and in obedience. Then may the new life come.
May your law be written on our hearts. May you dwell there. Then the law and our hearts will be one and at peace. You and I will be at peace. Amen.
– John B. Coburn, 2009
John B. Coburn served as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts from 1976 to 1986. He also was president of the House of Deputies, a governing body of the Episcopal Church, from 1967 to 1976, and dean of Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge (later renamed Episcopal Divinity School) from 1957 to 1968. This prayer is from his book Twentieth-Century Spiritual Letters: An Introduction to Contemporary Prayer, published in 1968. He also authored a number of other books on prayer and spirituality. Coburn died in 2009, at age 94.
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, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan, Craig, Charles and Audrey, Stephanie, Joan, Budd.
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Peru (South America), Chichester (England).
For all who have died: especially Ronald, Robert, Harry, Lawrence, Ralph.
For one another.
Something to share
Variation on A Theme by Rilke
A certain day became a presence to me;
there it was, confronting me — a sky, air, light:
a being. And before it started to descend
from the height of noon, it leaned over
and struck my shoulder as if with
the flat of a sword, granting me
honor and a task. The day’s blow
rang out, metallic — or it was I, a bell awakened,
and what I heard was my whole self
saying and singing what it knew: I can.Denise Levertov
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,
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.