Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, December 27, 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!

The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, you have poured upon us the new light of your incarnate Word: Grant that this light, enkindled in our hearts, may shine forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 1:1-18:

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it.

There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. He came as a witness to testify to the light, so that all might believe through him. He himself was not the light, but he came to testify to the light. The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.

He was in the world, and the world came into being through him; yet the world did not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God, who were born, not of blood or of the will of the flesh or of the will of man, but of God.

And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.'”) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.

The Gospel of the Lord

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

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, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Ronald – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Pray for Christians in other denominations and the work of the ecumenical movement:

His Holiness Pope Francis, Bishop of Rome

His All Holiness Archbishop Bartholomew of Constantinople, New Rome and Ecumenical Patriarch

The General Secretary of the World Council of Churches

Bishop Ivan M Abrahams, General Secretary World Methodist Council

The Reverend Chris Ferguson, General Secretary of the World Communion of Reformed Churches.

For all who have died:  Anna, Solon, Helen, Lillian, Isabella, Burleigh, Ida.

For one another.

Something to share

Of the Father’s love begotten

Of the Father’s love begotten,

ere the worlds began to be,

he is Alpha and Omega,

he the source, the ending he,

of the things that are, that have been,

and that future years shall see,

evermore and evermore!

O that birth for ever blessèd,

when the Virgin, full of grace,

by the Holy Ghost conceiving,

bore the Savior of our race;

and the Babe, the world’s Redeemer,   

first revealed his sacred face,

evermore and evermore!

Let the heights of heaven, adore him;

angel hosts, his praises sing;     

powers, dominions, bow before him,

and extol our God and King;

let no tongue on earth be silent,

every voice in concert ring,

evermore and evermore!

Christ, to thee with God the Father,       

and, O Holy Ghost, to thee,

hymn and chant and high thanksgiving,

and unwearied praises be;

honor, glory and dominion,

and eternal victory,

evermore and evermore!      

Hymnal 1982, #82; Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius; tr. John Mason Neale

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

              –   St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

News and Updates

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person this morning December 27th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video below: 

And/or, this morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – this morning and every morning.  Join our parishioners 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).

Intro to Old Testament – We all might be spending much more time at home in the first few months of 2021. Why not use that time for a Bible Study?  Announcing a Zoom Bible Study on Wednesday mornings 10:30 – noon, beginning January 6th (don’t worry if you can’t make all the classes).  Contact me at james.ross.mcd@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

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.