Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Jesus, as a mother you gather your people to you: you are gentle with us like a mother with her children. In your love and tenderness, remake us. Often you weep over our sins and our pride: tenderly you draw us from hatred and judgment. In your love and tenderness, remake us. You comfort us in sorrow and bind up our wounds: in sickness you nurse us and with pure milk you feed us. In your love and tenderness, remake us. Jesus by your dying we are born to new life: by your anguish and labor we come forth in joy. In your love and tenderness, remake us. Despair turns to hope through your sweet goodness: through your gentleness we find comfort in fear. In your love and tenderness, remake us. Your warmth gives life to the dead; your touch makes sinners righteous. In your love and tenderness, remake us. In your compassion bring grace and forgiveness: for beauty of heaven may your love prepare us. In your love and tenderness, remake us.
– Anselm, 1109
Anselm of Canterbury is recognized with a feast day by the Episcopal Church on April 21st. He served as Archbishop of Canterbury – a position still important to Anglicanism! – beginning in 1093. As a theologian, he is notable for articulating what’s come to be known as the “ontological argument” for the existence of God and for explaining Jesus’s work on the cross through the “satisfaction theory.” While much attention may be paid to these contested theological views, Anselm was also a writer of many beautiful prayers that can be appreciated from people of a variety of theological perspectives.
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: Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca.
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 Thomas – today is his baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Byumba – Eglise Anglicane du Rwanda.
For all who have died: Ellen, Elwood, Olive, Marge, George.
For one another.
Something to share
The Instinct of Hope
Is there another world for this frail dust
To warm with life and be itself again?
Something about me daily speaks there must,
And why should instinct nourish hopes in vain?
‘Tis nature’s prophesy that such will be,
And everything seems struggling to explain
The close sealed volume of its mystery.
Time wandering onward keeps its usual pace
As seeming anxious of eternity,
To meet that calm and find a resting place.
E’en the small violet feels a future power
And waits each year renewing blooms to bring,
And surely man is no inferior flower
To die unworthy of a second spring?
– John Clare
News and Update
This Sunday is The Day of Pentecost! If you plan to attend church, please wear something red to commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit “in tongues of flame”. Listen carefully as the gospel is read in many different languages! If you would like to read the Gospel in a language you know, (with everyone else at the same time!) attached is the text for the Gospel in many several languages. Please feel free to add your language if it is not in the document.
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 comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.
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.