Saint Stephen’s Episcopal Church
Staying Safe and Staying Connected
This will be the last ‘Daily Prayer’ email from me. Begun at the onset of the pandemic two years ago to help keep our congregation prayerfully together in our isolation, it has become a spiritual link between me and all my church family and friends. If you wish, you will still receive a weekly email of the Sunday’s readings and various announcements for the life of St. Stephen’s congregation. Jrm+
Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Guardian, guide, no pillar of cloud by day nor fire by night,
Yet I sense your presence with me, God of the journey.
You are walking with me into a new land.
You are guarding me in my vulnerable moment.
You are dwelling within me as I depart from here.
You are promising to be my peace as I face the struggles
of distance from friends and security,
the planting of feet and heart in a strange place.
Renew in me a deep trust in you. Calm my anxiousness.
As I reflect on my life I can clearly see
how you have been there in all of my comings.
You will always be with me in everything.
I do not know how I am being resettled,
but I place my life into the welcoming arms of your love.
Encircle my heart with your peace.
May your powerful presence run like a strong thread
through the fibers of my being. Amen.
– Adapted from an ancient Celtic blessing
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 , Budd and Carole– today is their baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of West Malaysia – The Church of the Province of South East Asia.
For all who have died: Mary Ann Baum.
For one another.
Something to share
Words can bang around in your head
Forever, if you let them and you give them room.
I used to love poetry, and mostly I still do,
Though sometimes “I, too, dislike it.” There must be
Something real beyond the fiddle and perfunctory
Consolations and the quarrels—as of course
There is, though what it is is difficult to say.
The salt is on the briar rose, the fog is in the fir trees.
I didn’t know what it was, and I don’t know now,
But it was what I started out to do, and now, a lifetime later,
All I’ve really done. The Opening of the Field,
Roots and Branches, Rivers and Mountains: I sat in my room
Alone, their fragments shored against the ruin or revelation
That was sure to come, breathing in their secret atmosphere,
Repeating them until they almost seemed my own.
We like to think our lives are what they study to become,
And yet so much of life is waiting, waiting on a whim.
So much of what we are is sheer coincidence,
Like a sentence whose significance is retrospective,
Made up out of elementary particles that are in some sense
Simply sounds, like syllables that finally settle into place.
You probably think that this is a poem about poetry
(And obviously it is), yet its real subject is time,
For that’s what poetry is—a way to live through time
And sometimes, just for a while, to bring it back.
– John Koethe
The Tide Rises, the Tide Falls
The tide rises, the tide falls,
The twilight darkens, the curlew calls;
Along the sea-sands damp and brown
The traveller hastens toward the town,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
Darkness settles on roofs and walls,
But the sea, the sea in the darkness calls;
The little waves, with their soft, white hands,
Efface the footprints in the sands,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
The morning breaks; the steeds in their stalls
Stamp and neigh, as the hostler calls;
The day returns, but nevermore
Returns the traveller to the shore,
And the tide rises, the tide falls.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
News and Updates
SiCM Summer Meals Still Need Us! We need two more volunteers for July 5 and one for July 6. Thanks to all of you who have signed up.
Please contact Richey Woodzell at firstname.lastname@example.org for any days you’re willing to volunteer or serve as a sub.
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: 12:40 to 2:30
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – will continue each morning. Join Allison de Kanel and others 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).
The office email is: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.
Goodbye, Farewell, Amen,