Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, May 26, 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

Come down, O Love divine,

Seek thou this soul of mine,

And visit it with thine own ardour glowing;

O Comforter, draw near,

Within my heart appear,

And kindle it, thy holy flame bestowing.

O let it freely burn,

Till earthly passions turn

To dust and ashes, in its heat consuming;

And let thy glorious light

Shine ever on my sight,

And clothe me round, the while my path illuming.

Let holy charity

Mine outward vesture be,

And lowliness become mine inner clothing;

True lowliness of heart,

Which takes the humbler part,

And o’er its own shortcomings weeps with loathing.

And so the yearning strong,

With which the soul will long,

Shall far outpass the power of human telling;

For none can guess its grace,

Till he become the place

Wherein the Holy Spirit makes his dwelling.

       – Bianco da Siena, 1434

Bianco da Siena (a/k/a Bianco di Santi or Bianco da Lanciolina) was an Italian mystic poet. He wrote several religiously inspired poems that were popular in the Middle Ages. Little is known of his life. He was first a wool carder, and then later became a member of the poor Jesuates – a lay order organized around a life of poverty and penitence. Pope Clement IX suppressed this order, possibly because of fear of not being able to control their mystical fervor. Bianco’s hymns remained in manuscript until they were published more than 400 years after his death in 1851under the title, Laudi spirituali del Bianco da Siena.

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, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

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 Allison & Marilyn  – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of California – The Episcopal Church (VIII (8) Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

As swimmers dare

As swimmers dare

to lie face to the sky

and water bears them,

as hawks rest upon air

and air sustains them,

so would I learn to attain

freefall, and float

into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,

knowing no effort earns

that all-surrounding grace.

        – Denise Levertov

News and Updates

June Messenger: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eUoCfP5eKklOo1K3pI8n0NlvMQQ1OOVc/view?usp=sharing

Sunday Morning Nursery Care – We are looking to hire a new nursery manager.  The position will begin in September when we will (hopefully!) return to our normal service schedule. The position would be for 2 hours each Sunday morning, with a few additional days / times required throughout the year.  Pay is $25/hour.  If you or someone you know is interested, please contact Bethany Schuldt at office@st-stephens.church for more information.

Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project (ASSP)  – Recent “Sponsorship 101” sessions continue to be

offered.  Regardless of whether sponsorship is the right fit for our congregation, they need our

help in letting others know about the program in case it might be the right fit for them! You can

find a flyer that you can post on social media at pdf-flyer or png-flyer.

Here are the registration links for the next orientation sessions: 

–         June 24 @ 5pm PST/8pm EST –  bit.ly/ASSP-June24

–         June 27 @ 1pm PST/4pm EST –  bit.ly/ASSP-June27

ASSP is helping us build out a bigger/wider network of folks who are opening doors and hearts to asylum-seekers each day! You may find out more about ASSP on their website at www.asylumsponsorshipproject.org. If you are interested, please let Richey Woodzell know.

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.