– icon by Mark Bayer
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Guard me, O Lord, by the power of Thy holy and life-giving Cross, and keep me from all evil.
– John of Damascene, 749
John spent most of his life in the Monastery of Saint Sabas near Jerusalem, and all of his life under Muslim rule, indeed protected by it. He was born in Damascus, received a classical and theological education, and followed his father in a government position under the Arabs. After a few years, he resigned and went to the Monastery of Saint Sabas.
He is famous in three areas:
First, he is known for his writings against the iconoclasts, who opposed the veneration of images. Paradoxically, it was the Eastern Christian emperor Leo who forbade the practice, and it was because John lived in Muslim territory that his enemies could not silence him.
Second, he is famous for his treatise, Exposition of the Orthodox Faith, a summary of the Greek Fathers, of which he became the last.
Third, he is known as a poet, one of the two greatest of the Eastern Church, the other being Romanus the Melodist. His devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary and his sermons on her feasts are well known.
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 Brazzaville – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.
For all who have died: Margaret, Caroline, Jeanette, George, Clinton.
For one another.
Something to share
Canon for Easter Day
αναστάσεως ἡμέρα. (Resurrection Day)
’Tis the Day of Resurrection:
Earth! tell it out abroad!
The Passover of gladness!
The Passover of God!
From Death to Life Eternal,
From this world to the sky,
Our Christ hath brought us over,
With hymns of victory.
Our hearts be pure from evil,
That we may see aright
The Lord in rays eternal
And, listening to His accents,
May hear, so calm and plain,
His own—All Hail!—and hearing,
May raise the victor strain!
Now let the Heav’ns be joyful!
Let earth her song begin!
Let the round world keep triumph,
And all that is therein:
Invisible and visible
Their notes let all things blend,—
For Christ the Lord hath risen,—
Our joy that hath no end.John of Damascene
News and Updates
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
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com.
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