Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
When I need just a minute
I need to settle down. I am feeling rushed and driven, careening from one task to another and it feels like I’m in motion but I’m not going anywhere. So God, could you point out what is amiss?…Gather me into a quiet place, if only in my mind, so that what is happening around me, or should be happening, doesn’t take up all my awareness.
God, be God of this moment. Fully. God of my heartbeat, and my intentions. God of my urgency and of my unspoken desires. Show me what is possible, and what is fitting for this time.
Bless me God. Oh God of my life, thank you for showing me that small lives can be beautiful, valuable, even efficient.
– Kate Bowler
Kate Bowler is associate professor of history of Christianity in North America at Duke Divinity School. Her published scholarly books explore the prosperity gospel, a Christian movement centered on promises of wealth and happiness, and Christian women celebrities within American evangelicalism. Bowler is also the author of a bestselling spiritual memoir about her experience with Stage IV cancer, titled Everything Happens for a Reason (And Other Lies I’ve Loved). She now creates a variety of resources – such as a podcast, a book club, and prayers – that support people in taking a more honest look at suffering and faith. The above prayer is taken from “7 Prayers for Uncertain Times,” which you can download in full here: https://katebowler.com/7-prayers-for-uncertain-times/
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 Mary Frances – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Northern Malawi – The Church of the Province of Central Africa.
For all who have died: Mary Ann Baum.
For one another.
Something to share
First Letter of the Hebrew Women to St Paul
Hebrew Women, apostles of Christ Jesus to Paul,
alleged saint, notorious scribbler: grace to you
and peace from God our Father. Now look here:
Adam could have said ‘no thanks’ or ‘apples
disagree with me’. He didn’t. He had a bite
as well. So he was deceived. Just like Eve.
We’re equal and get used to it. We washed his feet,
made his tea, stood under the cross.
Where were you? On some road to Damascus.
Useless. Chapter 2: this new covenant is all very well
but we have a soft spot for the old one. That tabernacle
had our best candlesticks in it, a gold jar
with jam by Manna and a lot of tablet. We want
it back. You promise this and you promise that.
Be quiet. Let the hidden person of the heart speak out.
Chapter the last: every Tom, Dick and Harry’s
given hospitality at yours in case they might be
angels. Fine. But haven’t you noticed the spinning
saucers we’ve got above our heads?
Faith is a stubborn doubt before what you despair of
and the conviction of things you can see with your own two eyes.
– David Kinloch
News and Updates
How Episcopalians Can Respond to Gun Violence – On Tuesday, June 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern on Zoom, Bishops United Against Gun Violence will host “Doing Our Part: How Episcopalians Can Respond to Gun Violence in Our Communities and States.”
For more information visit the website: bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/doing-our-part-how-episcopalians-can-respond-to-gun-violence-in-our-communities-and-states/
You can register to join the Zoom meeting:
SiCM Summer Meals Still Need Us!
St. Stephen’s will be doing the summer meals at Central Park June 29-July 1 and July 5-8.
• We will need at least 4 volunteers per day, and it would be good to have a list of substitutes.
• Time commitment: 12:45 (at the latest) to 2:30
• All volunteers must complete a training session and sign a volunteer training form. A training video will be available on the SiCM website this week. The form can be downloaded from the SiCM site; there will also be copies in the nave extension. Get them back to Richey or bring when you come to Central Park.
• Duties: Greet truck and unload supplies, hand out meals, keep count, interact with /provide activities for kids, clean up site.
Thank you to those who have signed up! We need some more volunteers for July 1, 5 and 6. Please contact Richey Woodzell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 518-852-6796 for any days you’re willing to volunteer or serve as a sub.
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.