Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
I will repay you for the years
that the swarming locust has eaten,
the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,
my great army, which I sent against you.
You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,
and praise the name of the Lord your God,
who has dealt wondrously with you.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,
and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.
And my people shall never again be put to shame.
I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.Joel 2:25-28a
The Book of Joel is an unusual prophetic book. Although it contains readings in the form of oracles, announcements of judgments against the nations, and promises of an ideal future, it does not follow the usual structure of most prophetic books. The readers of the book of Joel are asked to imagine a terrifying plague of locusts and its horrifying impact on society – something perhaps we today can relate to. In this passage, God assures a glorious future for the faithful. Prophecy, dreams, and visions were the three recognized ways in which human beings received communications from God. The message is one of hope – the days are coming when God will once again reveal God’s self to creation.
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 and Hurricane Delta in the south: 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.
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 Joe – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Portsmouth (England), Colorado (The Episcopal Church), \Kongor (South Sudan).
For all who have died: especially Angeline, Theresa, Everett, Walter, Naomi.
For one another.
Something to share
We need new visions of
community, of society, and, in
America, of a post-racial world.
This can only emerge out of a
deep practice of lament, of
turning to God, of turning to one
another in solidarity. Then, your
young men and women will see
visions and the old men and
women will dream dreams of a
new future. We need this
desperately. The old world has
run its course. You cannot polish
things up a little bit and pretend
that everything will be okay.Emmanuel Katongole
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.