Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, October 11, 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 is both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Today’s Prayer

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin… All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer…

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin is a simple yet profound statement. It comes from the Lakota Nation and means all my relations. It is spoken during prayer and ceremony to invite and acknowledge all relatives to the moment. To most of us today, relative means a blood relation or another human in the family lineage. We have not been taught that an entity, other than human, could be a relative. Understanding this simple statement and contemplating it, could change our outlook on life forever. If we love and honor our relatives, we would be loving and honoring most of what is on this earth, if we lived by this meaning of “relative.” What a different world we would be living in!

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 Herbert, Sara, Janet – today is their birthday!

For Stephanie and Timothy – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Georgia – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died:  Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

We need new visions of 

community, of society, and, in 

America, of a post-racial world. 

This can only emerge out of a 

deep practice of lament, of 

turning to God, of turning to one 

another in solidarity. Then, your 

young men and women will see 

visions and the old men and 

women will dream dreams of a 

new future. We need this 

desperately. The old world has 

run its course. You cannot polish 

things up a little bit and pretend 

that everything will be okay.

         – Emmanuel Katongole

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 office@st-stephens.church. by today.

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with Food For The Poor to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in Haiti that were impacted by the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace.  Food For The Poor has designed a multi-step response that will support marginalized communities both in the short term and over time.  Episcopal Relief & Development, through Food For The Poor, is sending tents to be distributed by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti to vulnerable groups such as families led by women or those with young children in hard-to-reach communities.  Food For The Poor is also shipping parcels of food for immediate distribution.  Over the long term, the organization is planning to build schools and houses.

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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!

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.