Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, February 17, 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 Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, you hate nothing you have

made and forgive the sins of all who are penitent: Create and

make in us new and contrite hearts, that we, worthily

lamenting our sins and acknowledging our wretchedness,

may obtain of you, the God of all mercy, perfect remission

and forgiveness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives

and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever

and ever. Amen.   

Book of Common Prayer, p. 217

Today is Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, which is a 40-day season (not counting Sundays) that leads to Easter Sunday. The season is meant to emphasize repentance, fasting, reflection, and ultimately celebration. The 40-day period represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and where Satan tempted him. Lent is a season in which the Church provides Christians with the opportunity for similar fasting, marking an intentional season of focus on Christ’s life, ministry, death, and resurrection.

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, Gerry.

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 Antananarivo – The Church of the Province of the Indian Ocean.

For all who have died:  Elizabeth,  Charlotte, Judith,  Joan, Kay.

For one another.

Something to share

Ash Wednesday

If Spring comes not again before I go,

And I should miss the cherry and the bright

Blossoming crab, their foam of pink and white

Feathering over grass new-green below,

And see no more forsythia’s golden glow –

Sunshine reflecting in the dappled light –

That fills the eye with new-discovered sight

And turns to rainbow that last patch of snow;

Still I shall have my Lent and know there comes

(With rising throb, as of approaching drums

Saluting, as of distant beating wings

Stirring the air with glad rememberings

Of joy and sorrow shared along the way)

The final victory of Easter Day.

Nancy S J Lowell

News and Updates 

For Ash Wednesday Liturgy and Homily click here.

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.

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.