Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

Lord, you know better than I myself

that I am growing older and will someday be old.

Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking

I must say something on every subject and on every occasion.

Release me from craving to

straighten out everybody’s affairs.

Make me thoughtful but not moody;

helpful but not bossy.

With my vast store of wisdom,

it seems a pity not to use it all;

but you know, Lord,

that I want a few friends at the end.

Keep my mind free from the recital of endless details;

give me wings to get to the point.

Seal my lips on my aches and pains;

they are increasing, and love of rehearsing them

is becoming sweeter as the years go by.

I dare not ask for improved memory,

but for a growing humility and a lessening cock-sureness

when my memory seems to clash with the memories of others.

Teach me the glorious lesson that occasionally I may be mistaken.

Keep me reasonably sweet, for a sour old person

is one of the crowning works of the devil.

Give me the ability to see good things in unexpected places

and talents in unexpected people;

and give, O Lord, the grace to tell them so. Amen.

          – Teresa of Avila, 1582

Teresa of Avila is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on October 15th and has been granted the title “Doctor of the Church” in the Catholic tradition, a designation for saints who have made major contributions to theology. Teresa, born in 1515 in Spain, initially joined a Carmelite convent before establishing a reformed Carmelite order. Teresa founded 17 convents. Her writings, including The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, are considered influential texts in Christian spirituality and mysticism.

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 perpetrated 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:  Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steve, Susan, Ann .

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; 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, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Cindi – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Biharamulo – The Anglican Church of Tanzania.

For all who have died:   Irene, David,  Frances, George, Howard, Hazel, William, Marjorie, Mary, Fred, Peter. 

For one another.

Something to share

Late Ripeness

Not soon, as late as the approach of my ninetieth year,   

I felt a door opening in me and I entered   

the clarity of early morning.   

One after another my former lives were departing,   

like ships, together with their sorrow.   

And the countries, cities, gardens, the bays of seas   

assigned to my brush came closer,   

ready now to be described better than they were before.   

I was not separated from people,   

grief and pity joined us.   

We forget—I kept saying—that we are all children of the King.   

For where we come from there is no division   

into Yes and No, into is, was, and will be.   

We were miserable, we used no more than a hundredth part   

of the gift we received for our long journey.   

Moments from yesterday and from centuries ago—   

a sword blow, the painting of eyelashes before a mirror   

of polished metal, a lethal musket shot, a caravel   

staving its hull against a reef—they dwell in us,   

waiting for a fulfillment.   

I knew, always, that I would be a worker in the vineyard,   

as are all men and women living at the same time,   

whether they are aware of it or not.

Czeslaw Milosz

News and Updates 

Interfaith Earth Day Mitzvah – Sunday April 25th at Vale Cemetery –  On Sunday afternoon, April 25th, join Schenectady Clergy Against Hate, Schenectady Community Ministries, (SiCM) and Nemeton of the Ways for an afternoon of interfaith service both honoring our ancestors and caring for creation by helping clean up the Historic Vale Cemetery! Building off the long tradition of an event organized by Nemeton of the Ways, faith communities from across greater Schenectady will work together to build unity, learn more about one another and give back to their community. The event will begin with a brief blessing at 1:00pm at the Green Burial section. Please come prepared with work gloves, yard tools, face masks and be willing to practice good social distancing.

Schenectady CROP Hunger Walk Virtual Kick Off – Sunday, May 2, 2021  – Come Join us for the 2021 Crop Walk When: Sunday, May 2 @ 10:15 am Where: Meet in the St. Stephen’s parking lot What: A 30 minute walk (about 1 ½ – 2 mile) Why: To raise money and awareness for the thirsty and hungry in our community and world. To Register for our team or To Donate: https://events.crophungerwalk.org/2021/team/st-stephens-schenectady

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 weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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 or 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 and transition.

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,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.