Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
May God bless you with discomfort,
At easy answers, half-truths,
And superficial relationships
So that you may live
Deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression,
And exploitation of people,
So that you may work for
Justice, freedom and peace.
May God bless you with tears,
To shed for those who suffer pain,
Rejection, hunger and war,
So that you may reach out your hand
To comfort them and
To turn their pain to joy
– Sister Ruth Marlene Fox, b1936
It’s often titled “A Franciscan blessing” or occasionally ““Four-Fold Benedictine Blessing” but actually the prayer is called “A Non-traditional Blessing”. It was written for a student group in 1985 by a Benedictine nun called Sister Ruth Marlene Fox. She is still alive and kicking and says about herself:
“Although I do not consider myself an expert in any area, I have multitudinous interests. I like to write, read, sew, play organ, play Scrabble and go for walks. I have few dislikes, but among them playing bridge and any kind of sports rank high. All in all, I have a wonderful, enriching life for which I am very grateful to God, family, community, and friends.”
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: Alice, 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 Matthew – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Huron – The Anglican Church of Canada (Ontario Province).
For all who have died: Earnest, William, and Dorothy.
Something to share
A steely torn silver, rusted along the edges;
the faint acidic yellow, like the backwash
of a polluted pond; earth-spatter
and gold spot in blotchy shallows;
grays the purpling of drenched slate;
and a pooling crimson with the false
bonhomie of the maraschino cherry –
all that unnecessary life turning to tinder.
The shadows were fragile-fertile
beyond the shocks of grimy hay in a spent field.
The India-ink, closeted blacks –
why choose the easeful darks?
Not that anything lay hidden there.
Was it only the spilled-over, abandoned life
and, from the wastage, the broken buds?
News and Updates
Christmas Pageant – It’s back! Hooray! A rehearsal will take place 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 email@example.com 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.
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.