Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Jesus, I have tried,
I have tried to be small enough,
I have tried to be shiny,
I have tried to be worthy,
but every time I press myself
with the imprint of someone else’s expectations
it misses the mark
and I am left off-centre.
So here I am, Lord.
A quarter clinking around
in the bottom of the divine washing machine.
A nickel dropped under the car seat,
ground into a gritty floor.
A penny, slipping from a pocket,
rolled into a corner under the bed
where dust mites and bobby pins
are my only fellow believers.
Jesus, I need to see the broom in your hands.
I want to hear you turning over each empty pitcher
and shaking out every neatly folded sheet.
I need to see your belly pressed against the floor
and your dark eyes peering into my own darkness.
You know darkness, Lord.
It doesn’t scare you.
You made it.
Long before your hands were bound in wrinkles and veins,
you crafted night and day, and you are afraid of neither.
But I am lost, and I am afraid….
for every sheep and coin and child
may you pull us close and whisper,
– Rev. Emmy Kegler, “For All The So-Called Lost”
Emmy Kegler is a Lutheran pastor serving a church in Minneapolis and co-leading the Queer Grace community, a LGBTQ+ Christian gathering in the Twin Cities. She is also a writer. Her first book was One Coin Found: How God’s Love Stretches to the Margins and details the evolution of her relationship with Scripture as a queer woman. The above prayer is an excerpt of a longer prayer found in the book A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, a compilation of prayers by Christian women edited by Sarah Bessey.
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: 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 Kobe – The Nippon Sei Ko Kai Tuesday.
For all who have died: Irwin Blanchard, Eleanor Green, Clark Gittinger, Sara Smith, William Schlanksker and Emma Scheiber.
For one another.
Something to share
O Joyes! Infinite sweetness! With what flowres,
And shoots of glory, my soul breakes, and buds!
All the long houres
Of night, and Rest
Through the still shrouds
Of Sleep, and Clouds,
This Dew fell on my breast;
O how it Blouds,
And Spirits all my Earth! Heark! In what rings,
And Hymning Circulations the quick world
Awakes, and sings;
The rising winds,
And falling springs,
Birds, beasts, all things
Adore him in their kinds.
Thus all is hurl’d
In sacred Hymnes, and Order, the great Chime
And Symphony of nature. Prayer is
The world in tune,
And vocall joyes
Whose Eccho is heav’ns blisse.
O let me climbe
When I lye down! The Pious soul by night
Is like a clouded starre, whose beams though said
To shed their light
Under some cloud
Yet are above,
And shine, and move
Beyond that mistie shrowd.
So in my Bed
That Curtain’d grave, like ashes, hide
My lamp, and life, both shall in thee abide.
– Henry Vaughan (1621–1695, a Welsh metaphysical poet, author and translator writing in English, and a medical physician)
News and Updates
Our office phone answering machine is currently broken. We are looking for a solution. In the meantime, please email the office at email@example.com for non emergency issues or call Father James in case of emergency.
From the Senior Warden – With Father James retiring at the end of June, the Vestry has created two committees to meet the challenges of the transition: the first committee is aptly named the Transition Committee and will be responsible for the overall operation of the Church, as well as insuring Sunday services by contracting Supply Priests and hiring an Interim Rector. The second committee is the Search Committee and their task will be to conduct a parish wide survey, update St. Stephen’s profile and ultimately hire a new Rector. Both committees consist of members who are committed to meeting the challenges ahead. If you are interested in joining one of the committees, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.