Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Almighty, everlasting God, whose servant Leo steadfastly confessed the true faith of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to be Very God and Very Man: Grant that we may hold fast to this faith, and evermore magnify his holy Name; through the same your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit for ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
Today the church remembers Leo the Great, Bishop of Rome, 461.
Leo, Bishop of Rome, captured the imagination of generations of Europeans when he stood before the terrible horde of the Huns and persuaded them to withdraw to the Danube. He settled the most heated and dangerous theological dispute since Nicaea, when his legates ended the Eutychian controversy. He succeeded in getting imperial and ecclesiastical endorsement for his claim that the Bishop of Rome was primate of the Catholic Church in Western Europe. Leo the Great was “Founder of the Papacy.” He appeared in a very troubled time in the Dark Ages of Western Europe and was a veritable savior not only of the church but of law and order of any kind, indeed, of Western civilization.
Leo’s most famous written work, his Tome, remains a classic statement of Christian doctrine. His sermons and letters still reveal to us a clear, forcible, and intelligent pastor, though not an unusually brilliant or profound one.
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: Adrian, Andrew, Rosemary, Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, 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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Highveld – The Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
For all who have died: Helen and Louville.
Something to share
We’ll whisper, Wyatt promises. He and his friend Tristan are going to play video games until the wee hours, and the setup for it is right outside my bedroom door. No, I tell him, they don’t have to whisper. I remind him that I grew up with brothers. Noise doesn’t bother me in the least. In fact, I enjoy drifting off to sleep with the sound of human fellowship nearby.
My parents in the living room, talking quietly after they’d put me to bed.
My mother’s bridge club. The ladies’ voices, mostly quiet, but an occasional treble burst of laughter.
A church meeting downstairs, my fathers deep, guiding voice. There were no offices in that little church and, for a long time, no indoor plumbing either. Such meetings as were necessary were in people’s homes.
My children giggling about something.
The street outside our apartment in New York: people leaving the restaurants, theater people heading home after their shows ended. As it got later, occasional footsteps. Sometimes an argument. Sometimes the clip-clop of hooves, as a livery driver made his way back to the stables. The noise came and went. Human beings doing human things.
God loves each of those voices you hear in the night, the ones you know and the ones you don’t. If they awaken you, let it be a sign to pray for them. Why not? It’s better than being angry about it. You’ll be giving God a chance to remind you who you are in the human family.
Keep watch, dear Lord, with those who work, or watch, or weep this night, and give your angels charge over those who sleep. Tend the sick, Lord Christ; give rest to the weary, bless the dying, soothe the suffering, pity the afflicted, shield the joyous; and all for your love’s sake. Amen
– Barbara Crafton
News and Updates
A different use of the church – Next week there will be an entire filming company who will be using our church for shooting a few scenes for a major television show. (Our contract with them does not allow us to divulge the specific show until it has been aired.) The crew will be on site Monday-Wednesday and I ask you to avoid the church for those three days. St. Stephen’s is being compensated for this use of our building. Thank you.
New Veteran’s Day hymn – For more than a century, the Navy Hymn, “Eternal Father, Strong to Save,” has had no Army counterpart. Tom Lough, West Point, ’64, decided to do something about that. As a ten-year Army veteran and church music composer, he has developed a hymn that is being circulated for use with Veterans Day services and events. “Ever Faithful to the Call” honors the service of our soldiers as they do whatever is necessary to keep us free. We, at St. Stephen’s, will sing this new hymn this Sunday, as we honor our veterans.
Tom Lough is a combat engineer veteran with service in Korea, Vietnam, and Germany. He is also a church music composer. He and his wife, Posy, live in Round Rock, Texas, where he sings in his church choir.
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: email@example.com.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.