Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Merciful Lord, it does not surprise me that you forget completely the sins of those who repent. I am not surprised that you remain faithful to those who hate and revile you. The mercy which pours forth from you fills the whole world. It was by your mercy that we were created, and by your mercy that you redeemed us by sending your Son. Your mercy is the light in which sinners find you and good people come back to you. Your mercy is everywhere, even in the depths of hell where you offer to forgive the tortured souls. Your justice is constantly tempered with mercy, so you refuse to punish us as we deserve. O mad Lover! It was not enough for you to take on our humanity; you had to die for us as well.
– Catherine of Siena
Catherine of Siena, a twelfth century mystic and member of the Dominican order, was the youngest of twenty-five children. Her spiritual life became her priority at the early age of six, when she experienced a vision of Jesus with Peter, Paul, and John. While a Dominican, Catherine became a nurse who served those with leprosy and cancer, as well as those suffering from the plague. She died at the age of thirty-three, a few years after completing her most significant writing, The Dialogue of the Divine Providence.
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: Maggie, Reena, Jim, Bruce, Chris, Audrey, June, Caleb, Sunny, Josh T, Pat J.
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, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families.
For Christine and Keith: today is their wedding anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Karimnagar – The (united) Church of South India.
For all who have died: Don, Edna and Alice.
Something to share
Translation can make all the difference! Food for thought…
Thomas Merton points out that the word translated as ‘mercy’ in English (misericordia in Latin) is chesed in the original Semitic, which actually means ‘a fierce, bonding love’ – as between committed lovers. It is not about pity, but about passion. Merton writes: ‘Chesed is fidelity; it is also strength. It is ultimate and unfailing because it is the power that binds one person to another in a covenant of hearts.’
– from Mystical Hope, by Cynthia Bourgeault, Cowley Cloister Books, 2001.
News and Updates
Search for a Bishop – Just as parishes solicit information from all the parish members about their expectations, hopes and dreams for the parish, so too, is the Diocese of Albany is seeking input to create an accurate snapshot of who the Diocese of Albany is and what we are looking for in our next bishop. The Bishop Search committee invites you to click on the link below and take a few minutes to respond to their survey. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/EDOA
CROP Walk 2022! – The CROP Walk continues to fight against the challenges of disease, disaster, displacement, and other concerns that leave people hungry. Last year we raised over $42,000 to help neighbors near and far get the meals they need today and sustainable food security for tomorrow. If you are interested a being a team leader or want to learn more about the CROP Walk join SiCM on Wednesday, February 23rd at 6 pm for a Zoom meeting.
We will go over how funds raised benefitted the recipients, registering your team, how to get materials, and more! The CROP Walk Event itself will be on Sunday, May 1st
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.