Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
teach us what it means to live in grace — not just for ourselves,
but for the collective whole.
We have been individuals for far too long,
and in that individualism, we’ve forgotten how to hold each other.
We need to return again to a love that holds together community —
A love based on the way we belong to each other,
the practice of Ubuntu, a return to our wholeness
based on compassion toward others.
And in that returning, we find that you are always bringing us back,
Not to a world in which we do not see color or class,
but into a world in which we see it and believe that
sacred love is the imprint on everyone and everything, anyway.
in a heavy world, we need to remember that we belong to each other,
And in that remembering, that we belong to you.
Teach us because the future depends on it.
Remind us, we pray.
– Kaitlin Curtice
Kaitlin Curtice is an author and public speaker who focuses on Indigenous spirituality, Christian faith, and the process of decolonizing the church. Her books are NATIVE: Identity, Belonging, and Rediscovering God and Glory Happening: Finding the Divine in Everyday Places. She is an enrolled citizen of the Potawatomi Nation. This prayer is an excerpt of a longer prayer titled “A Prayer for A Heavy World” published in the magazine Sojourners.
A Prayer for Peace in Our Time
O God, author and giver of peace,
in whose image and likeness each of us has been created
with a human dignity worthy of respect on earth
and destined for eternal glory,
Listen to the cry that rises from every corner of this fragile earth,
from our human family torn by violent conflict:
Give peace in our time, O good and gracious God,
that peace which, as your son Jesus Christ told us
and as we have experienced in these days,
is a peace which the world cannot give.
To world leaders grant the wisdom
to see beyond the boundaries of race, religion, and nation
to that common humanity that makes us all your children
and brothers and sisters to one another.
To those who have taken up arms in anger or revenge
or even in the cause of justice
grant the grace of conversion to the path of peaceful dialogue
and constructive collaboration.
To the innocent who live in the shadow of war and terror,
especially the frightened children,
be a shelter and strength, their haven and hope.
And to those who have already lost their lives
as victims of human cruelty and warfare,
open wide your arms and enfold them all
in the embrace of your compassion, healing, and everlasting life.
Grant this through Jesus Christ, your son, our Lord.
– Peter J. Scagnelli
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 all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Lweru – The Anglican Church of Tanzania.
For all who have died: Alison Gavin and Charles Wylie.
For one another.
Something to share
If Eve Side-Stealer and Mary Busted-Chest Ruled the World
What if Eve was an Indian
& Adam was never kneaded
from the earth, Eve was Earth
& ribs were her idea all along?
What if Mary was an Indian
& when Gabriel visited her wigwam
she was away at a monthly WIC clinic
receiving eggs, boxed cheese
& peanut butter instead of Jesus?
What if God was an Indian
with turquoise wings & coral breasts
who invented a game called White Man Chess
played on silver boards with all white pieces
pawns & kings & only one side, the white side
& the more they won the more they were beaten?
What if the world was an Indian
whose head & back were flat from being strapped
to a cradleboard as a baby & when she slept
she had nightmares lit up by yellow-haired men & ships
scraping anchors in her throat? What if she wailed
all night while great waves rose up carrying the fleets
across her flat back, over the edge of the flat world?
– Natalie Diaz
News and Updates
Organ Recital – On Sunday, 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.
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.
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.
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: 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.