Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, December 4, 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 wonder of wonders! When I think of the union of my soul with you, O God! You make my soul flow out of herself in joyful ecstasy, for nothing but you can content her. A spring of divine love surges over my soul, sweeping her out of herself into you, O God, her original source.

Meister Eckhart, 1329

Eckhart was a Dominican, born near Erfurt in Germany, who became a professor at Paris and then Cologne. He was a supporter of the Beguines, the new women’s movement. He told the peasants that they were all aristocrats because God had made them so beautiful, and he criticized the merchant mentality of Cologne. His was a creation-centered theology; he combined cosmic mysticism with a prophetic concern for social justice. He taught a fourfold path on the approach to God: 1. The Via Positiva: for Eckhart, prayer begins with our joy in the creation around us. 2. The Via Negativa: this is a question of Letting Go and Letting Be; Eckhart is not much interested in self-discipline and self-denial. 3. The Via Creativa: ‘What does God do all day long?’ asked Eckhart, and replied, ‘God gives birth.’ So we must be creative in our prayer, and share the results of our meditation with others. 4. The Via Transformativa: building the new creation by way of compassion and social justice.

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 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:   Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Donald K., Craig, Donald, Maureen, Joseph, Tom, June.

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: Tom, Budd, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Jean – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Shinyanga (Tanzania), Eau Claire (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Advent Meditation

Creator God,

We praise you for your love in coming to us,

unworthy though we are.

Give us grace to accept the Christ who

comes in your name,

and the courage to be Christ for others.

New Zealand Prayer Book

Something to share

He Told Me A Joke

My Lord told me a joke.

And seeing Him laugh has done more for me

than any scripture I will

ever read.

Meister Eckhart 

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.

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 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.