Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, September 21, 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

We thank thee, heavenly Father, for the witness of your apostle and evangelist Matthew to the Gospel of your Son our Savior; and we pray that, after his example, we may with ready wills and hearts obey the calling of our Lord to follow him; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. AMEN

Today is the Feast of St. Matthew.

Matthew was called early in Jesus’ ministry, but that he wrote the Gospel that bears his name is seriously doubted by scholars. It is, however, generally accepted that his “logia” or “sayings of Jesus” have been included in that Gospel.

It may be that the author of the First Gospel took from Matthew’s work some of the numerous parables and comments that make that Gospel so popular a source for homilies and teaching. Through this Gospel, especially, Jesus speaks not only of faith and eternal life, but -of duties toward one’s neighbors, family, and even enemies.

Tradition has it that Matthew, having converted many persons to Christianity in Judea, traveled to the East; but there is no certain evidence for this. He has been venerated as a martyr, but the time and circumstances of his death are unknown.

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 allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; may God be with them and their families.

For the victims of Hurricane Ida: for people who have evacuated, for those who are still in their homes, for first responders and everyone who has been impacted by Hurricane Ida from Louisiana to Rhode Island.  

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; Michael G. Smith, Assisting 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 Rick – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Mildred, Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, and Elsie.

Something to share

St Matthew and the Beatles  

The Gospel of St Matthew

Chapter 22

Gives us some guidance

On what we need to do

It says to love thy neighbour

But is this enough advice?

Maybe the New Testament

Should have been more precise

Is it the family next door?

Or an aussie TV show

Is it just our Facebook friends?

Or everyone we know

Is it the ones who empty bins?

Or serve us in the shops

Or those who deliver packages

And what about the Welsh and Scots?

Is it the ones who nurse the sick?

Or care for young and old

Or those who grow the food we eat

Or just do what they’re told

Is it the ones on the TV news?

Who are being killed in wars

Or suffering natural disasters

And living in camps outdoors

Now I am not religious

But the advice to me seems right

It’s the thing that makes us human

It’s much more than just polite

My heart is heavy often now

When I hear some neighbours say

That another of my neighbours 

Needs to go and stay away

I refer you to the other gospel

Not from heaven above

But from the alternative John and Paul

“All you need is love”

         – Alex W 

News and Updates

Celebration of Life – Millie Gittinger is inviting the congregation to a celebration of her late husband’s life this Saturday at the church, 11am.  A Reception will follow in the Courtyard.

Christian Education classes will begin on 9/26 during the 9 am service. Bethany will bring the children to the classroom after the gospel is read. If you have any questions, please email her at office@st-stephens.church.

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.