Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, October 22, 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

Mighty God, Father of all,

Compassionate God, Mother of all,

Bless every person I met,

every face I have Seen,

every voice I have heard,

especially those most dear;

bless every city, town and

street that I have known,

bless every sight I have seen,

every sound I have heard,

every object I have touched.

In some mysterious way these have all fashioned my life:

all that I am,

I have received.

Great God, bless the world.

       –   John J. Morris, S.J., 2012

John J. Morris, an American Jesuit priest who died in 2012, wrote this prayer before his ordination in 1962. Morris is known for founding the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, which provides opportunities for young people to do a year of service and live in community together. (The Episcopal Church has a similar program – the Episcopal Service Corps!) Morris also organized the Bethlehem Peace Pilgrimage in 1982 and 1983. The 7,000 mile walk was meant to be a call for peace and nuclear disarmament and involved walking from Washington State to Washington, D.C., flying to Ireland, and then walking from Ireland to Bethlehem, traveling through a total of eleven countries. In an article in Sojourners during the time of the walk, Morris explained their goals this way: “folks left family, wife, children, and jobs for war–and it was taken for granted. We need to go to peace–people need to be willing to leave jobs, families, sweethearts, and dedicate themselves to peace.” In the 90s, Morris worked in Uganda with refugees, and in the early 2000s, served as a parish priest in the state of Oregon.

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:  Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Warren, Steven, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny, people of Afghanistan, Christian missionarys and children who were kidnapped in Haiti.

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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Guadalcanal – The Anglican Church of Melanesia.

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

Something to share

Earth

God is digging in the garden of my soul,

           the rich, moist dirt sticking under her fingernails,

           turning and blending the soil of my life,

           now and then adding the compost

           of tossed-out experiences

           that I believed were useless.

She seems to understand

           that this bed can sustain life,

           that the deadened seeds and withered sprouts

                   will not be all there is.

Like the herb jungle

           in my friend Elaine’s backyard,

my soul, under God’s care,

           will grow green and wild.

                      –   Rev. Helen C.L. McPeak

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

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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