Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, November 19, 2020

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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

No matter how far the understanding of the soul is able to stretch itself, that is nothing in comparison to what it experiences when it is lifted beyond itself and placed in the bosom of God. Then the soul understands, finds its delight, and rests in the divine goodness; it cannot bring back any report of this, because it is completely beyond what the intelligence can conceive, and beyond words; but in this state the soul swims.

Angela of Foligno, 1309

Angela of Foligno, a saint in the Roman Catholic tradition, lived in the thirteenth century, in what is now Italy. Angela is known as a mystic. She was born to a well-off family, married, and had children. At age 40, she experienced a spiritual awakening through a vision of St. Francis and began to devote herself to her faith. A few years later, her husband and children died. With this, Angela changed her life drastically – joining a Franciscan order as a lay member, and then founding a community of women in that same order to share life together while still being active in service in the world. She wrote down her mystical experiences in the text Book of Visions and Instructions.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For those affected by Hurricane Eta in Central America: 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, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect 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 emeritus 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, Ruth, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Matthew – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Sambalpur (North India), Dunkwa-on-Offin (West Africa), Durgapur (North India).

For all who have died:  especially William and Dorothy.

For one another.

Something to share

Bird Psalm, Evening

Here at this table,

in the evening light,

Bach in my head and ears

and blood,

I am jealous of one white gull

carving the sky with out-stretched wings.

jealous of pigeons nestling by twos

on chimney-stacks of tiled roofs–

I am even jealous of the bee

pacing up and down the pane,

its paper wings

lifting it toward the wall of light.

They all soar up into

great blue light,

They can praise God

with their feet

    Off the ground.

Jen Stewart Fueston

News and Updates

The Stewardship campaign is beginning with the mailing of pledge materials, which you should receive this week. Please read these materials carefully and prayerfully reflect on your contribution. If you do not receive the mailing by the end of this week, please let us know. We need the participation of all members if we are to sustain our ministries, meet unexpected expenditures and continue to provide support for others in our community. You can mail us your pledge or drop it off at the church.  If possible, we hope you can submit your pledge before Thanksgiving. Thank you.

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 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/. Most 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.