Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Today is the tenth day of Christmas. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
I salute you! There is nothing I can give you which you have not; .
but there is much that, while I cannot give, you can take.
No heaven can come to us unless our hearts find rest in it today. Take Heaven.
No peace lies in the future which is not hidden in this present instant. Take Peace.
The gloom of the world is but a shadow; behind it, yet, within our reach, is joy. Take Joy.
And so, at this Christmas time, I greet you, with the prayer that for you, now and forever, the day breaks, and the shadows flee away.
– Fra Giovanni, 1515
Giovanni Giocondo was born in Verona around 1433. He joined the Dominican Order at the age of eighteen and was one of the many of that Order who promulgated the Renaissance. Later, however, he left the Dominicans and entered the Franciscan Order. As a young priest, Fra Giovanni was a learned archaeologist and a superb draughtsman. He visited Rome, sketched its ancient buildings, wrote the story of its great monuments, and recorded, deciphered and explained many defaced inscriptions. He stimulated the revival of classical learning by making transcriptions of ancient manuscripts.
In a letter to Giuliano di Lorenzo de’ Medici, in 1513, Fra Giovanni referred to himself “an old man”. Upon the death of Donato Bramante’s he was made part of a team with Raphael and Giuliano da Sangallo to superintend the erection of the new St. Peter’s Basilica. The work included strengthening the foundations. He died in 1515, while involved with this project.
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 Jamie – today is his birthday!
For Christopher – today is his baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Isiala-Ngwa – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Aba Province).
For all who have died: Stewart Vanda, Dawn Schlansker and Betty McCullough.
Something to share
The Lamb Baaed Gently
The lamb baaed gently.
The tender donkey showed its joy
in lusty bray.
The dog barked playfully
almost talking to the stars.
I could not sleep. I went outdoors
and saw heavenly tracks upon the ground
like a sky
turned upside down.
A warm and fragrant mist
hovered over the grove;
the moon was sinking low
in a soft golden west
of divine orbit.
My breast beat without a pause,
As if my heart had wined . . .
I opened wide the stable door to see
if He was there.
– Juan Ramón Jiménez
News and Updates
SiCM Food Pantry – Thanks to everyone who donated stuffing mix and baking supplies to the SiCM food pantry during the months of November and December. For January, we are going to reinstate collecting personal hygiene products, such as shampoo/conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste (please, no toothbrushes as the pantry has many of them), body wash, bar soap, etc., as well as feminine hygiene products (pads and tampons). These items are always in high demand at the pantry. Thank you for all your support! – Linda Emaelaf
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.