Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, February 8, 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

I am definitively loved and whatever happens to me—I am awaited by this Love. And so my life is good.

Josephine Margaret Bakhita

The Episcopal Church recognizes the feast day of Josephine Margaret Bakhita today, on February 8th. Bakhita is a canonized saint in the Roman Catholic tradition and is considered the patron saint of Sudan. Born in 1869, her early years were spent in the Darfur region of Sudan before she was kidnapped and enslaved. Josephine Bakhita suffered under slavery for twelve years, in multiple households, eventually ending up in Italy. Bakhita temporarily stayed with the religious order, the Canossian Sisters, while still enslaved; this was at the arrangement of a family that was away on business. When the family returned, Bakhita would not go with them. She was finally declared free by an Italian court after some advocacy from the Sisters and the patriarch of Venice; slavery had been officially illegal in Sudan before Bakhita’s birth and was also illegal in Italy. It was during her time with the Canossian Sisters that Bakhita became committed to Christianity. She was baptized in 1890 and joined the order herself in 1896. She spent the next 50 years living out her calling as a Canossian Sister, functioning as a sacristan, cook, and doorkeeper and making meaningful connections with the local community. The world began to take notice of her when a biography was published about her life in 1931. Immediately after her death, many began calling for her to be recognized as a saint. 

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 Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie, Kathy, Joe, Debbie T, Donald, Nick, Roberta, Beth.

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 Pat – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Saint Andrews Dunkeld & Dunblane – The Scottish Episcopal Church.

For all who have died:  Alice.

For one another.

Something to share

Dark Testament Verse 8

Hope is a crushed stalk

Between clenched fingers

Hope is a bird’s wing

Broken by a stone.

Hope is a word in a tuneless ditty —

A word whispered with the wind,

A dream of forty acres and a mule,

A cabin of one’s own and a moment to rest,

A name and place for one’s children

And children’s children at last . . .

Hope is a song in a weary throat.

Give me a song of hope

And a world where I can sing it.

Give me a song of faith

And a people to believe in it.

Give me a song of kindliness

And a country where I can live it.

Give me a song of hope and love

And a brown girl’s heart to hear it.

Pauli Murray, first African-American woman to be ordained in the Episcopal Church

Reminder

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.