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, who makes all things new,
new stars, new dust, new life;
take my heart,
every hardened edge and measured beat,
and create something new in me.
I need your newness, God,
the rough parts of me made smooth;
the stagnant, stirred;
the stuck, freed;
the unkind, forgiven.
And then, by the power of your Spirit,
I need to be turned toward Love again. Amen.
– Pamela C. Hawkins
Pamela Hawkins is a United Methodist minister who has served in a variety of contexts. She has pastored local churches, worked as Associate Director of the Center for Excellence in Ministry at Duke Divinity School, and edited the journal Weavings, a publication on Christian spirituality. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry degree from Columbia Theological Seminary on Christian Spirituality. Hawkins is also the author of a number of books. This prayer is from her book The Awkward Season: Prayers for Lent.
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 Mary, Christine, Teddy- today is their birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kebbi – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Kaduna Province).
For all who have died: Elizabeth Dipley, Charlotte Sawyer, and Judith Fitzgerald.
Something to share
Imagine you wake up
with a second chance: The blue jay
hawks his pretty wares
and the oak still stands, spreading
glorious shade. If you don’t look back,
the future never happens.
How good to rise in sunlight,
in the prodigal smell of biscuits –
eggs and sausage on the grill.
The whole sky is yours
to write on, blown open
to a blank page. Come on,
shake a leg! You’ll never know
who’s down there, frying those eggs,
if you don’t get up and see.
– Rita Dove
News and Updates
Scripture Lessons for Sunday:
Schenectady Community Ministries (SiCM) – Thank you again for your continued support of the SiCM Rev. Phil Food Pantry. For the month of March we will be collecting:
· snacks (granola bars, fruit snacks, snack-size pretzels, crackers & chips, etc.)
· Knorr food packets (pasta and rice sides, bouillon and food mixes).
In addition to having the pantry open four days a week, each week SiCM volunteers bring food to Schenectady residents eligible for food delivery. SiCM has recently begun distributing food at Martin Luther King School every other week when parents come to pick up their children, reaching families who cannot get to the pantry.
St. Joseph’s Place – On the last Wednesday morning of each month St. Stephen’s volunteers make lunches for the guests at St. Joseph’s Place. If you would like to participate, contact Carole Merrill-Mazurek or Richey Woodzell. We welcome contributions toward the cost of the food and supplies, which you can put in the offering plate or mail to the church office.
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.