Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, July 13, 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

You, O Eternal Trinity,

Are a deep sea into which,

The more I enter,

The more I find,

And the more I find,

The more I see.

O abyss, O eternal godhead,

O sea profound,

what more could you give me than yourself?

       –  Catherine of Siena, 1380

Catherine of Siena is recognized by the Episcopal Church with a feast day on April 29th. Catherine, born in 1347, had a vision at age six of the “Lord seated in glory with St. Peter, St. Paul, and St. John” and then smiling at her, which began her dedicated commitment to prayer. Despite some initial resistance from her family, they eventually allowed her to become a nun in a Dominican order. She also served as a nurse for patients who other nurses did not want to care for, such as people with leprosy. She had a number of visions, some of which are included in her mystical work The Dialogue

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:  Carolyn, 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 Raymond and James – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Cuttack – The (united) Church of North India.

For all who have died:  George, Barbara, Betty. 

For one another.

Something to share

Contraband

The tree of knowledge was the tree of reason.

That’s why the taste of it

drove us from Eden. That fruit

was meant to be dried and milled to a fine powder

for use a pinch at a time, a condiment.

God had probably planned to tell us later

about this new pleasure.

We stuffed our mouths full of it,

gorged on but and if and how and again

but, knowing no better.

It’s toxic in large quantities; fumes

swirled in our heads and around us

to form a dense cloud that hardened to steel,

a wall between us and God, Who was Paradise.

Not that God is unreasonable – but reason

in such excess was tyranny

and locked us into its own limits, a polished cell

reflecting our own faces. God lives

on the other side of that mirror,

but through the slit where the barrier doesn’t

quite touch ground, manages still

to squeeze in – as filtered light,

splinters of fire, a strain of music heard

then lost, then heard again.

        – Denise Levertov

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.