Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church
O wonder of wonders! When I think of the union of my soul with you, O God! You make my soul flow out of herself in joyful ecstasy, for nothing but you can content her. A spring of divine love surges over my soul, sweeping her out of herself into you, O God, her original source.
– Meister Eckhart, 1329
Eckhart was a Dominican, born near Erfurt in Germany, who became a professor at Paris and then Cologne. He was a supporter of the Beguines, the new women’s movement. He told the peasants that they were all aristocrats because God had made them so beautiful, and he criticized the merchant mentality of Cologne. His was a creation-centered theology; he combined cosmic mysticism with a prophetic concern for social justice. He taught a fourfold path on the approach to God: 1. The Via Positiva: for Eckhart, prayer begins with our joy in the creation around us. 2. The Via Negativa: this is a question of Letting Go and Letting Be; Eckhart is not much interested in self-discipline and self-denial. 3. The Via Creativa: ‘What does God do all day long?’ asked Eckhart, and replied, ‘God gives birth.’ So we must be creative in our prayer, and share the results of our meditation with others. 4. The Via Transformativa: building the new creation by way of compassion and social justice.
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: Adrian, Andrew, Rosemary, Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Gus, Katie, Pat, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, June, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy, Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.
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 Jean – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Igbomina – West – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Kwara Province).
For all who have died: Helbert, Bertha, Irene.
Something to share
We praise you for your love in coming to us,
unworthy though we are.
Give us grace to accept the Christ who
comes in your name,
and the courage to be Christ for others.
~New Zealand Prayer Book
He Told Me A Joke
My Lord told me a joke.
And seeing Him laugh has done more for me
than any scripture I will
– Meister Eckhart
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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: email@example.com.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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.