Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, September 4, 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

Jesus Christ, the love that gives love,

You are higher than the highest star;

You are deeper than the deepest sea;

You cherish us as your own family;

You embrace us as your own spouse;

You rule over us as your own subjects;

You welcome us as your dearest friend.

Let all the world worship you.

Holy Spirit, the life that gives life.

You are the cause of all movement;

You are the breath of all creatures;

You are the salve that purifies our souls;

You are the ointment that heals our wounds;

You are the fire that warms our hearts;

You are the light that guides our feet.

Let all the world praise you.

O eternal God,

Turn us into the arms and hands,

The legs and feet

Of your beloved Son, Jesus.

You gave birth to him in heaven

Before the creation of the world.

You gave birth to us on earth,

To become his living body.

Make us worthy to share

In his eternal bliss.

        –  Hildegard of Bingen, 1179

Hildegard was born to a noble family. Experiencing visions in her childhood, she raised by a recluse. A community, organized on Benedictine lines, gathered around them. Hildegard became their second Abbess. She carried on an influential correspondence, advising the Emperor Bararossa, popes, kings, bishops, and saints on a variety of matters. She showed powers of scientific observation which were unusual for the time. Her most famous book was called Scivias, probably an abbreviation for ‘the science of life.’

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: Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.

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 Tim – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Ely – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).

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

Something to share

My journey is always just beginning,

A fresh new day,

On an old, old path.

That’s the blessing,

That’s where the hope blossoms.

However much I wandered yesterday

I can start again tomorrow,

And when all my tomorrows are used up,

I’ll still have travelled.

It’s the journey that counts,

Not the arriving.  

        – Mary Flesson

News and Updates

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

Tomorrow’s Readings:

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.

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: 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.