Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, February 26, 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

When you wake in the morning, don’t open your internet, or read the papers, until you have first said good morning to God. Have a prayer, or a psalm that you say first thing, to greet God, to reaffirm who you are, and why you are. Rediscover joy first thing in the morning: think on what is true, and lovely, and honorable and pure, before you face the world – and Facebook.

Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Brother Geoffrey Tristram is a brother in the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, a monastic community that calls Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts home. The Society of Saint John the Evangelist offers a variety of resources and programming for the wider church, including virtually, which can be found at their website https://www.ssje.org.

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:   Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald.

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 retired 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 Arkansas – The Episcopal Church (VII (7) Province).

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Saint Francis and the Sow

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;   

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch   

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow   

began remembering all down her thick length,   

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,   

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine   

down through the great broken heart

to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering   

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Galway Kinnell

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development – Throughout the global pandemic, many have struggled to stay employed and pay rent.  Like Bee, for example.  Bee is a single mother who came to Indianapolis as a refugee from Somalia.  She lost her job during the pandemic because she needed a significant amount of time off to care for her COVID-sick daughter.  Without a source of income, Bee’s bills started to pile up. Episcopal Relief & Development partnered with the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis to help people like Bee who were affected by the pandemic, immigrants who often don’t have family or support systems nearby.  The programming was led by the Rev. Fatima Yakubu-Madus, a deacon at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis.  The Diocese joined a coalition of ecumenical organizations that work with the immigrant community across Indiana to provide rent assistance and to pay utility bills.  “I saw God in the helpers working together to get people through the pandemic,” says the Rev. Yakubu-Madus, who feels close to ministry because of her own story of coming to the US as a student from Nigeria in her twenties.  “Things we consider little were actually a life-saver for these families.  Keeping them warm and safe in their own places.”  Yakubu-Madus shared that doing this work reminded her of the passage Matthew 25:35 (NRSV), “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” with her adding, “All immigrants need is love and support.”

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.

March Messenger:  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18vd_BGJUmHsykF4l2H3Y2P6hppRYksZjwPRorse3kcU/edit?usp=sharing

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEV7jcO-6glE41L1N6aKVtGz9kM9FyBp/view?usp=sharing

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 Holder 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.