Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, October 27, 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

Praise the Lord

Praise the LORD from the heavens; *

    praise him in the heights above.

Praise him, all you angels of his; *

    praise him, all his heavenly host.

Praise him, sun and moon; *

    praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest of heavens, *

    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD; *

    for he commanded, and they were created.

He set them in place for ever and ever; *

    he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the LORD from the earth, *

    you great sea-monsters and all ocean depths;

Lightning and hail, snow and fog, *

    tempestuous wind, doing his will;

Mountains and all hills, *

    fruit trees and all cedars;

Wild beasts and all cattle, *

    small creatures and flying birds;

Kings of the earth and all peoples, *

    you princes and all rulers of the world;

Young men and maidens, *

    old and young together.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD, *

    for his Name only is exalted,

    his splendor is over earth and heaven.

Psalm 148:1-13

In this psalm, God is praised for creation by all that God created, from celestial beings to all the world’s rulers and people, including the animate and inanimate (mountains and hills). Praise emanates from the sky and its creations and from the earth and its creations, for God’s splendor is over earth and sky. This psalm echoes part of the story of creation in Genesis but includes exotic meteorological phenomena. A portion of this psalm is included in the Jewish liturgy for returning the Torah to the Ark since the Torah may be seen as representing God. All creation proclaims that God alone is sublime.

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, 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 Peter – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Renk (South Sudan), Daejeon (Korea), Kumi (Uganda)).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Pastoral

Every garden dreams

of being Eden: rose bushes

or wildflowers, it hardly matters

as long as the first hum of bees

remains peaceable and the door

to the grave stays hidden

beneath a swath of grass.

In the cooling afternoon

each flower relaxes

on its pedestal of stem,

and the gardener too dreams,

under a tree weighted

each fall with apples.

Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light

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 Tomorrow– 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.

All Souls Remembrance – St. Stephen’s will remember in a special way the departed. On Monday, November 2nd, we will post a slideshow of the names of the departed. We invite you to share this time of remembrance with us by emailing office@st-stephens.church the names of friends and loved ones who have died. Names received by Thursday, October 29th will be included in the slideshow.

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 only partially open due to the current pandemic.  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 new office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

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.