Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, November 5, 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 blessed Jesus, give me stillness of soul in thee.

Let thy mighty calmness reign in me;

Rule me, O King of gentleness, King of peace.

Give me control, great power of self-control,

Control over my words, thoughts, and actions.

From all irritability, want of meekness, want of gentleness,

         dear Lord, deliver me.

By thine own deep patience, give me patience.

Make me in this and all things more and more like thee.

        – John of the Cross, 1591

John came from a poor background, and worked in the hospital at Medina in Spain. In his spare time he studied at the Jesuit College, and eventually joined the Carmelite order. Under the guidance of Teresa of Avila John reformed the male side of the Carmelite order, but he was imprisoned and ill-treated. His union with God in prayer was complete and constant, and is described in his books, The Ascent of Mount Carmel, The Spiritual Canticle, The Living Flame of Love, and The Dark Night of the Soul. John taught that every Christian who wants to know God must pass through the dark night of the senses, where we abandon all sensual satisfaction, and the dark night of the soul, where we learn to dispense even the sense of the presence of God.

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 missionaries 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 Abigail, Erin, & Veronica – today is their baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Hawaii – The Episcopal Church (VIII (8) Province).

For all who have died:  Doris, Katharine, Mae, and William.

Something to share

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy

There’s a wideness in God’s mercy,

like the wideness of the sea;

there’s a kindness in his justice

which is more than liberty.

there is welcome for the sinner,

and more graces for the good;

there is mercy with the Savior;

there is healing in his blood.

There is no place where earth’s sorrows

are more felt than up in heaven:

there is no place where earth’s failings

have such kindly judgment given.

There is plentiful redemption

in the blood that has been shed;

there is joy for all the members

in the sorrows of the Head.

For the love of God is broader

than the measure of the mind;

and the heart of the Eternal

is most wonderfully kind.

If our love were but more faithful,

we should take him at his word;

and our life would be thanksgiving,

for the goodness of the Lord.

       –  Hymnal 1982, #469; Frederick William Faber

News and Updates

Change Day   On November 7th (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 narthex or the nave extension.

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 office@st-stephens.church. 

Order form

Episcopal Migration Ministries – The Episcopal Church has served immigrants new to the U.S. since the late 1800s, when the Church opened port chaplaincies to minister to sojourners on both coasts. In the 1930s, local parishes collected donations to provide steamship passage for those fleeing Nazi Europe. Out of this effort, the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (PBF) was born, the forerunner organization to Episcopal Relief & Development and Episcopal Migration Ministries. Through the mid- and late 20th century, we partnered with other faith organizations to resettle those oppressed by the Iron Curtain and the genocides of Southeast Asia. In the 1980s Episcopal Migration Ministries was formally established and, in partnership with a network of affiliate agencies, dioceses, churches, and volunteers, is today one of only nine national agencies through which all refugees enter the United States. Episcopal Migration Ministries is trying to find sponsors and housing for Afghan people having entered the U.S.   Perhaps this is a way St. Stephen’s congregation could provide this ministry. 

https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/volunteer-community-interest-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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