Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
God, you created the world with your dream of what it could be. You dreamed of people and plants, animal and air, all living in right relationship to you and to each other. Today we offer to you our dream for a world which is not threatened by a changing climate which harms our atmosphere, which wounds the poorest and most vulnerable, which leaves this wonderful planet in poor shape for future generations. Help us to listen to your voice, your Word, and your creation. Amen.
– Joan Weber
Joan Weber has served as a staff member for the Center for Ministry Development, a Catholic non-profit that does faith formation work with youth and families, and previously served as the president of the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association. She holds a master’s degree in pastoral ministry from Creighton University. This prayer was found in the collection God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayers for Creation, compiled by Anne & Jeffrey Rowthorn.
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: 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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Katanga – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.
For all who have died: Elizabeth Dipley, Charlotte Sawyer, and Judith Fitzgerald.
Something to share
From “Love Letter”
I hate you, God.
I write my message on water
and at bedtime I tiptoe upstairs
and let it flow under your door.
When I am angry with you
I know that you are there
even if you do not answer my knock
even when your butler opens the door an inch
and flaps his thousand wings in annoyance
at such untoward interruption
and says that the master is not at home.
I cannot turn the other cheek
It takes all the strength I have
To keep my fist from hitting back
the soldiers shot the baby
the little boys trample the old woman
the gutters are filled with groans…
I’m turning in my ticket
and my letter of introduction.
You’re supposed to do the knocking. Why do you burst my heart?
I take hammer and nails
and tack my message on two crossed pieces of wood:
is it too much to ask you
to bother to me?
Just show your hindquarters
and let me hear you roar.
Episcopal Relief & Development – Tropical Storm Fred alone dumped more than a foot of rain on already water-soaked areas in North Carolina and caused flash floods. It also spawned several tornadoes. Millions of dollars of property, homes, buildings and crops were damaged or destroyed.
The Episcopal Diocese of Western North Carolina is creating a joint program for disaster-preparation training and long-term support, including direct financial aid, shelter, medical care, clothing and other supplies for Latino farmworkers, including undocumented workers. The program will distribute safety information in Spanish and English.
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
For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! Preferably the mask should be a KN95. Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!
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.