Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Lord, thou art in me and shalt never be lost out of me, but I am not near thee till I have found thee. Nowhere need I run to seek thee, but within me where already thou art. Thou art the treasure hidden within me: draw me therefore to thee that I may find thee and serve and possess thee for ever.
– Walter Hilton, 1396
Walter Hilton studied at the University of Cambridge before becoming a hermit and later joined the Augustinians at Thurgarton Priory, where he remained for the rest of his life. His major work was The Scale [or Ladder] of Perfection, written separately in two books. The first teaches the means by which a soul may advance toward perfection by destroying the image of sin and forming the image of Christ through the practice of virtue. The second distinguishes between the active, ascetic life and the contemplative, mystical life and describes the early stages of mystical contemplation, apparently from Hilton’s own experience. Because of its sober and methodical character, The Scale became and remained a popular devotional classic through the 15th and early 16th centuries and is regarded as the finest treatise on contemplation written in the late European Middle Ages.
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: 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 Dan – today is his baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kolhapur – The (united) Church of North India.
For all who have died: Irwin Blanchard, Eleanor Green, Clark Gittinger, Sara Smith, William Schlanksker and Emma Scheiber.
For one another.
Something to share
In these Lenten days,
O God, where we are called to empty ourselves of all that
distracts; of all that is not of you,
we find ourselves overwhelmed,
anxious and fearful of a future,
yet to be revealed.
By the grace of your Spirit,
send calm in the midst of panic,
wisdom in the midst of legislation,
creativity in the midst of confusion,
endurance in the midst of fatigue,
and your healing balm in the midst of all illness.
For you are our hope –
our Lenten Spring and Easter Joy,
and in these moments of deep despair
we will turn our hearts toward you,
we will rely on you, on whom we have set all our hope.
-Lori True, Sisters of St. Joseph, St. Paul, Minnesota
News and Updates
The April Messenger:
Street Soldiers – We will meet this Sunday (4/3) after the 9:30 service to make bagged lunches for street soldiers. Please consider bringing an individually wrapped snack to add to each bag (about 30 altogether – granola bars, chips, a piece of fruit, etc). All are welcome to help. Please meet us in the Parish Hall. Contact Bethany at email@example.com if you have any questions.
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.