Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Lord! Teach me to bestow charity willingly, kindly, joyfully, and to believe that by bestowing it I do not lose, but gain, infinitely more than that which I give. Turn my eyes away from hard-hearted people who do not sympathize with the poor, who meet poverty with indifference, who judge, reproach, brand it with shameful names, and weaken my heart, so that I may not do good, so that I, too, may harden my heart against poverty. O my Lord, how many such people we meet with! . . . Lord, grant that every charity I bestow may be profitable, and may not do harm! Lord, accept yourself charity in the person of your poor people. Lord, the all-merciful, almighty, most wise, wonderful – deign to help me.
– John of Kronstadt, 1908
John Ilyitch Sergieff was born to a poor peasant family in the northern province of Arkhangelsk. He went to a seminary in Siberia and later was appointed to the church in Kronstadt, a naval base near St. Petersburg. He became well known for his passionate preaching and his holy celebration of the liturgy, for his practical activity in finding work for the poor, and for his ministry of healing. So many people wanted him to hear their confessions that eventually he told them all to shout them out at the same time, in the belief that in that way nobody could hear anybody else’s sins, but God would hear them all!
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, Josh T, Pat J., Daniel, Doris, Camellia, Beverly.
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 Gerald – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Kubwa – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Abuja Province).
For all who have died: Dorothy Rigley, Robert Malmros, Charles Morrison, and Julia Moss.
For one another.
Something to share
Be not forgetful of prayer. Every time you pray, if your prayer is sincere, there will be new feeling and new meaning in it, which will give you fresh courage, and you will understand that prayer is an education. Remember, too, every day and whenever you can, to repeat to yourself, “Lord, have mercy on all who appear before you today.” For every hour and every moment thousands of people leave life on this earth, and their souls appear before God.…How touching it must be to a soul standing in dread before the Lord to feel at that instant that for him too there is one to pray, that there is a fellow creature left on earth to love him. And God will look on you both more graciously, for if you have had so much pity on him, how much more will He have pity who is infinitely more loving and merciful than you. And He will forgive him for your sake.
– Fyodor Dostoyevsky; The Brothers Karamazov
News and Updates
Tomorrow is Palm Sunday!
Deacon Pat is now a resident at Peregrine Senior Living in Colonie, just across the road from the Russian Orthodox gold domes. She’s been there a week. You need a reservation to visit and may make one by calling 518-456-4500. Pat’s address is 5 South Family Drive, Colonie, NY, 12205.
Special Coffee Hour Brunch – The pandemic precluded the kind of celebration of Don Humphrey’s life that his wife, Marilyn wished at the time of his memorial service. On April 24th after the Eucharist we will have that opportunity with a brunch in honor of Don. Marilyn invites everyone to join in the celebration.
SiCM Pantry Requests for April and May – It’s time for Spring cleaning! The pantry is in desperate need of cleaning supplies for their guests. Basic items from discount retailers are always appreciated: bleach, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaners, and both laundry and dish detergents. Please donate only 16-ounce containers (or smaller) of the bleach and cleaners. If you can buy smaller containers of the detergents, that would also be appreciated; otherwise SiCM pours them into smaller bottles. Also, if you have small reusable plastic bottles, the pantry can use those! Consider also laundry detergent pods or strips instead of the liquid detergents.
Street Soldiers – We will meet this Sunday (4/10) 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.
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.