Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, November 20, 2020

image.png

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

In the beginning there are a great many battles and a good deal of suffering for those who are advancing towards God and afterwards, ineffable joy. It is like those who wish to light a fire; at first they are choked by the smoke and cry, and by this means obtain what they seek (as it is said: ‘Our God is a consuming fire’ [Heb. 12.24]): so we also must kindle the divine fire in ourselves through tears and hard work.

Syncletica of Alexandria, 4th century

Syncletia was a Desert Mother of the 4th century, who lived in Egypt. Desert mothers were women living as Christian monastics or hermits and were considered spiritual teachers in their own right, alongside desert fathers. Twenty-eight sayings are attributed to her in the collections of sayings from desert fathers and mothers recorded in the 5th century. Syncletia had been born to a wealthy family, but gave away her inheritance to the poor and moved, with her sister, into a family tomb. She attracted many women followers interested in her wisdom.

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 hurricanes 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:  Charles, Joe, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan, Craig, Stephanie, Joan, Budd, Chris, Theresa, Emily.

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  San Diego (The Episcopal Church), Durham (England).

For all who have died:  especially William and Dorothy.

For one another.

Something to share

The Broken (IV)

I am trying to tell you how I got here;

why I would have thrown away faith

if it was something we held like pens.

But faith is interior as bone;

it is the way I stand

and the way I turn my head.

It cannot be left out –

the day I waved a red banner

and tongues broke like water

from its vase. It cannot be left out –

the rhythm I once played on a djembe drum

that made missing men dance home,

finally, to their sad children. 

Kei Miller

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.

Double Your Generosity This Holiday Season – Sow seeds of resilience this Christmas season with a donation that doubles! Until 12/31, your tax-deductible donation will be matched, dollar for dollar, up to $765,000. Now, you can do even more to spread hope and sow seeds of resilience and lasting change when the world needs it most.

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 informationhttps://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.