Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, February 3, 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 of winter, God of cold, whose presence we are often told is unobtrusive, almost imperceptible, let me catch a passing glimpse of things to come. Enhance our sometimes anxious wait: the painful passage of fear-filled days, worry- weakened winter dreams, chilled delays…O hidden God, you quite confound us with your presence underground. Frost-bitten faith is wearing thin, looking hard for lasting confirmation of longed-for comings-to-be.

Lightsome God, send us sun – your spirit’s warming breath. Unfreeze us, ease our doubts, free our frozen faith and icy dreams. Teach us once again your mystery sent in season – a rousing encore of life from death. Come swiftly, quickening Lord. Let winter thaw and gift our hearts with spring.

Fr. Michael Moynahan, S.J.

Michael Moynahan is a Jesuit priest serving at a Catholic church in Sacramento, California. Ordained in 1973, he has published many poems, prayers, and meditations over his career, including books such as Orphaned Parables: Meditations for Lent and Once Upon A Miracle: Dramas for Worship and Religious Education. In addition to serving in parishes, he has held academic positions at Santa Clara University and Gonzaga University.

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.

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

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Amazônia – Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil (3 Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Our Lady of Snow Forts

Lady of February, of Frozen Light, of Time Siphoned into Crystalline Brightness

As mother to Mother, thank you

for snow-mortared snow, my children laboring in your winter tabernacle

for packed white bricks—one layer, then three, then six deep—each brick stacked & locked in place

for the sparkling eyes & runny noses of your disciples, the pile of shed shells & wet gloves, thank you

Their breath-steam scarves wrapping rapt faces

How they huddle over an ice-block table, chapped hands cupping sandwiches, plain PB&J that you, Lady of Luminous Grains, change to ambrosia, thank you

for dogs brushing heels that become arctic wolves scouting their hunting grounds

blue jays and finches, fillers-in for buntings, jaegers, terns, thank you

Bless the neighborhood mother you send as scourge to tell off a bully, his wrecking-ball fists

Bless the bully, those fists, let the hoarfrost fall from his eyes that he may behold the fort’s holiness, make of his hands trowels, pulleys

Bless your fervent followers, one more layer, one more brick, working till purple-grey dusk, till dark, till the silver bells of winter stars ring them home

How they wish for canceled school, another day in your paradise of ice—paradice—time enough to roof the igloo

After warm soup and a hot bath, for the benison of ruddy cheeks, your cold-burn kiss pressed to cool linen, thank you

Hopeful, devoted, they’ll dream your snow-pillowed heaven—dream you shaking out your down on our town’s sleepy streets.

Dayna Patterson

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.