Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, October 21, 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

Jesus, Your ineffable image

Is the star which guides my steps.

Ah, You Know, Your sweet Face

Is for me Heaven on earth.

My love discovers the charms

Of Your Face adorned with tears.

I smile through my own tears

When I contemplate Your sorrows.

Oh! To console You I want

To live unknown on earth!

Your beauty, which You know how to veil,

Discloses for me all its mystery.

I would like to fly away to You!

Your Face is my only homeland.

It’s my Kingdom of love.

It’s my cheerful meadow.

Each day, my sweet sun.

It’s the Lily of the Valley

Whose mysterious perfume

Consoles my exiled soul,

Making it taste the peace of Heaven.

It’s my Rest, my Sweetness,

And my melodious Lyre.

Your Face, O my sweet Savior,

Is the Divine Bouquet of Myrrh

I want to keep on my heart!

Your Face is my only wealth.

I ask for nothing more.

Hiding myself in it unceasingly,

I will resemble You, Jesus.

Leave in me, the Divine Impress

Of your features filled with sweetness,

And soon I’ll become holy.

I shall draw hearts to You.

So that I may gather

A beautiful golden harvest,

Deign to set me aflame

With your adorned mouth,

Give me soon the Eternal kiss!

           – Therese of Lisieux, 1897, Canticle to the Holy Face

Therese, a saint in the Roman Catholic tradition, was a nineteenth century French Carmelite nun. She is often referred to as “The Little Flower.” She had joined a Carmelite community at the age of 15 and died from tuberculosis at age 24. Carmelites are given epithets to their name to symbolize the subject they are especially supposed to contemplate. “Of the child Jesus” was given to her from the start of her time at the convent, but Therese petitioned for “of the Holy Face” to be added as well; the face of Jesus became a guiding focus in her spirituality. Therese is often associated with the phrase “the little way.” While this is not a term that comes up frequently in her own writing, it is representative of an approach to Christian life that embraces simplicity, smallness, and showing love in the little things of life; this is found in her writings, including her well-known autobiography The Story of a Soul.

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 Laura – today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Grahamstown – The Anglican Church of Southern Africa.

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

Something to share

I am walking on a worn path. I need not imagine I am blazing a trail. I am barely scratching earth. I need not think my musings are the plans for a world-renowned structure. Through the tracks of birds are small, their wings have given them the gift of flight. Ants work with determination and fidelity. Their place on the earth is almost invisible, yet one follows another and others continue to come after and the hungry are fed and the young are nurtured.  

….I sometimes feel I am lost in a crowd; my head barely reaches the heads of others. Yet because I am serving God I am tall. My stature is not a result of pride or ambition. I am stretched by love. God has a wondrous power to move me beyond my physical being. I feel it when I am answering the call of others or when I have climbed through the fences and over the walls that separate me from my own spiritual riches…I no longer need search for the repository of these riches. They are placed in my hands as I serve.

            –  Lucy Germany

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.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.

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