Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, January 21, 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

Glorious Archangel Raphael, great prince of the heavenly court, you are illustrious for your gifts of wisdom and grace. You are a guide of those who journey by land or sea or air, consoler of the afflicted, and refuge of sinners. I beg you, assist me in all my needs and in all the sufferings of this life, as once you helped the young Tobias on his travels. Because you are the medicine of God, I humbly pray you to heal the many infirmities and divisions of this world. I especially ask of you the favor to prepare me to be the temple of the Holy Spirit and an instrument of God’s healing grace.

           –  Anonymous

Raphael is one of the three Archangels mentioned in Scripture. His name means God has healed, and in the biblical (apocryphal) book of Tobit, Raphael reveals himself as the angel Raphael, one of the seven, who stand before the Lord. He is said to be helpful in bringing healing to body and soul, charity and deliverance.

Some Jewish scholars from the Middle Ages believed that Raphael was one of the three angels that appeared to Abraham in Mamre in the Book of Genesis. Some also believe that Raphael was the angel in the Gospel of St. John that stirred the water at the healing pool of Bethesda.

Raphael is the patron of travelers, the blind, happy meetings, nurses, physicians, medical workers, matchmakers, and sailors. The feast of Raphael was once October 24th; it later was transferred to September 29th for celebration together with other archangels, including Michael and Gabriel.

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: 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 vaccinations, 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:   Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald.

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: Jane, Charline, Janet, Marilyn, Don, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and  all their families.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:   The Diocese of Kadugli & Nuba Mountains – Province of the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

For all who have died:   George Horch, Donald Molino, Arnette Smith, Frances Spain, Pierre Bleecker, and Emilie Voelker.

Something to share

On this long storm the Rainbow rose

On this long storm the Rainbow rose—

On this late Morn—the Sun—

The clouds—like listless Elephants—

Horizons—straggled down—

The Birds rose smiling, in their nests—

The gales—indeed—were done—

Alas, how heedless were the eyes—

On whom the summer shone!

The quiet nonchalance of death—

No Daybreak—can bestir—

The slow—Archangel’s syllables

Must awaken her!

           –   Emily Dickinson

News and Updates 

Free Covid-19 Test Kits – the federal government is making free covid-19 test kits available for each household (4 total). You can make the request at www.covidtests.gov. Anyone who may have more test kits than they need can donate them to SiCM. They will be distributed to those SiCM serves.

Annual Meeting – Our annual meeting will be held this Sunday, January 23, 2022, at 11:00am on Zoom.  Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.  A link for the meeting will be sent today and on Saturday. 

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 and always wear a mask.

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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