Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, July 16, 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 the Covenant and Lord of the Exodus, by the hand of Moses you delivered your chosen people from cruel enslavement: We give you thanks for Raoul Wallenberg and all those Righteous Gentiles who with compassion, courage and resourcefulness rescued thousands of your children from certain death. Grant that, in the power of your Spirit, we may protect the innocent of every race and creed in the Name of Jesus Christ, strong Deliverer of us all; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

          – Holy Women, Holy Men

Today we commemorate “righteous gentiles”, coworkers of the Apostle Paul.

During the Second World War, thousands of Christians and persons of faith made valiant sacrifices, often at the risk of their own lives, to save Jews from the Holocaust. These “righteous gentiles” are honored for courageous action in the face of Hitler’s reign of terror.

Raoul Wallenberg (Lutheran) was a Swedish humanitarian and diplomat issued Jews Swedish passports so that they could escape and housed many in Swedish government property in Budapest, thereby protecting them on the basis of diplomatic immunity. Hiram Bingham IV (Episcopalian) was an American diplomat in France arranged escape routes for persecuted Jews and often provided the most wanted with safe haven in his own home. Carl Lutz (Evangelical) was a Swiss diplomat in Budapest negotiated with the Nazis for safe passage from Hungary to Palestine for more than 10,000 Jews. Chiune Sugihara (Orthodox), while serving as Japanese Consul in Lithuania, rescued thousands of Jews by providing them with travel credentials so they could escape. Andre Trocme (Reformed) and his wife, Magda, were French Christians who, together with people in neighboring communities, created a safe haven for many refugees from the Nazi terror.

These faithful servants, together with more than 23,000 others verified to date, are honored at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Memorial overlooking Jerusalem, and celebrated there as “the righteous among the nations.”  More information can be found at: https://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/commemorative-site-in-israel-of-the-righteous-gentiles

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 Austin – today is his birthday!

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:  George, Barbara, Betty. 

For one another.

Something to share

First they came …” 

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist

Then they came for the Socialists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew

Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

–        German Lutheran pastor Martin Niemöller

News and Updates

SiCM Summer Meals at St. Stephen’s –  We need volunteers to staff the lunch handouts in the church parking lot for the next two weeks, and we have been asked if we could hand out meals for the rest of the summer as well.  Days are Monday through Friday, and the time commitment is 11:10 to 12:45.   If you are available to help, please contact Richey Woodzell at erwoodzell@gmail.com as soon as possible.  Thank you!

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.