Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, December 3, 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

O Lord and Master of my life, spare me from the spirit of apathy and meddling, of idle chatter and love of power. Instead, grant to me, your servant, the spirit of integrity and humility, of patience and love. Yes, O Lord and God, grant me the grace to be aware of my sins and not to judge others, for you are blessed, now and ever and forever. Amen.  

Ephrem, 373

This prayer is attributed to Ephrem, a saint recognized by the Orthodox and Roman Catholic traditions. Ephrem lived in the 300s in modern-day Turkey. He served as a deacon and is best known for his influential writings, which include over 400 hymns, sermons in the form of poetry, and biblical commentaries. Ephrem also taught, including at the School of Nisibis, which became known as an important center for spiritual and theological education in Eastern Christianity.

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 perpetrated 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:   Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, Joan, Justin, Michael Curry, William Daniel, Gary, Carmeen, Joe, Rabbi Cutler.

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:  Sheffield (England), Eastern Zambia (Central Africa), Easton (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Advent Meditation

Earth

During Advent, as we live anew the unexpectedness of God’s first coming, the EARTH we stand on and the EARTH we’re made of tremble in anticipation of the birth of mercy and justice.  The fig trees teach us lessons about working while we wait, and the darkness of the sun and the moon make us alert to the death of every injustice and the second coming of hope. 

Dillon Green (#AdventWord, a global advent calendar)

Something to share

We Lived Happily during the War

And when they bombed other people’s houses, we

protested

but not enough, we opposed them but not

enough. I was

in my bed, around my bed America

was falling: invisible house by invisible house by invisible house.

I took a chair outside and watched the sun.

In the sixth month

of a disastrous reign in the house of money

in the street of money in the city of money in the country of money,

our great country of money, we (forgive us)

lived happily during the war.  

 Ilya Kaminsky

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.