Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, April 25, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter

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

The Collect for the Day

O God, whose Son Jesus is the good shepherd of your people: Grant that when we hear his voice we may know him who calls us each by name, and follow where he leads; who, with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 10:11-18:

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand, who is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away—and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. The hired hand runs away because a hired hand does not care for the sheep. I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd. For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it up again. I have received this command from my Father.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

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 Shirley – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For Veronica – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Nippon Sei Ko Kai.

For all who have died:   Margaret, Caroline, Jeanette, George, Clinton. 

For one another.

Something to share

I Am The Door Of The Sheepfold

Not one that’s gently hinged or deftly hung,

Not like the ones you planed at Joseph’s place,

Not like the well-oiled openings that swung

So easily for Pilate’s practiced pace,

Not like the ones that closed in Mary’s face

From house to house in brimming Bethlehem,

Not like the one that no man may assail,

The dreadful curtain, The forbidding veil

That waits your breaking in Jerusalem.

Not one you made but one you have become:

Load-bearing, balancing, a weighted beam

To bridge the gap, to bring us within reach

Of your high pasture. Calling us by name,

You lay your body down across the breach,

Yourself the door that opens into home.

         –  Malcolm Guite

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

        –  St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

News and Updates  

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this 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 this morning April 25th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link:

And/or, this 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 – this 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask, even if you have been fully 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!

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

Today’s full 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.