Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 28, 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, we thank you for the glorious company of the apostles,

and especially on this day for Simon and Jude; and we pray

that, as they were faithful and zealous in their mission, so we

may with ardent devotion make known the love and mercy of

our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with

you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer, p. 245

Today is the Feast of St. Simon and St. Jude

Saints Simon and Jude, two of the twelve Apostles, are among the least well-known of the Apostles. Apart from their names in the Gospel, there is very little we know about them.

Simon is called the Canaanite or the Zealot, probably to distinguish him from Simon Peter. Jude is mentioned in Luke’s and John’s Gospels, as well as in the Acts of the Apostles. He is commonly identified with Thaddaeus in the other Gospels, in which Jude is not mentioned. Some scholars believe he was a relative of Jesus.

Many traditions surround these two virtually unknown saints. One tradition holds that Simon was the bridegroom at the wedding feast in Cana, while Jude acquired the reputation as the ‘patron of hopeless causes’. The origin of this devotion is said to be that no one would pray to him because his name was so like that of the traitor Judas Iscariot. Only people who had tried every other option would in desperation turn to him! Another tradition says that Jude joined up with Simon to preach the Gospel in Persia, where they both died a martyr’s death.

St Simon is the patron of curriers, sawyers, and tanners. St Jude is the patron of the impossible.

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, 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 Eunice and Samuel – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Rhode Island (The Episcopal Church), Dallas (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Something to share

By all your saints still striving

By all your saints still striving,

for all your saints at rest,

your holy name, O Jesus,

forevermore be blest!

You rose, our King victorious,

that they might wear the crown

and ever shine in splendor

reflected from your throne.

Praise, Lord, for your apostles,

Saint Simon and Saint Jude.

One love, one hope, impelled them

to tread the way, renewed.

May we with zeal as earnest

the faith of Christ maintain,

be bound in love together,

and life eternal gain.

Then let us praise the Father

and worship God the Son

and sing to God the Spirit,

eternal Three in One,

till all the ransomed number

who stand before the throne

ascribe all power and glory

and praise to God alone.

Hymnal 1982, #232; Horatio Bolton Nelson

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 on our website.

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.