Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, December 23, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Today’s Prayer

·        17 December: O Sapientia (Wisdom)

·        18 December: O Adonai (Lord)

·        19 December: O Radix Jesse (Root of Jesse)

·        20 December: O Clavis David (O Key of David)

·        21 December: O Oriens (O Dayspring)

·        22 December: O Rex Gentium (O King of the Nations)

·        23 December: O Emmanuel (With Us is God)

For December 23, the antiphon is based on Isaiah 7:14, Matthew 1:23 and 1 Timothy 4:9.

O Emmanuel, our King and Lawgiver,

hope of the nations and their Savior:

Come, save us, O Lord our God.

From O Come, O Come Emmannuel:

Verse 1:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel,

and ransom captive Israel,

that mourns in lonely exile here

until the Son of God appear.

Emmanuel means “God-with-us.” In the Old Testament, God dwelt with God’s people in the temple at Jerusalem. At the temple sanctuary God received their worship and conferred God’s mercy and blessings.

Christ is “God-with-us” in a far more intimate way. He is one of us since his birth on the first Christmas. He dwells with us in His Mystical Body, the Church. He embraces us in the holy Eucharist. We pray Him to come with His all-powerful grace this Christmas to save us, our neighbors and everyone.

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, Diana 

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 all the blessings of this life.

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

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

Something to share

O God, We Long for Better Days

O God, we long for better days when we can be together,
to celebrate your love and grace in Jesus Christ our Savior.
We long for Silent Night in crowded pews, by candlelight.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We long to come and Deck the Halls this year — like many others.
Yet all around we hear the calls of countless, hurting neighbors.
This year, in quiet ways, we’ll pray and serve and fill our days.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We’ll still, with Christian Friends, Rejoice, by phone, or by our zooming.
We’ll ponder here: What Child is This?— and seek A Rose, E’er Blooming.
We’ll love and serve and give; we’ll live as Christ taught us to live.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

We long to feast and celebrate with family, friends, and neighbors.
Yet this can be our gift— to wait, until the times are better.
Still, Still , you give us joy— a love that death cannot destroy.
May we who stay at home now find your Christmas blessing.

             – Carolyn Winfrey Gillette – Can be sung to the traditional English melody (“What Child Is This?”)

News and Updates

January Messenger:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BeKsioe99-uoG4grohHwwr_XEMgFK66M/view?usp=sharing

CHRISTMAS EVE

4:00 p.m. Eucharist – bring warm coats to wear!

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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