Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, March 9, 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

When we walk our neighborhoods, help us pay attention to the birds of the air and to the beauty of the flowers. To the ways the seasons change or don’t, to the ways our neighborhoods change the longer we stay. Let us see the ways people dress in certain times, the smells coming from houses and apartments, the shops and stores, the developments moving in. Help us pay attention to who is thriving and who is not. Who is being invested in, and who has been systematically shut out? Who owns the land? Who gets the deal to develop? Who profits off of progress? Who sends their kids to the local school, and who does not? Who has options? Who is stuck in the middle of surviving?

Let us be troubled in our neighborhoods; let us be troubled in our lives. Help us be grateful for the beauty and help us not accept the inequality that can be found underneath nearly every surface. Let us pay attention to the cruelty of a system that values capital over people. Let us see the ones you love who have been left behind in the race to achieve the American Dream.

God of love, let us rest in the belovedness of our neighbors.

Let us not close our eyes, even — especially — when we want to. Let us notice what is closest to us, let it trouble us until we cannot help but speak out.        

D.L. Mayfield

This prayer is an excerpt from “The Squeaky Wheel: A Litany for Being Close in Proximity to and Advocating on Behalf of One’s Neighbor,” written by D.L. Mayfield and included in the book Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice edited by Britney Winn Lee. Mayfield is a writer based in Portland, Oregon who has also done work with refugees and teaches ESOL (English for Speaker of Other Languages).

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.

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 Jean & Ron – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Athooch – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Jonglei Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Neighbour

Build me a bridge over the stream

to my neighbour’s house

where he is standing in dungarees

in the fresh morning.

O ring of snowdrops

spread wherever you want

and you also blackbird

sing across the fences.

My neighbour, if the rain falls on you,

let it fall on me also

from the same black cloud

that does not recognise gates.

Ian Crichton Smith

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 on our website.

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.