Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
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.
– 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
They acknowledged my roots grew in two
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: email@example.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
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 on our website.
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.