Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, November 19, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

Today’s Prayer

O God, it is easy to love the whole world, but hard to love the person

         one works next to;

O God, it is easy to campaign for world peace, but hard to contribute

         to the peace within my own home;

O God, it is easy to be fascinated with some new truth, and miss you in

         the thing I have known so long;

O God, it is easy to share my home and possessions with people I like.

         Teach me how to be generous towards others.

Enable me today to say something, or do something that will make a

         difference to the discouraged, to the inexperienced, to the despairing.

Let no selfish concern with my own affairs shut me off from any today.

For your love’s sake.

     –  Rita Snowden, 1999

Rita Snowden lived in New Zealand and from an early age was active in the Methodist Church. As a young woman, her leadership skills were quickly evident, given her involvement in almost every aspect of the life of her church. After training as a Methodist Deaconess, Rita traveled many miles on rough roads on her motor bike, John Wesley, preaching, teaching, and ministering to people in need. After suffering a serious illness, she dedicated her life to writing. Over a period of 56 years, she averaged more than one book a year – most of them devotional in nature. It was said that her chief indoor sport was conversation, and her passion ‘people’.

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, Phillip, 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 all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Hyderabad – The (united) Church of Pakistan.

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

Something to share

LORD, you have searched me out and known me; *

    you know my sitting down and my rising up;

    you discern my thoughts from afar.

You trace my journeys and my resting-places *

    and are acquainted with all my ways.

Indeed, there is not a word on my lips, *

    but you, O LORD, know it altogether.

You press upon me behind and before *

    and lay your hand upon me.

Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; *

    it is so high that I cannot attain to it.

Where can I go then from your Spirit? *

    where can I flee from your presence?

If I climb up to heaven, you are there; *

    if I make the grave my bed, you are there also.

If I take the wings of the morning *

    and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,

Even there your hand will lead me *

    and your right hand hold me fast.

If I say, “Surely the darkness will cover me, *

    and the light around me turn to night,”

Darkness is not dark to you;

the night is as bright as the day; *

    darkness and light to you are both alike.

           –  Psalm 139:1-11

News and Updates

Episcopal Relief & Development is kicking off its annual Year-End Match, offering supporters the opportunity to transform lives with twice the impact this holiday season. Thanks to a very generous group of donors, contributions that Episcopal Relief & Development receives between now and December 31 will be doubled, dollar for dollar, up to a total of $650,000.

The Year-End Match will benefit the organization’s Global Needs Fund, supporting key programs in three priority areas: Women, Children and Climate. Gifts will bolster work promoting the health and wellbeing of children, empowering women and helping communities adapt to our changing climate. They will also strengthen the organization’s continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic in marginalized communities in the United States and around the world.

Contributions made to Episcopal Relief & Development before the end of the year are eligible for matching, including Gifts for Life, the organization’s alternative giving catalog, and direct contributions online, over the phone, or by mail. Gifts of stock or from an IRA are also included in the Year-End Match Challenge. 

Donate online at episcopalrelief.org/match, or call 1.855.312.4325. Gifts can also be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development, PO Box 7058, Merrifield, VA 22116-7058.

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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