Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, July 8, 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

God of grace and might, who gave to your servants Aquila and Priscilla gifts of zeal and eloquence to make known the truth of the Gospel: Raise up, we pray, in every country, heralds and evangelists of your kingdom, so that the world may know the immeasurable riches of our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

          – Holy Women, Holy Men

Today we commemorate Priscilla and Aquila, coworkers of the Apostle Paul.

Priscilla and Aquila were a first century missionary married couple described in the New Testament. They lived, worked, and traveled with St. Paul, who described them as his “fellow workers in Christ Jesus” (Romans 16:3). In the New Testament, Priscilla is certainly not her husband Aquila’s property, as was the custom in antiquity. She was his partner in ministry and marriage. They were tentmakers as was St. Paul. They were among the Jews expelled from Rome by the Roman Emperor Claudius in 49A.D. They ended up in Corinth and St. Paul lived with them for approximately 18 months.

Priscilla was a woman of Jewish heritage and one of the earliest known Christian converts who lived in Rome. She is often thought to have been the first example of a woman preacher and teacher in the early Church. She may even have been a presbyter. Aquila was also a Jewish Christian. According to church tradition, Aquila did not dwell long in Rome and he eventually was made a bishop in Asia Minor.

Together Priscilla and Aquila are patron saints of love and marriage.

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

For Robert – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Coventry – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).

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

For one another.

Something to share

A Moment of Happiness

A moment of happiness,

you and I sitting on the verandah,

apparently two, but one in soul, you and I.

We feel the flowing water of life here,

you and I, with the garden’s beauty

and the birds singing.

The stars will be watching us,

and we will show them

what it is to be a thin crescent moon.

You and I unselfed, will be together,

indifferent to idle speculation, you and I.

The parrots of heaven will be cracking sugar

as we laugh together, you and I.

In one form upon this earth,

and in another form in a timeless sweet land.

       –  Rumi 

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 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.