Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, December 10, 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, when we, Thy children, are apprehensive about the affairs of our world, remind us that Thou are in Thy world as well as above and beyond it. Remind us that Thou are not indifferent. Four Thou art not a spectator God, high and lifted up, serene and unperturbed. The feet that were wounded are still walking the trails of the earth. The heart that was broken on the tree still feels every human woe.

Thus shall we not feel forsaken, nor give way to hopelessness…Sustain us with that hope and encouragement, that our prayer may not be in vain when we pray “Thy Kingdom come.” Come it will, however dark may be the present prospects for peace on earth… 

Peter Marshall, 1949

Rev. Peter Marshall, who lived from 1902 to 1949 and immigrated from the U.S. to Scotland at the age of 25, was a Presbyterian minister most known for serving as chaplain to the U.S. Senate. He also served as pastor of New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. After Peter’s death at the young age of 46, his wife Catherine Wood wrote a biography about him titled A Man Called Peter, which then was turned into a movie of the same name; the film was both a commercial success and Oscar-nominated. Wood also published a number of sermons and prayers after his 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:   Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, Joan, Justin, Michael Curry, William Daniel, Gary, Carmeen, Joe.

For those who are homebound: Joan Halstead, Janet Schlansker and Marilyn Causey.

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 Claudia – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Singapore (South East Asia). Egbu (Nigeria), Egypt (Jerusalem & Middle East).

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

For one another.

Advent Meditation

Brightener of Darkness, You created the sun to illumine the day and

Hung the moon to reflect its radiance in the night sky.  Help us

To remember your light in times of darkness, so that we may be light

For one another.  We ask this through the One who came to bring

Light to the world.  Amen. 

           ~Center for Prayer and Pilgrimage

Something to share

O Sapienta

I cannot think unless I have been thought,

Nor can I speak unless I have been spoken.

I cannot teach except as I am taught,

Or break the bread except as I am broken.

O Mind behind the mind through which I seek,

O Light within the light by which I see,

O Word beneath the words with which I speak,

O founding, unfound Wisdom, finding me,

O sounding Song whose depth is sounding me,

O Memory of time, reminding me,

My Ground of Being, always grounding me,

My Maker’s Bounding Line, defining me,

Come, hidden Wisdom, come with all you bring,

Come to me now, disguised as everything.

               –  Malcolm Guite

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 for today, 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 contact  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 other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice on our website.

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.