Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, April 23, 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

 Almighty God, you commissioned your holy martyr George to bear before the rulers of this world the banner of the cross: Strengthen us in our battles against the great serpent of sin and evil, that we too may attain the crown of eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

           –  Holy Women, Holy Men, p. 339

Today is Feast of St. George, Soldier and Martyr, c. 304; the Patron Saint of our Mother Church in the Stockade.

According to tradition St George was a soldier in the Roman army. His parents were Christians of Greek origin. His father, Gerontius, was a Cappadocian serving in the Roman army. His mother, Polychronia, was a Christian from the city of Lod in Palestine. George was a member of the Praetorian Guard for Roman emperor Diocletian and was sentenced to death for refusing to recant his Christian faith. He became one of the most venerated saints and megalomartyrs in Christianity, and he has been especially venerated as a military saint since the Crusades.

The legend of Saint George and the Dragon was first recorded in the 11th century. The tradition tells that a fierce dragon was causing panic at the city of Silene, Libya, at the time George arrived there. In order to prevent the dragon from devastating people from the city, they gave two sheep each day to the dragon, but when the sheep were not enough they were forced to sacrifice humans instead of the two sheep. The human to be sacrificed was elected by the city’s own people and one time the king’s daughter was chosen to be sacrificed but no one was willing to take her place. George saved the girl by slaying the dragon with a lance. The king was so grateful that he offered him treasures as a reward for saving his daughter’s life, but George refused it and instead he gave these to the poor. The people of the city were so amazed at what they had witnessed that they became Christians and were all baptized.

In the mediaeval romances, the lance with which George slew the dragon was called Ascalon, after the Levantine city of Ashkelon, today in Israel. The name Ascalon was used by Winston Churchill for his personal aircraft during World War II, according to records at Bletchley Park.

Saint George is the patron saint of England, Aragon, Catalonia, Georgia (the country), Lithuania, Palestine, Portugal, Germany, Greece, Moscow, Istanbul, Genoa, Venice, soldiers, archers, cavalry, farmers and field workers, riders and saddlers, and he helps those suffering from leprosy and plague. In recent years he has been adopted as patron saint of Scouts.

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:  Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Skip, Dennis, Sonny .

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 Botswana – The Church of the Province of Central Africa.

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

For one another.

Something to share

The True Dragon

 St George was out walking

He met a dragon on a hill,

It was wise and wonderful

Too glorious to kill

It slept amongst the wild thyme

Where the oxlips and violets grow

Its skin was a luminous fire

That made the English landscape glow

Its tears were England’s crystal rivers

Its breath the mist on England’s moors

Its larder was England’s orchards,

Its house was without doors

St George was in awe of it

It was a thing apart

He hid the sleeping dragon

Inside every English heart

So on this day let’s celebrate

England’s valleys full of light,

The green fire of the landscape

Lakes shivering with delight

Let’s celebrate St George’s Day,

The dragon in repose;

The brilliant lark ascending,

The yew, the oak, the rose

            Brian Patten

News and Updates  

The May Messenger:  

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEOYiAwZstz4LI7DDxqUT-KUpcTcydu3/view?usp=sharing

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 today, 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

This Sunday’s Readings: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1qb-9yix6v2jxRqZ_rilGyTwN_cYU5G58/view?usp=sharing

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.