Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
give me light in my heart
and light in my tongue
and light in my hearing
and light in my sight
and light in my feeling
and light in all body
and light before me
and light behind me.
Give me, I pray Thee,
Light on my right hand
And light on my left hand
And light above me
And light beneath me,
Increase light within me
And give me light
And illuminate me.
– Muhammad’s Prayer of Light
Today is the beginning of Muharram, which is one of the most important months for our Muslim sisters and brothers and marks the start of the Islamic New Year. It is a holy month, second only to Ramadan in its significance. Sunni and Shia Muslims mark Muharram differently. For many Sunni Muslims, this month is the beginning of the Islamic New Year and symbolizes peace and reflection. For those Muslims who follow the Shia branch of Islam, this month represents a solemn, reflective time in Islamic history. For them, Muharram commemorates the death of the Prophet Muhammad’s grandson, Hussein Ibn Ali, who died during the Battle of Karbala on the 10th day of this month (Ashura) in the year 680.
Whether Muslims are celebrating the beginning of the Islamic New Year or lamenting the loss of life, Muharram is an important and holy month for everyone. Many Muslims fast and give extra prayers. Muharram, with all of its complexity, is always a month of deep reflection for Muslims throughout the world.
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: Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny.
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: Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For Kati – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Edmonton – The Anglican Church of Canada (Rupert’s Land Province).
For all who have died: Elmer, Marilyn, and Edwin.
For one another.
Something to share
Since no one really knows anything about God,
those who think they do are just
– Rabia of Basra
News and Updates
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and other partners in response to the devastating earthquake that struck on Saturday, August 14, 2021. The organization’s first grant is through the diocese and will support 400 vulnerable households in 21 isolated communities.
The Diocese of Haiti, in collaboration with its congregations on the southern peninsula, quickly assessed the most urgent needs of vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, mothers with young children, the elderly and people whose homes were damaged or destroyed. The diocese selected 400 families in hard-to-reach areas that have been affected by the earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace. With Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, these families will receive direct assistance so that they can meet basic needs such as food, medicine and housing.
Please continue to pray for those who have been affected by the earthquake, tropical storm and COVID-19. Donations to the Haiti Fund will help the organization to continue to respond to this disaster.
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.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (email@example.com) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at 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/ ; the Schenectady County Health Department: https://www.schenectadycounty.com/COVID19; 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.