Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, March 4, 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

God of the Cosmos, your love reaches beyond space and time. We are astonished by your vast creation- innumerable galaxies surrounded by dark matter, elegant structures and staggering variety, the interplay of matter and energy, the pull of gravity and the speed of light – all showing your wisdom and glory, O God! We are dust and stardust, made in your image. We are part of the creation you are making new. Let our awe increase, like your ever-expending universe, until we find ourselves lost in wonder, love, and praise, through Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. Amen.

–          “Prayer for Wonder and Awe” in Book of Common Worship, PCUSA

The Presybyterian Church (USA) is a denomination that was founded in 1983, merging two other Presbyterian denominations. While the denomination’s Book of Common Worship doesn’t play the same role as the Book of Common Prayer has in the Anglican tradition, it does provide a variety of resources for Presbyterian worship. The most recent edition of the Book of Common Worship was published in 2018.

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:  Waid, Bette, 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, 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 Brynn – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Missionary Diocese of Asaba – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Bendel Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

(Untitled)

Of all that God has shown me

I can speak just the smallest word,

Not more than a honey bee

Takes on his foot

From an overspilling jar.

Mechtild of Magdeburg (13th century)
[translated by Jane Hirshfield]

News and Updates 

Schenectady County 65+ Vaccine Registration – Registration Is Open For Schenectady County Residents 65 Years Of Age And Older For March 7th, 2021 At Rivers Casino. You Will Be Asked To Provide Proof Of Age And Residency Upon Arrival. The Vaccine Being Distributed Is Produced By Pfizer.

Reflections on What Happens After We Die: A Lenten retreat – Using the imaginative examples of science fiction, this retreat is intended to be a theological/philosophical investigation.  It will take place via Zoom on March 6th from 10am to 3pm.  The format will be a ten minute talk on the half hour, with 20 minutes for individual reflection.  Participants should feel free to come and go as schedules allow.  For the link please send a request to: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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.

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

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.