Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, October 26, 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

O God of Love,

Look kindly upon the flame that is my soul.

Though it glows like a tiny sapphire,

Barely visible in the dark,

It contains the life of light.

It is precious to me,

For in this infant flame I know you dwell;

And as you choose to dwell in me,

So also must I be precious in your sight.

In your patience, Lord, never allow this flame,

    however small, to be extinguished.

Let me nurture it in stillness,

Giving it ample room to breathe;

And grant me patience as I watch and feel it grow,

Slowly, imperceptibly,

Into the Light of Life.  Amen.

        –  Wendy Lyons, Candle Prayer

This prayer is included in the book Women’s Uncommon Prayers: Our Lives Revealed, Nurtured, and Celebrated, compiled by the Episcopal Church’s Council of Women’s Ministries and published in the year 2000. The book includes prayers from women across the Episcopal Church. Its intention was to provide a space for “Episcopal women speaking authentically with one another and with the church at large” and “sharing the richness and diversity of their spirituality.”

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, Joe. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Guinea – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).

For all who have died:  Debbie, August, Helen, and Earl.

Something to share

On the Existence of the Soul

How confident I am it is there. Don’t I bring it,  

As if it were enclosed in a fine leather case,   

To particular places solely for its own sake?  

Haven’t I set it down before the variegated canyon   

And the undeviating bald salt dome?   

Don’t I feed it on ivory calcium and ruffled   

Shell bellies, shore boulders, on the sight   

Of the petrel motionless over the sea, its splayed   

Feet hanging? Don’t I make sure it apprehends   

The invisibly fine spray more than once?

I have seen that it takes in every detail

I can manage concerning the garden wall and its borders.

I have listed for it the comings and goings

Of one hundred species of insects explicitly described.

I have named the chartreuse stripe

And the fimbriated antenna, the bulbed thorax   

And the multiple eye. I have sketched

The brilliant wings of the trumpet vine and invented

New vocabularies describing the interchanges between rocks   

And their crevices, between the holly lip   

And its concept of itself.

And if not for its sake, why would I go

Out into the night alone and stare deliberately   

Straight up into 15 billion years ago and more?

I have cherished it. I have named it.   

By my own solicitations   

I have proof of its presence.

         –   Pattiann Rogers

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

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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