Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, January 2, 2021

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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


Take Joy!

I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; .

but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.

No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.

No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.

The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.

And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.

Fra Giovanni, 1515

Today is the ninth day of Christmas. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year; Keep feasting!

Giovanni Giocondo was born in Verona around 1433. He joined the Dominican Order at the age of eighteen and was one of the many of that Order who promulgated the Renaissance. Later, however, he left the Dominicans and entered the Franciscan Order. As a young priest, Fra Giovanni was a learned archaeologist and a superb draughtsman. He visited Rome, sketched its ancient buildings, wrote the story of its great monuments, and recorded, deciphered and explained many defaced inscriptions. He stimulated the revival of classical learning by making transcriptions of ancient manuscripts.

In a letter to Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici, in 1513, Fra Giovanni referred to himself “an old man”. Upon the death of Donato Bramante’s he was made part of a team with Raphael and Giuliano da Sangallo to superintend the erection of the new St. Peter’s Basilica. The work included strengthening the foundations. He died in 1515, while involved with this project.

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

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Aba Ngwa North – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Aba Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

The Lamb Baaed Gently

The lamb baaed gently.

The tender donkey showed its joy

in lusty bray.

The dog barked playfully

almost talking to the stars.

           I could not sleep. I went outdoors

and saw heavenly tracks upon the ground

all flower-decked

like a sky

turned upside down.

           A warm and fragrant mist

hovered over the grove;

the moon was sinking low

in a soft golden west

of divine orbit.

           My breast beat without a pause,

As if my heart had wined . . . 

           I opened wide the stable door to see

if He was there.

                       He was!

 Juan Ramón Jiménez

News and Updates

This Sunday’s Readings:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1iL-RHti47lZJvbyqdr7ikvmO8yOsisPM/view?usp=sharing

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow 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 tomorrow morning January 3rd at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the following video: 

And/or, tomorrow 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.

https://www.youtube.com/user/wncathedral/videos

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow 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. (don’t worry if you can’t make all the classes).  Contact me at james.ross.mcd@gmail.com for the Zoom link.

Fight Hunger Bag – SiCM has been selected to be a part of the Hannaford Helps Reusable Bag Program, which is designed to make it easy for customers to contribute to their local community. For the month of January, each time a $2.50 reusable Fight Hunger Bag is purchased at the Hannaford located at 5239 Western Turnpike in Guilderland, $1 will be donated to SiCM. The Fight Hunger Bags are located on displays around the store and at the checkout. For more information about the program, please visit hannaford.bags4mycause.com.

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 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.