Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, July 7, 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

My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you, and I hope that I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore I will trust you always. Though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death I will not fear, for you are ever with me and you will never leave me to face my peril alone.

          –  Thomas Merton, 1968

Thomas Merton was an American Trappist monk, writer, theologian, mysticpoet, social activist, and scholar of comparative religion. He wrote more than 50 books in a period of 27years, mostly on spirituality, social justice and quiet pacifism, as well as many essays and reviews. Among Merton’s most enduring works is his bestselling autobiography The Seven Storey Mountain. His account of his spiritual journey inspired many World War II veterans, students, and teenagers to explore monastic life. Merton was a keen proponent of interfaith understanding, exploring Eastern religions through his study of mystic practice. He wrote books on Zen Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, and how Christianity related to them. This was highly unusual at that time in the United States.

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:  Ruth, Molly, Kenny, 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:  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 Costa Rica – Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America.

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

For one another.

Something to share

In Silence

Be still.

Listen to the stones of the wall.

Be silent, they try

to speak your

name.

Listen

to the living walls.

Who are you?

Who

are you? Whose

silence are you?

Who (be quiet)

are you (as these stones

are quiet). Do not

think of what you are

still less of

what you may one day be.

Rather

be what you are (but who?)

be the unthinkable one

you do not know.

O be still, while

you are still alive,

and all things live around you

speaking (I do not hear)

to your own being,

speaking by the unknown

that is in you and in themselves.

“I will try, like them

to be my own silence:

and this is difficult. The whole

world is secretly on fire. The stones

burn, even the stones they burn me.

How can a man be still or

listen to all things burning?

How can he dare to sit with them

when all their silence is on fire?”

        – Thomas Merton

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.