Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, March 7, 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 is the Third Sunday in Lent

The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 2:13-22:

The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of his body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

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:  Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, John, Diana, Caleb.

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:  Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.

For all who have died:  Galina, Mabel, Julia, Edna, Vera, Florence.

For one another.

Something to share

The Cleansing of the Temple: Jn. 2:13-25

Look at “this brave o’erhanging firmament,

This majestic roof fretted with fire.”*

These wild woodlands with their secret,

Sun-shadowed meadows, where the air

Trembles with many-voiced prayers;

These mighty and broad-backed seas

That come ashore in their endless waves,

Bending their hoary foreheads down

To touch the pebbled strands in humble obeisance;

These desert places, broad with silences

Breathless with heat during the days

And wearing their diadems of numberless stars

From horizon to horizon through the nights;

These tropics, their jungle blanketed hills

Exploding with life and vigorous intent;

Are these not the many rooms of my Father’s Temple,

The dwelling places of the infinite Word?

Are they not the very revelation of

That genesis word, that holy Yes,

That spoke all things into being,

That still breathes Being softly into the now?

Is it not present in all places, at all times?

Why, then, do you sully it so?

Hear me now, and again, my children.

I am that Word, and as the scriptures said,

“Zeal for this house will devour me.”

Why have you turned My sanctuaries into dens?

Why do you no longer hear the Yes I whisper

Within and through all of these places, even now?

“Take this filth you have brought here out.

Stop turning my Father’s House

Into a marketplace, filling its sanctuaries

With this feral din of trade and greed.”

Do you not know that I made each of you

A temple, a vessel of My infinite Yes,

That I wish to dwell in you too?

But you have turned yourselves into

Hovels, jests, paeans to your own egos.

Why have you turned so willfully

Toward that foolish one who cried “No”?

Dan Doyle
* Hamlet, Act II, scene II

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  

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this 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 this morning March 7th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

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, this 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 – this 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).

Today’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qxbF6tS1WBHvN1kh5gZ71A6gItBKVJjH/view?usp=sharing

Impeachment display video:

 https://www.washingtonpost.com/video/politics/impeachment-managers-display-first-video-evidence-at-trump-trial/2021/02/09/a5c1d8d7-4f92-495d-9b1e-db6632482b37_video.html (in preparation for today’s sermon)

BLM violence: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PE6NKdXg1yI (in preparation for today’s sermon)

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.