Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, February 27, 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

 How should I praise thee, Lord! how should my rhymes

           Gladly engrave thy love in steel,

           If what my soul doth feel sometimes,

                       My soul might ever feel!

Although there were some forth heav’ns, or more,

           Sometimes I peer above them all;

           Sometimes I hardly reach a score,

                       Sometimes to hell I fall.

O rack me not to such a vast extent;

           Those distances belong to thee:

           The world’s too little for thy tent,

                       A grave too big for me.

Wilt thou meet arms with man, that thou dost stretch

           A crumb of dust from heav’n to hell?

           Will great God measure with a wretch?

                       Shall he thy stature spell?

O let me, when thy roof my soul hath hid,

           O let me roost and nestle there:

           Then of a sinner thou art rid,

                       And I of hope and fear.

Yet take thy way; for sure thy way is best:

           Stretch or contract me thy poor debtor:

           This is but tuning of my breast,

                       To make the music better.

Whether I fly with angels, fall with dust,

           Thy hands made both, and I am there:

Thy power and love, my love and trust

                       Make one place ev’ry where.

“The Temper (I)” by George Herbert

Today the Episcopal Church commemorates George Herbert, a notable 17th-century poet and Anglican priest. Prior to his ordination, he served as the Public Orator at Trinity College, Cambridge. He only had one collection of his poems published during his life, with the rest being published after his death. In addition to his poetry, he is also known for his text A Priest to the Temple or The Country Parson, a prose reflection on the call to priesthood. Herbert was only able to spend three years of his life as a priest, dying at age 39. During those years, he was responsible for two small churches near Salisbury, England. 

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, 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 Armagh – The Church of Ireland (Armagh Province.

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Affliction (5)

                       My God, I read this day,

That planted Paradise was not so firm,

As was and is thy floating Ark; whose stay

And anchor thou art only, to confirm

           And strengthen it in ev’ry age,

           When waves do rise, and tempests rage.

                       At first we lived in pleasure;

Thine own delights thou didst to us impart:

When we grew wanton, thou didst use displeasure

To make us thine: yet that we might not part,

           As we at first did board with thee,

           Now thou wouldst taste our misery.

                       There is but joy and grief;

If either will convert us, we are thine:

Some Angels used the first; if our relief

Take up the second, then thy double line

           And sev’ral baits in either kind

           Furnish thy table to thy mind.

                       Affliction then is ours;

We are the trees, whom shaking fastens more,

While blust’ring winds destroy the wanton bow’rs,

And ruffle all their curious knots and store.

           My God, so temper joy and woe,

           That thy bright beams may tame thy bow.

George Herbert

News and Updates 

COVID-19 Vaccine Available – Schenectady County is informing residents who live in zip codes 12304, 12305, 12307 and 12308, and are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they can sign up for a vaccination appointment at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, 195 Washington Avenue, Albany 12210.  Appointments can be scheduled starting at 8am on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Eligible residents can schedule an appointment through New York State’s ‘Am I Eligible’ website, https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/, or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829. After the first week of open scheduling, appointments will open up to all eligible residents in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. The site will begin vaccinating eligible residents on March 3. 

Episcopal Relief & Development – Episcopal Relief and Development in Angola

While the children played behind her, we asked Adela a question, “What has changed for you since COVID-19?”

“We do not have a case of COVID-19 here in Kifuata or in Songo, the district capital yet, but we are trying our best to take all the precautions,” said Adela, pointing to her home-made mask.

“When the Anglican church helped us build these wells and encouraged us to set up handwashing facilities in our homes, it was to prevent diarrhea diseases and keep our children free from disease. But now see, we are safe from COVID-19. Other communities are now trying to do what we began three years ago.”

Kifuata is one of 81 communities in the northern Angolan province of Uige. Episcopal Relief and Development has partnered with the Anglican Church of Angola, in the province, to scale up a water, sanitation, and hygiene project called Maza yi Moyo. The project, which began in 2016, supported 126 improved water sources serving a population of over 42,000 people.

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.

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning February 28th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video: 

For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask that conforms to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted, and not a bandana/gator/scarf). Also, social distancing (6 feet apart) MUST be maintained.  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning and every morning.  Join our parishioners 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).

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 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.