Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Creating God, your divine melodies fill the world. Every creature has a song. The wolf cries in the night, the songbird trills in the morning. You give voice to crickets and frogs, to coyotes, to large cats of the forest and cats of the hearth, to barking dogs and neighing horses, to the sweet song of the lark. You inspire human speech—voices of warning and wisdom, voices of justice, voices of comfort, hope and joy; voices that say, “I love you” when the night is dark and morning far off. Even the trees clap their hands in praise and the winds echo a rich refrain. We thank you for the language of love that unites us with all of creation in one unending song of praise to you. Amen.Anne Rowthorn
Anne Rowthorn is a writer with a focus on the environment and spirituality. This prayer comes from the book God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayer for Creation, a collection compiled by herself and her husband Jeffrey Rowthorn, a retired bishop and professor. Anne has published numerous books, including interfaith collections of ecological prayers as well as Your Daily Life is the Temple, on spirituality, and The Liberation of the Laity, on theology of ministry and the role of laypeople. In addition to being a writer, Rawthorn is also a workshop, retreat, and eco-hike leader and has taught courses at Yale Divinity School and Hartford Seminary. She holds a Ph.D. from New York 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 Ben, Warren, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, June, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Donald K., Craig, Donald, Joseph, Lorraine.
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 Matilda – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of West Ankole – The Church of the Province of Uganda.
For all who have died: Elizabeth, Charlotte, Judith, Joan, Kay.
For one another.
Something to share
why I feed the birdsRichard Vargas
once i saw my grandmother hold out her hand cupping a small offering of seed to one of the wild sparrows that frequented the bird bath she filled with fresh water every day
she stood still maybe stopped breathing while the sparrow looked at her, then the seed then back as if he was judging her character
he jumped into her hand began to eat she smiled
a woman holding a small god
News and Updates
Episcopal Relief & Development – Lent begins this Wednesday, February 17, and you are invited to journey alongside Episcopal Relief & Development for a Lenten experience of healing and growth. I encourage you to take a journey of faith with the 2021 Lenten Meditations by subscribing here, or downloading/printing them here. Meditations are available in both English and Spanish. You can also quickly find the Meditations by going to episcopalrelief.org/lent.
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 Beckfor 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.