Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
O Lord, even though I cannot see my way,
still I hear your voice calling me in the whirlwind.
Things are falling apart and coming together
at the same time.
Fear and calm overtake me.
Feelings of unworthiness and divine boldness
But I hear you beckoning me, telling me to get up,
reach out, look up, step out.
I hear, and I obey.
– Rev. Dr. Renita Weems
Rev. Dr. Renita Weems is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a scholar on the Hebrew Bible. Her work has been influential to the field of womanist theology. Womanism, a term that originates with Alice Walker, refers to an ideology that centers the experiences of black women in its quest for wholeness for all people. Weems has taught at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and Spelman College and served as an academic dean at American Baptist College. This prayer comes from her book Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God.
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: Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.
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 Andrei and Vera – today is their baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Gogrial – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Northern Bahr el Ghazal Province).
For all who have died: Joan, Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.
Something to share
Idiot Psalm 12
(A psalm of Isaac, amid uncommon darkness)
O Being both far distant and most near,
O Lover embracing all unlovable, O Tender
Tether binding us together, and binding, yea
and tenderly, Your Person to ourselves,
Being both beyond our ken, and kindred, One
whose dire energies invest such clay as ours
with patent animation, O Secret One secreting
life anew into our every tissue moribund,
afresh unto our stale and stalling craft,
grant in this obscurity a little light.
– Scott Cairns
News and Updates
Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings::
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 518-346-4445. (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)
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.