Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
My prayers, my God, flow from what I am not;
I think thy answers make what I am.
Like weary waves thought follows upon thought,
But the still depth beneath is all thine own,
And there thou mov’st in paths to us known.
Out of strange strife thy peace is strangely wrought;
If the lion in us pray–thou answerest the lamb.
– George MacDonald, 1905
George MacDonald was a nineteenth century Scottish author whose works included Christian apologetics, fairy tales and fantasy, and poetry. He was also a minister in the Congregational tradition, though he was not always well-received in this role. An article from the BBC describes MacDonald being accused of heresy in his first church position in Arundel, Scotland. He is described as an influence on many fantasy writers, including C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Lewis himself wrote this about MacDonald: “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.”
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 Donald, Doreen, Judy – today is their birthday!
For Robert and Shirley – today is their wedding anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Cueibet – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Eastern Bahr el Ghazal Province).
For all who have died: Cindi, Elsie, Louise, Ada, Dorothy, Agnes.
For one another.
Something to share
Little Blessing for My Floater
After George Herbert
This tiny ruin in my eye, small
flaw in the fabric, little speck
of blood in the egg, deep chip
in the windshield, north star,
polestar, floater that doesn’t
float, spot where my hand is not,
even when I’m looking at my hand,
little piton that nails every rock
I see, no matter if the picture
turns to sand, or sand to sea,
I embrace you, piece of absence
that reminds me what I will be,
all dark some day unless God
rescues me, oh speck
that might teach me yet to see.
– Jeanne Murray Walker
News and Updates
Sunday’s Lessons: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1m7J0-CSdbztUDdT38xB0R81J48hH9FxaEOKrSHPfVF8/edit?usp=sharing
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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: 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.
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.