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.
Wherever God shows up today,
may I not be too hurried to notice,
nor too aloof to care.
When the Sacred surprises me
like an unexpected guest,
may I not hesitate to greet Them with open arms.
Let not my bias be a barrier,
to embracing The Holy’s mysterious ways.
May I be hospitable to God enfleshed
in even the dullest circumstances,
and the hardest situations,
and the strangest of places.
I am open
to encountering Love,
to meeting with Justice,
to being held by Awe.
May it be so. AMEN.
This is a prayer from a non-profit organization called enfleshed (https://enfleshed.com) which creates liturgies and spiritual resources focusing on justice, liberation, and delight for Christian communities. It is directed by Rev. M. Barclay, a Methodist clergyperson. The organist’s theologian-in-residence is Rev. Anna Blaedel, a campus minister at the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. student in Theological and Philosophical Studies.
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: Waid, Kenny, Myra, 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: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families.
For Jean – today is her birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Liberia – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).
For all who have died: Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.
For one another.
Something to share
Zen of Housework
I look over my own shoulder
down my arms
to where they disappear under water
into hands inside pink rubber gloves
moiling among dinner dishes.
My hands lift a wine glass,
holding it by the stem and under the bowl.
It breaks the surface
like a chalice
rising from a medieval lake.
Full of the grey wine
of domesticity, the glass floats
to the level of my eyes.
Behind it, through the window
above the sink, the sun, among
a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches
is setting in Western America.
I can see thousands of droplets
of steam—each a tiny spectrum—rising
from my goblet of grey wine.
They sway, changing directions
constantly—like a school of playful fish,
or like the sheer curtain
on the window to another world.
Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!
– Al Zolynas
News and Updates
Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral this coming 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.
Prelude & Fugue in f minor Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)
Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest musicians and composers in the history of Western music. Well-known as an organ virtuoso, he composed many works for organ such as this prelude and fugue. This particular piece was probably conceived during Bach’s early career as a court musician in Weimar, and was completed and published some years later when he was Thomaskantor in Liepzig.
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.
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.