Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, September 3, 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

Tie the strings to my life, my Lord,

           Then I am ready to go!

Just a look at the horses –

           Rapid! That will do!

Put me in on the firmest side,

           So I shall never fall;

For we must ride to the Judgment,

           And it’s partly down hill.

But never I mind the bridges

           And never I mind the sea;

Held fast in everlasting race

           By my own choice and thee.

Good-by to the life I used to live,

           And the world I used to know;

And kiss the hills for me, just once;

           Now I am ready to go!

      –  Emily Dickinson, 1886

Today we remember one of America’s greatest poets Emily Dickinson.  A native of Amherst, MA, Dickinson came from a prominent family of this area and attended Mount Holyoke, but for only one year. Her poetry was influenced by the Metaphysical poets of 17th century England, as well as her reading of the Book of Revelation and her upbringing in, what at the time was, a Puritan New England town, a place which encouraged a Calvinist, orthodox, and conservative approach to Christianity. Her spirituality was complex and nuanced. Dickinson had her beliefs, and she had her questions and doubts. From her poetry one discerns an interest in “faith and doubt, suffering and salvation, mortality and immortality.” On May 15, 1886, at the age of 55, Emily Dickinson entered into paradise. To learn more, please visit the Emily Dickinson Museum website: https://www.emilydickinsonmuseum.org/

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Port Elizabeth – The Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

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

Something to share

What is – “Paradise”

What is — “Paradise” —

Who live there —

Are they “Farmers” —

Do they “hoe” —

Do they know that this is “Amherst” —

And that I — am coming — too —

Do they wear “new shoes” — in “Eden” —

Is it always pleasant — there —

Won’t they scold us — when we’re homesick —

Or tell God — how cross we are —

You are sure there’s such a person

As “a Father” — in the sky —

So if I get lost — there — ever —

Or do what the Nurse calls “die” —

I shan’t walk the “Jasper” — barefoot —

Ransomed folks — won’t laugh at me —

Maybe — “Eden” a’n’t so lonesome

As New England used to be!

        –  Emily Dickinson

News and Updates

Free for the Taking:

Millie is offering two window air conditioning units

One is a GE 18 1/2″ wide X 13 3/4″ high

One is a Frigidaire Gallery 19″ wide X12″ high.

The September Messenger:

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

Hurricane Ida Relief: On Sunday, August 29, sixteen years after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, Hurricane Ida made landfall in the same region. This Category 4 storm brought flooding and damaging winds that caused a loss of water to hundreds of thousands and a loss of electricity to over 1 million people. Episcopal Relief & Development is working closely with the Diocese of Louisiana and other regional partners in what will be a long-term response. Your generous gift will help alleviate suffering for the most vulnerable residents impacted by Hurricane Ida. Please visit episcopalrelief.org/hurricane-relief to make a gift today.

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.