Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
I will love you, O Lord my strength, my stony rock and my defense, my savior, my one desire and love. My God, my helper, I will love you with all the power you have given me; not as much as you deserve to be loved, for that can never be, but as much as I am able to. Whatever I do, I never can discharge my debt to you, and I can love you only according to the power that you have given me. The more power to love you give me, the more I will love you; yet never, never can I love you as much as you should be loved.
– Bernard of Clairvaux, 1153
Bernard of Clairvaux was a Burgundian abbot and a major leader in the revitalization of Benedictine monasticism, in particular the Cistercian Order. Three years after entering the Benedictine order, Bernard was sent with a group of twelve monks to found a new house at Vallée d’Absinthe, in the Diocese of Langres, which Bernard named Claire Vallée, or Clairvaux. Bernard’s personality, holiness, persuasive eloquence, and the beautiful Latin style of his writings soon made him and Clairvaux famous throughout Europe. A prolific writer, Bernard composed treatises on asceticism, polemical works, commentaries on the Bible, and innumerable sermons. His originality is best seen in his biblical commentaries and sermons. Bernard’s emphasis was constantly on love; his genius lay in his talent for communicating his musical teaching to others.
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, Jim, Eunice, Jane & 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 Joan -today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Hereford – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).
For all who have died: Helen and Louville.
Something to share
Lady that in the prime of earliest youth,
Wisely hath shun’d the broad way and the green,
And with those few art eminently seen,
That labor up the Hill of heav’nly Truth,
The better part with Mary and with Ruth,
Chosen thou hast, and they that overween,
And at thy growing virtues fret their spleen,
No anger find in thee, but pity and ruth.
Thy care is fixed and zealously attends
To fill thy odorous Lamp with deeds of light,
And Hope that reaps not shame. Therefore be sure
Thou, when the Bridegroom with his feastful friends
Passes to bliss at the mid hour of night,
Hast gain’d thy entrance, Virgin wise and pure.
– John Milton
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 next year.
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.