Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, March 22, 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

Greetings to you, living God.

You are mine before all things.

I am endlessly glad

That I can speak to you without guile.

When my enemies pursue me,

I flee to your arms

Where I can complain about my suffering

While you incline yourself to me.

You well know how you can pluck

The strings of my soul.

Ah, begin at once

That you may be ever blessed.

I am a low-born bride;

And yet you are my lawful husband.

I shall ever rejoice about this.

Remember how well you can caress

The pure soul on your lap

And do it, Lord, to me now,

Even though I am not worthy of you.

Ah, Lord, draw me up to you.

Then I shall be pure and radiant.

– Mechthild of Magdeburg

Mechthild was a thirteenth century mystic who joined a beguine community in Magdeburg – which is in modern-day Germany. Beguines were laywomen who lived in communities similar to monastic ones, but did not take official vows. Little is known about her life before this time. In her time as a beguine, she was greatly influenced by the Dominicans, both through their writings and the support of a Dominican confessor who encouraged her writing. Later in life, she lived with Cisterian nuns. One notable historical detail about Mechthild is that she wrote her mystical writings in German, during a time where such work was almost exclusively written in Latin. For hundreds of years, the work of Mechthild was largely forgotten until it was found and published once more in the 19th century. This prayer is taken from Book V of her mystical text The Flowing Light of the Godhead and is given the heading “17. This is a Greeting, Prayer, and Praise of a Sinner.”

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, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

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 Joanne – today is her birthday!

For Marshall – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Kiteto – The Anglican Church of Tanzania.

For all who have died:  Lucy Totterdale, Gertrude Dunmore, Edmund Tatge, Frieda Wyman.

For one another.

Something to share

18. How God Responds to This

**Note: This writing, also from Book V of The Flowing Light of the

Godhead, follows after the prayer “This is a Greeting, Prayer, and

Praise of a Sinner.”

Thus does God answer:

I respond to your greeting with such a heavenly flood:

Were I to give myself to you in all my power

You would not preserve your human life.

You well know I must hold back my might

And hide my splendor

To let you remain in earthly misery

Until my sweetness rises up

To the heights of eternal glory,

And my strings shall play sweetly for you

In tune with the true value of your patient love.

Still, before I begin,

I want to tune my heavenly strings in your soul,

So that you might persevere even longer

For well-born brides and noble knights

Must undergo a long and intensive preparation at great cost.

         –    Mechthild of Magdeburg

News and Updates 


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.

Save the date:

Interfaith Seder

April 7, 2022, 5:15pm, On Zoom

Seder-in-a-Box Food and Materials will be available for sale in advance.

This Zoom Seder will have the theme “Historical Development of the Seder Through the Ages.” It will be participatory and traditional. The special ritual foods for the seder are available for purchase, as is a traditional Passover meal.

Contact – Jack Mintzer, Congregation Agudat Achim 518-393-9211 – eddirector@agudatachim.org

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 Daily 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. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

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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