Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church
Almighty God, who gave such grace to your apostle Andrew
that he readily obeyed the call of your Son Jesus Christ, and
brought his brother with him: Give us, who are called by
your holy Word, grace to follow him without delay, and to
bring those near to us into his gracious presence; who lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and
for ever. Amen.
- Book of Common Prayer, p. 237
Today is the Feast of St. Andrew.
Most biographical notes on this Apostle begin “Andrew was Simon Peter’s brother,” and he is so described in the Gospels. Identifying Andrew as Peter’s brother makes it easy to know who he is, but it also makes it easy to overlook the fact of Andrew’s own role in the company of Christ. In John’s Gospel, Andrew is first a disciple of the John the Baptist, who with another disciple decide to follow Jesus, after John pointed him out, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God” (John 1:29). After this, Andrew’s first act was to find his brother and bring him to Jesus. In this sense, Andrew is the first missionary in the company of disciples.
Andrew is recorded in all lists of the Apostles. In Matthew’s Gospel, Andrew and Peter are fishermen who immediately leave their nets when Jesus call them. Andrew is also the one who brought the boy with the loaves and fishes to Jesus for the feeding of the multitude.
There is little information regarding Andrew’s life and ministry after the Gospels. Eusebius, the Church historian, records his going to Scythia, but there is no reliable information about the end of his life. Tradition has it that he was fastened to an X-shaped cross and suffered death at the hands of angry pagans.
Andrew is the patron saint of fishermen, rope makers, textile workers, singers, and miners. He is also the patron saint to several countries and cities including Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, and Romania.
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, Dorothy
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 Mark, Carole, Stephen, Travis, and Liz – today is their birthday! Wow! The most of the year.
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Ife – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ibadan Province).
For all who have died: Helbert, Bertha, Irene.
Something to share
O LORD , thou God of bliss,
Which highest natures leave
To rectify the things amiss
Amongst the sons of Eve.
From time to time they came
To warn and to correct;
But ah! the dreadful sin and shame,
With small or none effect.
At length no more with-held
By seraph’s tears and pray’r,
The God of heav’n himself compell’d
This fleshly veil to wear.
But how to find a friend
In poverty and woe,
Omnipotence must needs attend
His steps where’er they go.
When John his Saviour spy’d,
Behold the LAMB (said he).
If it be so, St. Andrew cry’d,
No more I follow thee.
His teacher he forsook,
And on his face he fell,
And instantly himself betook
To life’s eternal well.
Then from a life reform’d,
He spread example wide,
And multitudes with zeal he warm’d
To take their Saviour’s side.
At length the words prevail
Which Christ prophetic spake,
And to the cross the saint they hale
That ruffian traitors make.
Tormented, tried, and bound
Two well-supported days,
His life his dying accents crown’d,
E’en to their last essays.
His body was remov’d
From Patræ to the Turk,
Where it, through Christ, shall be improv’d
To do a glorious work.
The Spirit shall descend,
And churches shall aspire,
—And they that now the mosques attend,
Of Jesus shall inquire.
Yea Edom one and all
Shall choose the Lord their chief;
And he shall finally recall
The sons of unbelief.
St. Andrew’s Day – A Toast
Wha cares if skies be dull and gray?
Wha heeds November weather?
Let ilka Scot be glad to-day
The whole wide warl’ thegither.
We’re a’ a prood and stubborn lot,
And clannish-sae fowk name us-
Ay, but with sic guid cause none ought
Tae judge us, or tae blame us,
For joys that are we’ll pledge to-day
A land baith fair and glowing-
Here’s tae the hames o’ Canada,
Wi’ luve and peace o’erflowing!
For joys that were, for auld lang syne,
For tender chords that bind us,
A toast-your hand, auld friend, in mine-
‘The land we left behind us!’
Ho, lowlanders! Ho, hielandmen!
We’ll toast her a’ thegither,
Here’s tae each bonnie loch and glen!
Here’s tae her hills and heather!
Here’s tae the auld hame far away!
While tender mists do blind us,
We’ll pledge on this, St. Andrew’s day,
‘The land we left behind us!’
News and Updates
Envelopes- Envelopes for 2022 will be available at the back of the church on Sunday mornings for those who requested them. Extras are available for those who haven’t yet requested them but would like to. Please contact Denise Crates email@example.com, if you want them.
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 is 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!
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.