Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, October 17, 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

Holy One, you are a God of compassion. You desire that all might be whole.

In the brokenness of our lives you continue to turn toward us with the hope that we will accept your renewing love and find new meaning for our lives in you.

You have established compassion as the foundation for all relationships and societies…Yet at times we find ourselves preoccupied with our own self-interests at the expense of helping others.

Teach us to love ourselves in a way that embraces others also. Give us courage to make room at the center of our world where others might be renewed by your healing presence. 

Fill us with your spirit of compassion, Lord, that we might not act or speak out of our own self interests….

Call all nations to repent from any action that would increase the sum of human misery in the name of religion. Replace the apathy and selfishness of the world with passion to cultivate empathy with the suffering of all human beings.

Lord, redeem us from actions that deny our common humanity…Jesus, in extravagant compassion, has already revealed our forgiveness and calls us to live as those who are renewed and thankful…

We are grateful; we live differently because of what you, Lord Jesus, have done for us.

Rev. Rick Beck, A Liturgy of Compassion

Rev. Rick Beck is a retired Moravian pastor who continues to serve as a spiritual director. The Moravian Church in North America is a small denomination of around 60,000 members that has had a full communion relationship with the Episcopal Church since 2011. This means, for one thing, that Moravian pastors can serve in Episcopal parishes. The Moravian Church traces its history back to before the Protestant Reformation – to a movement that grew out of followers of Jan Hus, a Czech reformer who was burned at the stake in 1415.

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

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, Jean, Cindi Love, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Qu’Appelle (Canada), Costa Rica (Central America), Kontagora (Nigeria).

For all who have died:  especially Sid, Angeline, Theresa, Everett, Walter, Naomi.

For one another.

Something to share

Wishing Well

“Outside the Met a man walks up sun

tweaking the brim sticker on his Starter cap

and he says pardon me Old School he

says you know is this a wishing well?

Yeah Son I say sideways over my shrug.

       Throw your bread on the water.

I tighten my chest wheezy as Rockaway beach

sand with a pull of faux smoke on my e-cig

to cozy the truculence I hotbox alone

and I am at the museum because it is not a bar.

Because he appears not to have changed

them in days I eye the heel-chewed hems

of his pants and think probably he will

ask me for fifty cents any minute now wait

for it. A smoke or something. Central Park displays

the frisking transparency of autumn. Tracing

paper sky, leaves like eraser crumbs gum

the pavement. As if deciphering celestial

script I squint and purse off toward the roof

line of the museum aloof as he fists two

pennies from his pockets mumbling and then

aloud my man he says hey my man I’m going

to make a wish for you too.

       I am laughing now so what you want

me to sign a waiver? He laughs along ain’t

say all that he says but you do have to

hold my hand. And close your eyes.

I make a starless night of my face before

he asks are you ready. Yeah dawg I’m ready.

Sure? Sure let’s do this his rough hand

in mine inflates like a blood pressure cuff and I

squeeze back as if we are about to step together

from the sill of all resentment and timeless

toward the dreamsource of un-needing the two

of us hurtle sharing the cosmic breast

of plenitude when I hear the coins blink against

the surface and I cough up daylight like I’ve just

been dragged ashore. See now

you’ll never walk alone he jokes and is about

to hand me back to the day he found me in

like I was a rubber duck and he says you got to let

go but I feel bottomless and I know he means

well though I don’t believe

       and I feel myself shaking

my head no when he means let go his hand.

Gregory Pardlo

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

News & Updates

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – Just visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before 9am on Sunday the 18th and wait for the live stream to be posted. If you miss the 9 am service, it will be posted upon completion for you to view at any point.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning October 18th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch this video: 

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow and every morning.  Join our parishioners 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)

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. 

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.