Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Today is the twelfth and last day of Christmas. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year! This evening is Twelfth Night; Last day to feast!

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ,

You always had the nature of God,

         but you did not try to remain equal with God.

Of your own free will you gave up all you had,

         and took the nature of a servant.

You became like a human being

         and appeared in human likeness.

You were humble and walked the path of obedience

         all the way to death – your death on the cross.

For this reason God raised you to the highest place above

         and gave you the name that is greater than any other name.

And so in honor of your name, I fall on my knees,

           and openly proclaim that you are my Lord,

           to the glory of God the Father.

                  –  Philippians 2:6-11 (adapted)

Twelfth Night refers to the twelfth night of Christmas, also referred to as the eve of Epiphany, a day that commemorates the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus. This night brought the Christmas season to a close and was often celebrated with a temporary suspension of rules and social orders. One of the most popular Twelfth Night traditions was to hide a pea and a bean within a Three Kings cake. The man who discovered the bean would be proclaimed Lord or King of Misrule, while the lady who found the pea would be Lady or Queen of Misrule. The Lord of Misrule was usually a peasant or commoner who lead the drinking and debauchery, as Twelfth Night was one of the few times of the year where servants were allowed to mix with their masters, sometimes even switching roles through disguises or by virtue of the coveted bean.

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:  Adrian, Andrew, Rosemary, Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.

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 baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Stewart Vanda, Dawn Schlansker and Betty McCullough.

Something to share

The Twelve Lights of Christmas

Light the first light of Christmas for thankfulness and prayer…

And everything you see and hear and feel and do.

Light the second light of Christmas for happiness and joy…

And be cheerful with everyday and everyone around.

Light the third light of Christmas for colors and music…

Gifts in people, gifts for people, gifts everywhere from God.

Light the fourth light of Christmas for thoughtfulness and love…

And be gentle and kind to all God’s people and animals.

Light the fifth light of Christmas for mercy…

So we can be forgiving and forgiving like our God.

Light the sixth light of Christmas for all miracles…

Like babies and Jesus and things

That happen like magic, but they’re not.

Light the seventh light of Christmas for understanding…

So we can have peace inside ourselves and all around the world.

Light the eighth light of Christmas for our Earth…

It’s the only planet where humans can survive.

Light the ninth light of Christmas for Heaven and Angels…

We can keep them all around us, everywhere, with goodness.

Light the tenth light of Christmas for life…

No matter how short or long it is,

It’s a wonderful blessing from God.

Light the eleventh light of Christmas for spirit…

The strongest part of us that rises out of death forever.

Light the twelfth light of Christmas for Heartsongs…

The glow inside of us that keeps the light of Christmas bright.

And when our hearts glow with the Lights of Christmas,

We will remember spirit and life and Heaven and Angels,

And Earth and understanding and miracles and mercy,

And thoughtfulness and love and colors and music,

And happiness and joy and thankfulness and prayer…

And become better people throughout the whole, entire year.

          –  Mattie Stepanek

News and Updates

Annual Meeting – Our annual meeting will be held on Sunday January 23, 2022 at 11:00am on Zoom.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.  If you have a report to include, please submit it to office@st-stephens.church by Sunday January 16.

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

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 or by phone, 518-522-3906) 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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