Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Collect for the Day
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke 6:17-26:
Jesus came down with the twelve apostles and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea, Jerusalem, and the coast of Tyre and Sidon. They had come to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them.
Then he looked up at his disciples and said:
“Blessed are you who are poor,
for yours is the kingdom of God.
“Blessed are you who are hungry now,
for you will be filled.
“Blessed are you who weep now,
for you will laugh.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.”
“But woe to you who are rich,
for you have received your consolation.
“Woe to you who are full now,
for you will be hungry.
“Woe to you who are laughing now,
for you will mourn and weep.
“Woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
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: Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Robert, Adrian, Hugh, Craig.
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Nippon Sei Ko Kai.
For all who have died: Elizabeth Dipley, Charlotte Sawyer, and Judith Fitzgerald.
Something to share
My child wants to know if the mountains really cowered.
“How do you know when a sea or a river is afraid?
How do you know when the sky is thinking yes or no?
And why did Adam say yes—Did he know that
all the other creatures refused? Was he arrogant
or just ignorant? Was he God’s last choice?”
“Did you really have a party the day the dictator died?
And you had a cake decorated with all the flags?
Did you think his death will fix everything?
Why did we spend all that time there?
Why couldn’t we just stay here?
Isn’t this our country too?
And all these people fleeing and drowning,
what are they hoping for? Whose fault is it?
How long must we wait for things to improve?”
She speaks to me in our language
in front of her friends, to share a secret,
or—cool and beaming—to show off.
I wonder how long it will last, this pride,
this intimacy. Sometimes she puts her arm
next to mine and tells me I have the lighter skin.
“Why are you doing this,” I ask.
But she doesn’t point to the flag
or say, “It’s the way of the world.”
Instead she tells me not to worry, that she is “the most
kid kid in my class, the least mature one, Baba!”
Not all kinds of wisdom console, I tell her.
Then I begin to think of words she’ll soon hear
that can make her wish she wasn’t who she is.
Lead me to virtue, O love, through the smoke of despair.
“Let’s walk through the woods,” she tells me.
“Let’s walk by the rocky shore at sunrise.”
“Let’s walk through the clover fields at noon.”
In the rainforest she is silent, mesmerized.
She’d never prayed—we never taught her—
but she seemed to then, eyes alert with joy.
She points to a chameleon the size of a beetle,
teaches me the names of flowers and trees,
insects we can eat if we’re ever lost here.
“I’m teaching you how to entrust the world
to me,” she says. “You don’t have to live
forever to shield me from it.”
News and Updates
If you would like to attend the Sunday service from home, just visit: https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am and wait for the live stream to be posted. If there are technical issues with the livestream so that it stops, please try re-entering. Do not wait for it to come back on. It may take a few minutes for the livestream to start again, so please be patient. The live video is automatically recorded, so it will be available for viewing later on in the day or week if you can’t be online at 9:00.
This morning’s lessons:
This morning’s bulletin:
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.