Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, July 31, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Take, Lord, receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, my whole will, all that I have and all that I possess. You gave it all to me, Lord; I give it all back to you. Do with it as you will, according to your good pleasure. Give me your love and your grace; for with this I have all that I need.

–          Ignatius of Loyola (1491-July 31, 1556)

Today we commemorate Ignatius of Loyola.

Ignatius of Loyola (1491-July 31, 1556) was the founder of the Jesuits. He was born in the Basque province of Guipuzcoa, Spain. Ignatius was a soldier who underwent a conversion on May 20, 1520, while he was recuperating from a leg wound. With six companions he founded the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) in Paris on Aug. 15, 1534, to work for the conversion of heretics. In Nov. 1538 the society placed itself at the service of the Pope. The motto of the society is, “For the greater glory of God.” Ignatius has influenced most forms of modern Christian spirituality through the Spiritual Exercises. Ignatius composed this work to guide retreatants through a thirty-day process in which they choose between God and evil. They also learn to meditate on the life of Christ and to imitate him. The society specializes in education in the spirit of the Counter-Reformation, with a generous opening to classical and humanistic studies. Ignatian spirituality has an Incarnational emphasis that seeks “to find God in all things,” serving God and humanity. Ignatius died in Rome. He was canonized on May 22, 1622.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Ruth, Molly, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:  Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of San Diego – The Episcopal Church (VIII (8) Province.

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

The Daily Examen is adapted from a technique described by Ignatius Loyola in his Spiritual Exercises. It is a technique of prayerful reflection on the events of the day in order to detect God’s presence and discern his direction for us. The Examen is an ancient practice in the Church that can help us see God’s hand at work in our whole experience.

Ignatius thought that the Examen was a gift that came directly from God, and that God wanted it to be shared as widely as possible. One of the few rules of prayer that Ignatius made for the Jesuit order was the requirement that Jesuits practice the Examen twice daily—at noon and at the end of the day. It’s a habit that Jesuits, and many other Christians, practice to this day.

1. Become aware of God’s presence. Look back on the events of the day in the company of the Holy Spirit. The day may seem confusing to you—a blur, a jumble, a muddle. Ask God to bring clarity and understanding.

2. Review the day with gratitude. Gratitude is the foundation of our relationship with God. Walk through your day in the presence of God and note its joys and delights. Focus on the day’s gifts. Look at the work you did, the people you interacted with. What did you receive from these people? What did you give them? Pay attention to small things—the food you ate, the sights you saw, and other seemingly small pleasures. God is in the details.

3. Pay attention to your emotions. One of St. Ignatius’s great insights was that we detect the presence of the Spirit of God in the movements of our emotions. Reflect on the feelings you experienced during the day. Boredom? Elation? Resentment? Compassion? Anger? Confidence? What is God saying through these feelings?  God will most likely show you some ways that you fell short. Make note of these sins and faults. But look deeply for other implications. Does a feeling of frustration perhaps mean that God wants you consider a new direction in some area of your work? Are you concerned about a friend? Perhaps you should reach out to her in some way.

4. Choose one feature of the day and pray from it. Ask the Holy Spirit to direct you to something during the day that God thinks is particularly important. It may involve a feeling—positive or negative. It may be a significant encounter with another person or a vivid moment of pleasure or peace. Or it may be something that seems rather insignificant. Look at it. Pray about it. Allow the prayer to arise spontaneously from your heart—whether intercession, praise, repentance, or gratitude.

5. Look toward tomorrow. Ask God to give you light for tomorrow’s challenges. Pay attention to the feelings that surface as you survey what’s coming up. Are you doubtful? Cheerful? Apprehensive? Full of delighted anticipation? Allow these feelings to turn into prayer. Seek God’s guidance. Ask him for help and understanding. Pray for hope.

St. Ignatius encouraged people to talk to Jesus like a friend. End the Daily Examen with a conversation with Jesus. Ask forgiveness for your sins. Ask for his protection and help. Ask for his wisdom about the questions you have and the problems you face. Do all this in the spirit of gratitude. Your life is a gift, and it is adorned with gifts from God. End the Daily Examen with the Lord’s Prayer.

News and Updates

Sunday’s Bulletin insert:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/18J09bc_ISb7X91OYLbKHkDHkEQyg_bmb/view?usp=sharing

Sunday’s Lessons: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1agywryDqX1mse-bI7tkxX3uJaxm7FI3d/view?usp=sharing

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky Holder for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com ) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, July 30, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

O God, our Leader and our Master and our Friend, forgive our

imperfections and our little motives, take us and make us one with thy

great purpose, use us and do not reject us, make us all servants of thy

kingdom, weave our lives into thy struggle to conquer and to bring

peace and union to the world.

We are small and feeble creatures, we are feeble in speech, feebler still

in action, nevertheless let but thy light shine upon us, and there is not

one of us who cannot be lit by thy fire and who cannot lose himself in

thy salvation. Take us into thy purposes, O God, let thy kingdom come

into our hearts and into this world.

      – H.G. Wells, 1946

Herbert George Wells was an English writer. Prolific in many genres, he wrote dozens of novels, short stories, and works of social commentary, history, satire, biography and autobiography. Wells is now best remembered for his science fiction novels and is often called the “father of science fiction”. During his own lifetime, however, he was most prominent as a forward-looking, even prophetic social critic who devoted his literary talents to the development of a progressive vision on a global scale.

Wells’ views on God and religion changed over his lifetime. In his early days Wells did not object to using the word “God” provided it did not imply anything resembling human personality. In his middle years he went through a phase of defending the concept of a “finite God”, which he wrote a book about called God the Invisible King. Later Wells decided he was really an atheist.

 From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:  Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Dhaka – The (united) Church of Bangladesh.

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

This is what you shall do

“This is what you shall do; Love the earth and sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to every one that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence toward the people, take off your hat to nothing known or unknown or to any man or number of men, go freely with powerful uneducated persons and with the young and with the mothers of families, read these leaves in the open air every season of every year of your life, re-examine all you have been told at school or church or in any book, dismiss whatever insults your own soul, and your very flesh shall be a great poem and have the richest fluency not only in its words but in the silent lines of its lips and face and between the lashes of your eyes and in every motion and joint of your body.”

     –   Walt Whitman, from the preface of Leaves of Grass.

News and Updates

SiCM Food Pantry – During the months of July and August we will be collecting the following items that are needed by the SiCM food pantry:

razors (men/women)

shaving cream

shampoo

body wash

soap

toothpaste

lotion

deodorant (men/women)

Also, the van delivering the meals at St. Stephen’s for SiCM Summer Lunch Program will have kids’ books to give to the kids to take home.  There is a basket in the nave extension if you would like to contribute kids’ books (picture books up through high school).  Vicki Hoshko tells us that The Open Door is also giving customers 20% off  books donated to the SICM summer program. There is even a display with suggestions!

There are baskets in the nave extension for your donations. 

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com ) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, July 29, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Colorful Creator, God of mystery,

thank you for the artist teaching us to see

glimpses of the meaning of the commonplace,

vision of the holy in each human face.

Harmony of ages, God of list’ning ear,

thank you for composer tuning us to hear

echoes of the Gospel in the songs we sing,

sounds of love and longing from the deepest spring.

Author of our journey, God of near and far,

praise for tale and drama telling who we are,

stripping to the essence struggles of our day,

times of change and conflict when we choose our way.

God of truth and beauty, Poet of the Word,

may we be creators by the Spirit stirred,

open to your presence in our joy and strife,

vessels of the holy coursing through our life.

      – “Colorful Creator” by Ruth Duck

Ruth Duck is a liturgical theologian and retired professor of worship who taught for 27 years at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. Duck is best known for her work as a composer, writer and adaptor of hymns. In 1973, she was part of the committee at the Ecumenical Women’s Center of Chicago that produced Because We Are One People, the first 20th century collection of original and adapted hymns that promoted the use of “non-sexist language”. Since that time, Duck has written over 150 hymns, edited three books of sources for worship services and written on the topic of Trinitarian theology, all with an eye toward facilitating the use of gender inclusive language in the context of Christian worship. She is a leading, contemporary champion for and developer of inclusive language worship sources.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Ruth, Molly.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:  Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Derry & Raphoe – The Church of Ireland (Armagh Province).

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

Drink water from the spring where horses drink. The horse will never drink bad water.

Lay your bed where the cat sleeps.

Eat the fruit that has been touched by a worm.

Boldly pick the mushroom on which the insects sit.

Plant the tree where the mole digs.

Build your house where the snake sits to warm itself.

Dig your fountain where the birds hide from heat.

Go to sleep and wake up at the same time with the birds – you will reap all of the days golden grains.

Eat more green – you will have strong legs and a resistant heart, like the brings of the forest.

Swim often and you will feel on earth like the fish in the water.

Look at the sky as often as possible and your thoughts will become light and clear.

Be quiet a lot, speak little – and silence will come in your heart, and your spirit will be calm and full of peace. 

–        Saint Seraphim of Savor, a renowned Russian saint

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com ) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, July 28, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Lord, how much juice you can squeeze from a single grape.

How much water you can draw from a single well.

How great a fire you can kindle from a tiny spark.

How great a tree you can grow from a tiny seed.

My soul is so dry that by itself it cannot pray,

Yet you can squeeze from it the juice of a thousand prayers.

My soul is so parched that by itself it cannot love;

Yet you can draw from it boundless love for you and for my

         neighbor.

My soul is so cold that by itself it has no joy,

Yet you can light the fire of heavenly joy within me.

My soul is so feeble that by itself it has no faith;

Yet by your power my faith grows to a great height.

Thank you for prayer, for love, for joy, for faith;

Let me always be prayerful, loving, joyful, faithful.

      –   Guigo the Carthusian, 1188

Guigo was a Carthusian monk and the 9th prior of the Grande Chartreuse monastery, from 1174-80. His most famous book is most commonly known today as Scala Claustralium (The Ladder of Monks). Drawing on Jacob’s vision of angels ascending and descending a ladder to heaven in Genesis 28:12, Guigo wrote an account to explain how the ladder was meant for those in the cloister, seeking the contemplative life. Guigo named the four steps of this “ladder” of Lectio Divina prayer, a practice which continues daily in contemporary Benedictine ritual meditation, with the Latin terms lectiomeditatiooratio, and contemplatio. In Guigo’s four stages one first reads, which leads to think about (i.e. meditate on) the significance of the text; that process in turn leads the person to respond in prayer as the third stage. The fourth stage is when the prayer, in turn, points to the gift of quiet stillness in the presence of God, called contemplation.

Scala Claustralium is considered the first description of methodical prayer in the western mystical tradition, and Guigo is considered the first writer in the western tradition to consider stages of prayer as a ladder which leads to a closer mystic communion with God. It is still a basic guide for those who wish to practice lectio divina.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:  Eunice Chouffi, Vincent Avila, Priscilla Sprague, Ruth Turner, Mary Frances Hatfield, Debbie Trawick, Joe White.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Derby – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

Out in the Fields with God

The little cares that fretted me,

I lost them yesterday

Among the fields above the sea,

Among the winds that play,

Among the lowing of the herds,

The rustling of the trees,

Among the singing of the birds,

The humming of the bees.

The fears of what may come to pass,

I cast them all away

Among the clover-scented grass,

Among the new mown hay,

Among the rustling of the corn,

Where drowsy poppies nod,

Where ill thoughts die and good are born,

Out in the fields with God.

      –   Elizabeth Barrett Browning

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

Home Communions: If you or someone you know is unable to attend church on either a long or short‑term basis, please contact me (james.ross.mcd@gmail.com ) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, July 27, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

God, Giver of Life, Bearer of Pain, Maker of Love,

you are able to accept in us what we

cannot even acknowledge;

you are able to name in us what we cannot bear to speak of;

you are able to hold in your memory

what we have tried to forget;

you are able to hold out to us

the glory that we cannot conceive of.

Reconcile us through You

to all that we have rejected in our selves,

that we may find no part of your creation

to be alien or strange to us,

and that we ourselves may be made whole.

Through Jesus Christ, our lover and our friend. Amen.

      – Janet Morley

Janet Morley is the author of a number of books, which include books of prayer, and also has edited poetry anthologies fit for different liturgical seasons. Morley is now retired, but has previously worked for the Methodist Church in the U.K. and the relief organization Christian Aid.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:  Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Delhi – The (united) Church of North India.

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

Fermentation

When the growing season ends, we make sauerkraut.

Mom shreds the cabbage, knife rasping against

tightly layered leaves. Then she adds salt and whey,

pounds everything until it bruises and weeps, and

shoves the limp cabbage into a quart jar.

She screws the lid on tight.

Every now and then, I go to the basement and

check on the sauerkraut. I peer through the glass

jar and see little bubbles. Sometimes they rise to

the surface as I watch. The brine seeps out

beneath the lid and trickles down the sides,

pooling on the floor. Inside, the cabbage

is steeping, changing, becoming.

New wine, Jesus said, and surely he knew

about dark, cool silence, the sour smell

of ripening. But he also knew how life breaks

the seal and comes bursting out one morning,

green and pungent, fresh with salty

tang on its lips.

      – Eileen R. Kinch

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky Holder for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, July 26, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

O gracious God, we remember before you today your servant and apostle James, first among the Twelve to suffer martyrdom for the Name of Jesus Christ; and we pray that you will pour out upon the leaders of your Church that spirit of self-denying service by which alone they may have true authority among your people; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

       –  Book of Common Prayer, p. 242

Today is the Feast of St. James the Apostle (transferred).

James the Great, also known as James, son of Zebedee was one of the Twelve Apostles as recorded in the New Testament. He is described as one of the first disciples to join Jesus.  When Jesus called James and his brother John, they were in the boat mending the nets, and they immediately left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired hands. James and his brother seem to have had a fiery temper. They once wanted to call down fire on a Samaritan town, but were rebuked by Jesus, who nicknamed them Boanerges or “Sons of Thunder”.

James is the patron saint of Spain, and according to tradition, his remains are held in Santiago de Compostela in Galicia. Celebrating this day there, a fiesta is held with a spectacular fireworks show over the cathedral, plus concerts and other street performances. A special mass is held in the cathedral which features the swinging of the enormous and famous incense burner, the botafumeiro.

In chapter 12 of Acts of the Apostles, King Herod had James executed by the sword, while Peter is miraculously liberated from prison. The murder of one apostle while another apostle is saved is beyond explanation and highlights the mystery, unknowability, and unpredictability of divine providence.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Joanne and William – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Delaware – The Episcopal Church (III (3) Province).

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

St. James’s Day

Sit down and take thy fill of joy

At God’s right hand, a bidden guest,

Drink of the cup that cannot cloy,

Eat of the bread that cannot waste.

O great Apostle! rightly now

Thou readest all thy Saviour meant,

What time His grave yet gentle brow

In sweet reproof on thee was bent.

“Seek ye to sit enthroned by me?

Alas! ye know not what ye ask,

The first in shame and agony,

The lowest in the meanest task –

This can ye be? and came ye drink

The cup that I in tears must steep,

Nor from the ‘whelming waters shrink

That o’er Me roll so dark and deep?”

“We can–Thine are we, dearest Lord,

In glory and in agony,

To do and suffer all Thy word;

Only be Thou for ever nigh.” –

“Then be it so–My cup receive,

And of My woes baptismal taste:

But for the crown, that angels weave

For those next Me in glory placed,

“I give it not by partial love;

But in My Father’s book are writ

What names on earth shall lowliest prove,

That they in Heaven may highest sit.”

Take up the lesson, O my heart;

Thou Lord of meekness, write it there,

Thine own meek self to me impart,

Thy lofty hope, thy lowly prayer.

If ever on the mount with Thee

I seem to soar in vision bright,

With thoughts of coming agony,

Stay Thou the too presumptuous flight:

Gently along the vale of tears

Lead me from Tabor’s sunbright steep,

Let me not grudge a few short years

With thee t’ward Heaven to walk and weep:

Too happy, on my silent path,

If now and then allowed, with Thee

Watching some placid holy death,

Thy secret work of love to see;

But, oh! most happy, should Thy call,

Thy welcome call, at last be given –

“Come where thou long hast storeth thy all

Come see thy place prepared in Heaven.”

       –  John Keble

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, July 25, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today is the Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The Collect for the Day

O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 6:1-21:

Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”

When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.

The Gospel of the Lord.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For George – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Scottish Episcopal Church.

For all who have died:  Dorothy,  Jean, Daisy, Barbara, Rose, Margaret, Mary.

For one another.

Something to share

Beyond Bethsaida’s borders

1 Beyond Bethsaida’s borders,

The weary Savior went,

To rest with His disciples,

Before the day was spent;

But eager people hastened,

The Son of Man to seek;

The poor and heavy laden

Desired to hear Him speak.

2 With patient love He taught them,

Till shadows fell apace,

But all the people hungered

In that far desert place.

His heart with pity melted;

How many loaves have ye?

He said to the disciples,

And bade them go and see.

3 A little lad among them,

His loaves and fishes spared;

But Jesus blessed and brake them,

And all the bounty shared.

With only this provision,

Which Jesus blessed and brake,

They fed the hungry thousands,

That day, beside the lake.

Then bring your all to Jesus,

However poor and small;

Come, hasten now to bring it,

The little lads and all.

’Tis not the gifts we offer,

That help the world today,

But Jesus’ blessing on them,

That sends them on their way.

–     Julia H. Johnston

Julia Harriet Johnston, who was born on Jan. 21, 1849, at Salineville, OH, in Columbiana County. Her father was a minister and her mother was a poet. She began writing when she was nine years old but really started writing verse in high school. She lived in Peoria, Ill.

News and Updates

Our summer Sunday Eucharist begins at 9am.  You will need to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated!

If you would like to attend the Sunday service from homejust  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9am and wait for the live stream to be posted. If there are technical issues with the livestream so that it stops, please try reentering. Do not wait for it to come back on. It may take a few minutes for the livestream to start again, so please be patient.  The live video is automatically recorded, so it will be available for viewing later on in the day or week if you can’t be online at 9:00.

Sunday’s Bulletin insert:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/18J09bc_ISb7X91OYLbKHkDHkEQyg_bmb/view?usp=sharing

Full Sunday’s Lessons:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lfoqVX0F-kkjhKkIKriYsKVa2Bs0R40Z/view?usp=sharing\

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, July 24, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today we commemorate Thomas à Kempis.

Today’s Prayer

Grant me, O Lord, to know what I ought to know,
To love what I ought to love,
To praise what delights thee most,
To value what is precious in thy sight,
To hate what is offensive to thee.
Do not suffer me to judge according to the sight of my eyes,
Nor to pass sentence according to the hearing of the ears of ignorant men;
But to discern with a true judgment between things visible and spiritual,
And above all, always to inquire what is the good pleasure of thy will. Amen

–  Thomas à Kempis (1380-1471)

Thomas Hammerken was born in Kempen, Germany and distinguished himself as a priest, monk, and writer.  He was a German-Dutch canon regular of the late medieval period and the author of The Imitation of Christ, one of the most popular and best known Christian devotional books.  He was a member of the Modern Devotion, a spiritual movement during the late medieval period, and a follower of Geert Groote, the founders of the Brethren of the Common Life.  Thomas spent his time between devotional exercises in writing and in copying manuscripts. He copied the Bible no fewer than four times, one of the copies being preserved at Darmstadt, Germany, in five volumes. In its teachings he was widely read and his works abound with biblical quotations, especially from the New Testament.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Ruth, Molly, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Warren, Steven, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Brian Riordon – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Saint Davids – The Church in Wales.

For all who have died:  Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

“Every time I catch myself trying to figure out other people’s motives, I’ll stop and ask myself: “What did I say or do that prompted the action? Why did I react to it as I did? Does what happened make a major difference to me, or am I making something big out of a trifle?”

Leave off that excessive desire of knowing; therein is found much distraction There are many things the knowledge of which is of little or no profit to the soul.”
       – Thomas a’ Kempis

News and Updates

Tomorrow’s Readings: 

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1lfoqVX0F-kkjhKkIKriYsKVa2Bs0R40Z/view?usp=sharing

POP: 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/17ZBtVJ7CjRCcIH_ZQDe2oCtTFJ8KlHbiJqMsr56duz0/edit?usp=sharing

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, July 23, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

O Jesus,

Be the canoe that holds me to the sea of life.

Be the steer that keeps me on the straight road.

Be the outrigger that supports me in times of great

         temptation.

Let your spirit be my sail that carries me through

         every day.

Keep my body strong,

so that I can paddle steadfastly on,

         in the long voyage of life.

        –   A prayer from the New Hebrides, exact source unknown.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Carolyn, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sonny, Don.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Becky  – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Davao – The Episcopal Church in the Philippines.

For all who have died:  Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

Dreams

Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird

That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.

       – Langston Hughes

News and Updates

SiCM Summer Meals at St. Stephen’s –  We need volunteers to staff the lunch handouts in the church parking lot for the next two weeks, and we have been asked if we could hand out meals for the rest of the summer as well.  Days are Monday through Friday, and the time commitment is 11:10 to 12:45.   If you are available to help, please contact Richey Woodzell at erwoodzell@gmail.com as soon as possible.  Thank you!

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, July 22, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, whose blessed Son restored Mary Magdalene to health of body and of mind, and called her to be a witness of his resurrection: Mercifully grant that by your grace we may be healed from all our infirmities and know you in the power of his unending life; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

       –  Book of Common Prayer, p. 242

Today is the Feast of St. Mary Magdalene

Mary Magdalene was a Jewish woman who, according to all four Gospels, traveled with Jesus as one of his followers and was a witness to his crucifixion and its aftermath. She is mentioned by name twelve times in the Gospels, more than most of the apostles. Mary’s epithet Magdalene may mean she came from the town of Magdala, a fishing town on the western shore of the Sea of Galilee.

In the Gospel of Luke, she is named as one of the women who traveled with Jesus and who underwrote and financed his ministry, indicating that she was probably a woman of wealth and means. All four Gospels identify Mary, either alone or as a member of a group of women, as the first to witness the empty tomb and the first to witness Jesus’ resurrection. For this reason, Mary Magdalene is known as the Apostle to the Apostles, because she is the one who announced the resurrection first. The proclamation of the Resurrection began with Mary Magdalene and continues to reach disciples to this day and will continue into the future. Every Christian owes their discipleship to HER witness and testimony.

The inaccurate portrayal of Mary Magdalene as a prostitute began after a series of sermons delivered in 591, when Pope Gregory I conflated Mary Magdalene with Mary at Bethany and the unnamed “sinful woman” who anoints Jesus’ feet. Sadly this slander of this noble woman and saint persists to this day in popular culture. Mary Magdalene, like so many others, deserves better from the Church.

In the work that God would have us do for a world so desperate for love, peace, patience, generosity, gentleness, and hope, may Mary Magdalene – the patron saint of the slandered, the falsely accused, the wrongfully labeled and shamefully maligned – be our inspiration and guide.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

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 the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

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 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:  Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; 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:   Dennie, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Dar-es-Salaam – The Anglican Church of Tanzania.

For all who have died:  Betty.

For one another.

Something to share

The love of Mary Magdalene

On canvas was made to shame

For the world to despise her name

Portrayed as a whore

A dirty Mary nothing more

Hair that wiped Jesus’s feet of oil and tears

Never left his side even at the cross

Who was this woman from Magdala

Why has the bible tried to exclude her

She soothes a crucified body with aloes and myrrh

Believed while Peter denied three times before cock crowed

The Messiah who was resurrected on the third day

First appeared to this lady of immeasurable faith

Her heart knew the Lord above man’s horrid sins

No love greater than the love of Mary Magdalene

       –   Arturo Michael

THE RISEN ONE

Until his final hour he had never
refused her anything or turned away,
lest she should turn their love to public praise.
Now she sank down beside the cross, disguised,
heavy with the largest stones of love
like jewels in the cover of her pain.

But later, when she came back to his grave
with tearful face, intending to anoint,
she found him resurrected for her sake,
saying with greater blessedness, “Do not –”

She understood it in her hollow first:
how with finality he now forbade
her, strengthened by his death, the oils’ relief
or any intimation of a touch:

because he wished to make of her the lover
who needs no more to lean on her beloved,
as, swept away by joy in such enormous
storms, she mounts even beyond his voice.

–  Rainer Maria Rilke, New Poems, Second Part, 1908

News and Updates

SiCM Food Pantry – During the months of July and August we will be collecting the following items that are needed by the SiCM food pantry:

razors (men/women)

shaving cream

shampoo

body wash

soap

toothpaste

lotion

deodorant (men/women)

Also, the van delivering the meals at St. Stephen’s for SiCM Summer Lunch Program will have kids’ books to give to the kids to take home.  There is a basket in the nave extension if you would like to contribute kids’ books (picture books up through high school).  Vicki Hoshko tells us that The Open Door is also giving customers 20% off  books donated to the SICM summer program. There is even a display with suggestions!

There are baskets in the nave extension for your donations. 

Reminders

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each weekday & Saturday morning.  Join us 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:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

Our church campus is only partially open during the waning of the pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Hopefully, most parish meetings and gatherings will resume this fall.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to comply with all of these: the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html ; the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ ; and the Diocese of Albany https://albanyepiscopaldiocese.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/cleaning_guidance_houses_of_worship.pdf.

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said, as well as what is not said. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

the rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of God’s 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.