Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

Today’s Prayer

How shall I show my love is proved by deeds? Well – the little child will strew flowers…she will embalm the Divine Throne with their fragrance, will sing with silvery voice the canticle of love.

Yes, my Beloved, it is thus that my life’s brief day shall be spent before Thee. No other means have I of proving my love than to strew flowers; that is, to let no little sacrifice escape me, not a look, not a word, to avail of the very least actions and do them for Love…. I will always sing, even if I must gather my roses in the very midst of thorns – and the longer and sharper the thorns the sweeter shall be my song.

            –  Thérèse of Lisieux, 1897

Thérèse, a saint in the Roman Catholic tradition, was a nineteenth century French Carmelite nun. She is often referred to as “The Little Flower.” She had joined a Carmelite community at the age of 15 and died from tuberculosis at age 24. Carmelites are given epithets to their name to symbolize the subject they are especially supposed to contemplate. “Of the child Jesus” was given to her from the start of her time at the convent, but Therese petitioned for “of the Holy Face” to be added as well; the face of Jesus became a guiding focus in her spirituality. Therese is often associated with the phrase “the little way.” While this is not a term that comes up frequently in her own writing, it is representative of an approach to Christian life that embraces simplicity, smallness, and showing love in the little things of life; this is found in her writings, including her well-known autobiography The Story of a Soul.

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 Hpa-an – The Church of the Province of Myanmar.

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

Something to share

On the Door

 Why did she carve his Name

on the side of the door?

He is my only love, she wrote,

– mon unique amour,

as though it were a school desk

and she a teenage lover;

as though she were a prisoner

and he, elsewhere, another –

or that this place – this little cell,

was where she felt him most,

and set to make remembrance

in the world, of being his host.

         –  Sarah Law, from a book of poems Thérèse: Poems all about Thérèse of Lisieux’s life

News and Updates

Christmas Pageant – It’s back! Hooray!   Our rehearsal dates will be this Sunday following the 9 am service / kids sermon.  Our Pageant will be on 12/19 during the 9 am service. We are also looking for adult / older children volunteers to help make costumes and props! Please contact Bethany at office@st-stephens.church if you have any questions or would like to help. 

SiCM Food Pantry – Thank you to everyone who donated cleaning supplies and spices for the SiCM Food Pantry during September and October.  For the months of November and December we will be collecting donations of baking supplies and stuffing mix for the pantry.  There will be a box in the nave extension for your donation.  Thank you for your help.

Pie Pick-up – If you ordered a pie from the Christian Ed fundraiser supporting Street Soldiers pie pick up is this Sunday, 11/21, after the 9 am service in the Parish Hall.  

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 designating that you would like it to be shared with the entire congregation on Daily Prayers. 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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