Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, December 20, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Today’s Prayer

O Clavis David (O Key of David)\

O Clavis David, et sceptrum domus Israel,

qui aperis, et nemo claudit; claudis,

et nemo aperuit:

veni, et educ vinctum de domo carceris, sedentem in tenebris, et umbra mortis.

O Key of David and sceptre of the House of Israel!

You open and no one closes,

You close and no one opens:

Come and lead out of prison the captive who sits in darkness and the shadow of death.

From O Come, O Come Emmannuel:

Verse 5:

O Come, Thou Key of David, come,

and open wide our heav’nly home,

make safe the way that leads on high,

that we no more have cause to sigh.

Jesus, our Lord possesses the royal power of His ancestor David in a far fuller and higher way. What he commands is done. By His death on the Cross, He broke open the gates of death and led the souls of the just into everlasting life. He broke the power of the devil who had helped all people captive in sin and the fear of death. We pray Him to come and free us from slavery to sin and to the fear that sin brings with it.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the deadly tornadoes devastating communities in six states this weekend.

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:  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.

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: Charline, Janet, Marilyn, Don, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe.

For Shirley – today is her birthday! 

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Gertrude Welter, Clifford Santer, Gladys Titterington, Jeffery Knight, Margaret Collins, Suzanne Fleischmann.

Something to share

White-Eyes 

In winter

all the singing is in

         the tops of the trees

          where the wind-bird

with its white eyes

shoves and pushes

         among the branches.

          Like any of us

he wants to go to sleep,

but he’s restless—

         he has an idea,

          and slowly it unfolds

from under his beating wings

as long as he stays awake.

         But his big, round music, after all,

          is too breathy to last.

So, it’s over.

In the pine-crown

         he makes his nest,

          he’s done all he can.

I don’t know the name of this bird,

I only imagine his glittering beak

         tucked in a white wing

          while the clouds—

which he has summoned

from the north—

         which he has taught

          to be mild, and silent—

thicken, and begin to fall

into the world below

         like stars, or the feathers

               of some unimaginable bird

that loves us,

that is asleep now, and silent—

         that has turned itself

          into snow.

–          Mary Oliver 

As the shortest day of the year approaches, we might not be feeling any love towards the cold, dark of the winter solstice. But poetry reminds us of the beauty in all things, even the frosty, bitterness of December days. Instead of looking upon the solstice with dread, this week we are reminded of the enchantment of winter, the magic of the holidays and we are provided with warmth and solidarity of family and friends and church – even when the icy winds blow. 

News and Updates

CHRISTMAS EVE

4:00 p.m. Eucharist

CHRISTMAS DAY

9:00 a.m. Morning Prayer (Zoom)

FEAST OF ST. STEPHEN SUNDAY

December 26th

9:00 a.m. Eucharist

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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