Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, January 31, 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!

Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time

The Collect for the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 1:21-28:

Jesus and his disciples went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in their synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept on asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching—with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey him.” At once his fame began to spread throughout the surrounding region of Galilee.

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:  Janet, Laurie, 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:  Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Hebert, Scott and Christine – today is their baptismal anniversary!

For Mary & Harvey and Bruce & Jane – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil.

For all who have died:  Edwin, Lee, Olive, Helen, Edna.

For one another.

Something to share

Blessed Jesus, at thy word

Blessed Jesus, at thy word 

we are gathered all to hear thee; 

let our hearts and souls be stirred 

now to seek and love and fear thee; 

by thy teachings pure and holy, 

drawn from earth to love thee solely. 

All our knowledge, sense, and sight 

lie in deepest darkness shrouded, 

till thy Spirit breaks our night 

with the beams of truth unclouded; 

thou alone to God canst win us; 

thou must work all good within us. 

Glorious Lord, thyself impart! 

Light of Light, from God proceeding, 

open thou our ears and heart, 

help us by thy Spirit’s pleading. 

Hear the cry thy Church upraises; 

hear and bless our prayers and praises. 

Hymnal 1982, #440; Tobias Clausnitzer; tr. Catherine Winkworth

News and Updates 

This Morning’s Readings:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1z154pBL2SQ3Xbat6tFRKD9WYhnDU_ZRk/view?usp=sharing

For today’s homily and service information click here.

Episcopal Relief & Development 2020 Disaster Response – 2020 brought us a global pandemic, ravaging fires and an extremely active hurricane season in the US. The Episcopal Church rose to the occasion and saw opportunities to reach people on the margins.  Episcopal Relief & Development partnered with Episcopal dioceses around the country to address food insecurity, provide PPE and other supplies in their communities, leveraging existing assets like gardens, kitchens and relationships with local organizations.  Together, we restocked church food pantries, provided mental-health first aid training and ensured safe and secure housing for displaced families. 

Diocesan disaster response and recovery partnerships in 2020:
East Carolina, Mississippi, Central Florida, Eastern Oregon, Tennessee, Missouri, Arizona, South Dakota, Tennessee, Louisiana, San Diego, Ohio, Western Louisiana, Southern Virginia, Indianapolis, West Texas, Texas, El Camino Real, California, Northern California, Oregon, Massachusetts, Spokane, Olympia, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Navajoland, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands and North Carolina.

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.