Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Mighty God, Father of all,
Compassionate God, Mother of all,
Bless every person I met,
every face I have Seen,
every voice I have heard,
especially those most dear;
bless every city, town and
street that I have known,
bless every sight I have seen,
every sound I have heard,
every object I have touched.
In some mysterious way these have all fashioned my life:
all that I am,
I have received.
Great God, bless the world.
– John J. Morris, S.J., 2012
John J. Morris, an American Jesuit priest who died in 2012, wrote this prayer before his ordination in 1962. Morris is known for founding the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which provides opportunities for young people to do a year of service and live in community together. (The Episcopal Church has a similar program – the Episcopal Service Corps!) Morris also organized the Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage in 1982 and 1983. The 7,000 mile walk was meant to be a call for peace and nuclear disarmament and involved walking from Washington State to Washington, D.C., flying to Ireland, and then walking from Ireland to Bethlehem, traveling through a total of eleven countries. In an article in Sojourners during the time of the walk, Morris explained their goals this way: “folks left family, wife, children, and jobs for war–and it was taken for granted. We need to go to peace–people need to be willing to leave jobs, families, sweethearts, and dedicate themselves to peace.” In the 90s, Morris worked in Uganda with refugees, and in the early 2000s, served as a parish priest in the state of Oregon.
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: Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, 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, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Rayalaseema (South India), Cuernavaca (Mexico), Curitiba (Brazil).
For all who have died: especially Marilyn, Winifred, Norman, Sidney.
For one another.
Something to share
God is digging in the garden of my soul,
the rich, moist dirt sticking under her fingernails,
turning and blending the soil of my life,
now and then adding the compost
of tossed-out experiences
that I believed were useless.
She seems to understand
that this bed can sustain life,
that the deadened seeds and withered sprouts
will not be all there is.
Like the herb jungle
in my friend Elaine’s backyard,
my soul, under God’s care,
will grow green and wild.
– Rev. Helen C.L. McPeak
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
Bruce Tatge wrote:
For the past ten years we have enjoyed a bird bath with a pump that makes a little fountain. My health is such that I cannot properly care for it and we would like to offer it free to someone in the parish. The pump requires an electrical outlet. For more information, anyone interested can call me on 518-243-6227.
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
Our new office email is: email@example.com.
Messenger articles are due. Please send anything to our Administrative Assistant at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com.
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.
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!
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.