Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, April 22, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

 We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

We join with the earth and with each other.

To bring new life to the land

To restore the waters

To refresh the air

We join with the earth and with each other.

To renew the forests

To care for the plants

To protect the creatures

We join with the earth and with each other.

To celebrate the seas

To rejoice in the sunlight

To sing the song of the stars

We join with the earth and with each other.

To recreate the human community

To promote justice and peace

To remember our children

We join with the earth and with each other.

We join together as many and diverse expressions

of one loving mystery: for the healing of the

earth and the renewal of all life.

          –  U.N. Environmental Sabbath Program

In 1990 the United Nations introduced the Environmental Sabbath Program, promoting a three-day period of rest every June for our Mother Earth. The Environmental Sabbath was the brainchild of Dr. Noel J. Brown, then-director of the North American Regional Office of the UN Environment Programme. UNEP published a selection of prayers, stories, meditations and other ideas for celebrating the Environmental Sabbath, including today’s prayer.

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:  Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, John, Stephen.

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

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Bor – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Jonglei Province).

For all who have died:   John, Dorothy, Jennifer, James, Lorraine, George, Ronald, Sarah. 

For one another.

Something to share

The high,

the low

all of creation,

God gives to humankind to use. If this privilege is misused,

God’s Justice permits creation to punish humanity.

Hildegard of Bingen

News and Updates  

Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project – a couple of our members attended the zoom session on asylum seekers sponsorship in March.  The group that is organizing this, Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project (ASSP) will be holding two more sessions for those who missed the earlier ones.  They are tomorrow, April 23 and Sunday, April 25, and the link is asylumsponsorshipproject.org.

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 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.