Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
God strengthen me to bear myself;
That heaviest weight of all to bear,
Inalienable weight of care.
All others are outside myself;
I lock my door and bar them out
The turmoil, tedium, gad-about.
I lock my door upon myself,
And bar them out; but who shall wall
Self from myself, most loathed of all?
If I could once lay down myself,
And start self-purged upon the race
That all must run ! Death runs apace.
If I could set aside myself,
And start with lightened heart upon
The road by all men overgone!
God harden me against myself,
This coward with pathetic voice
Who craves for ease and rest and joys
Myself, arch-traitor to mysel ;
My hollowest friend, my deadliest foe,
My clog whatever road I go.
Yet One there is can curb myself,
Can roll the strangling load from me
Break off the yoke and set me free.Christina Rossetti
Christina Rossetti was a prominent nineteenth century poet who is acknowledged with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on April 27th. She produced a great wealth of poetry – with over 500 poems dealing with obviously Christian themes and subjects. The Christmas carols “In the bleak midwinter” and “Love came down at Christmas” take their lyrics from her words. Christina was a part of an artistic family; her father was a poet and her brother was a poet and painter.
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: Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Charles and Audrey, Bill, Stephanie, Hank, Nancy .
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: Peterborough (England), Christ the King (Southern Africa).
For all who have died: especially Leland, Blanche, Marian, Sadie.
For one another.
Something to share
Letter to St. Francis
When you broke with the world, you gave up jerkins and boots
(Italian leather, no less),
the title to your name. In light of your example, I hereby forsake
(not wanting to duplicate)
the paisley, polarized shades I have wanted to buy for some months
(now on sale at Rite Aid),
plans for a new voile spread and matching shams—you see, my room
(unaltered in years),
is begging for a complete re-do. In addition, I forthwith happily resign
(and with only a little shame)
my ignorance of bird songs, apathy toward insects, and above all else
(no simple task)
my solemn right to complain—about weather, fractures, vacuuming,
(the Lord gives)
or the sudden need for new axels, a change of plans, someone to love
(the Lord takes away)
I’d also like to swear off phones, hornets, gas stations, the news
(and, while I’m at it)
the banality of prose. When it comes to relinquishing clothes, I can
do without nylons and heels, and that black bridesmaid shawl I prized
(but never wore),
which has hung in my closet for years. Abandoning these worldly goods
(I sincerely trust)
will also mean the giving up of dust in all its forms: dandruff, worry, shame,
In truth, Francis, there are many things I’d like to lose.Abigail Carroll
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.