Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
O God of peace, good beyond all that is good, in whom is calmness and concord. Do thou make up the dissensions which divide us from one another, and bring us into unity of love in thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Dionysius of Alexandria, 265
Dionysius was a man of reconciliation in a time of tremendous pain, civil war, and strife. During the persecution (250–251) of Christians by the Roman emperor Decius, Dionysius fled to the Libyan Desert, and he was again exiled in the Valerian persecution (257–260). On his return to Alexandria in about 260, Dionysius did not seek revenge or punishment for his tormentors. He favored readmitting penitent apostates to the church in opposition to those who wanted to exclude them permanently. Desiring unity over uniformity, Dionysius also did not insist on re-baptizing converts who had received heretical baptism.
Dionysius, in the precarious and unstable time he lived, grasped the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:25 as an applicable warning to both the Church and to the greater community that “every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand.”
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: Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie
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 Harare – The Church of the Province of Central Africa.
For all who have died: Doris, Katharine, Mae, and William.
Something to share
O God beyond all praising
O God beyond all praising,
we worship you today
and sing the love amazing
that songs cannot repay;
for we can only wonder
at every gift you send,
at blessings without number
and mercies without end:
we lift our hearts before you
and wait upon your word,
we honor and adore you,
our great and mighty Lord.
Then hear, O gracious Savior,
accept the love we bring,
that we who know your favor
may serve you as our king;
and whether our tomorrows
be filled with good or ill,
we’ll triumph through our sorrows
and rise to bless you still:
to marvel at your beauty
and glory in your ways,
and make a joyful duty
our sacrifice of praise.
– Michael Perry
News and Updates
Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
Sponsored by Schenectady Clergy Against Hate
Sunday, November 21st at 3:00pm
Schenectady Urban Farm
Fehr Avenue & Central Park Road in Schenectady, NY
Our annual Schenectady Clergy Against Hate Interfaith Thanksgiving Service is back! The service will begin at 3:00pm and will feature prayers, music and conversation amongst folks of all faith traditions that call Schenectady home. Grounded in the outdoor beauty of the Schenectady Urban Farms Initiative, this brief service will allow everyone to regather, reflect, and reconsider what it means to give thanks in the unique times we are living in. Ample street parking is available.
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 this Sunday, November 7. This will help us know how many pies to make! Have any questions or want to help out? Email Bethany at email@example.com.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (email@example.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!
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.