Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, February 24, 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 God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful

servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that

your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always

be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through

Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the

unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. 

Book of Common Prayer, p. 239

Today is the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle

According to Acts of the Apostles, Matthias was the disciple who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot after Judas betrayed Jesus. Acts reveals that Matthias accompanied Jesus and the apostles from the time of the Lord’s baptism to his ascension and that, when it became time to replace Judas, the apostles cast lots between Mattias and another candidate, Joseph Barsabbas. Early Christian writers attest that Matthias was among the 72 disciples paired off and dispatched by Jesus. Soon after his election, Matthias received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. He is not mentioned again in the New Testament.

It is generally believed that Matthias ministered in Judaea and then carried out missions to foreign places. Greek tradition holds that he Christianized Cappadocia, a mountainous district now in central Turkey, later journeying to the region about the Caspian Sea, where he was martyred by crucifixion and, according to legends, dismembered. His symbol, related to his alleged martyrdom, is either a cross or a halberd. St. Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, reputedly transported Matthias’ relics from Jerusalem to Rome.

Matthias is the patron saint of carpenters, tailors, people who need hope and perseverance as they struggle with any kind of addiction (to alcohol or something else), and caregivers of addicted people.

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:  June, Ruth, David, Gerry, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Zee, Gerald.

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 Trawick, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Argyll & The Isles – The Scottish Episcopal Church.

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Saint Matthias

I am Matthias; I am he who covers

The cloudy opening of the uttermost prison,

Where on went down – and is not re-arisen,-

Out of the Twelve who were the Lord Christ’s lovers,

About my name upon this day there hovers

A rumour of despair and desolation;

And even the Holy City’s glad salvation

Sighs for the memory of its exciled rovers.

I am Matthias, yea, and am another,

Installed within the bishopric of my brother;

I who am his oblivion am his fame.

I am the dream, upon your strife attending,

That all things, bound to a most perfect ending,

Shall be made one by Christ’s invincible Name.

Charles Walter Stansby Williams

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development – In the United States, the ERD US Disaster team is now supporting emergency assistance through the Episcopal dioceses of Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Olympia and Tennessee and the Episcopal Church in Navajoland (ECN).  ECN serves communities in the four corners of the Navajo reservation located in three states – New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. These communities are often rural and 32% of the residents live below the poverty line.  In May, the Navajo Nation had the highest rate of COVID-19 per capita in the United States.  From mid-November until mid-January, the seven-day average of new cases was greater than the peak of the first wave in May. Families lost income due to illness, quarantines, government restrictions and lack of available jobs, complicating pre-existing financial burdens.  ECN is distributing food boxes and gas cards and providing assistance with utilities to help meet these vulnerable communities’ needs.

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.