Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, August 25, 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

In what torn ship soever I embark,

That ship shall be my emblem of thy ark;

What sea soever swallow me, that flood

Shall be to me an eblem of thy blood;

Though thou with clouds of anger do disguise

Thy face, yet through that mask I know those eyes,

Which, though they turn away sometimes,

They never will despise….

As the tree’s sap doth seek the root below,

In winter, in my winter now I go,

Where none but thee, the eternal root

Of true love, I may know….

Seal then this bill of my divorce to all,

On whom those fainter beams of love did fall:

Marry those loves, which in youth scattered to be

On fame, wit, hopes (false mistresses) to thee….

      – John Donne, 1631 “A Hymn to Christ, at the Author’s Last Going Into Germany

John Donne is recognized with a feast day by the Episcopal Church on March 31st. Donne is remembered both as a poet and a priest within the Church of England. During his time as Dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral, London (1622 to his death in 1631), he was also known as a popular preacher.

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 Egbu – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Owerri Province).

For all who have died:  Martha.

Something to share

The Companionable Dark

of here and now,

seed lying dormant

in the earth. The dark

to which all lost things come — scarves

and rings and precious photographs, and

of course, our beloved dead. The brooding dark,

our most vulnerable hours, limbs loose

in sleep, mouths agape.

The faithful dark,

where each door leads,

each one of us, alone.

The dark of God come close

as breath, our one companion

all the way through, the dark

of a needle’s eye.

Not the easy dark

of dusk and candles,

but dark from which comforts flee.

The deep down dark

of one by one,

dark of wind

and dust, dark in which stars burn.

The floodwater dark

of hope, Jesus in agony

in the garden, Esther pacing

her bitter palace. A dark

by which we see, dark like truth,

like flesh on bone:

Help me, who am alone,

and have no help but thee.

       –  Kathleen Norris

News and Updates

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

Moving Sale. Louise Peake, 1200 Hillside Ave., Unit 305, Niskayuna. Saturday August 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.