Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, November 30, 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

Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew

that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and

brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by

your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to

bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and

for ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 237

Today is the Feast of St. Andrew 

Most biographical notes on this Apostle begin “Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother,” and he is so described in the Gospels. Identifying Andrew as Peter’s brother makes it easy to know who he is, but it also makes it easy to overlook the fact of Andrew’s own role in the company of Christ. In John’s Gospel, Andrew is first a disciple of  John the Baptist, who with another disciple decided to follow Jesus, after John pointed him out, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). After this, Andrew’s first act was to find his brother and bring him to Jesus. In this sense, Andrew is the first missionary in the company of disciples.

Andrew is recorded in all lists of the Apostles. In Matthew’s Gospel, Andrew and Peter are fishermen who immediately leave their nets when Jesus calls them. Andrew is also the one who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude.

There is little information regarding Andrew’s life and ministry after the Gospels. Eusebius, the Church historian, records his going to Scythia, but there is no reliable information about the end of his life. Tradition has it that he was fastened to an X-shaped cross and suffered death at the hands of angry pagans.

Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen, rope makers, textile workers, singers, and miners. He is also the patron saint to several countries and cities including Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania.

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:   Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Budd, Cheryl, Marissa, Melanie, Kathy, Joe, Debbie T, Donald.

For those who are homebound: 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, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Mark, Carole Merrill,  Stephen, Travis, Liz  – WOW!  today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Sekondi (West Africa), Eastern Michigan (The Episcopal Church).

For all who have died:  especially Bertha, Irene.

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 Andrew,

the first to follow you;

he witnessed to his brother,

“This is Messiah true.”

You called him from his fishing

upon Lake Galilee;

he rose to meet your challenge,

“Leave all and follow me.”

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

News and Updates

The Stewardship campaign is well underway. Please read these materials carefully and prayerfully reflect on your contribution. If you have not received the mailing, 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.  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 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.