Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, October 26, 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

O God of Love,

Look kindly upon the flame that is my soul.

Though it glows like a tiny sapphire,

Barely visible in the dark,

It contains the life of light.

It is precious to me,

For in this infant flame I know you dwell;

And as you choose to dwell in me,

So also must I be precious in your sight.

In your patience, Lord, never allow this flame,

    however small, to be extinguished.

Let me nurture it in stillness,

Giving it ample room to breathe;

And grant me patience as I watch and feel it grow,

Slowly, imperceptibly,

Into the Light of Life.  Amen.

Wendy Lyons, Candle Prayer

This prayer is included in the book Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, and Celebrated, compiled by the Episcopal Church’s Council of Women’s Ministries and published in the year 2000. The book includes prayers from women across the Episcopal Church. Its intention was to provide a space for “Episcopal women speaking authentically with one another and with the church at large” and “sharing the richness and diversity of their spirituality.”

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:  Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane, Bruce, Pauline, John, Audrey, Bill, Stephanie, Hank, Nancy.

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:  Remo (Nigeria), Cyprus and the Gulf (Jerusalem & Middle East), Kumasi (West Africa).

For all who have died:  especially August, Helen, Earl.

For one another.

Something to share

On the Existence of the Soul

How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,  

As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,   

To particular places solely for its own sake?  

Haven’t I set it down before the variegated canyon   

And the undeviating bald salt dome?   

Don’t I feed it on ivory calcium and ruffled   

Shell bellies, shore boulders, on the sight   

Of the petrel motionless over the sea, its splayed   

Feet hanging? Don’t I make sure it apprehends   

The invisibly fine spray more than once?

I have seen that it takes in every detail

I can manage concerning the garden wall and its borders.

I have listed for it the comings and goings

Of one hundred species of insects explicitly described.

I have named the chartreuse stripe

And the fimbriated antenna, the bulbed thorax   

And the multiple eye. I have sketched

The brilliant wings of the trumpet vine and invented

New vocabularies describing the interchanges between rocks   

And their crevices, between the holly lip   

And its concept of itself.

And if not for its sake, why would I go

Out into the night alone and stare deliberately   

Straight up into 15 billion years ago and more?

I have cherished it. I have named it.   

By my own solicitations   

I have proof of its presence.

Pattiann Rogers

A Season of Prayer: For a  Civil 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

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 Becky Holder for the link:   becky.holder@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 informationhttps://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.