Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, January 10, 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

O God,

who am I now?

Once, I was secure

in familiar territory

in my sense of belonging

unquestioning of 

the norms of my culture

the assumptions built into my language

the values shared by my society.

But now you have called me out and away from home

and I do not know where you are leading.

I am empty, unsure, uncomfortable.

I have only a beckoning star to follow.

Journeying God,

pitch your tent with mine

so that I may not become deterred

by hardship, strangeness, doubt.

Show me the movement I must make

toward a wealth not dependent on possessions

toward a wisdom not based on books

toward a strength not bolstered by might

toward a God not confined to heaven

but scandalously earthed, poor, unrecognized…

Help me find myself

as I walk in others’ shoes.

–        Kate Compston

Kate Compston lives in Cornwall, England. She practiced as a psychodynamic counselor, but is now retired. In 2015 she won the Hippocrates open prize for poetry and medicine. Today’s prayer was published in Bread of Tomorrow: Prayers for the Church Year.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

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: especially for those who are Kazakhstan; 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 vaccinations and tests, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

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 & 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 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 Peter – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Helen Oyer, Dave Stevens, and Richard Causey.

Something to share

O river Jordan

O river Jordan, what hast thou seen to be amazed?

‘I have seen Him naked who cannot be seen, and I trembled–

How should I not tremble before him and turn back?’

  Christ has appeared in the Jordan to sanctify the waters.

Thou, who dost gloriously clothe Thyself in light,

hast wrapped Thyself in the streams of Jordan.

Thou hast renewed therein, O Word of God, the nature of Adam,

broken by evil disobedience. 

   Therefore we praise Thee and glorify Thy holy Epiphany!

              –  From Matins of the Feast of the Holy Theophany of our Lord, translated from the Greek by Mother Mary & Archimandrite Kallistos Ware

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 thia coming 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) 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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