Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
You have made me for yourself, O Lord, so that I might rejoice forever in the immensity of your glory. When shall I be worthy of that glory? When shall I praise you as I ought? I offer you, my Creator, all my desires and hopes; give me your blessing so that I may put them into practice, through Jesus Christ your Son who shed his blood for me on the cross.
– Francis de Sales, 1622
Francis de Sales was converted as a young man when he became convinced by Augustine teaching on predestination, supported by Aquinas and emphasized by the Calvinists he met, and felt certain to be damned. However, kneeling in a church in Paris, he heard Christ say, ‘I do not call myself the one who condemn, my name is Jesus.’ Francis became a priest, worked on the shores of Lake Geneva, and eventually was made Catholic Bishop of Calvinist Geneva.
Francis wrote two spiritual classics: The Introduction to the Devout Life and The Treatise on the Love of God. The importance of these is that they teach that holiness is possible for people living ordinary lives. He taught a form of meditation which makes use of the imagination. Salesian spirituality recommends the selection of a Bible passage, and after careful preparation, use of all the senses to imagine that you are physically present at the scene. The intellect is used to work out the application of the passage to the present day, and the will serves to make resolutions of practical response. The meditation is followed by a time of quiet to allow it to sink in.
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Bo – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).
For all who have died: Irene, David, Frances, George, Howard, Hazel, William, Marjorie, Mary, Fred, Peter.
For one another.
Something to share
Today I’m flying low and I’m
not saying a word.
I’m letting all the voodoos of ambition sleep.
The worl goes on as it must,
the bees in the garden rumbling a little,
the fish leaping, the gnats getting eaten.
And so forth.
But I’m taking the day off.
Quiet as a feather.
I hardly move though really I’m traveling
a terrific distance.
Stillness. One of the doors
into the temple.
– Mary Oliver
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 April 18th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link:
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 for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org).
For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – 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!
This Sunday’s Readings:
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 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 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 and transition.
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,
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.