Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
O GOD, we who are bound together in the tender ties of love, pray thee for a day of unclouded love. May no passing irritation rob us of our joy in one another. Forgive us if we have often been keen to see the human failings, and slow to feel the preciousness of those who are still the dearest comfort of our life. May there be no sharp words that wounds and scar, and no rift that may grow into estrangement. Suffer us not to grieve thee whom thou hast sent to us as the sweet ministers of love. May our eyes not be so holden by selfishness that we know thine angels only when they spread their wings to return to thee. – Walter Rauschenbusch, 1918
Walter Rauschenbusch is recognized with a feast day by the Episcopal Church on July 2nd, along with Washington Gladden and Jacob Riis. Rauschenbusch is known as one of the main leaders of the Social Gospel movement, which argued that Christians were obligated by faith to address the social problems of their day. In 1917, this Baptist pastor published his text A Theology for the Social Gospel, a key text for the movement. The above prayer is from his book Prayers of the Social Awakening, published in 1910.
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 Hoffmann, Janet Schlansker, Marilyn Causey, Eunice Chouffi, Ruth Turner, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, Priscilla Sprague, Joe White, and all their families.
For Donald – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Karnataka North – The (united) Church of South India.
For all who have died: Don Humphrey, Edna Phillips and Alice Hurst.
Something to share
Peace of Wild Things
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.
– Wendell Berry
Shalom: A Prayer from Many Spiritual Sources to Begin and End the Day
Let me be at peace within myself,
Let me accept that I am profoundly loved and need never be afraid.
Let me be aware of the Source of Being that is common to us all and to all living creatures.
Let me be filled with the presence of the Great Compassion toward myself and toward all living beings.
Let me always be an instrument of my own liberation and not of my own oppression.
Let me see the face of Jesus in others.
Let me be the face of Jesus for others.
Let me be at peace within myself. Amen.
– The Rev. Canon Elizabeth Kaeton, Women’s Uncommon Prayers
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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: email@example.com).
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. 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: email@example.com.
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.