Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, October 29, 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

May the Holy Ghost distilling,

           Down from heaven forth to ground,

Grant me aid and goodness filling,

           That my prayer be firmly bound,

The King of life’s great throne around.

May the Holy Ghost with blessing

           Wing the prayer I send as dove

In the fitting state and gracing

           Of thy holy will above,

O Lord my God of life and love.

Be I in God’s love, God’s dearness,

           Be I in God’s will, God’s sight,

Be I in God’s choice, God’s nearness,

           Be I in God’s charge, God’s might,

And be I in God’s keep aright.

As thine angels fair, untiring,

           As thy saints, household entire,

They in heav’n above desiring,

           So on earth may I desire,

With Holy Ghost aflame in fire.

          –  Poems of the Western Highlanders

The poetry of the Western Highlands of Scotland has its origins in the very earliest days of Celtic Christianity, and is imbued with profound religious experience and feeling. These ancient prayers can resonate strongly with many today. They are rooted in the petitions of those who are at home with God and welcome God into every area of their lives. Here we encounter the encircling love of God as we dwell in God and God in us.

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 Humphrey, Eunice Chouffi, Vincent Avila, Priscilla Sprague, Ruth Turner, Mary Frances Hatfield, Joe White. 

For Edwin Masambo – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gusau – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Kaduna Province).

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

Something to share

I happened to be standing

I don’t know where prayers go,

           or what they do.

Do cats pray, while they sleep

half-asleep in the sun?

Does the opossum pray as it

crosses the street?

The sunflowers? The old black oak

growing older every year?

I know I can walk through the world,

along the shore or under the trees,

with my mind filled with things

of little importance, in full

self-attendance. A condition I can’t really

call being alive.

Is prayer a gift, or a petition,

or does it matter?

The sunflowers blaze, maybe that’s their way.

Maybe the cats are sound asleep. Maybe not.

While I was thinking this I happened to be standing

just outside my door, with my notebook open,

which is the way I begin every morning.

Then a wren in the privet began to sing.

He was positively drenched in enthusiasm,

I don’t know why. And yet, why not.

I wouldn’t persuade you from whatever you believe

or whatever you don’t. That’s your business.

But I thought, of the wren’s singing, what could this be

if it isn’t a prayer?

So I just listened, my pen in the air.

        –   Mary Oliver

News and Updates

The November Messenger:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/16mzd7kzgNFAnBSo7Djqm3l2P6poGZ1gl/view?usp=sharing

Change Day On November 7 th (All Saints’ Sunday), when you set your clocks bs aack an hour, why not also set aside the change you’ve accumulated during the year? Bring it in for the StreetSoldiers 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.

%d bloggers like this: