Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, January 13, 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

I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life I owe you a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word speak of you.

In fact, you have conferred on me this gift of speech, and it can yield no greater return than to be at your service….

In this matter the declaration of my intention is only of limited value. For the rest, I need to pray for the gift of your help and your mercy. As we spread our sails of trusting faith and public avowal before you, fill them with the breath of your Spirit, to drive us on as we begin this course of proclaiming your truth. We have been promised, and he who made the promise is trustworthy: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Yes, in our poverty we will pray for our needs. We will study the sayings of your prophets and apostles with unflagging attention, and knock for admittance wherever the gift of understanding is safely kept. But yours it is, Lord, to grant our petitions, to be present when we seek you and to open when we knock.

So we trust in you to inspire the beginnings of this ambitious venture, to strengthen its progress, and to call us into a partnership in the spirit with the prophets and the apostles

Hilary of Poitiers

The Episcopal Church recognizes today, Jan. 13th, as a feast day for Hilary of Poitiers, a 4th century bishop. This prayer is excerpted from a sermon he gave on the Trinity. He was made bishop of Poitiers (which is in modern-day France) as a young, married man, but ended up in exile for several years under the orders of Emperor Constantinius, likely in part due to conflicts with Arian Christians who had a different theological understanding of Jesus and Jesus’ relationship to the Father. Eventually, Hilary was able to return to his diocese and became an influential voice advocating for the Trinitarian theology that became mainstream in the Western church.   

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

For Lisa – today is her birthday!

 For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of the Horn of Africa – The Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria.

 For all who have died:  Helen, Dave, Richard, George.

For one another.

Something to share

 Now is the Time

Now is the time to know

That all you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider

A lasting truce with yourself and God.

Now is the time to understand

That all your ideas of right and wrong

Were just a child’s training wheels

To be laid aside

When you finally live

With veracity

And love

Hafiz is a divine envoy

Whom the Beloved

Has written a holy message upon.

My dear, please tell me,

Why do you still

 Throw sticks at your heart and God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside

That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for you to compute the impossibility

That there is anything

But Grace.

Now is the season to know

That everything you do is sacred.

Haf

News and Updates 

Massive Food Program Event – the upcoming Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, and Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach Vehicle Extension [CC MOVE] massive food program event will be held in the parking lot of Crosstown Plaza today, January 13. We are hoping you will consider volunteering there – and don’t hesitate to invite a friend, family member or co-worker. The event will be outside, masks required, and plastic gloves will be provided. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8:15 AM. 

Prayers for Our Nation – 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.