Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, October 23, 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

Grant, O God, that, following the example of your servant

James the Just, brother of our Lord, your Church may give

itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all

who are at variance and enmity; through Jesus Christ our

Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one

God, now and for ever. Amen.

           – Book of Common Prayer, p.245

Today is the Feast of St. James of Jerusalem.

Saint James, who is also known as James, The Lord’s Brother, (died AD 62, Jerusalem), was a Christian apostle, according to St. Paul, although not one of the original Twelve Apostles. He was leader of the Jerusalem Christians, who with Saints Peter and John the Evangelist is one of “the pillars of the church.”

Confusion has arisen over his identity because he has often been mistaken for St. James, son of Alphaeus. Exactly what the biblical Galatians 1:19 means by designating him “the Lord’s brother” is also uncertain, although he is mentioned elsewhere in the Gospels as one of Jesus’ four brothers (Mark 6:3; Matthew 13:55). Various theories have been forwarded that James and Jesus were brothers (after Tertullian and Clement of Alexandria), stepbrothers (after Origen, among others), or cousins (after St. Jerome).

James evidently was not a follower of Jesus during his public ministry. Paul attributes James’s later conversion to the appearance of Christ resurrected (1 Corinthians 15:7). Three years after Paul’s conversion, James was an important leader in the Jerusalem church (Galatians 1:18–19), where he assumed even more significance after King Herod Agrippa I of Judaea in about AD 44 beheaded the Apostle St. James, son of Zebedee, and after Peter fled from Jerusalem (Acts 12:1–17). He was the chief spokesman for the Jerusalem church at the Council of Jerusalem regarding Paul’s mission to the Gentiles (Acts 15:13) and final visit to Jerusalem (Acts 21:18).

Later tradition records that James was called “the Just” and was noted for his maintaining of Jewish law. Though opposing those Jewish Christians who demanded that Gentile Christians submit to Jewish Law, including circumcision, he believed Jewish Christians should continue loyalty to Jewish practice and piety, as he did himself. Tradition holds that James suffered a martyr’s death, either by stoning or by being thrown from a Temple tower. The early church designates him the first bishop of Jerusalem, though the title is not used in the New Testament.

James is the patron saint of the dying; pharmacists; fullers, those who clean, shrink, and thicken cloth; and hat-makers.

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, Joe. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Guatemala – Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America.

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

Something to share

By all your Saints Still Striving

With verse 2:
We praise you for the witness
of James, the one who died
in telling of his Saviour,
Jesus the Crucified.
Lord, help us not to treasure
our worldly goods or fame,
but may we, trials enduring,
bring glory to your name.

A Three Step Morning Prayer
 

First Step: Plant your feet firmly on the earth. Using your five senses, give thanks to our Creator God for the countless ways God comes to us through creation- for all the beauty that your eyes see, for all the sounds that your ears ear, for all the scents that you smell, the tastes that you taste, for all that you feel (the sun, wind, rain, snow, warm, or cold). Pray this day that you may be open and attuned to the countless ways that our Creator God comes to us through your senses, through the gifts of creation.
Second Step: Let go of all the pain, struggle, regret, failures, garbage of yesterday – step out of it – leave it behind- brush the dust of it from your feet.
Third Step: With this third and final step, step into the gift of the new day, full of hope, promise, and potential. Give thanks for the gift of this new day, which God has made!  Amen.
                         – Jose Hobday        

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

Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings:

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.

%d bloggers like this: