Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 20, 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 think that nothing made is lost;

That not a moon has ever shone,

That not a cloud my eyes hath crossed

But to my soul is gone.

That all the lost years garnered lie

In this Thy casket, my dim soul;

And Thou wilt, once, the key apply,

And show the shining whole.

But were they dead in me, they live

In Thee, Whose Parable is—Time,

And Worlds, and Forms—all things that give

Me thoughts, and this my rime.

Father, in joy our knees we bow:

This earth is not a place of tombs:

We are but in the nursery now;

They in the upper rooms.

For are we not at home in Thee,

And all this world a visioned show;

That, knowing what Abroad is, we

What Home is too may know?

         –  George MacDonald, 1905 from “A Prayer for the Past”

George MacDonald was a nineteenth century Scottish author whose works included Christian apologetics, fairy tales and fantasy, and poetry. He was also a minister in the Congregational tradition, though he was not always well-received in this role. An article from the BBC describes MacDonald being accused of heresy in his first church position in Arundel, Scotland. He is described as an influence on many fantasy writers, including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Lewis himself wrote this about MacDonald: “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.”

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:  Fritz, Regina, Joan, 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 Joe– today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Grafton – The Anglican Church of Australia (New South Wales Province).

For all who have died:  Joan, Walter, Naomi, Marilyn, Winifred, Norman.

Something to share

The Song is You

Musical instruments sleep in the dark

for several hours a day:

the folks we belong to aren’t always at play,

so we can’t always be at work. 

Our silence holds music: an undiscovered bourne,

horizons which have never been viewed,

like undeclared love growing deeper in solitude,

or the crystalline heart of a stone. 

My sleep, however, was more like a death:

in the dark of an attic for years;

forgetting my existence, and my glorious career

with the best female swing band on the earth. 

I was the great love of my Sweetheart’s life. 

A man came between us. And soon

I was in the dark collecting dust and out of tune;

they were pronounced man and wife. 

Instead of the charts, my gal read Dr. Spock. 

We played once a week, once a year . . .

At first, from my closet, I was able to hear

her family’s coninuo of talk. 

My Sweetheart’s grandson brought me to the shop. 

Something has ruined my voice. 

Older, not riper, I’m a sorry old bass. 

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope

 . . .that someone will hold me in a tender embrace, 

her arms will encircle my neck;

someone will press her warm length to my back, 

and pluck notes from my gut with her fingers’ caress.

           –   Marilyn Nelson

News and Updates

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies – This year the families at St. Stephen’s will be making “no bake pumpkin pies” just in time for Thanksgiving. Pies will be made on Saturday November 20th, ready to be picked up Sunday November 21st after the 9 am church service. Pies will be sold on a donation basis, with all proceeds going to Street Soldiers Schenectady.  Pies will contain dairy, and although there are no nuts in the pie, crusts may be made in facilities where nuts are used.

Please fill out this pie order form if you intend to purchase a pie (or pies) on November 21. Orders must be received by November 7. This will help us know how many pies to make! Have any questions or want to help out? Email Bethany at office@st-stephens.church. 

Order form

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.)

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) 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.

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