Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

Today’s Prayer

Pie Jesu

Pie Jesu, Domine,                            Merciful Jesus, Lord,

dona eis requiem.                           Grant unto them rest.

Done, dona,                                      Grant them, grant them.

dona eis requiem                             Grant unto them rest,

sempiternam requiem.                      Eternal rest.

           –  Gabriel Fauré

On the morning of this day, 32 years ago, news photographers in El Salvador recorded a scene of abomination: the bodies of six Jesuits priests strewn across the garden lawn of the University of Central America. Father Ellacuria, the Rector of the University, was among those who were brutally murdered. Those seeking a meaning for their deaths could look to the Latin American church’s option for the poor or to the Jesuits’ commitment to social justice. But the immediate context was the fratricidal war in El Salvador.

For years the Jesuits of the university were a thorn in the side of the military and ruling elite. This was not because they supported the rebels or were communists, but because they had consistently denounced the injustice and repression that fed the bitter war, and because they had sought to promote a negotiated settlement to the conflict. Father Ellacuria had earned the enmity of the military command with his frequent denunciation of their reign of terror.

Ellacuria was increasingly moved to articulate the meaning of faith and the gospel from the perspective of the suffering poor. He liked to speak of the “crucified peoples” of history. He compared the poor with Isaiah’s Suffering Servant. In their lives he discerned the ongoing presence and passion of Christ – suffering because of the sins of the world. In this light, the task of the Christian was not simply to contemplate the mystery of suffering, but to “take the crucified down from the cross” – to join them in compassion and solidarity.

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 , Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Joe . 

For Tom & Dennie – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Hong Kong Island – Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui.

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

Something to share

What is it to be a companion of Jesus today? It is to engage, under the standard of the cross, in the crucial struggle of our time: the struggle for faith and that struggle for faith and that struggle for justice which it includes.

            –  Father Ignacio Ellacuria, 1989

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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