Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, May 24, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Merciful God,

help us find our way again.

Turn us back towards the road

spotted with your other pilgrims, wayfarers, and repentant servants.

Remind us that you Way is the way of returning.

Guide us by your Spirit and by your Light.

Make us remember the Power of the Spirit within us.

Make us remember the gifts of our minds, our hearts, and our bodies that you have bestowed on us,

that we would use them to honor the directives and the invitations you lay upon us.

We know that our ways are not your ways.

And we thank you for this.

Help us trust your ways over our ways…

In your immeasurable love, grace, mercy, and wisdom, do not abandon us,

regardless of how often we lose our way.

Place your wounded hands upon our broken hearts and turn us towards you.

Lord of Light, Lord of the Life,

Lord of Resurrection.

Amen.

–         Enuma Okoro

This prayer is excerpted from a longer prayer titled “A Prayer For When We’ve Lost Our Way Again,” included in the book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal. Enuma Okoro is a Nigeran-American writer who has published multiple books, including a spiritual memoir Reluctant Pilgrim: A Moody, Somewhat Self-Indulgent Introvert’s Search for Spiritual Community and an Advent devotional. Okoro is also a certified spiritual director, as well as a workshop leader, speaker, and teacher on topics like “Exploring Identity and (Dis)Belonging through the Personal Essay” and “Understanding How to Reframe the Global Narrative about Africa.”

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, 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 Katryn & Brian – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died: Ellen, Elwood, Olive, Marge, George. 

For one another.

Something to share

…..what do I know about anything? Maybe only that this world is one I sometimes cannot face in the morning. It will not stop conquering me. It has me by the throat most mornings, by the horns most nights. Poetry is where I come to because it doesn’t require me to have answers—poetry is the question. Maybe, it’s like a prayer in that regard.

       -poet Natalie Diaz, in an interview with Ploughshares

News and Updates

Graduations and Commencements! – Are you or someone you know graduating this season? On Sunday, June 13th, we would like to recognize all who have graduated in the last academic year, from Pre-school to Post-Doctorate. Send us the names of graduates, so we can include them in the service. If you or someone you know is going off to pursue further studies, please let us know that too. Please contact me at: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

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 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!

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.