Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, January 21, 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 Prayers

Glorious Archangel Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the medicine of God, I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities and divisions of this world. I especially ask of you the favor to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit and an instrument of God’s healing grace.

           –  Anonymous

Raphael is one of the three Archangels mentioned in Scripture. His name means God has healed, and in the biblical (apocryphal) book of Tobit, Raphael reveals himself as the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. He is said to be helpful in bringing healing to body and soul, charity and deliverance.

Some Jewish scholars from the Middle Ages believed that Raphael was one of the three angels that appeared to Abraham in Mamre in the Book of Genesis. Some also believe that Raphael was the angel in the Gospel of St. John that stirred the water at the healing pool of Bethesda.

Raphael is the patron of travelers, the blind, happy meetings, nurses, physicians, medical workers, matchmakers, and sailors. The feast of Raphael was once October 24th; it later was transferred to September 29th for celebration together with other archangels, including Michael and Gabriel.

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:  Joseph Biden, President 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 and Tom, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Akoko – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ondo Province).

For all who have died:  Donald, Arnette, Frances L., Pierre, Emilie, Jesse, Gladys.

For one another.

Something to share

On this long storm the Rainbow rose

On this long storm the Rainbow rose—

On this late Morn—the Sun—

The clouds—like listless Elephants—

Horizons—straggled down—

The Birds rose smiling, in their nests—

The gales—indeed—were done—

Alas, how heedless were the eyes—

On whom the summer shone!

The quiet nonchalance of death—

No Daybreak—can bestir—

The slow—Archangel’s syllables

Must awaken her!

Emily Dickinson

News and Updates 

“Souper” Bowl Fund Drive – Super Bowl LV is rapidly approaching (February 7, 2021), and we are once again looking for support of our annual “Souper” Bowl Fund Drive! 100% of the money raised from this drive will be used to help the SiCM Food Pantry feed families throughout Schenectady County. In 2020, the Food Pantry served 300 families a week and served a total of 454,000 meals, indicating the challenge of hunger in the County continues.  SiCM purchases food from the Northeastern Regional Food Bank for $.16 per pound, so monetary donations go a long way toward providing food for those in need.  Click on:

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.