Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Dear God, please reveal to us
your sublime beauty
that is everywhere, everywhere, everywhere
so that we will never again
My divine love, my love,
Please let us touch
-Francis of Assisi
This prayer is attributed to St. Francis of Assisi. Francis, a thirteenth century friar, belonged to a wealthy family, but rejected his father’s cloth business to embrace Lady Poverty. So many sought to follow his example that he formed them into a community of Little Brothers or Friars Minor. He told them to ‘Preach the gospel at all times; and if you must, use words.’ His introduction of live animals into the Christmas nativity display was an attempt to show that Christ was born among the poor. His preaching to the birds was a protest at the unwillingness of the rich to listen to him. He retreated to Mount Verna in Tuscany to meditate, and so intense was his identification with the crucified Jesus that wounds or “stigmata” appeared on his hands, feet, and side.
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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus: for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, 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.
For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated 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 the times we have failed to take action.
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Maggie, Reena, Jim, Bruce, Chris, Audrey, June, Caleb, Sunny, Josh T, Pat J.
For those who are homebound: Janet and Marilyn.
For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.
For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our 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, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances and Joe.
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kapsabet – The Anglican Church of Kenya.
For all who have died: Don Humphrey, Edwin Tolan, Lee Doolittle, Olive Maloy, Helen Morris, Edna Phillips.
For one another.
Something to share
When the young professor folded
his hands at dinner and spoke to God
about my safe arrival
through the snow, thanking Him also
for the food we were about to eat,
it was in the tone of voice I use
to speak to friends when I call
and get their answering machines,
chatting about this and that
in a casual voice,
picturing them listening
but too busy to pick up the phone,
or out taking care of important
business somewhere else.
The next day, flying home
through a windy
and overwhelming sky, I knew
I envied his rapport with God
and hoped his prayers
would keep my plane aloft.
– Linda Pastan
News and Updates
Don Humphrey’s service will be Wednesday, February 9th at 11am at St, Stephen’s.
Scripture Lessons for Sunday:
Street Soldiers – We will be meeting tomorrow, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Morning Prayers as best we can: email@example.com.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning. Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact Becky for the link: firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: email@example.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer.
Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic. Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice on our website.
Our office email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his 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.