Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Creator God, you make all things and weave them together in an intricate tapestry of life.
Teach us to respect the fragile balance of life and to care for all the gifts of your creation.
Guide by your wisdom those who have power and authority, that, by the decisions they make, life may be cherished and a good and fruitful Earth may continue to show your glory and sing your praises.
– National Council of Churches, from an Earth Day 2001 Resource Packet
The National Council of Churches, founded in 1950, is an ecumenical organization including a number of denominations and traditions, such as the Episcopal Church, American Baptist Churches in the USA, the Ukranian Orthodox Church of the USA, and many more. Its current priorities include bringing Christians together to address mass incarceration and to contribute to inter-religious religious with a focus on peace. They also have a history of bringing Christians together around issues of climate change and care for creation, both through advocacy and providing resources around these issues for congregations.
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 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: 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 Kapoeta – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Eastern Equatoria Province).
For all who have died: Edwin Tolan, Lee Doolitte, and Olive Maloy.
Something to share
Come, Holy Spirit,
bending or not bending the grasses,
appearing or not above our heads in a tongue of flame,
at hay harvest or when they plough in the orchards or when snow
covers crippled firs in the Sierra Nevada.
I am only human: I need visible signs.
I tire easily, building the stairway of abstraction.
Many a time I asked, you know it well, that statue in church
Lift its hand, only once, just for me.
But I understand that signs must be human,
Therefore call one person, anywhere on earth,
Not me ––after all, I have some decency—
And allow me, when I look at him, to marvel at you.
– Czeslaw Milosz
News and Updates
Scripture Lessons for Sunday:
Street Soldiers – We will be meeting this Sunday February 6, to make bagged lunches in the Parish Hall directly following the 9 am service. All are welcome to help – either by bringing an individually wrapped snack, drink, or dessert to put in the bags, or by helping make the sandwiches and packing bags, or both! Feel free to contact Bethany with any questions at email@example.com
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.