Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, October 14, 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

Holy One, you are a God of compassion. You desire that all might be whole.

In the brokenness of our lives you continue to turn toward us with the hope that we will accept your renewing love and find new meaning for our lives in you.

You have established compassion as the foundation for all relationships and societies…Yet at times we find ourselves preoccupied with our own self-interests at the expense of helping others.

Teach us to love ourselves in a way that embraces others also. Give us courage to make room at the center of our world where others might be renewed by your healing presence. 

Fill us with your spirit of compassion, Lord, that we might not act or speak out of our own self interests….

Call all nations to repent from any action that would increase the sum of human misery in the name of religion. Replace the apathy and selfishness of the world with passion to cultivate empathy with the suffering of all human beings.

Lord, redeem us from actions that deny our common humanity…Jesus, in extravagant compassion, has already revealed our forgiveness and calls us to live as those who are renewed and thankful…

We are grateful; we live differently because of what you, Lord Jesus, have done for us.

        – Rev. Rick Beck, A Liturgy of Compassion

Rev. Rick Beck is a retired Moravian pastor who continues to serve as a spiritual director. The Moravian Church in North America is a small denomination of around 60,000 members that has had a full communion relationship with the Episcopal Church since 2011. This means, for one thing, that Moravian pastors can serve in Episcopal parishes. The Moravian Church traces its history back to before the Protestant Reformation – to a movement that grew out of followers of Jan Hus, a Czech reformer who was burned at the stake in 1415.

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: 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  Diana – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway – The Scottish Episcopal Church.

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

Something to share

Wishing Well

“Outside the Met a man walks up sun

tweaking the brim sticker on his Starter cap

and he says pardon me Old School he

says you know is this a wishing well?

Yeah Son I say sideways over my shrug.

       Throw your bread on the water.

I tighten my chest wheezy as Rockaway beach

sand with a pull of faux smoke on my e-cig

to cozy the truculence I hotbox alone

and I am at the museum because it is not a bar.

Because he appears not to have changed

them in days I eye the heel-chewed hems

of his pants and think probably he will

ask me for fifty cents any minute now wait

for it. A smoke or something. Central Park displays

the frisking transparency of autumn. Tracing

paper sky, leaves like eraser crumbs gum

the pavement. As if deciphering celestial

script I squint and purse off toward the roof

line of the museum aloof as he fists two

pennies from his pockets mumbling and then

aloud my man he says hey my man I’m going

to make a wish for you too.

       I am laughing now so what you want

me to sign a waiver? He laughs along ain’t

say all that he says but you do have to

hold my hand. And close your eyes.

I make a starless night of my face before

he asks are you ready. Yeah dawg I’m ready.

Sure? Sure let’s do this his rough hand

in mine inflates like a blood pressure cuff and I

squeeze back as if we are about to step together

from the sill of all resentment and timeless

toward the dreamsource of un-needing the two

of us hurtle sharing the cosmic breast

of plenitude when I hear the coins blink against

the surface and I cough up daylight like I’ve just

been dragged ashore. See now

you’ll never walk alone he jokes and is about

to hand me back to the day he found me in

like I was a rubber duck and he says you got to let

go but I feel bottomless and I know he means

well though I don’t believe

       and I feel myself shaking

my head no when he means let go his hand.

         –  Gregory Pardlo

News and Updates

The Sicm Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

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.