Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is Tuesday in Holy Week
What Happened This Day?
On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.
Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They organized an ambush with the intent to place him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and then warned the crowds about them, saying:
“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearances say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Mark 12:38-40)
Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus spoke of future persecutions, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and His Second Coming.
After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to stay the night.
Tuesday’s events are recorded in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:38.
Your hands fashioned and made me;
and now you turn and destroy me. . . .
If I am wicked, woe to me!
If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,
for I am filled with disgrace
and look upon my affliction. . . .
Are not the days of my life few?
Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort
before I go, never to return,
to the land of gloom and deep darkness,
the land of gloom and chaos,
where light is like darkness.”
– Job 10:8, 15, 20-22
Most people have some sense of the story of Job. Although he was a righteous person, pain and suffering came crashing into his life without any apparent reason. In the beginning Job was able to praise God and “keep a stiff upper lip,” eventually his frustration, which is understandable, comes to the surface, as is clear in this prayer.
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, Judith, David .
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 Kumasi – The Church of the Province of West Africa (Ghana Province).
For all who have died: Adele Worcester, Irene Phillips, David Small, Frances Baumis, George Bentley, Howard Phillips, Hazel Carrloo, William Scheiber, Marjorie Eaton, Fred Rossiter, and Peter Boese.
For one another.
Something to share
The Place of the Damned
All folks who pretend to religion and grace,
Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:
But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined
The place of the damned -I’ll tell you my mind.
Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,
Most certainly there is HELL to be found:
Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,
Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;
Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;
Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;
Damned villains, corrupted in every station;
Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;
And into the bargain I’ll readily give you
Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.
Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,
For we know by these marks the place of the damned:
And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.
How happy for us that it is not at home!
– Jonathan Swift
News and Updates
Holy week schedule
Holy Tuesday– April 12th
9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
Holy Wednesday– April 13th
9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom
Maundy Thursday – April 14th
9:00 Morning Prayer on Zoom
7:30 pm Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar
9:00 pm Prayer Vigil through the night
Good Friday – April 15th
12:00 Noon Stations of the Cross
7:30 pm Tenebrae
Easter Vigil – Saturday, April 16th
7:30 Lighting of the first fire
Nine lessons and musical responses
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
*Easter Day – April 17th
9:30 am Flowering of the Cross, Festive Eucharist
*Worship will be streamed
Coffee Hour – Please take a moment to sign up to host a Coffee Hour. We have plenty of spots open over the next several weeks. To sign up, just click on the link below, pick a date, and add your name to the list. Hosting is easy . . . there are instructions in the kitchen on how to make the coffee and what you need to do. And don’t worry if you’re not a gourmet baker . . . store-bought snacks are good, too! Questions? Contact Linda Emaelaf or Carole M-M.
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.
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.