Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Peace to the disoriented
Whose life has taken a sudden turn
To those who feel that
they should be devastated,
but are numb or even happy
To those who feel
that they should be happy
but are not
Peace to your feelings
Peace to your timing
Peace to your expectations
– Jessica Kantrowitz
Jessica Kantrowitz is the author of the book The Long Night, Readings and Stories to Help You Through Depression, as well as many essays and nonfiction pieces included in publications like Sojourners and the Our Bible app. She holds a Master’s of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. The following prayer comes from her collection 365 Days of Peace: Benedictions to End Your Day in Gentleness and Hope, which brings together benedictions she originally offered on a nightly basis over social media.
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 Harper and Jack – today is their baptismal anniversary!
For Sal and Diana – today is their wedding anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Cashel Ferns & Ossory – The Church of Ireland (Dublin Province).
For all who have died: Alison, Charles.
For one another.
Something to share
The Widening Road
All winter the road has been paved in rain,
holding its form as if made of its own direction.
We have a lot of those days. Or not.
A woman in a car staring out, her hands going numb.
When did the world begin to push us so quickly?
A blue jay flies low over her into the madrones.
She can still see it—its bright movements rocking a branch—
surely delighted that it matches the sky.
The honest clouds.
A tenderness grows like a fluttering in her hand.
She wants to hold it in her arms but not pin it down,
the way the tree holds the jay generously
in its willful branches. The spring is blowing
through her, pulling the dead debris free from her limbs.
She cannot decide what she desires, but today it is enough
that she desires and desires. That she is a body
in the world, wanting, the wind itself becoming
her own wild whisper.
– Ada Limón
News and Updates
Tomorrow’s scripture lessons:
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, June 13th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link:
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/hoK00Hf7yHg
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.