Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, August 30, 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

 I believe, O God of all gods,

         That Thou art the eternal Father of all creation;

I believe, O God of all gods,

That Thou art the eternal Father of the world.

I believe, O Lord and God of the peoples,

That Thou art the creator of the high heavens,

That Thou art the creator of the skies above,

That Thou art the creator of the oceans below.

I believe, O Lord and God of the peoples,

         That Thou art He Who created my soul and set its warp,

Who created my body from dust and from ashes,

         Who gave to my body breath, and to my soul its possession.

Father, bless to me my body,

Father, bless to me my soul,

Father, bless to me my life,

Father, bless to me my belief.

      –  from Carmina Gadelica: Hymns and Incantations, a collection of prayers gathered orally in Scotland by Alexander Carmichael

Scottish writer Alexander Carmichael was born in 1832 and died in 1912. He is most known for Carmina Gadelica, six volumes of prayers, hymns, and folklore collected from the Celtic oral tradition in Scotland. The first two volumes were published while he was alive, and the final four were edited by others and published after his death using his work. The volumes have proven to be controversial, with scholars questioning Carmichael’s accuracy and the extent to which he meddled with texts. Nevertheless, Carmichael’s work has been extremely influential in inspiring interest in Celtic spirituality.

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 our armed forces around the world in harm’s way: We pray for the 13 U.S. soldiers who were killed near the Kabul airport in their aid to help Americans and Afghans trying to leave the country. May God be with their families in their sacrifice and may their deaths not be in vain.

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: Don, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie.

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 Mary Anne– today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Robert, Norman, and William.

Something to share

Sounds of the Eternal

Early in the morning we seek you presence, O God,

not because you are ever absent from us

but because we are often absent from you

at the heart of each moment

where you forever dwell. 

In the rising of the sun,

in the unfolding color and shape of the morning

open your eyes to the mystery of this moment

that in every moment

we may know your life- giving presence.

open our eyes to this moment

that in every moment

we may know you as the One who is always now. 

In the light of the high heavens

and the infinities of dawnings in space,

in the darkness of open depths

and the sea’s ceaseless waves,

in the glistening of a creature’s eyes

and the dark life blood that ever flows,

in every emanation of a creature’s life

and the warmth that moves our bodies,

in the inner universe of our soul

and its everlasting foundations

your glory glows, O God.

in every shining of the world’s inwardness

and the warmth that moves our everliving soul

your glory glows.

With you is the source of life, O God.

You are the beginning of all that is.

From your life the fire of the rising sun

streams forth.

You are the life-flow of creation’s rivers,

the sap of blood in our veins,

earth’s fecundity,

the fruiting of trees,

creatures birthing,

the conception of a new thought,

desire’s origin.

All these are of you, O God

and we are of you.

You are the morning’s freshness.

      –  John Philip Newell, A Celtic Psalter

News and Updates

SiCM Food Pantry – Thank you all for the generous response during the months of July and August for personal care items for the SiCM Food Pantry.  In September and October we will be collecting seasonings and spices as well as cleaning supplies for the pantry.  Suggested items are:

Seasonings/spices , paprika, cinnamon, cumin, chili powder,  red pepper,  garlic powder, onion powder, oregano, thyme, ginger, Cleaning supplies, dishwashing detergent, laundry detergent,  fabric softener, sponges, disinfectant (spray, wipes, etc.),   There will be a box in the nave extension for your donation.  As always, your help is greatly appreciated!                                           

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.