Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
when I turn my eyes from you,
when I get wrapped up in wants and worries,
when I miss signs of your presence,
when I turn my eyes from other people,
when I numb myself to the pain of my neighbor,
when I miss opportunities to love and be loved,
when I lose sight of that place deep within where you guide me,
when I stop trusting that you are the source of my voice, my vision, and my call,
O God, open my eyes.
Give me light to see as you see,
to see to the heart of things,
to see to the heart.
– Alison VanBuskirk
Alison VanBuskirk is Pastor at First United Methodist Church Westfield, Brooklyn, New York.
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 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: Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, 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; 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.
For Ashley and Ted – today is their baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Gasabo – Eglise Anglicane du Rwanda.
For all who have died: Lawrence, Ralph, Leland, Blanche, and Marian.
Something to share
Ar scath a chéile a mhaireas na daoine*
I was sick for nine years.
And, during those nine years, I grew tired of offers of prayer for healing.
Eventually, far too late, I said: Please — I cannot handle your prayers. I am too tired to cope and too furious to hope for the things that you say so easily.
So, some friends prayed without me.
They sent me to a cabin near the sea,
they gave me wine, and timber for a fire,
They gave me silence, and space and grieving.
I took a walk every day and prayed the rosary and swore.
In the evening, I poured a glass of wine and cooked a
meal. I watched television and I watched the fire. I slept.
I believe that echoes
need a certain kind of emptiness
in order to be heard.
It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.
– Pádraig Ó Tuama
*An Irish saying meaning ‘It is in the shelter of each other that the people live.’
News and Updates
Family Halloween Afternoon – Please join us on Saturday, October 16 at 4:00 in the Parish Hall. We will have pumpkins for the kiddos to decorate (if you would like to carve your pumpkin, bring carving tools), haunted gingerbread houses for each family to create, crafts and games, and pizza and snacks for dinner. Costumes are welcome! All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Bethany at firstname.lastname@example.org by 10/10.
Episcopal Migration Ministries – The Episcopal Church has served immigrants new to the U.S. since the late 1800s, when the Church opened port chaplaincies to minister to sojourners on both coasts. In the 1930s, local parishes collected donations to provide steamship passage for those fleeing Nazi Europe. Out of this effort, the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (PBF) was born, the forerunner organization to Episcopal Relief & Development and Episcopal Migration Ministries. Through the mid- and late 20th century, we partnered with other faith organizations to resettle those oppressed by the Iron Curtain and the genocides of Southeast Asia. In the 1980s Episcopal Migration Ministries was formally established and, in partnership with a network of affiliate agencies, dioceses, churches, and volunteers, is today one of only nine national agencies through which all refugees enter the United States. Episcopal Migration Ministries is trying to find sponsors and housing for Afghan people entering the U.S. Perhaps this is a way St. Stephen’s congregation could provide this ministry.
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: email@example.com.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning. Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: email@example.com.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.
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.
For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf). Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!
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.