Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, May 5, 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

A Prayer in Darkness

This much, O heaven—if I should brood or rave,

Pity me not; but let the world be fed,

Yea, in my madness if I strike me dead,

Heed you the grass that grows upon my grave.

If I dare snarl between this sun and sod,

Whimper and clamour, give me grace to own,

In sun and rain and fruit in season shown,

The shining silence of the scorn of God.

Thank God the stars are set beyond my power,

If I must travail in a night of wrath,

Thank God my tears will never vex a moth,

Nor any curse of mine cut down a flower.

Men say the sun was darkened: yet I had

Thought it beat brightly, even on—Calvary:

And He that hung upon the Torturing Tree

Heard all the crickets singing, and was glad

        – G.K. Chesterton, 1936

Gilbert Keith Chesterton was an English writer, philosopher, lay theologian, and literary and art critic. His vast output of writing includes poetry, essays, novels, stories, reviews and journalism. Throughout his life Chesterton was one of the most colorful and loved personalities of literary England. To his intellectual gifts he added gaiety, wit, and warm humanity that endeared him even to his antagonists. He died on June 14, 1936.

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:  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 Belachew – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Buhiga – The Anglican Church of Burundi.

For all who have died:    Nancy, Anne, Katherine, Richard, Taylor, Alice, Shirley. 

For one another.

Something to share

Touched By An Angel

We, unaccustomed to courage

exiles from delight

live coiled in shells of loneliness

until love leaves its high holy temple

and comes into our sight

to liberate us into life.

Love arrives

and in its train come ecstasies

old memories of pleasure

ancient histories of pain.

Yet if we are bold,

love strikes away the chains of fear

from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity

In the flush of love’s light

we dare be brave

And suddenly we see

that love costs all we are

and will ever be.

Yet it is only love

which sets us free.

Maya Angelou

News and Updates

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of West Texas as it provides COVID-safe humanitarian assistance, such as transportation, food and medical care, to people seeking asylum in south Texas.

Please consider a donation to Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Response Fund to support the organization’s continued assistance to vulnerable communities impacted by disasters, both natural and human-made.

 www.episcopalrelief.org/what-you-can-do/give/donate-now/individual-donation/

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.