Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
you took pity on the blind Bartimaeus
and healed him;
you raised Lazarus from the dead
and freed Mary Magdalen from seven
devils to count her among your disciples.
You made the blind see, the deaf hear,
the dumb speak, the lame walk,
you cleansed lepers and cast out demons.
You preached the Good News to the poor
and bless those who are faithful to you.
Through the intercession of your
faithful martyr, Valentine,
grant your healing and consolation to the sick.
Give them the strength to carry their Cross
in union with you.
Help us to remain faithful to you in health
and in suffering, conformed to your Cross;
open our hearts to your will
so your grace may transform our lives.
– traditional Catholic Prayer
It is possible that there was more than one Saint Valentine; it is known that there was a Valentine who was a priest and a physician in Roman times. When he refused to renounce Christianity he was beheaded by Claudius II on 14 February 270AD. Another Valentine was Bishop of Interramna (now called Terni) in Umbria, Italy. He prayed for the sick to be cured and was thrown into prison and later beheaded.
The similarities between the two stories have led historians to believe they were possibly one and the same person. Some believe that the link between Valentine and epilepsy, which was also known as the falling sickness, could be due to the similarity between the German verb ‘fallen’ and the first part of the saint’s name. The Nuremberg Chronicle printed in 1693, has a representation of Saint Valentine curing a boy having a seizure, echoing stories in the bible where Jesus heals a boy with epilepsy by driving out an evil spirit.
From Our Prayers of the People
For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.
For 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: Reena, Jim, Jane and 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 Hoffmann, Janet Schlansker, Marilyn Causey, Eunice Chouffi, Ruth Turner, Mary Frances Hatfield, Vincent Avila, Priscilla Sprague, Joe White, and all their families.
For Marilyn- today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Jerusalem – The Episcopal Church in Jerusalem & The Middle East.
For all who have died: Elizabeth Dipley, Charlotte Sawyer, and Judith Fitzgerald.
Something to share
“Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone—we find it with another.” – Thomas Merton
The Presence of Love
And in Life’s noisiest hour,
There whispers still the ceaseless Love of Thee,
The heart’s Self-solace and soliloquy.
You mould my Hopes, you fashion me within;
And to the leading Love-throb in the Heart
Thro’ all my Being, thro’ my pulse’s beat;
You lie in all my many Thoughts, like Light,
Like the fair light of Dawn, or summer Eve
On rippling Stream, or cloud-reflecting Lake.
And looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot that made me love you.
– Samuel Taylor Coleridge
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.