Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, November 23, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church

Today’s Prayer

God our Mother,

Living Water,

River of Mercy,

Source of Life,

in whom we live

and move

and have our being,

who quenches our thirst,

refreshes our weariness,

bathes

and washes

and cleanses

our wounds,

be for us always

a fountain of life,

and for all the world

a river of hope

springing up in the midst

of the deserts of despair.

Honor and blessing,

glory and praise

to You forever.

Amen

       –  Medical Mission Sisters

The Medical Mission Sisters are a religious congregation of women in the Roman Catholic Church founded in 1925 and dedicated to providing the poor of the world better access to health care. They were formerly officially known as the “Society of the Catholic Medical Missions”.

The congregation grew out of the experiences of Dr. Anna Dengel, a native of Austria. Dr. Dengel had served for several years as a medical missionary to the poor of what was then Northern India and today is the nation of Pakistan. She had experienced firsthand the unnecessary sickness and death of countless Muslim women and children, whose customs kept them cut off from medical care administered by male physicians.

After months of traveling to give talks about the conditions in India, and speaking with many members of the clergy, Dr. Dengel became convinced that only a group of Religious Sisters who had been professionally trained as physicians could reach these women, who were cut off from adequate medical care by cultural and religious traditions. Such a project, however, was contrary to canon law of the time, which prohibited members of religious institutes from practicing medicine.

Nevertheless, she drew up a Constitution for the Community she had in mind and wrote that the members were “to live for God…to dedicate themselves to the service of the sick for the love of God and …to be properly trained according to the knowledge and standards of the time in order to practice medicine in its full scope, to which the Sisters were to dedicate their lives.”

Permission was granted on June 12, 1925. The original members, despite being denied the ability to profess religious vows officially because the Catholic Church had yet to approve Sisters working in the medical field, lived as professed Sisters just the same. Finally, in 1935, after the Medical Mission Sisters had grown, the Catholic Church changed its regulations and approved Sisters’ working in medicine and all of its branches. The Medical Mission Sisters then made their public, canonical vows, and they began to establish communities around the world.

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, Lisa 

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 Scott- today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Ibadan South – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ibadan Province).

For all who have died:  Porter, Thomas, Carol, and Jane.

Something to share

A “Prayer for Masking”

May I see the holy moment

in the wearing of this cloth –

a sign to the world that I care –

a tangible and visible way of living

love for my neighbours,

as I love myself.

Since my lips will be covered,

may I uncover my heart,

that people would see my smile

in the crinkles around my eyes.

Since my voice may be muffled,

may I speak clearly,

not only with my words,

but with my actions.

As the elastic touches my ears,

may I listen carefully –

may I be full of care –

for all those I meet.

May this simple piece of cloth be

shield and banner,

and each breath that it holds,

be filled with divine love.

By all I hold sacred,

by the love that is intended,

I say these things,

I take this action.

May it be so.

May it be so.

        –  Richard Bott, Moderator of The United Church of Canada

News and Updates

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.

The Stewardship campaign is underway with the mailing of pledge materials, which you should receive earlier this month. Please read these materials carefully and prayerfully reflect on your contribution. If you have not received the mailing, please let us know. We need the participation of all members if we are to sustain our ministries, meet unexpected expenditures and continue to provide support for others in our community. You can mail us your pledge or drop it off at the church.  If possible, we hope you can submit your pledge before Thanksgiving. Thank you.

Things of my Very Own – This Christmas season our church will be collecting new, unwrapped items for Things of my Very Own.  Items being collected are: 

·  Brand new twin and full sized bedding sets

·  Brand new undergarments (Many of the girls and boys that we serve are not comfortable wearing tight fitting undergarments after experiencing certain types of trauma. For this reason, we are always in need of all sizes of boxer shorts.

·  Hair Brushes (Simple things that allow you to feel good about yourself are especially important in helping children heal from the trauma they have endured).

·  Personal hygiene supplies

·  Brand new clothing for boys and girls, especially in children’s sizes 12-20.

·  Brand new toys

There will be a display in the nave extension for “Things of my Very Own” where items can be left on or before Sunday, December 12.  If you would like to make a monetary donation instead of purchasing an item from the list, checks may be made out to Things of My Very Own, Inc. and left in an envelope with the other donations or mailed to the office (please be sure to note it is for the Christmas items collection). 

Thank you for your support in making these children’s Christmas (and lives!) more joyful!

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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