Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, February 28, 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!

Second Sunday in Lent

The Collect for the Day

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 8:31-38:

Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

The Gospel of the Lord

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, 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 Liz – today is her birthday!

For Donald – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America.

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

Retro Me, Sathana

Get the behind me. Even as heavy-curled,

  Stooping against the wind a charioteer

  Is snatched from out his chariot by the hair,

So shall Time be; and as the void car, hurled

Abroad by reinless steeds, even so the world:

  Yea, even as chariot-dust upon the air,

  It shall be sought and not found anywhere.

Get thee behind me, Satan. Oft unfurled,

Thy perilous wings can beat and break like lath

  Much mightiness of men to win thee praise.

  Leave these weak feet to tread in narrow ways.

Thou still, upon the broad vine-sheltered path,

Mayst wait the turning phials of wrath

  For certain years, for certain months and days.  

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

           –    St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

News and Updates 

Crop Walk – We will be picking up materials on Thursday, March 4.  Look for details to follow. We are hoping to get the families involved this year again. 

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 – In the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, Episcopal Relief & Development helped to establish a Diocesan Development Office to implement and monitor long-term projects. The activities focus on alleviating chronic poverty by forming savings groups to support small business development.  Group meetings include training on financial literacy and business skills, and the program also builds social cohesion by empowering women to talk about and respond to domestic violence.  The savings group program currently serves approximately 1,400 families, of which 90% are in a state of economic vulnerability.  Additional training for some savings groups includes the formation and production of small family and community gardens that aim to address the food insecurity that many Guatemalans face as well as provide nutrition education to female headed households.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Diocesan Development team maintained contact virtually to offer training and support to existing savings groups, as well as sharing motivational messages.  They also supplied food and sanitation supplies to the neediest of families with the support of an emergency fund provided by Episcopal Relief and Development, reaching 1,260 families across 12 districts in Guatemala.

As a Lenten offering why not support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

For today’s service information and homily click here.

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.