Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Jesus said to the lake, “Silence! Be still.” The wind settled down and there was a great calm. — Mark 4:39
God, who quiets storms to a whisper
and hushes the sea’s waves,
quiet the rumbling noises inside me,
smooth the sharp edges of my soul,
and give me peace
in this stormy time. Amen.
– Common Prayer for Children and Families by Jenifer Gamber and Timothy J.S. Seamans
Jenifer Gamber is an Episcopal priest who serves as the Diocese of Washington’s Missioner for the School of Christian Faith and Leadership. Leading the diocese’s School of Christian Faith and Leadership, she helps to offer a variety of learning opportunities. Gamber is also the author of a number of books for young people, such as My Faith, My Life: A Teen’s Guide to the Episcopal Church. Timothy J.S. Seamans is also an Episcopal priest, currently serving as an Associate Chaplain at The Episcopal School of Los Angeles; in addition to being a chaplain, he teaches in the school’s Religion, Ethics, and Philosophy department.
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: John and Maria V., Liz, 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: Liz, 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 Kigali – Eglise Anglicane du Rwanda.
For all who have died: James Borrowman, Morton Muller, Helene Perry, and Mary Melvin.
Something to share
In the Middle
of a life that’s as complicated as everyone else’s,
struggling for balance, juggling time.
The mantle clock that was my grandfather’s
has stopped at 9:20; we haven’t had time
to get it repaired. The brass pendulum is still,
the chimes don’t ring. One day I look out the window,
green summer, the next, the leaves have already fallen,
and a grey sky lowers the horizon. Our children almost grown,
our parents gone, it happened so fast. Each day, we must learn
again how to love, between morning’s quick coffee
and evening’s slow return. Steam from a pot of soup rises,
mixing with the yeasty smell of baking bread. Our bodies
twine, and the big black dog pushes his great head between;
his tail, a metronome, 3/4 time. We’ll never get there,
Time is always ahead of us, running down the beach, urging
us on faster, faster, but sometimes we take off our watches,
sometimes we lie in the hammock, caught between the mesh
of rope and the net of stars, suspended, tangled up
in love, running out of time.
— by Barbara Crooker
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 email@example.com
If you would like to read the Sunday scripture lessons on a rotating basis, please contact Doreen, firstname.lastname@example.org, 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.
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 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.