Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, February 22, 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

O God, who makes all things new,

new stars, new dust, new life;

take my heart,

every hardened edge and measured beat,

and create something new in me.

I need your newness, God,

the rough parts of me made smooth;

the stagnant, stirred;

the stuck, freed;

the unkind, forgiven.

And then, by the power of your Spirit,

I need to be turned toward Love again. Amen.       

Pamela C. Hawkins

Pamela Hawkins is a United Methodist minister who has served in a variety of contexts. She has pastored local churches, worked as Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Ministry at Duke Divinity School, and edited the journal Weavings, a publication on Christian spirituality. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary on Christian Spirituality. Hawkins is also the author of a number of books. This prayer is from her book The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent.

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.

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

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Argentina – The Anglican Church of South America.

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Richey Woodzell remembered this prayer from the 1981 edition of More-With-Less Cookbook  by Doris Janzen Longacre:  Thanks Richey.

O, God

               We’ve wasted

                                we’ve complained

                                                we’ve grumbled.

               We’ve misused our resources

               We’ve confused

                                our needs

                                                with our wants.

                For these sins

                                Father, forgive us.

                Help us

                                reset our priorities

                                                according to Your will.

Amen.

Norma Johnson, Lobatse, Botswana

Dawn Revisited

Imagine you wake up

with a second chance: The blue jay

hawks his pretty wares

and the oak still stands, spreading

glorious shade. If you don’t look back,

the future never happens.

How good to rise in sunlight,

in the prodigal smell of biscuits –

eggs and sausage on the grill.

The whole sky is yours

to write on, blown open

to a blank page. Come on,

shake a leg! You’ll never know

who’s down there, frying those eggs,

if you don’t get up and see.     

Rita Dove

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development continues to support new emergency responses to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and around the world.  The organization had partnered with local churches and other institutions in 45 countries to raise health and safety awareness and to meet tangible needs by supplying food, personal protective equipment, utility and direct assistance to marginalized individuals and families.

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

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.