Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 27, 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

Praise the Lord

Praise the LORD from the heavens; *

    praise him in the heights above.

Praise him, all you angels of his; *

    praise him, all his heavenly host.

Praise him, sun and moon; *

    praise him, all you shining stars.

Praise him, you highest of heavens, *

    and you waters above the skies.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD; *

    for he commanded, and they were created.

He set them in place for ever and ever; *

    he gave them a law which shall not pass away.

Praise the LORD from the earth, *

    you great sea-monsters and all ocean depths;

Lightning and hail, snow and fog, *

    tempestuous wind, doing his will;

Mountains and all hills, *

    fruit trees and all cedars;

Wild beasts and all cattle, *

    small creatures and flying birds;

Kings of the earth and all peoples, *

    you princes and all rulers of the world;

Young men and maidens, *

    old and young together.

Let them praise the Name of the LORD, *

    for his Name only is exalted,

    his splendor is over earth and heaven.

                  –  Psalm 148:1-13

In this psalm, God is praised for creation by all that God created, from celestial beings to all the world’s rulers and people, including the animate and inanimate (mountains and hills). Praise emanates from the sky and its creations and from the earth and its creations, for God’s splendor is over earth and sky. This psalm echoes part of the story of creation in Genesis but includes exotic meteorological phenomena. A portion of this psalm is included in the Jewish liturgy for returning the Torah to the Ark since the Torah may be seen as representing God. All creation proclaims that God alone is sublime.

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, 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 Peter – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gujarat – The (united) Church of North India.

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

Something to share

Pastoral

Every garden dreams

of being Eden: rose bushes

or wildflowers, it hardly matters

as long as the first hum of bees

remains peaceable and the door

to the grave stays hidden

beneath a swath of grass.

In the cooling afternoon

each flower relaxes

on its pedestal of stem,

and the gardener too dreams,

under a tree weighted

each fall with apples.

          –  Linda Pastan, from Traveling Light

A Season of Prayer: For a Civil 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

Change Day On November 7 th (All Saints’ Sunday), when you set your clocks back an hour, why not also set aside the change you’ve accumulated during the year? Bring it in for the Street Soldiers and leave it in the labeled container in the nave extension.

St. Joseph’s Place, a ministry of St. Joseph’s Parish, is a place of hospitality, refreshment, prayer and conversation, located on Albany Street in the heart of Hamilton Hill. In January we plan to resume the monthly donation of sandwiches for the people who visit St. Joseph’s Place. Delivery days will usually be the last Monday of each month, and we will wrap the sandwiches individually after church the day before. Look for more information in December and January on how you can help.

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) is looking for sponsors and community support for Afghan refugees. We are looking into ways we can be involved. Interested?

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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