Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, May 7, 2022
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
Be O Lord,
a guiding star above me,
a smooth path below me,
a kindly shepherd behind me
and a bright flame before me;
today, tonight and forever. Amen.
– Attributed to St. Columba, Abbot of Iona, 597
Columba is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church on June 9th. Columba was the abbot and founder of a monastery in Iona in the sixth century. He was considered an influential person in converting Picts, a Celtic people group, to Christianity. He also founded monasteries in Derry and Durrow. He is a patron saint of Ireland, in addition to Patrick and Brigid of Kaldare. A fun fact about Columba is that many people argue his biography, Life of St. Columba written by the abbot following him, includes the first known report of the Loch Ness monster! He is recorded as making the sign of the cross at a water beast in the River Ness and successfully commanding it to turn back.
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: 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: Mary Ann, David, 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 Lesotho – The Anglican Church of Southern Africa.
For all who have died: Anne Jenny, Katherine Huston, Richard Petter, Taylor Trawick, Alice Burrows, Shirley Tinney, Melanie Kidder
For one another.
Something to share
Fear not, little flock. —Luke 12:32
When he likened us to a flock
he certainly meant sheep
but this morning from the back pew
of a building, stone and chancelled, nothing like
the over lit, shag carpet church of my childhood,
here amid arch and echo I think
we are a flock of birds—
starlings gathering in their murmuration.
The pensive organ, the hushed
chatter now dips, now crests, and at the bells
we all together fold to silence,
as when the helixing black cloud drops
down to feed across a reed bed.
All at once the stillness breaks
into a great applause of wings, the mounting up
in doxology, the downsweep then
of many heads in prayer. How
strange, how ominous almost
for one on the ground to watch
this cluster heave itself
heavenward, obeying powers
invisible as magnetism,
forming and reforming in the shape
of something too large to be likened.
– Jennifer Polson Peterson, published in Image (https://imagejournal.org/article/on-liturgy/)
This clumsy living that moves lumbering
as if in ropes through what is not done,
reminds us of the awkward way the swan walks.
And to die, which is the letting go
of the ground we stand on and cling to every day,
is like the swan, when he nervously lets himself down
into the water, which receives him gaily
and which flows joyfully under
and after him, wave after wave,
while the swan, unmoving and marvelously calm,
is pleased to be carried, each moment more fully grown,
more like a king, further and further on.
– Rainer Maria Rilke, translated by Robert Bly in Risking Everything: 110 Poems of Love and Revelation
News and Updates
Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral on Saturday, May 14th at 10am. A group from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend. If you are interested, perhaps transportation could be arranged. Please contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s. Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!
A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.
Fantasia on “St. Anne” Alfred V. Fedak (b. 1953)
Composed in 1990 for an ordination service in Queens, New York, Al Fedak’s Fantasia on St. Anne can be understood as a phrase-by-phrase interpretation of the first stanza of the familiar hymn, “O God, Our Help in Ages Past” (#680 in the Episcopal Hymnal 1982). The piece opens with an extended pedal solo based on the hymn’s first phrase. Then follows an elaboration of this material on the manuals, in strict canon over a tonic pedal point. The hymn’s second phrase is treated similarly, but in the dominant key. The music takes a more dissonant turn at the third phrase (“Our shelter from the stormy blast”). After a final chromatic pedal solo, the piece ends triumphantly with an emphatic statement of the hymn tune in its entirety.
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 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.