Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 13, 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

I will repay you for the years

    that the swarming locust has eaten,

the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,

    my great army, which I sent against you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

    and praise the name of the Lord your God,

    who has dealt wondrously with you.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,

    and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

 Then afterward

    I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

    your old men shall dream dreams,

    and your young men shall see visions.

              –  Joel 2:25-28a

The Book of Joel is an unusual prophetic book. Although it contains readings in the form of oracles, announcements of judgments against the nations, and promises of an ideal future, it does not follow the usual structure of most prophetic books. The readers of the book of Joel are asked to imagine a terrifying plague of locusts and its horrifying impact on society – something perhaps we today can relate to. In this passage, God assures a glorious future for the faithful. Prophecy, dreams, and visions were the three recognized ways in which human beings received communications from God. The message is one of hope – the days are coming when God will once again reveal God’s self to creation.

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:  Gus, Pat, 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; 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 Rick – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For Joe – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gitega – The Anglican Church of Burundi.

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

Schenectady Community Ministries – Join SiCM on Friday, October 15th at 3PM for the Official Naming of the Food Pantry after Reverend Phillip Grigsby. This free event will include speakers and incentives for donors. 3PM for tours of the newly renovated food pantry. And then later that day, will be the Official Grand Opening of the SiCM Community Hub! Tickets are $75 and provide access to this unique celebration including a tour of the brand new building, wine tastings, and a commemorative gift. Dress to impress and look for new incentives for donors! Program TBD.

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