Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Most gracious God, whose servant James Theodore Holly labored to build a church in which all might be free: Grant that we might overcome our prejudice, and honor those whom you call from every family, language, people, and nation; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
– Great Cloud of Witnesses
When it doesn’t fall on a Sunday on March 13th, the Episcopal Church recognizes the feast day of Bishop James Theodore Holly, first African–American bishop in our denomination. His life and work are too important to skip over.
Holly, who was raised Roman Catholic, became consecrated as bishop to the diocese of Haiti in 1874.
Prior to his work in Haiti, Holly served as rector at St. Luke’s in New Haven, Connecticut and founded the Protestant Episcopal Society for Promoting the Extension of the Church among Colored People. This was the first national organization created for Black Episcopalians. The Union of Black Episcopalians, which brings together Black Episcopal clergy and laity today, counts it as an important precursor to their work.
Holly stepped down from his work in New Haven in 1861 to move to Haiti. Before this move, Holly had been a delegate to the Emigration Convention in Cleveland and published a number of lectures arguing that African-Americans should emigrate to Haiti for a better future and a chance at self-governance. In a harrowing first year in Haiti, his mother, wife, two children, and various members of the group he led to Haiti died; many who survived returned to the United States. Holly persisted, however, becoming a citizen of Haiti, securing sponsorship for his work from the church’s Board of Missions, and establishing schools, churches, and medical clinics.
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: 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 Kindu – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.
For all who have died: Florence Bentley, Lucy Totterdale, Gertrude Dunmore, Edmund Tatge, and Frieda Wyman.
Something to share
Cento Between the Ending and the End
& now I have a choice
repair a world or build
a new one inside my body
a white door opens
into a place queerly brimming
gold light so velvet-gold
it is like the world
when I call out
all my friends are there
everyone we love
is still alive gathered
at the lakeside
my honeyed kin
beneath the sky
a garden blue stalks
white buds the moon’s
marble glow the fire
distant & flickering
the body whole bright-
with the hours
of the day beautiful
nameless planet. Oh
friends, my friends—
bloom how you must, wild
until we are free.
– Cameron Awkward-Rich
News and Updates
Schenectady Community Ministries (SiCM) – Thank you again for your continued support of the SiCM Rev. Phil Food Pantry. For the month of March we are 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 Daily 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.
Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.
Our office email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.