Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, June 3, 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

A day…an hour…and we shall have reached the port! My God, what shall we see then? What is that life which will never have an end?…Jesus will be the Soul of our soul. Unfathomable mystery! “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it entered into the heart of man what great things God hath prepared for them that love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9). And this will all come soon – yes, very soon, if we ardently love Jesus.

        – St. Thérèse of Lisieux, VI Letter to Her Sister Celine

Therese of Lisieux (January 2, 1873 –September 30, 1897), also known as Saint Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun. She is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus,” or simply “The Little Flower.” After overcoming various obstacles in 1888, at the early age of 15, she became a nun and joined two of her older sisters in the cloistered Carmelite community of Lisieux, Normandy (yet another sister, Céline, also later joined the order). Therese regularly engaged in small acts of charity and care for others. She accepted criticism in silence, even unjust criticisms, and smiled at the sisters who were unpleasant to her. St. Therese is best known today for her spiritual memoir, L’histoire d’une âme (The Story of a Soul). It is a compilation of three separate manuscripts. The first, in 1895, is a memoir of her childhood, written under obedience to the Prioress, Mother Agnes of Jesus (her older sister Pauline). The second is a three-page letter, written in September 1896, at the request of her eldest sister Marie, who, aware of the seriousness of Therese’s illness, asked her to set down her “little doctrine.” In June 1897, Mother Agnes asked Mother Marie de Gonzague, who had succeeded her as prioress, to allow Therese to write another memoir with more details of her religious life (ostensibly as a help in the later composition of an anticipated obituary). Therese died at the age of 24 from tuberculosis.

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 Lisa – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Cape Town – The Anglican Church of Southern Africae Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

For all who have died: Carl, Elizabeth. 

For one another.

Something to share

“Heaven” – is what I cannot reach!

‘Heaven’—is what I cannot reach!

The Apple on the Tree—

Provided it do hopeless—hang—

That—‘Heaven’ is—to Me!

The Color, on the Cruising Cloud—

The interdicted Land—

Behind the Hill—the House behind—

There—Paradise—is found …

–         Emily Dickinson

News and Updates

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 during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until at least this fall.

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 during the waning of the pandemic.

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.