Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Settle down into the silence. Close your eyes.
Speak the name of God that rises to your lips.
Jesus, Mother, Abba, Yahweh, Father, God, Spirit, simply let it be what it is.
Imagine God calling you by your name.
And hear God say to you, as Jesus said to the blind man who called out to him,
What do you want me to do for you?
And answer honestly.“A Prayer For When You Don’t Even Know What You Want” by Sarah Bessey
Sarah Bessey is the bestselling author of the books Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God. This prayer is from her newest book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, which gathers together prayers and reflections from a number of women spiritual and religious leaders. Bessey is also a conference organizer, having co-founded the Evolving Faith gathering, which particularly brings together those who have found themselves as “the misfits, the wanderers, the curious, the questioning, the spiritual refugees” in their connection to Christianity. Bessey also co-hosts a podcast of the same name.
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 Arizona – The Episcopal Church The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary (VIII (8) Province).
For all who have died: Helen.
For one another.
Something to share
Why worry about the loaves and fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.Mary Oliver
News and Updates
Episcopal Relief & Development – “Semper Gumby” Is the Motto for the Rosebud Episcopal Mission to the Sioux – “Semper Gumby,” a mix of Latin and nod to the clay animation cartoon character, a phrase used regularly by the Rosebud Episcopal Mission, means “always flexible.” Each day, their COVID-19 response team faces failing infrastructure and a lack of medical supplies which cause a range of need. It is with great heart that they assess needs and deliver supplies over a widespread area in coordination with the Sioux Tribe health representatives and the community chairman. By working with an established point person, they are able to maintain the privacy of individuals making requests for aid, asking for anything from eggs to pencils and crayons to entertaining out-of-school children. “I received a call from one of our elders, to whom we normally supply firewood through our #FirewoodfortheElders program. I thought she was calling for firewood, because it had been very cold the night before (38 degrees),” said the Rev. Dr. Lauren Stanley, who leads the efforts. “Instead, she was calling simply to say, ‘Thank you’ for helping her get supplies. She said she was beginning to get desperate for bleach and other cleaning supplies, because of her own health, and the health of her grandchildren, whom she is raising. That call alone made all the miles worth it.”
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.
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 Becky for 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.