Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Spirit of love
That flows against our flesh
Sets it trembling
Moves across it as across grass
Erasing every boundary that we
And swings the doors of our lives
This is a prayer I sing:
Save our perishing earth!
Spirit that cracks our
Eyes fall down eyes,
Hearts escape through the bars
To dart into other bodies—
Save this earth!
The earth is perishing.
This is a prayer I sing.
Spirit that hears each one of us,
Hears all that is—
Listens, listens, hears us out—
Inspire us now!
Our own pulse beats in every
And also there within the flowered
And—teach us to listen!—
We can hear it in water, in wood,
and even in stone.
We are earth of this earth, and we
are born of its bone.
This is a prayer I sing, for we have
The earth is perishing.
– Barbara Deming
Barbara Deming, born in New York City in 1917, was a non-violent activist who demonstrated for peace, civil rights, women’s rights, and gay rights, among other causes. Her commitment to non-violence was inspired by an interest in Gandhi and a trip to India in 1959; it also connected to the formative influence of the Quaker schools he attended as a child. Deming was also a writer – working as a journalist in addition to writing in other genres such as fiction and poetry. In 1975, Deming organized The Money for Women Fund which granted money to feminist artists. Its work continues today as the Barbara Deming Memorial Fund.
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: Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth, Molly .
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Saint Edmundsbury & Ipswich – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).
For all who have died: Elmer, Marilyn, and Edwin.
For one another.
Something to share
Mrs. Noah Amidst the Birds
Frigate birds circled overhead,
orienting us to the turning sky.
Our claustrophobic fowls gawked
to see such free-wheeling. Crated
on deck, they took the spray.
The peacock, palsied with salt,
paled, and the turkey shriveled.
All that time we drifted aimlessly,
the long-winged albatross observed
our position. Out of the empty sky,
she came calling to perch among
our phantoms, preening and posturing
in the serenity of her freedom.
She’d flown over islands yesterday,
would head for shaley shores tomorrow.
I, too, was crated, my span limited to
this man, these gunwales, this horizon,
and out of spite, I wished the albatross
dead from a madman’s crossbow and
nets as endless as the seas she traced.
Desperate for variety, I set the raven free.
Like soot, he dissolved into mist. We waited.
When he did not return, I was glad
for this one bird. A narcissist, he would
survive without us. I chose his opposite
to send out next. Pliant and plump,
the dove would not follow the albatross’ high course.
She vanished into light drizzle. We waited.
When she returned and flew through
the rainbow’s arch, I gave up spite, and
opening all our cages, sang with the fowls.
– Elizabeth Schultz
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.