Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, June 21, 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

With all our prayers, and with a loving, kind God who wants us to be at peace with each other, there has to be a solution coming. There will always be people who want to destroy what God builds up through good people, but God will overcome. I don’t know how He’s going to do it, but someday God will make the headlines instead of the devil. So don’t give up. We pray together, we hold hands together, we believe together, we love together, we’re saved together, and God reigns.

       – Fr. Mychal Judge

Mychal Judge, a Roman Catholic priest, died on September 11, 2001 as a first responder; Judge served as chaplain to the New York City Fire Department and was on the scene at the World Trade Center to offer aid and prayer.. He was also known for his ministry to AIDS patients and their families, including presiding over funerals for those who died of AIDS. Judge also had meaningful ministries to those in recovery from addiction (he became sober with the support of Alcoholic Anonymous himself) and to the homeless. The above quotation is from a trip Judge took to Ireland. He participated in three different peace pilgrimages to Ireland. 

 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:  Robert, 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 Ronald – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For Emily – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Christ the King – The Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

For all who have died: Paul, Lila, Hugh, Tom, Louis, Michael. 

For one another.

Something to share

A reading from the Book of Exile

chapter one

there are no chapters

chapter two

he has been moved beyond belief

chapter three

and he is inching toward glory

with only his own story on his back

he has patched up holes that opened

where his coverings have cracked

and some shoes were never meant for hiking so

he left them far behind

there are simple things he needs

on journeys such as these

foodandloveanddrinkandwarmthandcomfort

and a bag that’s small enough

to carry all the failures and the idols

that he’s picked up on the way

there are some days

he only moves

an inch or two

this is the pace of glory here in exile

chapter four

there are some things too meaningful for talking

and even feeling leaves us full of grief

at all we touch and need and

can never speak of

we are living lives that we can‘t state the name of

we are loving things that

we can never bear

we attempt belief in things that we can not explain

and we rest uneasy in this

sometimesseemingcruelgame

and we rest with tension so

beautiful

its heartaching

chapter five

he has grown older here.

the body speaks its own

language

and

he has started listening

the unwritable chapter

and the place of

pain

is the place of

survival

(and sometimes barely that)

chapter six

there is no ending.

everything is here.

           (so pitch a tent that you can live in

           and find a friend to whom you’ll give

           in

           times of telling

           times of testing

           times of listening

           times of resting)

there is no ending.

everything is here.

–         Pádraig Ó Tuama

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 this Friday, 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.

There will be a lunch site banner on the corner of Baker and The Plaza all summer, so that kids in the neighborhood can find us.

Meals will be served at our site (in the parking lot) 11:30-12:30, and we’re asked to arrive about 10 minutes early and to clean up and help load up after.  The van delivering the meals will remain at the site throughout the distribution time, and we are asked to assist; we were assured there would be plenty for us to do.  The kids take their lunch & breakfast home; there won’t be a place for them to sit and eat.  Parents may pick up meals for their children.

If there are kids’ books on the van, we can give them to the kids to take home.  If St. Stephen’s congregants would like, you can contribute kids’ books ahead of time at SiCM, from picture books up through high school.  You may drop books off at the church and we’ll get them to the pantry.

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.