Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, January 8, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, thou Son of the Most High, Prince of Peace, be born again into our world. Wherever there is war in this world, wherever there is pain, wherever there is loneliness, wherever there is no hope, come, thou long-expected one, with healing in thy wings.

Holy Child, whom the shepherds and the kings and the dumb beasts adored, be born again. Wherever there is boredom, wherever there is fear of failure, wherever there is temptation too strong to resist, wherever there is bitterness of heart, come, thou Blessed One, with healing in thy wings.

Savior, be born in each of us as we raise our faces to thy face, not knowing fully who we are or who thou art, knowing only that thy love is beyond our knowing and that no other has the power to make us whole. Come, Lord Jesus, to each who longs for thee even though we have forgotten thy name. Come quickly, Amen.

             –  Frederick Buechner

Frederick Buechner is an ordained Presbyterian minister and influential writer across a number of genres, publishing over 30 books that include novels, memoirs, and sermon collections. The influence of his work is made clear by the receipt of eight honorary degrees, including from Yale and Virginia Theological Seminary. 

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 and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; 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 Pierce – today is his birthday!

For Madeleine– today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:   The Diocese of Jabalpur – The (united) Church of North India.

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

Something to share

“. . . For Who Can Endure the Day of His Coming?” Malachi 3:2

When an Angel

snapped the old thin threads of speech

with an untimely birth

announcement, slit

the seemly cloth of an even

more blessed event with the

shears of miracle,

invaded the privacy of a dream,

multiplied

to ravage the dark silk of the sky, the

innocent ears

with swords of sound: news in a new dimension demanded

qualification.

The righteous were as vulnerable as others.

they trembled for those strong

antecedent fear nots, whether goat-

herds, virgins, workers in wood or

holy barren priests.

In our nights our

complicated modern dreams rarely

flower into visions. No

contemporary Gabriel

dumbfounds our worship, or burning,

visits our bedrooms. No

sign-post satellite hauls us, earth-bound but

star-struck, half

around the world with hope.

Are our sensibilities

too blunt to be assaulted

with spatial power-plays and far-out

proclamations of peace? Sterile,

skeptics, yet we may be broken

to his slow silent birth

(new-torn, new-

born ourselves at his

beginning new in us).

His bigness may still burst

out self-containment

to tell us—without angels’ mouths—

fear not.

God knows we need to hear it, now

when he may shatter

with his most shocking coming

this proud cracked place

and more if, for longer waiting,

he does not.

             –  Luci Shaw

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

Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Church in Colorado as it responds to the devasting wildfire that tore through Boulder County on Thursday, December 30. The Church mobilized its Disaster Response team to identify people in Superior and Louisville whose homes were destroyed or damaged and who may not have other support systems. The diocese is distributing gift cards to help them with groceries, gas and other supplies. 

Episcopal Relief & Development is also partnering with the Episcopal Diocese of Kentucky to provide assistance to people whose homes were damaged or destroyed, unhoused people, immigrants, refugees, first responders and other people who have been affected by the storms. 

Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s US Disaster Fundwill support the organization’s response to wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other disasters, both natural and human-made.

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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