Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
To the One who numbered my days,
I walk with you and you with me. There is nowhere I can go that you couldn’t find me. There is nothing I could do or leave undone that would separate me from your Spirit. How could I forget when there is so much good to name, so much kindness to remember?
And yet I do. I see myself through the eyes of the world and not through the eyes of Love. Help me shift my mind. Help me renew my mind with your words.
I proclaim that I was formed by you. I know that I am still being formed by you. I am becoming. And until the day that all is perfected, I live in the reality of Heaven on Earth, of the Kindom of God being established in me.
I live in the truth that I am Wonder, fully made.
– Kevin Garcia
Kevin Garcia has authored the book, Bad Theology Kills: Undoing Toxic Beliefs and Reclaiming Your Spiritual Authority. Kevin also creates web content such as a podcast and videos for progressive Christians and provides spiritual directing and life coaching services. He is a graduate of the Practical Theology program of Columbia Theological Seminary. This prayer is inspired by Psalm 139 and was included in a devotional available on the “Our Bible” app, which hosts a variety of devotional content.
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 Joan – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of East Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).
For all who have died: Alison, Charles.
For one another.
Something to share
Here We Are, Aging Together, Just Like We Said We Would
For your birthday, we pretend
prehistoric. I fill our apartment
with inflatable dinosaurs, scaly ice
cream cake, and raw meat.
You have always wanted
a birthday just like this: carbon
to before humans
decided to chew
all sorts of things. We play pretend
so well you can barely smell the plastic,
or remember anything about outside
and the blood moon that hangs there,
red and wanting
a whole new animal in your eyes.
Time is passing. We can feel the second
hand, gently carving
new trails along our skin.
I recently eroded the landscape
of my body
by choice, and you
drew a fresh map,
topographical and understanding.
My blood was outside
my body and you kept
the carnivores at bay.
This is what we’ve promised
one another, to try and live
and live and live
until the earth caves in.
We have built a home
and the ceiling is so high
everything feels about to echo—
all the things we say
growing older, and quieter, and
drifting further away.
– Kayleb Rae Candrilli
News and Updates
Asylum-Seekers Sponsorship Project (ASSP) – Recent “Sponsorship 101” sessions continue to be
offered. Regardless of whether sponsorship is the right fit for our congregation, they need our
help in letting others know about the program in case it might be the right fit for them! You can
find a flyer that you can post on social media at pdf-flyer or png-flyer.
Here are the registration links for the next orientation sessions:
– June 24 @ 5pm PST/8pm EST – bit.ly/ASSP-June24
– June 27 @ 1pm PST/4pm EST – bit.ly/ASSP-June27
ASSP is helping us build out a bigger/wider network of folks who are opening doors and hearts to asylum-seekers each day! You may find out more about ASSP on their website at www.asylumsponsorshipproject.org. If you are interested, please let Richey Woodzell know.
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 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: 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 during the waning of the pandemic.
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.