Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, April 13, 2022

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 Wednesday in Holy Week

What Happened This Day?

On Wednesday, Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper. As he sat at the table, an unnamed woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly anointment, which she broke open and poured on Jesus’ head. Some who were present said to one another in anger, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.

But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. . . . She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand before my burial.” And he commended her for what she had done.

Judas then went to the authorities and offered to betray Jesus. They were greatly pleased, and promised to give Judas money. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.

Wednesday’s events are recorded in Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-11, Luke 22:3-6. 

In reference to Judas’ intent to betray Jesus, this day is also known as Spy Wednesday, as in ambush or snare.

Today’s Prayer

Hear my prayer, O God; *

    do not hide yourself from my petition.

Listen to me and answer me; *

    I have no peace, because of my cares.

My heart quakes within me, *

    and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.

Fear and trembling have come over me, *

    and horror overwhelms me.

For had it been an adversary who taunted me,

then I could have borne it; *

    or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,

    then I could have hidden from him.

But it was you, a man after my own heart,

    my companion, my own familiar friend.

We took sweet counsel together, *

    and walked with the throng in the house of God.

My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade; *

    he has broken his covenant.

His speech is softer than butter, *

    but war is in his heart.

His words are smoother than oil, *

    but they are drawn swords.

Cast your burden upon the LORD,

and he will sustain you *

               –     Psalm 55: 1-2, 5-6, 13-15, 21-24a

Psalm 55 is the prayer of an individual seeking God’s help. The psalm makes reference to various threats but twice indicates that the object of the complaint is a friend. It is a prayer for one who is betrayed by a friend.

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 Oonie, Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn, Sylvia, Laura, Angelina 

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 Kumi – The Church of the Province of Uganda.

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

Judas Iscariot

‘Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot,
Strange, and sad, and tall,
Stood all alone at dead of night
Before a lighted hall.

And the wold was white with snow,
And his foot-marks black and damp,
And the ghost of the silvern Moon arose,
Holding her yellow lamp.

And the icicles were on the eaves,
And the walls were deep with white,
And the shadows of the guests within
Pass’d on the window light.

The shadows of the wedding guests
Did strangely come and go,
And the body of Judas Iscariot
Lay stretch’d along the snow.

The body of Judas Iscariot
Lay stretched along the snow;
‘Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Ran swiftly to and fro.

To and fro, and up and down,
He ran so swiftly there,
As round and round the frozen Pole
Glideth the lean white bear.

. . . ‘Twas the Bridegroom sat at the table-head,
And the lights burnt bright and clear—
‘Oh, who is that,’ the Bridegroom said,
‘Whose weary feet I hear?’

‘Twas one looked from the lighted hall,
And answer’d soft and slow,
‘It is a wolf runs up and down
With a black track in the snow.’

The Bridegroom in his robe of white
Sat at the table-head—
‘Oh, who is that who moans without?’
The blessèd Bridegroom said.

‘Twas one look’d from the lighted hall,
And answer’d fierce and low,
‘’Tis the soul of Judas Iscariot
Gliding to and fro.’

‘Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Did hush itself and stand,
And saw the Bridegroom at the door
With a light in his hand.

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
And he was clad in white,
And far within the Lord’s Supper
Was spread so broad and bright.

The Bridegroom shaded his eyes and look’d,
And his face was bright to see—
‘What dost thou here at the Lord’s Supper
With thy body’s sins?’ said he.

‘Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Stood black, and sad, and bare—
‘I have wander’d many nights and days;
There is no light elsewhere.’

‘Twas the wedding guests cried out within,
And their eyes were fierce and bright—
‘Scourge the soul of Judas Iscariot
Away into the night!’

The Bridegroom stood in the open door,
And he waved hands still and slow,
And the third time that he waved his hands
The air was thick with snow.

And of every flake of falling snow,
Before it touch’d the ground,
There came a dove, and a thousand doves
Made sweet sound.

‘Twas the body of Judas Iscariot
Floated away full fleet,
And the wings of the doves that bare it off
Were like its winding-sheet.

‘Twas the Bridegroom stood at the open door,
And beckon’d, smiling sweet;
‘Twas the soul of Judas Iscariot
Stole in, and fell at his feet.

‘The Holy Supper is spread within,
And the many candles shine,
And I have waited long for thee
Before I pour’d the wine!’

The supper wine is pour’d at last,
The lights burn bright and fair,
Iscariot washes the Bridegroom’s feet,
And dries them with his hair.

–           Robert Williams Buchanan

News and Updates  

Holy week schedule

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

Eucharist

*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.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/10ZXG2ODgQSDCqwUXnUHj_3Bsx053IfVL2Thk7IJvHvY/edit?usp=sharing

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. 

Reminders

 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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.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: office@st-stephens.church.

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

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.

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