Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
O Source of life and strength! Many of Thy mercies we do plainly see, and we believe in a boundless store behind. No morning stars that sing together can have deeper call than we for grateful joy. Thou hast given us a life of high vocation, and Thine own breathing in our hearts interprets for us its sacred opportunities. Thou hast cheered the way with many dear affections and glimpses of solemn beauty and everlasting truth. Not a cloud of sorrow, but Thou hast touched with glory; not a dusty atmosphere of care, but Thy light shines through! And, lest our spirits should fail before Thine unattainable perfections, Thou hast set us in the train of Thy saints who have learned to take up the cross of sacrifice. Let the time past suffice to have wrought our own will, and now make us consecrate to Thine–Amen.
– James Martineau, 1900
James Martineau was a 19th century English philosopher and Unitarian minister. As a minister, he primarily served in Liverpool – a position from which he eventually resigned to focus on his academic career in London. He served as a Professor of Mental and Moral Philosophy and Political Economy. During this time, he often preached as a guest at congregations. Martinaeu advocated for the use of the terminology “Free Christian Church” over “Unitarian,” since he did not want to be defined by one particular doctrine, and founded a short-lived organization called the Free Christian Union for those of various beliefs who desired to worship together. Much of his written work explored ideas around reason and conscience.
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: Oonie, Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn, Sylvia, Laura, Angelina
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 Machakos – The Anglican Church of Kenya.
For all who have died: Alison Gavin and Charles Wylie
For one another.
Something to share
Good Morning, Holy Spirit
Good morning, Holy Spirit.
I need you this day.
Fill me with your presence
And guide me on my way.
Good morning, Holy Spirit.
I need you this day.
Fill my mind, my soul, my thinking,
And guide me as I pray.
Precious Holy Spirit,
I need you every day.
Surround me with your Being,
And in my heart, please stay.
– Jacqueline Russel
Sabbaths 2006 (VII)
O saints, if I am even eligible for this prayer,
though less than worthy of this dear desire,
and if your prayers have influence in Heaven,
let my place there be lower than your own.
I know how you longed, here where you lived
as exiles, for the presence of the essential
Being and Maker and Knower of all things.
but because of my unruliness, or some erring
virtue in me never rightly schooled,
some error clear and dear, my life
has not taught me your desire for flight:
dismattered, pure, and free. I long
instead for the Heaven of creatures, of seasons,
of day and night. Heaven enough for me
would be this world as I know it, but redeemed
of our abuse of it and one another. It would be
the Heaven of knowing again. There is no marrying
in Heaven, and I submit: even so, I would like
to know my wife again, both of us young again,
and I remembering always how i loved her
when she was old. I would like to know
my children again, all my family, all my dear ones,
to see, to hear, to hold, more carefully
than before, to study them lingeringly as one
studies old verses, committing them to heart
forever. I would like again to know my friends,
my old companions, men and women, horses
and dogs, in all the ages of our lives, here
in this place that i have watched over all my life
in all its moods and seasons, never enough.
I will be leaving how many beauties overlooked?
A painful Heaven this would be, for I would know
by it how far I have fallen short. I have not
paid enough attention. I have not been grateful
enough. And yet this pain would be the measure
of my love. In eternity’s once and now, pain would
place me surely in the Heaven of my earthy love.
– Wendell Berry
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.
Triptych on “Built on the Rock” Alfred V. Fedak
Al Fedak’s Triptych on “Built on the Rock” consists of three brief and contrasting treatments of the Lutheran hymn tune KIRKEN DEN ER ET GAMMELT HUS. The tune, written by Ludwig Lindeman (1783-1832), was composed for a text by the prolific Norwegian hymnwriter and pastor Nicolai Grundtvig (1812-1887). Its first stanza is:
Built on the Rock the Church shall stand
even when steeples are falling.
Crumbled have spires in every land;
bells still are chiming and calling,
calling the young and old to rest,
but above all the soul distressed,
longing for rest everlasting.
– Translation by Carl Doving (1867-1937)
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.”
Street Soldiers – Please join us after the service this Sunday, June 12, to make bagged lunches and sandwiches for Street Soldiers. We will also be going to Zion Lutheran Church later that afternoon from about 3-5 to help with set up and distribution of food and items. Please see Bethany or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information or would like to join.
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.