Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
Holy and righteous God, you created us in your image. Grant us grace to contend fearlessly against evil and to make no peace with oppression. Help us, like those of generations before us, resist the evil of slavery and human bondage in any form and any manner of oppression. Help us to use our freedoms to bring justice among people and nations everywhere, to the glory of your Holy name through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– Vivian Traylor, Union of Black Episcopalians
Today we celebrate Juneteenth.
Juneteenth is the oldest African American celebration of emancipation from slavery. President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was issued on January 1, 1863, but news of emancipation moved slowly. Texas was the most remote of the slave states, and the Emancipation Proclamation was not enforced there until two and a half years later, after the Civil War had ended. When the Union army arrived in Galveston, Texas, on June 19, 1865 announcing that all “slaves” were free in accordance with the Emancipation Proclamation that the last slave experienced freedom. The name of the observance is a portmanteau of “June” and “nineteenth”, the date of its celebration.
In 1968, shortly after the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination, his Poor People’s Campaign held a Juneteenth Solidarity Day, giving the holiday a new prominence in the civil rights movement. From the late nineteenth century through today, typical Juneteenth celebrations across the country include parades, speeches by African American community leaders, singing of traditional songs such as “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” and dancing.
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 Linda – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Makamba – The Anglican Church of Burundi.
For all who have died: Paul Tanner, Lila Wood, Hugh Campbell, Jr., Tom Chouffi, Louis Hibbs, and Michael Cotton.
For one another
Something to share
Primer For Blacks
is a title,
is a preoccupation,
is a commitment Blacks
are to comprehend—
and in which you are
to perceive your Glory.
The conscious shout
of all that is white is
“It’s Great to be white.”
The conscious shout
of the slack in Black is
“It’s Great to be white.”
Thus all that is white
has white strength and yours.
The word Black
has geographic power,
pulls everybody in:
Blacks wherever they may be.
And remember, you Blacks, what they told you—
remember your Education:
“one Drop—one Drop
maketh a brand new Black.”
Oh mighty Drop.
______And because they have given us kindly
so many more of our people
stretches over the land.
the Black of it,
the rust-red of it,
the milk and cream of it,
the tan and yellow-tan of it,
the deep-brown middle-brown high-brown of it,
the “olive” and ochre of it—
The huge, the pungent object of our prime out-ride
is to Comprehend,
to salute and to Love the fact that we are Black,
which is our “ultimate Reality,”
which is the lone ground
from which our meaningful metamorphosis,
from which our prosperous staccato,
group or individual, can rise.
Begin with gaunt and marvelous concession:
YOU are our costume and our fundamental bone.
All of you—
you COLORED ones,
you NEGRO ones,
those of you who proudly cry
“I’m half INDian”—
those of you who proudly screech
“I’VE got the blood of George WASHington in MY veins”
ALL of you—
you proper Blacks,
you wish-I-weren’t Blacks,
Niggeroes and Niggerenes.
– Gwendolyn Brooks
News and Updates
New Ushers Needed – We are looking for new ushers to help us on Sunday mornings. If you are interested please see Vicki Hoshko or Allison de Kanel for more information.
SiCM Summer Meals St. Stephen’s will be doing the summer meals at Central Park for the first two weeks of the program: June 29-July 1 and July 5-8. If there is enough interest, we may also take a week in August.
· We will need at least 4 volunteers per day.
· Time commitment: 12:45 to 2:30
· Duties: Greet truck and unload supplies, hand out meals, keep count, interact with /provide activities for kids, clean up site, *bring coolers back to SiCM campus (we will request that volunteers at sites with earlier end times bring the coolers back to SiCM so they do not have to wait on site for the truck to come back to pick them up)
You can email Richey Woodzell at email@example.com for any days you’re willing to volunteer; there is also a sign-up sheet in the nave extension. All volunteers must complete a training session and sign a volunteer training form. The training will be either in person at the SiCM pantry at 839 Albany Street on Tuesday, June 21st at 9:30am or Wednesday, June 22nd at 1:30pm or watching a video of the training session online (to be announced after June 21). If you wish to attend the in-person training, email Richey to send you the link to register or call SiCM at 518-374-2683 ext. 108.
Coffee Hour – Volunteers are needed to sign up for coffee hour. Please visit the homepage of our website to choose an available date from now through the end of June. Thanks!
SiCM Pantry- Thank you for your donations of cleaning supplies! For June we are collecting spices and seasonings, which are not usually stocked by the pantry. Please see a full list of spices needed in the nave extension, near where you put your contributions.
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.