Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
We thank you Heavenly Father that you have given us your only begotten Son, in whom you give yourself and all things. We ask you Heavenly Father that just as you have given us your only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom and in whom you neither will nor can nor may deny anyone anything, so may you hear us in him and make us free and empty of our many faults, and make us one with him in you. Amen.
– Meister Eckhart, 1329
Eckhart was a Dominican, born near Erfurt in Germany, who became a professor at Paris and then Cologne. He was a supporter of the Beguines, the new women’s movement. He told the peasants that they were all aristocrats because God had made them so beautiful, and he criticized the merchant mentality of Cologne. His was a creation-centered theology; he combined cosmic mysticism with a prophetic concern for social justice. He taught a fourfold path on the approach to God: 1. The Via Positiva: for Eckhart, prayer begins with our joy in the creation around us. 2. The Via Negativa: this is a question of Letting Go and Letting Be; Eckhart is not much interested in self-discipline and self-denial. 3. The Via Creativa: ‘What does God do all day long?’ asked Eckhart, and replied, ‘God gives birth.’ So we must be creative in our prayer, and share the results of our meditation with others. 4. The Via Transformativa: building the new creation by way of compassion and social justice.
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
LOVE DOES THAT
All day long a little burro labors, sometimes
with heavy loads on her back and sometimes just with worries
about things that bother only
And worries, as we know, can be more exhausting
than physical labor.
Once in a while a kind monk comes
to her stable and brings
a pear, but more
he looks into the burro’s eyes and touches her ears
and for a few seconds the burro is free
and even seems to laugh
because love does
– Meister Eckhart
The Blessing of the Old Woman, the Tulip, and the Dog
To be blessed
said the old woman
is to live and work
washes right through you
like milk through a cow
To be blessed
said the dark red tulip
is to knock their eyes out
with the slug of lust
your up-ended skirt
To be blessed
said the dog
is to have a pinch
and all the other
dogs can smell it
News and Updates
Scripture Lessons for tomorrow:
Annual Meeting – Our annual meeting will be held tomorrow, January 23, 2022, at 11:00am on Zoom. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend.
Join Zoom Annual Meeting :
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (email@example.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!
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.