Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 21, 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

As a needle turns to the north when it is touched by a magnet, so it is fitting, O Lord, that I your servant, should turn to love and praise and serve you; seeing that out of love to me you were willing to endure such grievous pangs and sufferings.

Raymond Lull, 1315

Mystic, philosopher, and Doctor Illuminatus “Enlightened Doctor,” Raymond Lull was a native of Majorca, Spain. He received a post in the court of King James I of Aragon and was wed and had two children. At about the age of thirty, he underwent a personal conversion through a vision of Christ crucified, and he joined the Third Order of St. Francis. Convinced that his mission was to convert the Muslims, he studied Arabic and Islamic philosophy and journeyed to North Africa and Asia Minor. However, he failed to win the support of the Holy See and the crowns of Christendom. Nevertheless, to further his knowledge and to gather the approval of the Church and kingdoms, he traveled extensively to Italy, France, Germany, and England and studied ceaselessly. His chief work was Ars Magna “the Great Art,” comprising the treatises Liber de Ascensu de Descensu Intellectus “The Book of the Ascent and Descent of the Intellect,” and Arber Scientiae “The Tree of Knowledge.” While he had received little training in Scholastic theology, he proved a brilliant theologian, while demonstrating also a genius in such other fields as alchemy, chemistry, poetry, and philosophy. Raymond was also a profound mystic and is considered a predecessor of Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross.

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, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Laura Fronk – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Rajasthan (North India), Cueibet (South Sudan).

For all who have died:  especially Marilyn, Winifred, Norman, Sidney.

For one another.

Something to share

What It Looks Like To Us and the Words We Use by

All these great barns out here in the outskirts,

black creosote boards knee-deep in the bluegrass.

They look so beautifully abandoned, even in use.

You say they look like arks after the sea’s

dried up, I say they look like pirate ships,

and I think of that walk in the valley where

J said, You don’t believe in God? And I said,

No. I believe in this connection we all have

to nature, to each other, to the universe.

And she said, Yeah, God. And how we stood there,

low beasts among the white oaks, Spanish moss,

and spider webs, obsidian shards stuck in our pockets,

woodpecker flurry, and I refused to call it so.

So instead, we looked up at the unruly sky,

its clouds in simple animal shapes we could name

though we knew they were really just clouds—

disorderly, and marvelous, and ours.

       –  Ada Limón

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 and Updates

Interfaith Pre-Election Vigil – No matter our politics, we all know this year’s presidential election has been perhaps the most divisive in our lifetimes. Fears of violence and disputed results abound and sometimes, even the closest of families and communities have been fractured by political differences. That’s why Schenectady Clergy Against Hate are calling all members of our local faith communities, as well as all those of goodwill, to join us for a multi-faith and non-partisan evening of lamenting divisions, praying for nation and sharing word of hope. All interested can either join us “in the room” on Zoom or watch on Facebook at 

www.facebook.com/clergyagainsthate

Our new office email is: office@st-stephens.church.  All church mail should be directed here.

Messenger articles are due.  Please send anything to Bethany, our Administrative Assistant at: office@st-stephens.church.

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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 and Church School Ingatherings 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.