Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
O God, your voice can split the heavens, part the waters, divide night from day. It can flash forth fire, shake the wilderness, thunder over the storm. Yet your word so often heard among us is not in the tempest, but in the silence. Speak to us, O God, and let us listen, that we might detect the whisper of a wing, the rustle of a feather. Listen to us, that we might glimpse the dove and hear the voice that Jesus heard, saying, “You are my beloved; with you I am well pleased.” Speak to us again, O Lord, for when you speak, it is done, and behold, it is very good. Amen.
– Phyllis Cole-Dai and Everett Tilson
Phyllis Cole-Dai is a writer with a Master’s in Theological Studies from Methodist Theological School. She has published books in multiple genres, including historical fiction and poetry. Everett Tilson, who died in 2006, was a founding faculty member of Methodist Theological School who taught Biblical studies. This prayer was originally included in Cole-Dai and Tilson’s book Litanies and Other Prayers for the Revised Common Lectionary: Year B and was re-published in the collection God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayers for Creation compiled by Anne and Jeffrey Rowthorn.
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 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: Eunice, Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For Liz – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For Madison – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Banks & Torres – The Anglican Church of Melanesia.
For all who have died: Glen, Charles, Ward, Virginia, Louise, Theodore, Irwin, Eleanor.
For one another.
Something to share
It helps, now and then, to step back and take the long view.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts,
It is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction
of the magnificent enterprise that is God’s work.
Nothing we do is complete,
Which is another way of saying that
The Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that should be said.
No prayer fully expressed our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the church’s mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
Knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produced effects far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything,
And there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning,
A step along the way,
An opportunity for the Lord’s grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results,
But that is the difference
Between the master builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders,
Ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future that is not our own.
– Archbishop Oscar Arnulfo Romero, 1980
News and Updates
This Sunday’s Readings:
Palm Sunday Passion Script:
Workshop: Using a Labyrinth during a Pandemic – If you are new to the labyrinth, attending this workshop could serve as a great introduction to the labyrinth experience. If you’re already familiar with the labyrinth, join us and re-connect with a community of like-minded souls. It will take place via Zoom this Saturday, March 27th from 10am to noon. For the link, please send a request to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Episcopal Relief & Development in HAITI – Since 2014, Episcopal Relief & Development has provided technical and financial support to a Savings with Education microcredit program, equipping some of Haiti’s most vulnerable women with business skills training, mentoring and life skills to enable them to be successful small business owners.
In addition, Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti in building networks of community volunteers, equipped with knowledge and skills needed to respond effectively to disasters and assist their communities before, during and after a disaster. They have worked to raise awareness about COVID-19 and ways to reduce its spread. The diocese also provided personal protective equipment (PPE) to four communities in Port-au-Prince that have been particularly devastated by COVID-19.
It’s not too late to support Episcopal Relief & Development as a Lenten offering! Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.
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 Holder 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 or 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.