Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, October 29, 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 Allah, I ask You to show me what is best, through Your knowledge, and I ask You to empower me, through Your power, and I beg You to grant me Your tremendous favor, for You have power, while I am without power, and You have knowledge, while I am without knowledge, and You are the One who knows all things unseen. 

The opening to Istikharah an Islamic voluntary prayer

Today is Mawlid as-Nabi – a celebration of the birth of the Prophet Muhammad.

Most denominations of Islam commemorate Muhammad’s birthday (born in 570) with the celebration of Mawlid an Nabi. In most Muslim majority countries, Mawlid is recognized as a national holiday. The celebration of his birthday was initiated by the Fatimads and the Ottomans declared it an official holiday in 1588. The term Mawlid is used in Egypt as the generic term for the birthday celebrations of other historical religious figures.

During the observance many engage in fasting, public processions, religious singing, family and other social gatherings, decoration of streets and homes, and festivals. Many countries celebrate the holiday in a carnival manner with large street processions. Residents and mosques decorate for the occasion. Charity and food is distributed amongst the people and stories about the life of Muhammad are shared. The ultimate goal, for everyone, is to express genuine love for Muhammad.

Today let’s keep our Muslim sisters and brothers in our prayers. May this be a blessed day for them and for all.

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 Edwin  –  today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Rift Valley (Tanzania), Damaturu (Nigeria), Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Perfect Equanimity

Look how a mirror

will reflect with perfect equanimity

all actions

before

it.

There is no act in this world

that will ever cause the mirror to look away.

There is no act in this world that will

ever make the mirror

say “no.”

The mirror, like perfect love, will just keep giving

of itself to all

before

it.

How did the mirror ever get like that, so polite,

so grand, so compassionate?

It watched God.

Yes, the mirror remembers the Beloved

looking into itself as the Beloved shaped existence’s heart

and the mirror’s

soul.

My eye has the nature of God.

Hafiz looks upon all with perfect equanimity,

as do my words,

dear.

My poems will never tell you no,

because the Mirror is

not like

that,

and if God ever hits you with a don’t –

He has His fingers crossed.

He is just fibbing

for your own

good.

Shams-ud-din Muhammad Hafiz

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

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 today, 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.