Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, March 17, 2021

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

May the strength of God pilot us,

May the power of God preserve us,

May the wisdom of God instruct us,

May the hand of God protect us,

May the way of God direct us,

May the shield of God defend us,

May the host of God guard us against the snares of evil

and the temptations of the world. 

Patrick, 461

Patrick was born into a Christian family somewhere on the northwest coast of Britain in about 390. When he was a teenager, he was kidnapped by Irish slave-raiders and was a slave in Ireland for a number of years. Years later he escaped, returned to Britain, was ordained, and eventually decided to return to Ireland, his place of suffering and enslavement in order to evangelize the people. Patrick was never formally canonized. Nevertheless, he is venerated in the Roman Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Lutheran Churches, and in the Eastern Orthodox Church as equal-to-the-apostles and Enlightener of Ireland.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

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, and for those administering the vaccination, 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:  Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Zee.

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:  Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Awka – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Niger Province).

For all who have died:  Lucy, Gertrude, Edmund, Frieda.

For one another.

Something to share

God is the Fracture

I used to need to know

the end of every story

but these days I only

need the start to get me going.

God is the crack

where the story begins

We are the crack

where the story gets interesting

We are the choice of

where to begin

the person going out?

the stranger coming in?

God is the fracture

and the craic in your voice

God is the story

flavoured with choice

God is the pillar of salt

full of pity

accusing God

for the sulphorous city.

God is the woman who bleeds

and who touches

We are the story

of courage or blushes.

God is the story

of whatever works

God is the twist at the end

and the quirks

We are the start

and we are the centre

we’re the characters

narrators, inventors.

God is the bit

that we can’t explain

maybe the healing

maybe the pain.

We are the bit

that God can’t explain

maybe the harmony

maybe the strain.

God is the plot

and we are the writers

the story of winners

and the story of fighters

the story of love

and the story of rupture

the story of stories

the story without structure.

Pádraig Ó Tuama

News and Updates

Episcopal Relief & Development (ER&D) in the Philippines –        Episcopal Relief & Development partners with E-CARE (the Episcopal Community Action for Renewal and Empowerment Foundation) in the Philippines to implement community-based programs.  All E-CARE programs assist community groups to identify available assets and resources that can be used as building blocks of development.  Participating communities pay forward project funding they receive so that other communities can benefit.

To support ER&D’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 Holder 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.