Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, May 1, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace

and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being

mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the

Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

            – Book of Common Prayer, p.240

Today is the Feast of St. Philip and St. James

Have you ever tried really hard to make a good impression and say just the right thing, only to embarrass yourself? If you have, St Philip understands. One of the twelve apostles, Philip was present at the Last Supper. Jesus had just explained that he was going to prepare a place for his followers. Thomas interrupted, asking, “Lord, we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?” Jesus answered, “I am the way . . . . If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”

We can almost see what is coming next. Thomas is still uncertain, so Philip tries to make things better by asking, “Lord, show us the Father and we will be satisfied.” In a likely state of frustration Jesus answers, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me?” Philip must have wanted to join Thomas under the cushions at the table.

There are several people in Jesus’ life named James. Today’s James is known as James the Less to distinguish him from James, the son of Zebedee and from James, “the brother of the Lord”. James the Less is known to us from the list of the Twelve, where he is called James the son of Alpheus. He may also be the person referred to in Mark’s Gospel as James the younger who, with his mother Mary and the other women, watched the crucifixion from a distance.

St. Philip is the patron saint of Cape Verde, hatters, pastry chefs, jockeys and riders of horses. St, James the Less is the patron of pharmacists, fullers, hatters, and the dying. 

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 comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  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 a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Janet, Marilyn, Joan, Bridget, Marissa, Zeta, Paul, Karen, Kevin, Ruth, Claudia, Britney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Andrew .

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 Elizabeth – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of British Columbia – The Anglican Church of Canada (BC and Yukon Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

St. Philip And St. James

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted:

but the rich in that he is made low. St. James i. 9. 10.

Dear is the morning gale of spring,

And dear th’ autumnal eve;

But few delights can summer bring

A Poet’s crown to weave.

Her bowers are mute, her fountains dry,

And ever Fancy’s wing

Speed’s from beneath her cloudless sky

To autumn or to spring.

Sweet is the infant’s waking smile,

And sweet the old man’s rest-

But middle age by no fond wile,

No soothing calm is blest.

Still in the world’s hot restless gleam

She plies her weary task,

While vainly for some pleasant dream

Her wandering glances ask.-

O shame upon thee, listless heart,

So sad a sigh to heave,

As if thy SAVIOUR had no part

In thoughts, that make thee grieve.

As if along His lonesome way

He had not borne for thee

Sad languors through the summer day,

Storms on the wintry sea.

Youth’s lightning flash of joy secure

Passed seldom o’er His spright,-

A well of serious thought and pure.

Too deep for earthly light.

No spring was His-no fairy gleam-

For He by trial knew

How cold and bare what mortals dream,

To worlds where all is true.

Then grudge not thou the anguish keen

Which makes thee like thy LORD,

And learn to quit with eye serene

Thy youth’s ideal hoard.

Thy treasured hopes and raptures high-

Unmurmuring let them go,

Nor grieve the bliss should quickly fly

Which CHRIST disdained to know.

Thou shalt have joy in sadness soon;

The pure, calm hope be thine,

Which brightens, like the eastern moon,

As day’s wild lights decline.

Thus souls, by nature pitched too high,

By sufferings plunged too low,

Meet in the Church’s middle sky,

Half way ‘twixt joy and woe,

To practise there the soothing lay

That sorrow best relieves;

Thankful for all God takes away,

Humbled by all He glass.

        –  John Keble

News and Updates 

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before 9am on Sunday the 2nd and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning, May 2nd at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

And/or, tomorrow 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 – tomorrow 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).

Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1-S7lyOW1tLqW3I988_nrL9kMk4uy7jZXqk4kutAcgHw/edit?usp=sharing

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.

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.