Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, January 7, 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

For our Country

Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our

heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove

ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will.

Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and

pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion;

from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. Defend

our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes

brought hither out of many kindreds and tongues. Endue

with the spirit of wisdom those to whom in thy Name we entrust

the authority of government, that there may be justice and

peace at home, and that, through obedience to thy law, we

may show forth thy praise among the nations of the earth.

In the time of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness,

and in the day of trouble, suffer not our trust in thee to fail;

all which we ask through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer, p. 820

In response to the events that took place yesterday in Washington, D.C.  and as we begin our ordinary time after Epiphany, let us pray for our nation, remembering the words from the Gospel of John:

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. (John 1:5)

May Almighty God guard, preserve, bless and keep the United States of America.

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, 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 Robert and Dennie – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Abyei – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Northern Bahr el Ghazal Province).

For all who have died:  Dawn, Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

O God, Our Help in Ages Past

Our God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Our shelter from the stormy blast,

And our eternal home.

Under the shadow of Thy throne

Thy saints have dwelt secure;

Sufficient is Thine arm alone,

And our defense is sure.

Before the hills in order stood,

Or earth received her frame,

From everlasting Thou art God,

To endless years the same.

A thousand ages in Thy sight

Are like an evening gone;

Short as the watch that ends the night

Before the rising sun.

Time, like an ever rolling stream,

Bears all our years away;

They fly, forgotten, as a dream

Dies at the opening day.

Our God, our help in ages past,

Our hope for years to come,

Be Thou our guide while life shall last,

And our eternal home.

Hymnal 1982, #680; Isaac Watts

News and Updates

Vaccination Distribution – Schenectady County has recently been informed that Phase IB of the COVID-19 Vaccination distribution will include people 75 years of age and older. This phase could start as early as the second week in January.

If you are 75 years of age or older aare interested in receiving the vaccine you will need to provide the following information:  Name, Address, Telephone Number, Date of Birth, and Email address.  Registering for the vaccine is online. If you know of someone who might be interested, but who does not own computer equipment, perhaps you can assist them. At the time of the vaccination clinic, there will be a weblink that will need to be accessed.

Contact:  Cathryn Bern-Smith at Cathryn.Bern-Smith@schenectadycounty.com;Phone:  518.382-8481 x 9-313 (Please note new Extension #); Fax:        518.382-0194

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.