Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Jesus, I have tried,
I have tried to be small enough,
I have tried to be shiny,
I have tried to be worthy,
but every time I press myself
with the imprint of someone else’s expectations
it misses the mark
and I am left off-centre.
So here I am, Lord.
A quarter clinking around
in the bottom of the divine washing machine.
A nickel dropped under the car seat,
ground into a gritty floor.
A penny, slipping from a pocket,
rolled into a corner under the bed
where dust mites and bobby pins
are my only fellow believers.
Jesus, I need to see the broom in your hands.
I want to hear you turning over each empty pitcher
and shaking out every neatly folded sheet.
I need to see your belly pressed against the floor
and your dark eyes peering into my own darkness.
You know darkness, Lord.
It doesn’t scare you.
You made it.
Long before your hands were bound in wrinkles and veins,
you crafted night and day, and you are afraid of neither.
But I am lost, and I am afraid….
for every sheep and coin and child
may you pull us close and whisper,
– Rev. Emmy Kegler, “For All The So-Called Lost”
Emmy Kegler is a Lutheran pastor serving a church in Minneapolis and co-leading the Queer Grace community, a LGBTQ+ Christian gathering in the Twin Cities. She is also a writer. Her first book was One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins and details the evolution of her relationship with Scripture as a queer woman. The above prayer is an excerpt of a longer prayer found in the book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, a compilation of prayers by Christian women edited by Sarah Bessey.
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: Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, 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: Eunice, Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For Linda – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Barbados – 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
O Joyes! Infinite sweetness! With what flowres,
And shoots of glory, my soul breakes, and buds!
All the long houres
Of night, and Rest
Through the still shrouds
Of Sleep, and Clouds,
This Dew fell on my breast;
O how it Blouds,
And Spirits all my Earth! Heark! In what rings,
And Hymning Circulations the quick world
Awakes, and sings;
The rising winds,
And falling springs,
Birds, beasts, all things
Adore him in their kinds.
Thus all is hurl’d
In sacred Hymnes, and Order, the great Chime
And Symphony of nature. Prayer is
The world in tune,
And vocall joyes
Whose Eccho is heav’ns blisse.
O let me climbe
When I lye down! The Pious soul by night
Is like a clouded starre, whose beams though said
To shed their light
Under some cloud
Yet are above,
And shine, and move
Beyond that mistie shrowd.
So in my Bed
That Curtain’d grave, like ashes, hide
My lamp, and life, both shall in thee abide.
– Henry Vaughan (original spelling)
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 28th 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 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky Holder for the link: email@example.com).
Palm Sunday Passion Script:
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 or postponed until further notice on our website.
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.