Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, May 29, 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 of second chances,

For the privilege of being a beneficiary and a benefactor of grace,

Moment by moment, intention by intention,

We give you our gratitude.

For holy self-love and acceptance,

For wellness, self-forgiveness, and authenticity,

For wisdom and strength to confront with Ligh the dark corners of our pasts,

For courage to name and reject the bad theology that causes division

Among those who love, worship, believe, or think differently than we do,

We give you our gratitude…

With humility that serves as genuinely as you have served,

With zeal of spirit for the fulfillment of purpose,

With laughter and dancing that declares resistance to oppressive and counterproductive evil,

With music and meaningful conversations that highlight your infinite goodness,

We worship you collectively with our gifts….

We worship you, Spirit God, with gratitude and collectively with our gifts.

Use us—in spite of us, because of us—with great love for us and others.

Amen.

          – Nikki Roberts

Nikki Roberts is a Black queer writer, public speaker, and activist who has studied Communications and theology and draws on her own experience of incarceration in her justice work. Roberts founded Cage Free Communications, which strives to bring about social change through multimedia arts; programs of Cage Free Communications include workshops on storytelling as advocacy, support for women coming out of prison on practical and spiritual levels, and a speaker’s bureau of justice-involved women able to speak to criminal justice reform. She also has a spiritual memoir forthcoming from Fortress Press. The above prayer is an excerpt of a longer prayer included in the collection Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice, edited by Britney Winn Lee.  

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 Mary – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

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

For one another.

Something to share

Say My Name

My name was my name before

                           I walked among the living

              before I could breathe

              before I had lungs to fill

before my great grandmother passed

              and everyone was left to grieve

My name was birthed from a dream

              A whisper from gods to a king

              A shout into the stars that produced

                            another that shone as bright

They held me without being burnt, humming lullabies in pidgin

My name was passed down from my

              ancestors

They acknowledged my roots grew in two

              places

So, they ripped my name from the ocean

              and mixed it into the bloodlines of my totems

My name has survived the destruction of worlds

and the genocidal rebirthing of so-called ones

It’s escaped the overwhelmed jaw of the death bringer

              Many a time

It has survived the conflicts that resulted in my gods,

              from both lands, knowing me as kin,

but noticing that I am painfully unrecognisable and lost

They are incapable of understanding

              the foreign tongue that was forced on me

My name has escaped cyclones and their daughters

It has been blessed by the dead

As they mixed dirt, salt and liquid red,

              into my flesh

My name is the definition of resilience

It is a warrior that manifested because of warriors

So, excuse me as I roll my eyes or sigh as you

mispronounce my name

              over and over again

Or when you give me another

              that dishonours my mother and father

That doesn’t acknowledge my lineage to my island home

or the scents of rainforest and ocean foam

You will not stand here on stolen land

              and whitewash my name

For it is two words intertwined

              holding as much power as a hurricane

Say it right or don’t say it at all

For I am Meleika

              I will answer when you call

               –  Meleika Gasa-Fatafehi

News and Updates

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am on Sunday and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning, May 30th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video below/  The only exception is that we will begin limited singing.

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service. https://youtu.be/YdFpNjGJBXw 

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning.  Join our parishioners for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 8 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

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

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 on our website.

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.