Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, December 2, 2020

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Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning (evening!) Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, lead us in thine own way, and the end will be rest.

We know nothing of the way ourselves,

except that it is often long and weary,

and much trying to every failing power;

but thou knowest the road—all of it;

it is not one mile too long.

Lead thou us, and we shall be safe;

carry us when we are weary,

and give us rest according to thine own will

and the measure of our need.

Joseph Parker, 1902

Joseph Parker was a nineteenth century Congregational minister in England. Parker became widely known for his gifts as a preacher, his extemporaneous style setting him apart from many other preachers at the time. A number of collections of sermons and reflections by Parker were published throughout his life, as well as autobiographical works reflecting on his life in ministry.

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:   Janet, Marilyn, Joan, Bridget, Marissa, Zeta, Paul, Karen, Kevin, Ruth, Claudia, Britney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Andrew .

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet, June 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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Seychelles (Indian Ocean), Eastern Oregon (The Episcopal Church).

For all who have died:  Bertha, Irene, Raymond, Rudolph.

For one another.

Advent Meditation

In our secret yearnings

we wait for your coming,

and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.
And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes,
to the edge of our finger tips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case and make all things new.
Amen.

     Walter Brueggemann from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

Something to share

Flower in the Crannied Wall

Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies;–

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,

Little flower–but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,

I should know what God and man is.

Alfred Tennyson

News and Updates

Share a Christmas Picture –  Since Christmas is going to look very different this year from most Christmas’ past, many of us may not get a chance to see each other.   We want to find a way to stay connected with one another and “see” each other, in some capacity, at the holidays.  If you would like to participate please send a picture and a brief description (including name(s)) of one of the following:

·        Yourself or your family getting ready for Christmas  

·       A special decoration that you’ve put up 

·       A Christmas tradition 

·       Any other creative ideas preparing for Christmas

Pictures and descriptions can be sent to Office@St-Stephens.Church and should be received by 12/13.

Please remember to send in your pledge card! 

Miranda Rand wrote:

Free: All Saints Cathedral Poetry Course (approx. $110 value) held via zoom once a month. The program is based on W.B. Yeats poem: The Age of Anxiety. Future dates are: December 12, January 9, February 20, and March 13. It is being taught by Evan Craig Reardon, who leads poetry workshops at the Cathedral. The book: W.H. Auden: Collected Poems is part of the package. Please email Miranda Rand (mirandarandr411@gmail.com) to arrange for hand-off of the book and so the cathedral knows who is taking my place. 

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/. 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.