Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, June 11, 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

Grant, O God, that we may follow the example of your faithful servant Barnabas, who, seeking not his own renown but the well­being of your Church, gave generously of his life and substance for the relief of the poor and the spread of the Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

       – Book of Common Prayer, p.241

Today is the Feast of St. Barnabas.

Although not one of the apostles recorded in the Gospels, Barnabas is often called an apostle because of his close association with the leaders of the early Church, starting with his extensive travels with St. Paul. His original name was Joseph, but the other apostles renamed him Barnabas, a name that means Son of Encouragement. What a wonderful name. Encourage means to give hope, and as a ministry, bringing hope to a hopeless world is doing the work of God.

Barnabas must have had a commanding presence. At Lystra, in Asia Minor, the people mistook Paul and Barnabas to be gods, supposing the gifted speaker Paul to be Mercury, the messenger of the gods, and Barnabas to be Jupiter, the chief of the gods.

Paul and Barnabas parted ways over a dispute about traveling with Mark, who may have been related to Barnabas. Having separated from Paul, Barnabas traveled with Mark to Cyprus. Tradition has it that Barnabas was martyred there at Salamis.

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:  Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don .

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 Jean– today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Western North Carolina – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died: Alison, Charles. 

For one another.

Something to share

St. Barnabas

“Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left it on the left hand.”–Acts 21:3.

“We sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.”–Acts 27:4.

St. Barnabas, with John his sister’s son,

  Set sail for Cyprus; leaving in their wake

  That chosen Vessel, who for Jesus’ sake

Proclaimed the Gentiles and the Jews at one.

Divided while united, each must run

  His mighty course not hell should overtake;

  And pressing toward the mark must own the ache

Of love, and sigh for heaven not yet begun.

For saints in life-long exile yearn to touch

  Warm human hands, and commune face to face;

  But these we know not ever met again:

Yet once St. Paul at distance overmuch

  Just sighted Cyprus; and once more in vain

  Neared it and passed;–not there his landing-place.

        –   Christina Rossetti

News and Updates

SiCM SUMMER LUNCH PROGRAM – Volunteers Needed! SiCM needs 5-8 volunteers each day to pack the meals in the mornings throughout the summer, Monday to Friday, 8-11 am.  If you are interested in helping there  – one time, once a week, for one whole week, or whatever fits your schedule – contact the Summer Lunch Coordinator at SiCM:  Camila Grande, camilag@sicm.us or 518-346-4445.  Respond by June 25.

St. Stephen’s will be a summer lunch site July 6 through September 3.  St. Stephen’s members will staff the site the weeks of July 6, July 12 and August 2.  Thank you to those who have volunteered to help.  If you would like to be a substitute for any of those days, let Richey Woodzell know by June 25.

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