Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 7, 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

Oh Spirit!

In the very first stanza of Genesis in the very first book of the Bible, it is recounted that you hovered over the waters of chaos and, over time, brought forth a new creation.

As the Coronavirus spreads chaos and fear across our world, breathe over these waters of chaos and bring forth something new.

Oh Spirit!

Open our eyes that we might see anew the intricate web of relationships that make us one creation. …Open our ears that we might hear your wee small voice within this chaotic time.

Oh Spirit!

Open our hands, unclench them when we tighten up in anxiety and worry…

Open our hands that we may find a way to support, create, endure when we feel alone.

Oh Spirit!

Breathe over our waters of chaos and call forth a new creation. Call us to be alive in our connection with each other….Let us know our oneness in you.

Let this moment be a new beginning where we live in you with insight, generosity and compassion.

Please, make of us a new creation in this time of chaos.

Oh Spirit!

–         Sister Simone Campbell

Sister Simone Campbell is most known for having served as the executive director of NETWORK, a Catholic social justice lobby organizing around issues of economic justice, health care, care for the environment, and immigration, among others. She recently retired from this position. Before working with NETWORK, Campbell was the executive director of an interfaith organization in California dedicated to policy issues related to poverty. She is a member of the Sisters of Social Service.  The above prayer is an excerpt of a prayer written last year, earlier in the pandemic. 

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 all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Bukavu – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.

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

For one another.

Something to share

Bad News, Again

after the June 2015 Charleston AME church shooting

after Mary Oliver

There are so many reasons

to stay inside, to lock the room

around my heart. I don’t even like it.

My heart. Bitter little fruit.

Little lead stone, carnation

blooming from a Sunday dress.

What does the world mean

if you can’t trust it to go on?

 …

 Listen: birdsong (whippoorwill

maybe) broken by the wail

of a woman prowling barefoot

down the street.

 …

 Sometimes, before light breaks

I lace my shoes & race outside.

I try to touch everything—

my neighbor’s rusty wind

chime, the fallen trees. My soles

drum the concrete, hands strum

each metal fence.

 …

 Listen: hasn’t my body felt

like the body of smoke

before?

 …

 One morning, on the corner

a girl, still in plaits, crowned

with butterflies, a field that sang

with every motion of her head.

Where was her mother

at this hour? I don’t know.

But she looked at me

like a child. She spun

her head. She laughed

& laughed at my awful music

& I thought Oh. Yes.

This is the world

with me in it. It is

beautiful. It is.

      – Cameron Awkward-Rich

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/

Reminders

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