Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, March 5, 2021

image.png

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

Jesus said to the lake, “Silence! Be still.” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. — Mark 4:39

God, who quiets storms to a whisper

and hushes the sea’s waves,

quiet the rumbling noises inside me,

smooth the sharp edges of my soul,

and give me peace

in this stormy time. Amen.       

Common Prayer for Children and Families by Jenifer Gamber and Timothy J.S. Seamans

–           

Jenifer Gamber is an Episcopal priest who serves as the Diocese of Washington’s Missioner for the School of Christian Faith and Leadership. Leading the diocese’s School of Christian Faith and Leadership, she helps to offer a variety of learning opportunities. Gamber is also the author of a number of books for young people, such as My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church. Timothy J.S. Seamans is also an Episcopal priest, currently serving as an Associate Chaplain at The Episcopal School of Los Angeles; in addition to being a chaplain, he teaches in the school’s Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy department.

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, Waid, 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 Asante-Mampong – The Church of the Province of West Africa (Ghana Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

In the Middle

of a life that’s as complicated as everyone else’s,

struggling for balance, juggling time.

The mantle clock that was my grandfather’s

has stopped at 9:20; we haven’t had time

to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,

the chimes don’t ring. One day I look out the window,

green summer, the next, the leaves have already fallen,

and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,

our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn

again how to love, between morning’s quick coffee

and evening’s slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,

mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies

twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;

his tail, a metronome, 3/4 time. We’ll never get there,

Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging

us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,

sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh

of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up

in love, running out of time.    

by Barbara Crooker

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. Here is the link: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/COVID19/vaccine.

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.

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qxbF6tS1WBHvN1kh5gZ71A6gItBKVJjH/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.

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.