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.
You alone are unutterable,
from the time you created all things,
that can be spoken of.
You alone are unknowable,
from the time you created all things
that can be known.
All things cry out about you;
those which speak,
and those which cannot speak.
All things honor you;
those which think,
and those which cannot think.
For there is one longing, one groaning,
that all things have for you . . .
All things pray to you
that comprehend your plan
and offer you a silent hymn.
In you, the One, all things abide,
and all things endlessly run to you,
who are the end of all.
– Gregory of Nazianzus, 389
Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. He studied in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek and Latin speaking theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity. He was a deep and sensitive thinker, and his prayers and poems are more personal than the writings of most of the Church leaders of the third century.
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 Lexington – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).
For all who have died: Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.
For one another.
Something to share
Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;
I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.
I preferred her to scepters and thrones,
and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.
Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,
because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,
and silver will be accounted as clay before her.
I loved her more than health and beauty,
and I chose to have her rather than light,
because her radiance never ceases.
All good things came to me along with her,
and in her hands uncounted wealth.
I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;
but I did not know that she was their mother.
I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;
I do not hide her wealth,
for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;
those who get it obtain friendship with God,
commended for the gifts that come from instruction.
– Wisdom 7:7-14
News and Updates
Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral next Saturday, May 14th at 10am. A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend. All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!
A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!
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.
Epilogue from Hommage à Frescobaldi Jean Langlais (1907-1991)
Jean Langlais was a remarkable French composer who was blind from the age of two. He studied at the Paris National Institute for the Young Blind and the Paris National Conservatory of Music. He was a professor for forty years at the National Institute for the Young Blind and was the organist at Sainte-Clotilde in Paris for 42 years.
Hommage à Frescobaldi is a set of eight pieces for organ published in 1951. In these compositions, Langlais expressed his impression of Frescobaldi’s music through various elements of style and structure. Epilogue, the last piece in the collection, is the only one that incorporates an actual theme written by Frescobaldi – in this case the Canzon dopo l’Epistola. Epilogue is played on the pedals only, except for a few chords at the end of the piece. At times, three or four different notes are played simultaneously, using two feet!
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.