Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, July 6, 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

Life for Life–Yea, Lord, so let it be,

My life for Thine as Thine was given for me,

How could I think a lesser gift to bring,

Some broken, useless, fragmentary thing?

Nay, let it be the perfect crystal, Lord,

Offered up whole, unbroken, and unmarred,

No part kept back for self or sin or strife,

But laid at Thy feet, the full price of a life.

Men see the work which is the outer shell,

The humble vessel, be it ill or well,

That holds the life elixir for a space

‘Ere it be poured from its discarded vase.

They only see the outside of the cup,

Thou seest within the Life that’s offered up.

The heart of love in penitence immersed

Drink, Lord of Life, and quench Thy loving thirst.

        –   Eva Lee Matthews

Today the Episcopal Church recognizes Eva Lee Matthews with a feast day. Matthews was born in Ohio in 1862 and grew up actively involved in the Episcopal Church. Along with a coworker at an Episcopal charity in Cincinnati, Bethany Mission House, Matthews helped create an Episcopal religious order titled Community of the Transfiguration. It was originally organized with a focus on children in poverty in Cincinnati, but later moved to Matthews’ hometown of Glendale. As the superior of the community, Matthews was called Mother Eva Mary; she led the community from its inception – being formally recognized in 1898 – to her death in 1928. Over time, the community has grown through a number of branch houses; it continues to have active ministries in Cincinnati and Butler, Ohio; California, and the Dominican Republic.  

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:  Clara, 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Cork, Cloyne & Ross – The Church of Ireland (Dublin Province).

For all who have died:  Cindi, Elsie, Louise, Ada, Dorothy, Agnes. 

For one another.

Something to share

Rattled

A tiny scrape

of nail on tooth

distracts her

from her silence;

it is vespers, and later                                                                                                                

the scrape will turn

to an incessant tick

as vigil is kept

for Our Lady’s eve.

Thérèse kneels;

knots together

her own desire

to turn and hiss

at this sister beside her;

God knows prayer

is elusive enough

without the wretched snag

of sound. The clicking

itches through her resolve,

a mouse scratching

at the soul’s low door.

She breathes it down,

inhales the wax and wane

of the night. But nothing

comes of intercession,

so Thérèse in poverty

offers the song

of nail on tooth.

It silvers the dark

as a grace note, gleaming

over the pause

between heaven and earth.

–  Sarah Law

News and Updates

SiCM Food Pantry – During the months of July and August we will be collecting the following items that are needed by the SiCM food pantry:

razors (men/women)

shaving cream

shampoo

body wash

soap

toothpaste

lotion

deodorant (men/women)

Also, the van delivering the meals at St. Stephen’s for SiCM Summer Lunch Program will have kids’ books to give to the kids to take home.  There is a basket in the nave extension if you would like to contribute kids’ books (picture books up through high school).  Vicki Hoshko tells us that The Open Door is also giving customers 20% off  books donated to the SICM summer program. There is even a display with suggestions!

There are baskets in the nave extension for your donations. 

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 Daily 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 Holder for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume 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.

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.