Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
When we walk our neighborhoods, help us pay attention to the birds of the air and to the beauty of the flowers. To the ways the seasons change or don’t, to the ways our neighborhoods change the longer we stay. Let us see the ways people dress in certain times, the smells coming from houses and apartments, the shops and stores, the developments moving in. Help us pay attention to who is thriving and who is not. Who is being invested in, and who has been systematically shut out? Who owns the land? Who gets the deal to develop? Who profits off of progress? Who sends their kids to the local school, and who does not? Who has options? Who is stuck in the middle of surviving?
Let us be troubled in our neighborhoods; let us be troubled in our lives. Help us be grateful for the beauty and help us not accept the inequality that can be found underneath nearly every surface. Let us pay attention to the cruelty of a system that values capital over people. Let us see the ones you love who have been left behind in the race to achieve the American Dream.
God of love, let us rest in the belovedness of our neighbors.
Let us not close our eyes, even — especially — when we want to. Let us notice what is closest to us, let it trouble us until we cannot help but speak out.
– D.L. Mayfield
This prayer is an excerpt from “The Squeaky Wheel: A Litany for Being Close in Proximity to and Advocating on Behalf of One’s Neighbor,” written by D.L. Mayfield and included in the book Rally: Communal Prayers for Lovers of Jesus and Justice edited by Britney Winn Lee. Mayfield is a writer based in Portland, Oregon who has also done work with refugees and teaches ESOL (English for Speaker of Other Languages).
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: Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn.
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 North Kigezi – The Church of the Province of Uganda.
For all who have died: Jane Hallock, Galina Bayer, Mabel Stewart, Julia Hillman, Edna Whitbeck, Vera Hughes.
Something to share
Build me a bridge over the stream
to my neighbour’s house
where he is standing in dungarees
in the fresh morning.
O ring of snowdrops
spread wherever you want
and you also blackbird
sing across the fences.
My neighbour, if the rain falls on you,
let it fall on me also
from the same black cloud
that does not recognise gates.
– Ian Crichton Smith
News and Updates
Sunday Lector – If you would like to read the Sunday scripture lessons on a rotating basis, please contact Doreen May, email@example.com, so that she can put you on the schedule.
Coffee Hour Sign-up – If you would like to take a week for COFFEE HOUR for the coming weeks, please sign-up at https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ZXG2ODgQSDCqwUXnUHj_3Bsx053IfVL2Thk7IJvHvY/edit so that we can continue to enjoy fellowship after church uninterruptedly.
There is still time to participate in LENT MADDNESS: https://www.lentmadness.org/category/lent-madness-2022/
Episcopal Relief & Development help for Ukrainians – ER&D is mobilizing with Anglican agencies and other partners in order to provide humanitarian assistance to people fleeing the violence in Ukraine.
Working through the Action by Churches Together Alliance (ACT Alliance), Episcopal Relief & Development will provide cash, blankets, hygiene supplies and other needed assistance.
Please pray for all those affected. Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s International Disaster Response Fund will provide humanitarian assistance for the crisis in Ukraine.
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 Daily 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.
Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.
Our office email is: email@example.com.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.
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.