Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Colorful Creator, God of mystery,
thank you for the artist teaching us to see
glimpses of the meaning of the commonplace,
vision of the holy in each human face.
Harmony of ages, God of list’ning ear,
thank you for composer tuning us to hear
echoes of the Gospel in the songs we sing,
sounds of love and longing from the deepest spring.
Author of our journey, God of near and far,
praise for tale and drama telling who we are,
stripping to the essence struggles of our day,
times of change and conflict when we choose our way.
God of truth and beauty, Poet of the Word,
may we be creators by the Spirit stirred,
open to your presence in our joy and strife,
vessels of the holy coursing through our life.
– “Colorful Creator” by Ruth Duck
Ruth Duck is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. She is known as an advocate for inclusive language in worship, having written resources such as Bread for the Journey: Resources for Worship and Everflowing Streams: Songs for Worship as well as a variety of published hymn texts, such as “Colorful Creator.” Duck is retired from her role as Professor of Worship at Garett-Evangelical Theological Seminary.
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 Claudia – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Ijesa North East – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Ibadan Province).
For all who have died: Raymond Hughes, Rudolph Stauss, Albert Wilman, George Raser, Fred Williams, Frances Didion, Helen Ott.
Something to share
Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water.
Lay your bed where the cat sleeps.
Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm.
Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit.
Plant the tree where the mole digs.
Build your house where the snake sits to warm itself.
Dig your fountain where the birds hide from heat.
Go to sleep and wake up at the same time with the birds – you will reap all of the days golden grains.
Eat more green – you will have strong legs and a resistant heart, like the brings of the forest.
Swim often and you will feel on earth like the fish in the water.
Look at the sky as often as possible and your thoughts will become light and clear.
Be quiet a lot, speak little- and silence will come in your heart, and your spirit will be calm and full of peace.
– Saint Seraphim of Savor, a renowned Russian saint
News and Updates
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 this 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.