Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
Alleluia. Christ is risen.
The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.
O Lord, open my eyes
that I may see the need of others,
open my ears that I may hear their cries,
open my heart so that they need not be without succor.
Let me not be afraid to defend the weak
because of the anger of the strong,
nor afraid to defend the poor
because of the anger of the rich.
Show me where love and hope and faith are needed,
and use me to bring them to these places.
Open my eyes and ears that I may, this coming day,
be able to do some work of peace for thee.
– Alan Paton, 1988
Alan Paton was a South African writer. When he was principal of a reformatory school, he became acutely aware of the social problems of blacks in South Africa. His first and best-known novel, Cry, the Beloved Country, was about some of these problems. A passionate story of racial injustice, it brought international attention to the problem of apartheid in South Africa. Paton was torn between being an author and a politician. In the early 1950s he became involved in South African politics. He helped found the Liberal Party of South Africa to offer a nonracial alternative to apartheid; Paton was its national president until its forced dissolution in 1968.
Although he wished to live a quiet life as an author, Paton felt a social and Christian commitment to become actively involved in the opposition to apartheid.
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: 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, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families.
For David – today is his birthday!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Northern Luzon – Philippines.
For all who have died: Marge Duff, George Ott, Carl Hatlee, Elizabeth McMaho and Joan Oswalt.
For one another.
Something to share
Stand still. The trees ahead and bushes beside you
Are not lost. Wherever you are is called Here,
And you must treat it as a powerful stranger,
Must ask permission to know it and be known.
The forest breathes. Listen. It answers,
I have made this place around you.
If you leave it, you may come back again, saying Here.
No two trees are the same to Raven.
No two branches are the same to Wren.
If what a tree or a bush does is lost on you,
You are surely lost. Stand still. The forest knows
Where you are. You must let it find you.
– David Wagoner
News and Updates
Organ Recital – On June 12th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an 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.
Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church this morning. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church.
Next week is Pentecost – Please wear something red to commemorate the coming of the Holy Spirit “in tongues of flame” and listen carefully as the gospel is read in many different languages! A booklet with next week’s Gospel in a variety of languages can be found in the Nave Extension.
SiCM Summer Meals for Kids – Although we’re still waiting to hear from NYS about the specifics for the state-sponsored summer meal program, SiCM is planning to serve bagged meals from Wednesday, June 29 through Friday, September 2 at over two dozen sites. Because so few children came to the site at St. Stephen’s last summer, we will not host a site this year. However, we have put in a request to serve meals at the Central Park pavilion the first two weeks of July, needing at least four volunteers each day. Watch for an email with an update and a sign-up sheet.
Lunches for St. Joseph’s Place – Three to four persons meet each month at the SiCM Hub, 837 Albany Street, from 9 to 10 a.m. to make sandwiches and fill lunch bags. If you would like to help even once, contact Richey Woodzell. Thank you to those who have contributed money for this ministry; if you want to contribute, make a check out to St. Stephen’s and mark it “St. Joseph’s lunches.”
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.
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.