Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, November 15, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

Today’s Prayer

O Lord God, destroy and root out whatever the adversary plants in me, that with my sins destroyed you may sow understanding and good work in my mouth and heart; so that in act and in truth I may serve only you and know how to fulfill the commandments of Christ and to seek yourself. Give me love, give me chastity, give me faith, give me all things which you know belong to the profit of my soul. O Lord, work good in me, and provide me with what you know I need.

             –  Columbanus, 615

Columbanus was the greatest of the Irish missionaries who worked on the European continent. As a young man who was greatly tormented by temptations of the flesh, he sought the advice of a religious woman who had lived a hermit’s life for years. He saw in her answer a call to leave the world. He went first to a monk on an island in Lough Erne, then to the great monastic seat of learning at Bangor.

After many years of seclusion and prayer, he traveled to Gaul with 12 companion missionaries. They won wide respect for the rigor of their discipline, their preaching, and their commitment to charity and religious life in a time characterized by clerical laxity and civil strife. Columbanus established several monasteries in Europe which became centers of religion and culture.

Like many of the all saints, he met opposition. Ultimately, he had to appeal to the pope against complaints of Frankish bishops, for vindication of his orthodoxy and approval of Irish customs. He reproved the king for his licentious life, insisting that he marry. Since this threatened the power of the queen mother, Columbanus was deported back to Ireland. His ship ran aground in a storm, and he continued his work in Europe, ultimately arriving in Italy, where he found favor with the king of the Lombards. In his last years he established the famous monastery of Bobbio, where he died. His writings include a treatise on penance and against Arianism, sermons, poetry, and his monastic rule.

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 Ashley – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Honduras – The Episcopal Church (IX (9) Province).

For all who have died:  Earnest, William, and Dorothy.

Something to share

Brief Is Our Life

To Adelhard, Archbishop of Canterbury

Brief is our life, now in the midst of the years,

And death with silent footfall draweth near.

           His dreaded fingers are upon the gates,

           And entering in, takes all thou hast.

Look forward to that day, and to that unloved hour

           That when Christ come from heaven

He find the father of the house still watching,

           And then thou shalt be blessed.

Happy the day when thou shalt hear the voice

Of thy gentle Judge, and for thy toil rejoicing:

           ‘Come, my most faithful servant, enter in

           The kingdom of the Father everlasting.’

That day, remember me, and say:

           ‘O Christ most gentle,

           Have mercy on a poor man, Alcuin.’

And now,

Beside the shore of the sail-winged sea

I wait the coming of God’s silent dawn.

Do thou help this my journey with thy prayer.

           I ask this, with a devoted heart.

                   –  Alcuin

News and Updates

Interfaith Thanksgiving Service – Our annual Schenectady Clergy Against Hate Interfaith Thanksgiving Service is back! The service will take place this Sunday, November 21st beginning at 3:00pm at Schenectady Urban Farm Fehr Avenue & Central Park Road in Schenectady. It 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.

Episcopal Thanksgiving Service  will be held on November 25th, Thursday morning at 10 am St. Stephen’s Church. Our Lay Reader, Allison de Kanel, will lead Morning Prayer, and Doug Lohnas, our Music Director, will preach.

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 next year.

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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