Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
May she therefore rest in peace with her husband, before or after whom she married none; . . . bringing forth the fruit of patience, that she might gain him also for you. And inspire, my Lord God, inspire your servants my brother and sister Christians, and your children my superiors who with voice and heart and writings I serve, that as many of them as read these confessions may remember at your altar Monica, your handmaid, together with Patricius, her husband, through whom I was physically born into this world . . . In this way my mother’s last request to me may, through my confessions more than through my prayers, be abundantly carried out for her through the prayers of many.
– Augustine of Hippo, 430 Confessions 23.37
Today is the feast day for St Monica – mother of the great theologian Augustine.
During his wild youth, when Augustine was praying, ‘Lord make me chaste, but not yet,’ his mother Monica was praying that he might become a Christian. Her prayers were answered and her son became one of the greatest Christian theologians. It is significant that she was made a saint for no other distinction than that she prayed faithfully and patiently, when there seemed little likelihood of her request being granted. In his Confessions, Augustine describes a moving conversation about heaven with his mother by a window in Ostia, the port near Rome. It was a shared mystical experience, and a few days later she died there.
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: 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 Miranda and Bruce – today is their birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of West Buganda – The Church of the Province of Uganda.
For all who have died: Nancy, Anne, Katherine, Richard, Taylor, Alice, Shirley.
For one another.
Something to share
Saint Augustine and Monica
Her weeping kiss – for years, her sorrow flowed
At last into his wilful blood; he owed
To her his after-life of truth and bliss:
And her own joy, what words, what thoughts could paint!
When o’er his soul, with sweet constraining force,
Came Penitence – a fusion from remorse –
And made her boy a glorious Christian saint.
Oh ye, who tend the young through doubtful years
Along the busy path from birth to death,
Parents and friends! forget not in your fears
The secret strength of prayer, the holy breath
That swathes your darlings! think how Austin’s faith
Rose like a star upon his mother’s tears!
– Charles Tennyson Turner
News and Updates
The CROP walk 2021 was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who walked and donated! Our team raised over $2,000 (when our goal was only $500!) which will be used to help secure food and clean water for those in need here in our community (through SiCM), and throughout the world. Part of our team gathered at St. Stephen’s and walked about 2 miles (picking up litter as we went!), and other members of our team joined us in spirit as they walked elsewhere. If you’d like to donate, there’s still time! Click the link below to do so:
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.