Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, July 20, 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 we commemorate Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Amelia Bloomer, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Ross Tubman.

Today’s Prayer

O God, whose Spirit guides us into all truth and makes us free: Strengthen and sustain us as you did your servants Elizabeth, Amelia, Sojourner, and Harriet. Give us vision and courage to stand against oppression and injustice and all that works against the glorious liberty to which you call all your children; through Jesus Christ our Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen

The Episcopal Church has added to its Calendar four American women who were pioneers in the struggle for black emancipation and for women’s votes. The date chosen for commemorating them is the anniversary of the Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York, 19-20 July 1848. 

These four courageous women of the nineteenth century blazed the trail for equal rights and human dignity for all people regardless of race or gender. All four were deeply religious Christians who acted out of response to the gospel of Jesus Christ and the teaching of Paul that in Christ “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female.”

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 Kati – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Dallas – The Episcopal Church (VII (7) Province).

For all who have died:  Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

Haiku and Tanka for Harriet Tubman

1   Picture a woman

riding thunder on

the legs of slavery????…????

 2   Picture her kissing

our spines saying no to

the eyes of slavery????…????

3   Picture her rotating

the earth into a shape

of lives becoming????…????

4   Picture her leaning

into the eyes of our

birth clouds????…????

5   Picture this woman

saying no to the constant

yes of slavery????…????

6   Picture a woman

jumping rivers her

legs inhaling moons????…????

7   Picture her ripe

with seasons of

legs????…???running????…????

8   Picture her tasting

the secret corners

of woods????…???

9   Picture her saying:

You have within you the strength,

the patience, and the passion

to reach for the stars,

to change the world????…????

10   Imagine her words:

Every great dream begins

with a dreamer????…????

11   Imagine her saying:

I freed a thousand slaves,

could have freed

a thousand more if they

only knew they were slaves????…????

12   Imagine her humming:

How many days we got

fore we taste freedom????…????

13   Imagine a woman

asking: How many workers

for this freedom quilt????…????

14   Picture her saying:

A live runaway could do

great harm by going back

but a dead runaway

could tell no secrets????…????

15   Picture the daylight

bringing her to woods

full of birth moons????…????

16   Picture John Brown

shaking her hands three times saying:

General Tubman. General Tubman. General Tubman.

17  Picture her words:

There’s two things I got a

right to: death or liberty????…????

18   Picture her saying no

to a play called Uncle Tom’s Cabin:

I am the real thing????…????

19   Picture a Black woman:

could not read or write

trailing freedom refrains????…????

20   Picture her face

turning southward walking

down a Southern road????…????

21   Picture this woman

freedom bound????…????tasting a

people’s preserved breath????…????

22  Picture this woman

of royalty????…????wearing a crown

of morning air????…????

23  Picture her walking,

running, reviving

a country’s breath????…????

24  Picture black voices

leaving behind

lost tongues???…

–   Sonia Sanchez

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 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.