Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, March 4, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

To have hope

           is to believe that history continues open to the dream of God and to human creativity.

To have hope

           is to continue affirming that it is possible to dream a different world,

without hunger, without injustice, without discrimination.

To have hope

           is to be a messenger of God, tearing down walls, destroying borders, building bridges,

To have hope

           is to believe in the revolutionary potential of faith.

To have hope

           is to leave the door open so that the Spirit can enter and make all things new.

To have hope

           is to believe that life wins over death.

To have hope

           is to begin again as many times as necessary.

To have hope

           is to believe that hope is not the last thing that dies.

To have hope

           is to believe that hope cannot die, that hope no longer dies.

To have hope

           is to live.

                  -Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Honduras

The Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo is a Catholic religious order that was founded in 1895. It is a sister organization to the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, which was organized to serve both the spiritual and practical needs of Italian emigrants to the Americas. The Missionary Sisters now have a presence in 26 countries, with their work focusing on “education, social and pastoral activities, the pastoral care of the sick, catechesis, evangelization, and collaboration with local churches to assist migrants and refugees and the poor.” This prayer was found in God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayers for Creation, a collection edited by Anne and 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 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: Candace, Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald.

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: Liz, Kathy, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Brynn – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kibungo – Eglise Anglicane du Rwanda.

For all who have died: James Borrowman, Morton Muller, Helene Perry, and Mary Melvin.

Something to share

It is my Lent to break my Lent,
To eat when I would fast,
To know when slender strength is spent,
Take shelter from the blast
When I would run with wind and rain,
To sleep when I would watch.
It is my Lent to smile at pain
But not ignore its touch.
It is my Lent to listen well
When I would be alone,
To talk when I would rather dwell
In silence, turn from none
Who call on me, to try to see
That what is truly meant
Is not my choice. If Christ’s I’d be
It’s thus I’ll keep my Lent.

– Madeleine L’Engle

News and Updates 

Street Soldiers – We will be meeting this Sunday after the 9:30 am service to make sandwiches and bagged lunch in the Parish Hall. Please consider bringing an individually wrapped food item (granola bars, fruit, bagged snack, dessert, etc) to put in the bags. We will plan on making around 30 lunches. All are welcome to come help! Questions – email Bethany at office@st-stephens.church

Beginning this Wednesday masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

If you would like to read the Sunday scripture lessons on a rotating basis, please contact Doreen May, dord81.dmay@gmail.com, so that she can put you on the schedule.

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.

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

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!

Irish Blessing

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.

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