Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, December 9, 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

He that is down, needs fear no fall

He that is low, no pride:

He that is humble ever shall

Have God to be his guide.

I am content with what I have,

Little be it or much:

And, Lord, contentment still I crave,

Because thou savest such.

John Bunyan, 1688

John Bunyan was an English writer and Puritan preacher best remembered as the author of the Christian allegory The Pilgrim’s Progress. He became interested in religion after his marriage, attending first the parish church and then joining the Bedford Meeting, a noncomformist group in Bedford, and becoming a preacher. After the restoration of the monarch, when the freedom of nonconformists was curtailed, Bunyan was arrested and spent the next twelve years in jail as he refused to give up preaching. During this time he wrote a spiritual autobiography, Grace Abounding to the Chief Sinners, and began work on The Pilgrim’s Progress, which was not published until some years after his release. The Pilgrim’s Progress became one of the most published books in the English language; 1,300 editions having been printed by 1938, 250 years after the author’s death.

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

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 James –  today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Sialkot (Pakistan), Egba West (Nigeria).

For all who have died:  Albert, George, Fred, Frances, Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

The water that I live in

is full of piranha

and it doesn’t do

to have a bleeding heart

in this locality.

Please God

get me out of this water

or give me a shell

or teeth . . .

Just don’t leave me here

with nothing

but the conviction

that piranha

are all God’s children

too.

Evangeline Paterson, 2000

News and Updates

DOUBLE YOUR GIFTS FOR LIFE: All gifts matched until 12/31. Choose one gift — or even several — from our Gifts for Life catalog today to send on behalf of a friend or family member. Each item comes with a holiday-themed e-card or printed card, so you can tell your loved ones all about the life-changing gifts made in their honor.

Your gift will also have DOUBLE the impact, thanks to a special Year-End Match Challenge!

·         GIFT #1: GOAT  – Give a family a stable source of food and earnings.  $80 FOR 1 GOAT

·         GIFT #2: MICRO-CREDIT LOANS FOR WOMEN  – Give a woman the tools to succeed. $200 FOR 1 MICRO-CREDIT LOAN

·         GIFT #3: COVID-19 RELIEF KIT – Give communities the resources they need to respond to the pandemic. $45 PER KIT

·         GIFT #4: NURTURE & NOURISH THE EARLIEST LEARNERS –  Build a foundation for lifelong health and learning.  $15 FOR EACH CHILD

·      GIFT #5: CLEAN WATER – provide a child with life’s most basic necessity.  $35 PER PERSON

Mass Food Distribution – Volunteers Needed!  Catholic Charities is looking for volunteers to help in the packing and distribution of food items on December 10th at Crosstown Plaza, Watt Street, Schenectady. Masks and gloves will be provided and volunteers can take a box of food items as needed.  Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8:15 AM.  Interested volunteers can RSVP at volunteer@ccrcda.org.

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 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.