Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, April 28, 2021

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 – 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.

Today’s Prayer

Accept the springs of my tears,

As you who disperse the waters of the sea From the clouds.

Bow down to the sighs of my heart,

As you bent the heavens, by your inapprehensible incarnation.

I kiss your purest feet and wipe them with my own tresses.

I kiss your feet whose tread Eve heard in Paradise

Where, frightened, she hid herself in fear.

Who can count the multitude of my sin and the depths of your judgment?

Wherefore, O my Saviour and the Redeemer of my soul

Do not turn away from your handmaiden, as your mercy is boundless.

        –  Kassia the Nun, from “Hymn for Holy Wednesday,” translated by Anne M. Silvas

Kassia, also known as Kassiani, was a Byzantine hymn writer and poet who lived from 810 to 865. She was also the founder and abbess of a convent. Her hymns are sometimes still used in Eastern Orthodox churches today. According to some writings, when she was a young woman, Kassia was forced to participate in a “bride show” that the then-emperor Theophilos used to choose who to marry. Reportedly, he said to her as he observed her beauty, “Through a woman came forth the baser things,” in reference to Eve, to which Kassia replied, “And through a woman came forth the better things,” referencing Mary’s role in the Incarnation – wounding the emperor’s pride and ending any possibility of their marriage.

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, 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 Brechin – The Scottish Episcopal Church.

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

For one another.

Something to share

Brief Eden

For part of one strange year we lived

in a small house at the edge of a wood.

No neighbors, which suited us. Nobody

to ask questions. Except

for the one big question we went on

asking ourselves.

                        That spring

myriads of birds stopped over

briefly. Birds we’d never seen before, drawn

to our leafy quiet and our brook and because,

as we later learned, the place lay beneath

a flyway. Flocks appeared overnight—birds

brilliant or dull, with sharp beaks

or crossed bills, birds small

and enormous, all of them pausing

to gorge at the feeder, to rest their wings,

and disappear. Each flock seemed surer than we

of a destination. By the time we’d watched them

wing north in spring, then make

an anxious autumn return,

we too had pulled it together and we too moved

into what seemed to be our lives.

         –Lois Beebe Hayna

News and Updates  

Schenectady CROP Hunger Walk Virtual Kick Off – This 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 on our website.

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.