Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, October 24, 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

Jesus, Your ineffable image

Is the star which guides my steps.

Ah, You Know, Your sweet Face

Is for me Heaven on earth.

My love discovers the charms

Of Your Face adorned with tears.

I smile through my own tears

When I contemplate Your sorrows.

Oh! To console You I want

To live unknown on earth!

Your beauty, which You know how to veil,

Discloses for me all its mystery.

I would like to fly away to You!

Your Face is my only homeland.

It’s my Kingdom of love.

It’s my cheerful meadow.

Each day, my sweet sun.

It’s the Lily of the Valley

Whose mysterious perfume

Consoles my exiled soul,

Making it taste the peace of Heaven.

It’s my Rest, my Sweetness,

And my melodious Lyre.

Your Face, O my sweet Savior,

Is the Divine Bouquet of Myrrh

I want to keep on my heart!

Your Face is my only wealth.

I ask for nothing more.

Hiding myself in it unceasingly,

I will resemble You, Jesus.

Leave in me, the Divine Impress

Of your features filled with sweetness,

And soon I’ll become holy.

I shall draw hearts to You.

So that I may gather

A beautiful golden harvest,

Deign to set me aflame

With your adorned mouth,

Give me soon the Eternal kiss!

           – Therese of Lisieux, 1897, Canticle to the Holy Face

Therese, a saint in the Roman Catholic tradition, was a nineteenth century French Carmelite nun. She is often referred to as “The Little Flower.” She had joined a Carmelite community at the age of 15 and died from tuberculosis at age 24. Carmelites are given epithets to their name to symbolize the subject they are especially supposed to contemplate. “Of the child Jesus” was given to her from the start of her time at the convent, but Therese petitioned for “of the Holy Face” to be added as well; the face of Jesus became a guiding focus in her spirituality. Therese is often associated with the phrase “the little way.” While this is not a term that comes up frequently in her own writing, it is representative of an approach to Christian life that embraces simplicity, smallness, and showing love in the little things of life; this is found in her writings, including her well-known autobiography The Story of a Soul.

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, Budd.

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:  Recife (Brazil) The Rt Revd João Cancio Peixoto Cuttack (North India).

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

For one another.

Something to share

I am walking on a worn path. I need not imagine I am blazing a trail. I am barely scratching earth. I need not think my musings are the plans for a world-renowned structure. Through the tracks of birds are small, their wings have given them the gift of flight. Ants work with determination and fidelity. Their place on the earth is almost invisible, yet one follows another and others continue to come after and the hungry are fed and the young are nurtured.  

….I sometimes feel I am lost in a crowd; my head barely reaches the heads of others. Yet because I am serving God I am tall. My stature is not a result of pride or ambition. I am stretched by love. God has a wondrous power to move me beyond my physical being. I feel it when I am answering the call of others or when I have climbed through the fences and over the walls that separate me from my own spiritual riches…I no longer need search for the repository of these riches. They are placed in my hands as I serve.

            –  Lucy Germany

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

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before 9am on Sunday the 18th and wait for the live stream to be posted. If you can not watch at 9, it will be posted once the service is completed.

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 the following 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 video below, and it should take you to the service.

    

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning  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 Allison de Kanel for tomorrow’s link: allisondek@aol.com)

Rector’s homily: 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.

Messenger articles are due.  Please send anything to 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.

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 linkjames.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.