Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Circle of love,
encompass my loved ones.
May your love well up within them.
May your passion enlighten them.
Circle of healing,
encompass my loved ones.
May your healing touch rest upon them.
May your light illumine them.
Circle of protection,
encompass my loved ones.
Surround them with your eternal safety.
Protect them from all temptations and ills.
Give them courage and strength
to live always from your safe and powerful center.
– Bruce Epperly
Bruce Epperly serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church in Centerville, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate School and has authored over 50 books. His decades of ministry experience have included serving as Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University and teaching at Lancaster Theological Seminary and directing their Continuing Education program, in addition to congregational work. This prayer was included in the collection Celtic Prayers For Times of Crisis, compiled by Ellyn Sanna.
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: Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Skip, Dennis, Sonny, Don .
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 Diane – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Northern California – The Episcopal Church (VIII (8) Province).
For all who have died: Ellen, Elwood, Olive, Marge, George.
For one another.
Something to share
“See Something, Say Something”
— Penn Station
Shady commuters. Hundreds of them.
National Guardsmen whose camo fails.
It needs to be neon or fastfood yellow-and-red
or pinstripe or Burberry plaid. Krispy Kreme.
Guy rooting his wiggly pinky deep into his ear.
Bookstore. Knobby man in pink tutu, on a dare
or coming out. Sad kid on a backpack, looking,
looking. Hudson News. Angry career women
in stilettos, with no one to rub their feet at night.
Officer, I see a pregnant woman. Old guy sitting
beneath a gray halo on the wall, ring of hair oil
and grime. Always here. Kicked cigarette butt
skittering like a rat. German Shepherd with nothing
it wants to sniff. Crowd pulled from every direction
to four doors, fast. Lady hoisting stroller up stairs,
guy, passing her glare, muttering, “It ain’t my
freakin’ kid.” A yawp and a man shuffling, no socks.
Forty Metro sections in the trash. Same stockings
on mannequin legs for the last 15 years. Rifles of
Guardsmen. No unattended packages. Every day
I forget to be very afraid.
– Tina Kelley
News and Updates
This Sunday’s Readings:
This Sunday’s music: Sequence Hymn – #362 (first verse); “Closing” Hymn – #608 (last verse)
Prelude Psalm-Prelude II Howells
Offertory Largo Vivaldi
Postlude March Triomphale Rawsthorne
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 email@example.com for more information.
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.