Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, January 8, 2021

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Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, January 8, 2021

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

Lord Jesus Christ, thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.

Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou Blessed One, with healing in thy wings.

Savior, be born in each of us as we raise our faces to thy face, not knowing fully who we are or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond our knowing and that no other has the power to make us whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though we have forgotten thy name. Come quickly, Amen.

Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and influential writer across a number of genres, publishing over 30 books that include novels, memoirs, and sermon collections. The influence of his work is made clear by the receipt of eight honorary degrees, including from Yale and Virginia Theological Seminary. 

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, the national guard, 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:   Warren, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, June, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Donald K., Craig, Donald, Maureen, Joseph, Lorraine.

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 Madeleine – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Accra – The Church of the Province of West Africa (Ghana Province).

For all who have died:  Dawn, Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

“. . . For Who Can Endure the Day of His Coming?” Malachi 3:2

When an Angel

snapped the old thin threads of speech

with an untimely birth

announcement, slit

the seemly cloth of an even

more blessed event with the

shears of miracle,

invaded the privacy of a dream,

multiplied

to ravage the dark silk of the sky, the

innocent ears

with swords of sound: news in a new dimension demanded

qualification.

The righteous were as vulnerable as others.

they trembled for those strong

antecedent fear nots, whether goat-

herds, virgins, workers in wood or

holy barren priests.

In our nights our

complicated modern dreams rarely

flower into visions. No

contemporary Gabriel

dumbfounds our worship, or burning,

visits our bedrooms. No

sign-post satellite hauls us, earth-bound but

star-struck, half

around the world with hope.

Are our sensibilities

too blunt to be assaulted

with spatial power-plays and far-out

proclamations of peace? Sterile,

skeptics, yet we may be broken

to his slow silent birth

(new-torn, new-

born ourselves at his

beginning new in us).

His bigness may still burst

out self-containment

to tell us—without angels’ mouths—

fear not.

God knows we need to hear it, now

when he may shatter

with his most shocking coming

this proud cracked place

and more if, for longer waiting,

he does not.

Luci Shaw

News and Updates

In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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.