Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 28, 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

With God’s help, I shall not fear change.

Some changes will cause great pain; others will bring joy. Some will pass by barely noticed; others will alter the deepest parts of my being. I will bring about many changes myself; but changes I experience will also be brought about by others around me, and I will be the tool God uses to change others’ lives.

With God’s help, I shall accept that change will happen every day, for I am not alone.

God shares the changes with me. God rejoices with me and comforts me through the difficult days. As the quiet, solid center that gives me something to cling to, God is the constant in my quicksilver existence.

With God’s help, I shall embrace it all.

Therefore, I shall not fear change. I shall trust that I can face all the changes, welcome them all, and be stronger, after they have done their work on me.

I can do all this, with God’s help.

–         Ethel Crawford

Now retired, Ethel Crawford served for many years as cathedral administrator at St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston. This prayer was found in Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, Celebrated, a collection of prayers by Episcopal women published in 2000. 

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 George & Richey – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Cameroon – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

Changeling

I want to tell myself she is not you,

this sullen woman wearing Mama’s eyes

all wrong, whose every gesture rings untrue

and yet familiar. In your harsh disguise

I sometimes need to find you, sometimes fear

I will, if I look closely into her.

I want to tell myself you are not here,

trapped in this parody of what you were,

but love was never safe: it lives on danger,

finds what can’t be found by any other

power on Earth or over it. This stranger

is you, is all the you there is, my mother

whose gentler face is gone beyond recall,

and I must love you so, or not at all.

          – Rhina P. Espaillat  

News and Updates

This Sunday’s Readings: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1B-ihfZpasxpKGkF9gpi4sxeKeaa-FqBZ/view?usp=sharing

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

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.

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.