Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Settle down into the silence. Close your eyes.
Speak the name of God that rises to your lips.
Jesus, Mother, Abba, Yahweh, Father, God, Spirit, simply let it be what it is.
Imagine God calling you by your name.
And hear God say to you, as Jesus said to the blind man who called out to him,
What do you want me to do for you?
And answer honestly.
– “A Prayer For When You Don’t Even Know What You Want” by Sarah Bessey
Sarah Bessey is the bestselling author of the books Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God. This prayer is from her newest book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, which gathers together prayers and reflections from a number of women spiritual and religious leaders. Bessey is also a conference organizer, having co-founded the Evolving Faith gathering, which particularly brings together those who have found themselves as “the misfits, the wanderers, the curious, the questioning, the spiritual refugees” in their connection to Christianity. Bessey also co-hosts a podcast of the same name.
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 in the Ukraine, 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 and the Ukraine; 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: Kathy, 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: Kathy, 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 Kericho – The Anglican Church of Kenya.
For all who have died: James Borrowman, Morton Muller, Helene Perry, and Mary Melvin.
Something to share
Why worry about the loaves and fishes?
If you say the right words, the wine expands.
If you say them with love
and the felt ferocity of that love
and the felt necessity of that love,
the fish explode into many.
Imagine him, speaking,
and don’t worry about what is reality,
or what is plain, or what is mysterious.
If you were there, it was all those things.
If you can imagine it, it is all those things.
Eat, drink, be happy.
Accept the miracle.
Accept, too, each spoken word
spoken with love.
– Mary Oliver
News and Updates
The Messenger – March
Important changes are happening in houses of worship in Schenectady, since we fall in the green, or low levels, on the CDC Core Indicators of COVID 19 Community Levels. I would like to hear from St. Stephen’s communicants about what you think the immediate future of our worship here at our church should be. You can always reach me at email@example.com.
Episcopal Relief & Development invites Episcopalians and people of all faith backgrounds to see Christ in others this Lent through the 2022 Lenten Meditations. This year’s reflections focus on the organization’s three key priority areas: Women, Children and Climate, and feature a special section on Disaster Resilience and Response.
Supporters are also invited to observe Episcopal Relief & Development Sunday on March 6 (this Sunday) at St. Stephen’s. Lent was officially designated at the 2009 General Convention of The Episcopal Church as a time for dioceses, congregations and individuals to remember and support the work of Episcopal Relief & Development. ERD’s ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE is a $3 million grassroots Church-wide fundraising campaign dedicated to expanding the organization’s global programs, improving the lives of children. Episcopal Relief & Development invites individuals, congregations and dioceses to join ONE THOUSAND DAYS OF LOVE by engaging in acts of love of their own. Donations may be made: https://support.episcopalrelief.org/1000DaysOfLove.
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. Stay warm. 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.