Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Circle of love,
encompass my loved ones.
May your love well up within them.
May your passion enlighten them.
Circle of healing,
encompass my loved ones.
May your healing touch rest upon them.
May your light illumine them.
Circle of protection,
encompass my loved ones.
Surround them with your eternal safety.
Protect them from all temptations and ills.
Give them courage and strength
to live always from your safe and powerful center.
– Bruce Epperly
Bruce Epperly serves as Pastor at South Congregational Church in Centerville, Massachusetts. He holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Religion and Theology from Claremont Graduate School and has authored over 50 books. His decades of ministry experience have included serving as Protestant Chaplain at Georgetown University and teaching at Lancaster Theological Seminary and directing their Continuing Education program, in addition to congregational work. This prayer was included in the collection Celtic Prayers For Times of Crisis, compiled by Ellyn Sanna.
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: 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, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families.
For Diane– today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Western Louisiana – The Episcopal Church (VII (7) Province).
For all who have died: Ellen Stokes, Elwood Welsh, and Olive Carter Luczka.
For one another.
Something to share
“See Something, Say Something”
— Penn Station
Shady commuters. Hundreds of them.
National Guardsmen whose camo fails.
It needs to be neon or fastfood yellow-and-red
or pinstripe or Burberry plaid. Krispy Kreme.
Guy rooting his wiggly pinky deep into his ear.
Bookstore. Knobby man in pink tutu, on a dare
or coming out. Sad kid on a backpack, looking,
looking. Hudson News. Angry career women
in stilettos, with no one to rub their feet at night.
Officer, I see a pregnant woman. Old guy sitting
beneath a gray halo on the wall, ring of hair oil
and grime. Always here. Kicked cigarette butt
skittering like a rat. German Shepherd with nothing
it wants to sniff. Crowd pulled from every direction
to four doors, fast. Lady hoisting stroller up stairs,
guy, passing her glare, muttering, “It ain’t my
freakin’ kid.” A yawp and a man shuffling, no socks.
Forty Metro sections in the trash. Same stockings
on mannequin legs for the last 15 years. Rifles of
Guardsmen. No unattended packages. Every day
I forget to be very afraid.
– Tina Kelley
News and Updates
Prison Pen Pal – St. Stephen’s received a letter from an inmate in the Texas Department of Criminal Justice men’s prison near Beaumont. He wishes to correspond with one of our congregants. If you are interested, please contact me firstname.lastname@example.org. or more information.
Calling all graduates – Families – if you have a graduate in your family (at any level – preschool all the way through college and beyond), or a child who has received a special honor or award at the end of the year please message Bethany at email@example.com. This information will be shared in the June messenger.
From the Senior Warden – We have obtained the services of The Very Reverend Marshall J. Vang to be our Supply Priest beginning Sunday July 3rd and continuing through the months of July and August; his service can continue, if needed, thereafter. On July 10th, Mother Elizabeth Papazoglakis, co-Rector at St George’s in Clifton Park , will conduct Sunday services. She will then meet with the Vestry after coffee hour to discuss transition procedures. Father Vang will resume his service on July 17th. Father Vang is very familiar with Saint Stephen’s and is known to many of our parishioners. A complete biography on Father Vang will appear in the June Messenger. Budd Mazurek
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.
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.