Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, August 31, 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

O God, where hearts are fearful and constricted, grant courage and hope. Where anxiety is infectious and widening, grant peace and reassurance. Where impossibilities close every door and window, grant imagination and resistance. Where distrust twists our thinking, grant healing and illumination. Where spirits are daunted and weakened, grant soaring wings and strengthened dreams. All these things we ask in the name of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord. AMEN.

      –  Evangelical Lutheran Worship guidebook

Evangelical Lutheran Worship, originally published in 2006, is the primary text for worship in both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada. While widely used in Lutheran churches, any particular Lutheran congregation is not required to make use of it. Instead, it is recommended by the denomination for churches’ use.

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: Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny.

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 Jamie – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For Anne and Richard – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

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

Something to share

A Mark of Resistance

Stone by stone I pile

this cairn of my intention

with the noon’s weight on my back,

exposed and vulnerable

across the slanting fields

which I love but cannot save

from floods that are to come;

can only fasten down

with this work of my hands,

these painfully assembled

stones, in the shape of nothing

that has ever existed before.

A pile of stones: an assertion

that this piece of country matters

for large and simple reasons.

A mark of resistance, a sign.

       –   Adrienne Rich

News and Updates

Hot Off the “Press” – The September Messenger:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Ig1zZUqozXWWNx_DFLu1DfiFvFNRx1ia/view?usp=sharing

Episcopal Relief & Development Hurricane Relief Fund: 

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

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: 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 basket in the nave extension for your donation.

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.