Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Give us grace, almighty Father, to address thee with all our hearts as well as with our lips. Thou art everywhere present: from thee no secrets can be hidden. Teach us to fix our thoughts on thee, reverently and with love, so that our prayers are not in vain, but are acceptable to thee, now and always; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
– Jane Austen, 1817
Jane Austen was an English novelist, best known for her six major novels, which interpret, critique, and comment upon the British landed gentry at the end of the 18th century. Austen’s plots often explore the dependence of women on marriage in the pursuit of favorable social standing and economic security. What kind of Christian was Jane Austen? She was the daughter and sister of clergy. She grew up in a family that practiced their faith through regular worship and by helping people in need. From her surviving letters, one learns that she and her sister often sewed or provided clothing for her father’s parishioners. When she died at the age of 41, she was given the honor of a burial at Winchester Cathedral not because she was a novelist – her authorship was still anonymous at that time – but because of her exemplary life in her little corner of the world. This prayer is her only prayer that has survived. There may have been others. Jane Austen’s faith may not call attention to itself in her novels, but it is “everywhere present” in her work, just like the love of God.
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 Harper – today is her birthday!
For Vicki, Pat and Joan – today is their baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kondoa – The Anglican Church of Tanzania.
For all who have died: Irwin Blanchard, Eleanor Green, Clark Gittinger, Sara Smith, William Schlanksker and Emma Scheiber.
For one another.
Something to share
And the people stayed home. And read books
and listened, and rested and exercised, and
made art and played games, and learned new
ways of being and were still. And listened more
deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some
danced. Some met their shadows. And the
people began to think differently. And the
And, in the absence of people living in
Ignorant, dangerous, mindless and heartless
ways the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people
joined together again, they grieved their losses,
and made new choices, and dreamed new
images, and created new ways to live and heal
the earth fully, as they had been healed.
– Kitty O’Meara
News and Updates
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.