Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, March 8, 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

Great Spirit,

give us hearts to understand;

never to take

from creation’s beauty more than we give;

never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of

           greed;

never to deny to give our hands for the building of

           earth’s beauty;

never to take from her what we cannot use.

Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth’s

music is to create confusion;

that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty;

that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a

           house of stench;

that as we care for her she will care for us. Amen

U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

In 1990 the United Nations introduced the Environmental Sabbath Program, promoting a three-day period of rest every June for our Mother Earth. The Environmental Sabbath was the brainchild of Dr. Noel J. Brown, then-director of the North American Regional Office of the UN Environment Programme. UNEP published a selection of prayers, stories, meditations and other ideas for celebrating the Environmental Sabbath, including today’s prayer.

 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:  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 Thomas – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Athabasca – The Anglican Church of Canada (Rupert’s Land Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Climate Change. . . . And A Girl’s Hope For The Future

Climate change

Is just that…

A change

From one spectrum

To the another

A change….

Affecting every living thing

The atmosphere

The water

The food

The air

Interconnecting

And weaving it’s adverse effects

All around us

This change…

It should not be ignored

It should not be mocked

It should be met head on

Taken seriously

Slyly dissected in order

To mend

To improve

To preserve

To protect

I want to die-

And leave behind

Fresh air, clean water,

Healthy, unspoiled soil

And…green…

So much brilliant green

That it illuminates the sky

And land with a crystallized

Emerald sheen

…Blinding

…Mesmerizing

…Unspoiled

I want this…

Is it just

An unattainable dream…

Or can it be a reality?

If it is a dream

Well then

I hope to ‘change’ it

To be….

Real

Somebody pinch me.

              –  MaryLisa Russo

  

News and Updates

Episcopal Relief & Development – Winter storms and ongoing freezing temperatures knocked out power in much of Texas on February 14.  Without power and heat, many water pipes and water mains froze and burst, leaving people without water and causing damage to their homes. The storms have also interrupted the food supply chain, compounding the challenges for people who lost food due to lack of refrigeration. Food banks have been similarly affected, making it difficult for them to serve vulnerable communities that rely on their services.  People without homes have been especially impacted as sleeping outdoors is extremely dangerous in these conditions but shelter space is already limited due to COVID-19 precautions.

Episcopal Relief & Development has partnered with The Episcopal Diocese of Texas to provide emergency shelter, groceries, gas and serve cooked meals to families in Austin, Waco and the Greater Houston area. Families and individuals who are receiving help were experiencing homelessness, were without power or water and had significant damage done to their homes.

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.

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.