Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Fifth Sunday in Lent
The Collect for the Day
Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 12:1-8:
Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
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 June – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
For all who have died: Dorothy Rigley, Robert Malmros, Charles Morrison, and Julia Moss.
For one another.
Something to share
(a poem inspired by Mary of Bethany when she anointed Jesus with spikenard)
If only there were a neutral zone,
A space between your will and mine,
Where I could give and you receive,
Or you refuse and I retrieve
And we could both get up and leave
And no one think I’d crossed a line.
If only there were a neutral gift
That made no claim of worth or cost,
That no one would contrast, compare
Or look upon with hostile stare,
That would not leave my heart so bare
Or speak of what will soon be lost.
If only there were a neutral time
When to act or not are both the same,
When history books will never judge
And neither you nor I nor they will grudge
The response I make to this holy nudge
That softly speaks my name.
But a neutral day, there will never be.
And a neutral hour, I will never see.
So I give this flower, that it may be
A memorial, between you and me.
News and Updates
Our Sunday Eucharist begins at 9:30am.
If you would like to attend the Sunday service from home, just visit: https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9:30am and wait for the live stream to be posted. If there are technical issues with the livestream so that it stops, please try re-entering. Do not wait for it to come back on. It may take a few minutes for the livestream to start again, so please be patient. The live video is automatically recorded, so it will be available for viewing later on in the day or week if you can’t be online at 9:30.
This morning’s lessons:
This morning’s bulletin:
If you would like to read the Sunday scripture lessons on a rotating basis, please contact Doreen May, firstname.lastname@example.org, so that she can put you on the schedule.
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 Holder 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.