Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, July 12, 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

O gracious and holy Father

Give us wisdom to perceive thee,

intelligence to understand thee,

diligence to seek thee,

patience to wait for thee,

eyes to behold thee,

a heart to meditate upon thee,

and a life to proclaim thee;

through the power of the spirit

Of Jesus Christ our Lord.

      – Benedict, c. 550

Benedict sought to become a hermit in a cave at Subiaco, but found himself surrounded by other Christians wanting to learn from him. So he organized them into a community, bound together by the threefold vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, and structured their daily life according to his Rule. The Rule of St. Benedict balanced physical labor and intellectual study, with corporate prayer at regular hours of the day. In his Rule he taught that the purpose of this ‘Daily Office’ is the praise of the Creator. This became the pattern for Western monasticism, and also for the daily prayer of many Christians who are not members of religious communities. The Benedictine approach forms the basis of Anglican spirituality. 

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:  Louise, 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 Gillian – today is her birthday!

For Douglas and  Susan – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Daejeon – The Anglican Church of Korea.

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

For one another.

Something to share

The Rule

Saint Benedict’s ‘Rule’, those twelve steps to humility,

is like a ladder that we each should seek to climb in our daily life, to ascend.

For in applying them to our life we might achieve holiness, and sanctity,[JM1] 

and reach bliss and tranquility now, and to the end.

The first step is to really know God, to ‘see’ Him all in all.

and the second step is to joyfully discern and follow His Divine will.

The third step is to obey God in things in life, both great and small, and the fourth step is to be patient and kind, to endure, and endeavor to be tranquil.

The fifth step is to be honest about our shortcomings, and accept blame,

and the sixth step is to be content with what we have, even with a little in life.

The seventh step, tough though it is, is to keep one’s ego humble and tame,

and the eighth step is not to seek out differences with others, but live without strife.

The ninth step is that in our speech we should show restraint,

and the tenth step is that (when appropriate) desire to be of a serious mind.

The eleventh step is to encourage others with words of love, and without complaint,

and the twelfth step is to combine in equal measure, both intent and action, to be loving and kind.

          –        Tadhg Jonathan Gardner

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.