Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Now of this dying man, that dies in Christ…his soul shall go forth, not as one that gave over his house, but as one that travelled to see and learn better architecture….Those that sleep in Jesus Christ will God fetch out of the dust, but declare that they have been in his hands ever since they departed out of this world. They shall awake as Jacob did, and say as Jacob said, Surely the Lord is in this place, and this is no other but the house of God, and the gate of heaven, and into that gate they shall enter, and in that house they shall dwell, where there shall be no cloud nor sun, no darkness nor dazzling, but one equal light, no noise nor silence, but one equal music, no fears nor hopes, but one equal possession, no foes nor friends, but an equal communion and identity, no ends nor beginnings, but one equal eternity. Keep us Lord so awake in the duties of our callings, that we may thus sleep in thy peace, and wake in thy glory, and change that infallibility which thou affordest us here, to an actual and undeterminable possession of that kingdom which thy Son our Saviour Christ Jesus hath purchased for us, with the inestimable price of his incorruptible blood. Amen.
– John Donne
John Donne, who lived from 1572 to 1631, is regarded as a major English poet. Donne also served as an Anglican priest and during his lifetime was renowned for his preaching. His longest church service was given to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London where he attracted large crowds. Prior to entering ordained ministry, Donne studied law and had a political career that ended after he secretly married his employer’s niece. Donne was raised in a Roman Catholic family. The above quote is taken from the end of a sermon John Donne preached at Whitehall, the residence of English monarchs from 1530 to 1698, on February 29, 1627. John Donne’s feast day is March. 31st – in the midst of Holy Week! – so we take time to recognize him today instead.
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, Warren, Steve.
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 Badagry – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Lagos Province).
For all who have died: Lucy, Gertrude, Edmund, Frieda.
For one another.
Something to share
A Hymn to Christ, at the Author’s Last Going into Germany
IN what torn ship so ever I embark,
That ship shall be my emblem of Thy ark ;
What sea soever swallow me, that flood
Shall be to me an emblem of Thy blood ;
Though Thou with clouds of anger do disguise
Thy face, yet through that mask I know those eyes,
Which, though they turn away sometimes,
They never will despise.
I sacrifice this island unto Thee,
And all whom I love there, and who loved me ;
When I have put our seas ‘twixt them and me,
Put thou Thy seas betwixt my sins and Thee.
As the tree’s sap doth seek the root below
In winter, in my winter now I go,
Where none but Thee, the eternal root
Of true love, I may know.
Nor Thou nor Thy religion dost control
The amorousness of an harmonious soul ;
But Thou wouldst have that love Thyself ; as Thou
Art jealous, Lord, so I am jealous now ;
Thou lovest not, till from loving more Thou free
My soul ; Who ever gives, takes liberty ;
Oh, if Thou carest not whom I love,
Alas ! Thou lovest not me.
Seal then this bill of my divorce to all,
On whom those fainter beams of love did fall ;
Marry those loves, which in youth scatter’d be
On fame, wit, hopes—false mistresses—to Thee.
Churches are best for prayer, that have least light ;
To see God only, I go out of sight ;
And to escape stormy days, I choose
An everlasting night.
– John Donne
News and Updates
Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow 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 tomorrow morning March 21st 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, tomorrow 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 – tomorrow 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: email@example.com).
This Sunday’s Readings: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1j96DkvSYdAMs0kr7gGkJc7v-QfnO_Jnz/view?usp=sharing
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com.
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!
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.