Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, December 2, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, lead us in thine own way, and the end will be rest.

We know nothing of the way ourselves,

except that it is often long and weary,

and much trying to every failing power;

but thou knowest the road—all of it;

it is not one mile too long.

Lead thou us, and we shall be safe;

carry us when we are weary,

and give us rest according to thine own will

and the measure of our need.

           – Joseph Parker, 1902

Joseph Parker was a nineteenth century Congregational minister in England. Parker became widely known for his gifts as a preacher, his extemporaneous style setting him apart from many other preachers at the time. A number of collections of sermons and reflections by Parker were published throughout his life, as well as autobiographical works reflecting on his life in ministry.

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:  Mary, Alice, Lisa, Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie, Audrey, Sunny, Diana.

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 Ifo – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Lagos Province).

For all who have died:  Helbert, Bertha, Irene.

Something to share

In our secret yearnings

we wait for your coming,

and in our grinding despair
we doubt that you will.
And in this privileged place
we are surrounded by witnesses who yearn more than do we
and by those who despair more deeply than do we.
Look upon your church and its pastors
in this season of hope
which runs so quickly to fatigue
and this season of yearning
which becomes so easily quarrelsome.
Give us the grace and the impatience
to wait for your coming to the bottom of our toes,
to the edge of our finger tips.
We do not want our several worlds to end.
Come in your power
and come in your weakness
in any case and make all things new.
Amen.

–          Walter Brueggemann from Awed to Heaven, Rooted in Earth: Prayers of Walter Brueggemann

Flower in the Crannied Wall

Flower in the crannied wall,

I pluck you out of the crannies;–

I hold you here, root and all, in my hand,

Little flower–but if I could understand

What you are, root and all, and all in all,

I should know what God and man is.

         –   Alfred Tennyson

News and Updates

Envelopes- Envelopes for 2022 will be available at the back of the church on Sunday mornings (on the table where communion wafers are picked up) for those who requested them.  Extras are available for those who haven’t yet requested them but would like to. Please contact Denise Crates kazkidsmom@gmail.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!

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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