Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Second Sunday after the Epiphany
The Collect for the Day
Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 1:43-51:
Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
The Gospel of the Lord
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, Earl and Ivan.
For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
For 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.
For 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.
For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Dennie, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Anglican Church of Australia.
For all who have died: Donald, Arnette, Frances L., Pierre, Emilie, Jesse, Gladys.
For one another.
Something to share
Our God is Coming
We don’t know what Nathanael saw that night
under his fig tree in the dark winter’s skies.
Was it a dream like Jacob had on his flight?
A vision of angels soaring up to the heights
carrying with them his prayers and tears,
bringing back God’s assuring promise of light
and protection which put an end to his fears?
Or did the Messiah appear to Nathanael,
as he once did to the young Prophet Daniel
who saw the Son of Man coming as Ruler of nations?
At the end of all time from heaven he’ll descend
as Savior and Judge from the Father’s right hand,
Offering all mankind God’s new-born creation:
Pure oceans, fresh air, and in spring-bloom the world;
in fire all hearts then cleansed from transgressions.
Look at that star over Bethlehem:
It seems to announce the place of his birth,
As Balaam foresaw in the Hebrew story:
The Magi set out from the ends of the earth,
to worship the King, precious presents they bring.
In vain did they seek him in palaces’ wealth.
They found him at last in a cold, dripping cave
on his mother’s lap while angels would sing
of peace to all people and to God alone glory.
No witness we have of that reverie
which only Nathanael himself could know.
But so far he kept it in tight secrecy
hiding this vision from his fellows below.
Now here comes this Rabbi from Nazareth,
a small unknown city of dubious fame.
The Messiah this man cannot possibly be,
as some of his followers boldly proclaim.
But his eyes pierce deep into my innermost heart:
All my doubts, my desires he seems to see
He must be the Messiah, the Son of God.Mother Maria-Thomas
A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.
– St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787
News and Updates
For the rector’s homily & service information click here.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – this 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: email@example.com).
For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask that conforms to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted, and not a bandana/gator/scarf). Also, social distancing (6 feet apart) MUST be maintained. Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!
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/.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com.
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!
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.