Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Greetings to you, living God.
You are mine before all things.
I am endlessly glad
That I can speak to you without guile.
When my enemies pursue me,
I flee to your arms
Where I can complain about my suffering
While you incline yourself to me.
You well know how you can pluck
The strings of my soul.
Ah, begin at once
That you may be ever blessed.
I am a low-born bride;
And yet you are my lawful husband.
I shall ever rejoice about this.
Remember how well you can caress
The pure soul on your lap
And do it, Lord, to me now,
Even though I am not worthy of you.
Ah, Lord, draw me up to you.
Then I shall be pure and radiant.
– Mechthild of Magdeburg
Mechthild was a thirteenth century mystic who joined a beguine community in Magdeburg – which is in modern-day Germany. Beguines were laywomen who lived in communities similar to monastic ones, but did not take official vows. Little is known about her life before this time. In her time as a beguine, she was greatly influenced by the Dominicans, both through their writings and the support of a Dominican confessor who encouraged her writing. Later in life, she lived with Cisterian nuns. One notable historical detail about Mechthild is that she wrote her mystical writings in German, during a time where such work was almost exclusively written in Latin. For hundreds of years, the work of Mechthild was largely forgotten until it was found and published once more in the 19th century. This prayer is taken from Book V of her mystical text The Flowing Light of the Godhead and is given the heading “17. This is a Greeting, Prayer, and Praise of a Sinner.”
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: Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie, Joe.
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 Joanne – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of the Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands – The Church in the Province of the West Indies.
For all who have died: Glen, Charles, Ward, Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin, Eleanor .
For one another.
Something to share
18. How God Responds to This
**Note: This writing, also from Book V of The Flowing Light of the
Godhead, follows after the prayer “This is a Greeting, Prayer, and
Praise of a Sinner.”
Thus does God answer:
I respond to your greeting with such a heavenly flood:
Were I to give myself to you in all my power
You would not preserve your human life.
You well know I must hold back my might
And hide my splendor
To let you remain in earthly misery
Until my sweetness rises up
To the heights of eternal glory,
And my strings shall play sweetly for you
In tune with the true value of your patient love.
Still, before I begin,
I want to tune my heavenly strings in your soul,
So that you might persevere even longer
For well-born brides and noble knights
Must undergo a long and intensive preparation at great cost.
– Mechthild of Magdeburg
News and Updates
The April Messenger:
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.