Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, August 28, 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

 God most mighty, God most merciful,

our stories tell us that you help and save your people.

You are the fortress: may there be no more war.

You are the harvest: may there be no more hunger.

You are the light: may no one die alone or in despair.

God most majestic, God most motherly,

grant us your life, the life that flows

from your Son and his Spirit,

one God, now and forever.

       –  Gail Ramshaw

Gail Ramshaw is a retired scholar of liturgy, who taught in the religion department of La Salle University. She is the author of many books, including textbooks, one of personal essays, children’s books, and many books containing prayers or exploring liturgical topics. Her prayers have been used in worship materials for many denominations both in the United States and abroad. She is a layperson in the Lutheran tradition.

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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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 recognize 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;  Kathy Hochul, 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 Suzanne and David – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Ekiti – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ondo Province).

For all who have died:  Martha.

Something to share

 Beloved Is Where We Begin

If you would enter

into the wilderness,

do not begin

without a blessing.

Do not leave

without hearing

who you are:

Beloved, named by the One

who has traveled this path

before you.

Do not go

without letting it echo

in your ears,

and if you find

it is hard

to let it into your heart,

do not despair.

That is what

this journey is for.

I cannot promise

this blessing will free you

from danger,

from fear,

from hunger

or thirst,

from the scorching

of sun

or the fall

of the night.

But I can tell you

that on this path

there will be help.

I can tell you

that on this way

there will be rest.

I can tell you

that you will know

the strange graces

that come to our aid

only on a road

such as this,

that fly to meet us

bearing comfort

and strength,

that come alongside us

for no other cause

than to lean themselves

toward our ear

and with their

curious insistence

whisper our name:

Beloved.

Beloved.

Beloved.

       –  Jan Richardson

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 – today! – 11 -2. Furniture, Accessories, Kitchen Items, Window Treatments, Rugs.

Sunday’s Readings:  https://docs.google.com/document/d/1NEokU0y0Ib52gNIhwFn1gwnnFE9sIMwI/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109485766909959793279&rtpof=true&sd=true

Sunday’s Bulletin:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IcrwU5rxhnqjZZjp4csAZFaKT5aVmD6d3e8RuWwsSMw/edit?usp=sharing

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.