Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, December 28, 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

Shed upon your Church, O Lord, the brightness of your light,

that we, being illumined by the teaching of your apostle and

evangelist John, may so walk in the light of your truth, that

at length we may attain to the fullness of eternal life; through

Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the

Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 238

Today is the Feast of St. John the Evangelist

transferred from December 27th, and the fourth day of Christmas. 

Merry Christmas

Keep feasting

John was the son of Zebedee, a Galilean fisherman. John and his brother James were among the first disciples called by Jesus. In Mark’s Gospel, he is always mentioned after James, most likely meaning he was the younger brother. His mother was among those women who ministered to the circle of disciples. James and John were called Boanerges, or “sons of thunder,” by Jesus, perhaps because of some character trait such as the zeal exemplified in Mark 9:38 and Luke 9:54, when the brothers wanted to call down fire from heaven to punish the Samaritan towns that did not accept Jesus. John and James, together with Peter, formed an inner nucleus of intimate disciples. In the Fourth Gospel, ascribed by early tradition to John and known formally as The Gospel According to John, the sons of Zebedee are mentioned only once, as being at the shores of the Sea of Tiberias when the risen Lord appeared. Whether the “disciple whom Jesus loved” (who is never named) mentioned in this Gospel is to be identified with John (also not named) is not clear from the text.

John’s authoritative position in the church after the Resurrection is shown by his visit with Peter to Samaria to lay hands on the new converts there. John was also among the leaders to whom Paul successfully submitted his conversion and mission for recognition. Christian writers of the second and third centuries indicate that John lived in Asia Minor in the last decades of the first century and from Ephesus had guided the Churches of that province.

St. John is the patron of art dealers, editors, writers, bookbinders, booksellers, printers, publishers, scholars, scribes, tanners, typesetters, theologians, hospitals and the sick – particularly burn and poison victims, and Turkey.

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:   Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Cheryl, Marissa, Melanie, Kathy, Joe, Debbie T, Donald, Nick, Roberta, Beth.

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 Louise  today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Fond du Lac (The Episcopal Church), Fort Worth (The Episcopal Church).

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

For one another.

Something to share

John

This is the gospel of the primal light,

The first beginning, and the fruitful end,

The soaring glory of an eagle’s flight,

The quiet touch of a beloved friend.

This is the gospel of our transformation,

Water to wine and grain to living bread,

Blindness to sight and sorrow to elation,

And Lazarus himself back from the dead!

This is the gospel of all inner meaning,

The heart of heaven opened to the earth,

A gentle friend on Jesus’ bosom leaning,

And Nicodemus offered a new birth.

No need to search the heavens high above,

Come close with John, and feel the pulse of Love.

Malcolm Guite

News and Updates

Rector’s Sunday homily:

Intro to the 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.