Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, August 23, 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

…be awake to the Life that is loving you

and sing your prayer, laugh your prayer,

dance your prayer, run and weep and

sweat your prayer,

sleep your prayer, eat your prayer,

paint, sculpt hammer and read your prayer,

sweep, dig, rake, drive and hoe your prayer,

garden, and farm, and build and clean your prayer,

wash, iron, vacuum sew and embroider and pickle your prayer,

compute, touch, bend and fold but never delete

or mutilate your prayer.

Learn and play your prayer,

work and rest your prayer,

fast and feast your prayer,

argue, talk, whisper, listen and shout your prayer,

groan and moan and spit and sneeze your prayer,

swim and hunt and cook your prayer,

digest and become your prayer,

Release and recover your prayer.

Breathe your prayer,

Be your prayer . . . .

And so you are praying.

So you do what you be,

and all your being is blessed

and all your life is a prayer….

       –  Alla Renée  Bozarth

Alla Renée Bozarth is one of the Philadelphia Eleven – the first women to be ordained priests in the Episcopal Church in 1974, before the General Convention had authorized the ordination of women to the priesthood. Prior to her ordination, she earned a Ph.D. from Northwestern University in the performing arts. Much of her ministry work has centered on Wisdom House, an ecumenical spirituality center that she founded in Minnesota and eventually moved to Oregon. She is the author of many books, many of which are poetry; she also wrote Womanpriest: A Personal Odyssey, about her experience being one of the first women to be a priest in our denomination.

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:  Jennifer, Josh T., Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca.

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 Egba – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Lagos Province).

For all who have died:  Martha.

Something to share

The Traveling Onion

When I think how far the onion has traveled

just to enter my stew today, I could kneel and praise

all small forgotten miracles,

crackly paper peeling on the drainboard,

pearly layers in smooth agreement,

the way the knife enters onion

and onion falls apart on the chopping block,

a history revealed.

And I would never scold the onion

for causing tears.

It is right that tears fall

for something small and forgotten.

How at meal, we sit to eat,

commenting on texture of meat or herbal aroma

but never on the translucence of onion,

now limp, now divided,

or its traditionally honorable career:

For the sake of others,

disappear.

      –  Naomi Shihab Nye

News and Updates

Prayers for Haiti and Afghanistan :   https://www.episcopalnewsservice.org/pressreleases/

Moving Sale

Louise Peake, 1200 Hillside Ave., Unit 305, Niskayuna . Saturday Aug.28, 11-2, Furniture, accessories, kitchen items, window treatments, rugs

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

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.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.

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.