Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, October 20, 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

…I think that nothing made is lost;

That not a moon has ever shone,

That not a cloud my eyes hath crossed

But to my soul is gone.

That all the lost years garnered lie

In this Thy casket, my dim soul;

And Thou wilt, once, the key apply,

And show the shining whole.

But were they dead in me, they live

In Thee, Whose Parable is—Time,

And Worlds, and Forms—all things that give

Me thoughts, and this my rime.

Father, in joy our knees we bow:

This earth is not a place of tombs:

We are but in the nursery now;

They in the upper rooms.

For are we not at home in Thee,

And all this world a visioned show;

That, knowing what Abroad is, we

What Home is too may know?

         –  George MacDonald, 1905 from “A Prayer for the Past”

George MacDonald was a nineteenth century Scottish author whose works included Christian apologetics, fairy tales and fantasy, and poetry. He was also a minister in the Congregational tradition, though he was not always well-received in this role. An article from the BBC describes MacDonald being accused of heresy in his first church position in Arundel, Scotland. He is described as an influence on many fantasy writers, including C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, and Madeleine L’Engle. Lewis himself wrote this about MacDonald: “I know hardly any other writer who seems to be closer, or more continually close, to the Spirit of Christ Himself. Hence his Christ-like union of tenderness and severity. Nowhere else outside the New Testament have I found terror and comfort so intertwined.”

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy, Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth .

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For Joe– today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Grafton – The Anglican Church of Australia (New South Wales Province).

For all who have died:  Joan, Walter, Naomi, Marilyn, Winifred, Norman.

Something to share

The Song is You

Musical instruments sleep in the dark

for several hours a day:

the folks we belong to aren’t always at play,

so we can’t always be at work. 

Our silence holds music: an undiscovered bourne,

horizons which have never been viewed,

like undeclared love growing deeper in solitude,

or the crystalline heart of a stone. 

My sleep, however, was more like a death:

in the dark of an attic for years;

forgetting my existence, and my glorious career

with the best female swing band on the earth. 

I was the great love of my Sweetheart’s life. 

A man came between us. And soon

I was in the dark collecting dust and out of tune;

they were pronounced man and wife. 

Instead of the charts, my gal read Dr. Spock. 

We played once a week, once a year . . .

At first, from my closet, I was able to hear

her family’s coninuo of talk. 

My Sweetheart’s grandson brought me to the shop. 

Something has ruined my voice. 

Older, not riper, I’m a sorry old bass. 

But that doesn’t mean I’ve lost hope

 . . .that someone will hold me in a tender embrace, 

her arms will encircle my neck;

someone will press her warm length to my back, 

and pluck notes from my gut with her fingers’ caress.

           –   Marilyn Nelson

News and Updates

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pies – This year the families at St. Stephen’s will be making “no bake pumpkin pies” just in time for Thanksgiving. Pies will be made on Saturday November 20th, ready to be picked up Sunday November 21st after the 9 am church service. Pies will be sold on a donation basis, with all proceeds going to Street Soldiers Schenectady.  Pies will contain dairy, and although there are no nuts in the pie, crusts may be made in facilities where nuts are used.

Please fill out this pie order form if you intend to purchase a pie (or pies) on November 21. Orders must be received by November 7. This will help us know how many pies to make! Have any questions or want to help out? Email Bethany at office@st-stephens.church. 

Order form

The SiCM Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am. 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) if you would like to have communion brought to you. We will make visits on Sunday after our regular Eucharist at church.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 19, 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

Most loving Father, who willest us to give thanks for all things, to dread nothing but the loss of thee, and to cast all our care on thee who carest for us: preserve us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds of this mortal life may hide us from the light of thy love which is immortal, and which thou has manifested to us in thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

       –  William Bright, 1901

William Bright was educated at University College, Oxford. He was ordained a priest in the Church of England and his calling was in academia. He was appointed Regius Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford and canon of Christ Church. He published editions of several Church Fathers and wrote many hymns, including How oft, O Lord, thy face hath shoneHe sat to watch o’er customs paid; and And now, O Father, mindful of the love, which are included in our hymnal (Hymns 242, 281, and 337).

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Warren, Steven, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny .

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For Herbert & Shirley today is their anniversary.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gombe – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Jos Province.

For all who have died:  Joan, Walter, Naomi, Marilyn, Winifred, Norman.

Something to share

In London Town

It was a bird of Paradise,

  Over the roofs he flew.

All the children, in a trice,

Clapped their hands and cried, ‘How nice!’

  ‘Look–his wings are blue!’

His body was of ruby red,

  His eyes were burning gold.

All the grown-up people said,

‘What a pity the creature is not dead,

  For then it could be sold!’

One was braver than the rest.

  He took a loaded gun;

Aiming at the emerald crest,

He shot the creature through the breast.

  Down it fell in the sun.

It was not heavy, it was not fat,

  And folk began to stare.

‘We cannot eat it, that is flat!

And such outlandish feathers as that

  Why, who could ever wear?’

They flung it in the river brown.

  ‘A pity the creature died!’

With a smile and with a frown,

Thus they did in London town;

   But all the children cried.

         –  Mary Coleridge

News and Updates

The SiCM Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 18, 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, who inspired your servant Luke the physician to set forth in the Gospel the love and healing power of your Son: Graciously continue in your Church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

Today the church remembers Saint Luke the Evangelist.

Luke was a Gentile and a physician. He was probably a slave, since most physicians were in those days. He was a Christian convert and a frequent companion of Paul. He probably ministered medically to Paul. In Christian literature he is most often referred to as “The Beloved Physician.”

Luke exhibited a sense of history, unique among the evangelists. He was not an eyewitness to the events of Jesus’s life but tried to present an accurate and orderly account of those events which he had heard about from his sources. His writings, The Gospel of Luke and The Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament, give us an historical narrative which remains altogether appealing, even to modern ears. Luke has given us the familiar Christmas story and the parable of the Good Samaritan that the other evangelists omit.

According to tradition, Luke lived to an old age. Unlike so many of the leaders of the early church, he seems to have died quite peacefully of natural causes.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie.

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, 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 Goma – Province de L’Eglise Anglicane Du Congo.

For all who have died:  Joan, Walter, Naomi, Marilyn, Winifred, Norman.

Something to share

St Luke the Evangelist

Saint Luke, beloved physician,

            with honour now recall,

who served his Master’s mission,

            who ministered to Paul;

whose skill to distant ages

            bequeathed a gift unpriced,

a gospel in whose pages

            we see the face of Christ.

He tells for us the stories

            of Jesus here on earth,

the unsung pains and glories

            that marked the church’s birth;

the Spirit’s power in preaching,

            the contrite sinner freed,

the grace and mercy reaching

            our deepest human need.

For all who work our healing

            we lift our hearts in prayer,

the love of God revealing

            in science, skill and care:

his gifts be still imparted

            to those who make us whole,

like Luke the tender-hearted,

            physician of the soul.

– Timothy Dudley-Smith, an English Anglican bishop and hymn-writer

By all your Saints Still Striving

verse 2:

For that beloved physician, all praise,

Whose Gospel shows the healer of the nations,

the sharer of our woes.

Thy wine and oil, O Saviour,

and bruised hearts deign to pour,

and with true balm of Gilead

Anoint us evermore.

News and Updates

The SiCM Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 17, 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 twenty-eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time.

The Collect for the Day

Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; 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 Mark  10:35-45:

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to Jesus and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.” And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?” And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?” They replied, “We are able.” Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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: Fritz, Regina, Joan, Isabella, Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Warren, Steven, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Church in the Province of the West Indies.

For all who have died:  Joan, Walter, Naomi, Marilyn, Winifred, Norman.

Something to share

Two Infants

A prince stood on the balcony of his palace addressing a great multitude summoned for the occasion and said, “Let me offer you and this whole fortunate country my congratulations upon the birth of a new prince who will carry the name of my noble family, and of whom you will be justly proud.
 He is the new bearer of a great and illustrious ancestry, and upon him depends the brilliant future of this realm.
 Sing and be merry!” The voices of the throngs, full of joy and thankfulness, flooded the sky with exhilarating song, welcoming the new tyrant who would affix the yoke of oppression to their necks by ruling the weak with bitter authority, and exploiting their bodies and killing their souls.
 For that destiny, the people were singing and drinking ecstatically to the heady of the new Emir.

Another child entered life and that kingdom at the same time.
 While the crowds were glorifying the strong and belittling themselves by singing praise to a potential despot, and while the angels of heaven were weeping over the people’s weakness and servitude, a sick woman was thinking.
 She lived in an old, deserted hovel and, lying in her hard bed beside her newly born infant wrapped with ragged swaddles, was starving to death.
 She was a penurious and miserable young wife neglected by humanity; her husband had fallen into the trap of death set by the prince’s oppression, leaving a solitary woman to whom God had sent, that night, a tiny companion to prevent her from working and sustaining life.

As the mass dispersed and silence was restored to the vicinity, the wretched woman placed the infant on her lap and looked into his face and wept as if she were to baptize him with tears.
 And with a hunger weakened voice she spoke to the child saying, “Why have you left the spiritual world and come to share with me the bitterness of earthly life? Why have you deserted the angels and the spacious firmament and come to this miserable land of humans, filled with agony, oppression, and heartlessness? I have nothing to give you except tears; will you be nourished on tears instead of milk? I have no silk clothes to put on you; will my naked, shivering arms give you warmth? The little animals graze in the pasture and return safely to their shed; and the small birds pick the seeds and sleep placidly between the branches.
 But you, my beloved, have naught save a loving but destitute mother.
” Then she took the infant to her withered breast and clasped her arms around him as if wanting to join the two bodies in one, as before.
 She lifted her burning eyes slowly toward heaven and cried, “God! Have mercy on my unfortunate countrymen!”

At that moment the clouds floated from the face of the moon, whose beams penetrated the transom of that poor home and fell upon two corpses.

– Kahlil Gibran

News and Updates

Our 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 home,  just  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 re-entering. 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. 

This Morning’s Bulletin:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IcrwU5rxhnqjZZjp4csAZFaKT5aVmD6d3e8RuWwsSMw/edit?usp=sharing

This Morning’s Lessons:  

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 16, 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 Lord, even though I cannot see my way,

still I hear your voice calling me in the whirlwind.

Things are falling apart and coming together

at the same time.

Fear and calm overtake me.

Feelings of unworthiness and divine boldness

vacillate within.

But I hear you beckoning me, telling me to get up,

reach out, look up, step out.

I hear, and I obey.

        Rev. Dr. Renita Weems

Rev. Dr. Renita Weems is an ordained minister in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a scholar on the Hebrew Bible. Her work has been influential to the field of womanist theology. Womanism, a term that originates with Alice Walker, refers to an ideology that centers the experiences of black women in its quest for wholeness for all people. Weems has taught at Vanderbilt University’s Divinity School and Spelman College and served as an academic dean at American Baptist College. This prayer comes from her book Showing Mary: How Women Can Share Prayers, Wisdom, and the Blessings of God.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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: Isabella, Gus, Pat, Katie, Mike, June, Kenny, Danny, Charlotte, Diana, Caleb, June, Ruth, David, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Susan, Ann, John, Stephen, Don, Ruth.

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For Andrei and Vera – today is their baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gogrial – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Northern Bahr el Ghazal Province).

For all who have died:  Joan, Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

Idiot Psalm 12

(A psalm of Isaac, amid uncommon darkness)

O Being both far distant and most near,

           O Lover embracing all unlovable, O Tender

               Tether binding us together, and binding, yea

               and tenderly, Your Person to ourselves,

Being both beyond our ken, and kindred, One

               whose dire energies invest such clay as ours

               with patent animation, O Secret One secreting

               life anew into our every tissue moribund,

               afresh unto our stale and stalling craft,

grant in this obscurity a little light.

     – Scott Cairns

News and Updates

Tomorrow’s Scripture Readings::

The SiCM Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 15, 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 my Lord, since it seems you are determined to save me, I ask that you may do so quickly. And since you have decided to dwell within me, I ask that you clean your house, wiping away all the grime of sin.

         –   Teresa of Avila, 1582

On this day, October 15th, Teresa of Avila is recognized with a feast day in the Episcopal Church and has been granted the title “Doctor of the Church” in the Catholic tradition, a designation for saints who have made major contributions to theology. Teresa, born in 1515 in Spain, initially joined a Carmelite convent before establishing a reformed Carmelite order. Teresa founded 17 convents. Her writings, including The Way of Perfection and The Interior Castle, are considered influential texts in Christian spirituality and mysticism.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny.

For those who are homebound:  Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, 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 Gloucester – The Church of England (Canterbury Province).

For all who have died:  Joan, Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

Saint Teresa’s Last Words

My Lord, it is time to move on.

Well then, may your will be done.

O my Lord and my Spouse,

the hour that I have longed for has come.

It is time for us to meet one another.

           -Teresa of Avila

A Season of Prayer: For an Election

O Lord our Governor, bless the leaders of our land, that we may be a people at peace among ourselves and a blessing to other nations of the earth. Lord, keep this nation under your care.

To the President and members of the Cabinet, to Governors of States, Mayors of Cities, and to all in administrative authority, grant wisdom and grace in the exercise of their duties.  Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To Senators and Representatives, and those who make our laws in States, Cities, and Towns, give courage, wisdom, and foresight to provide for the needs of all our people, and to fulfill our obligations in the community of nations. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

To the Judges and officers of our Courts give understanding and integrity, that human rights may be safeguarded and justice served. Give grace to your servants, O Lord.

And finally, teach our people to rely on your strength and to accept their responsibilities to their fellow citizens, that they may elect trustworthy leaders and make wise decisions for the well-being of our society; that we may serve you faithfully in our generation and honor your holy Name. For yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all. Amen.

–    The Episcopal Church Office of Government Relations

News and Updates

The SiCM Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

Schenectady Community Ministries – Join SiCM today, October 15th at 3PM for the Official Naming of the Food Pantry after Reverend Phillip Grigsby. This free event will include speakers and incentives for donors. 3PM for tours of the newly renovated food pantry. And then later that day, will be the Official Grand Opening of the SiCM Community Hub! Tickets are $75 and provide access to this unique celebration including a tour of the brand new building, wine tastings, and a commemorative gift. Dress to impress and look for new incentives for donors! Program TBD.

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 14, 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

Holy One, you are a God of compassion. You desire that all might be whole.

In the brokenness of our lives you continue to turn toward us with the hope that we will accept your renewing love and find new meaning for our lives in you.

You have established compassion as the foundation for all relationships and societies…Yet at times we find ourselves preoccupied with our own self-interests at the expense of helping others.

Teach us to love ourselves in a way that embraces others also. Give us courage to make room at the center of our world where others might be renewed by your healing presence. 

Fill us with your spirit of compassion, Lord, that we might not act or speak out of our own self interests….

Call all nations to repent from any action that would increase the sum of human misery in the name of religion. Replace the apathy and selfishness of the world with passion to cultivate empathy with the suffering of all human beings.

Lord, redeem us from actions that deny our common humanity…Jesus, in extravagant compassion, has already revealed our forgiveness and calls us to live as those who are renewed and thankful…

We are grateful; we live differently because of what you, Lord Jesus, have done for us.

        – Rev. Rick Beck, A Liturgy of Compassion

Rev. Rick Beck is a retired Moravian pastor who continues to serve as a spiritual director. The Moravian Church in North America is a small denomination of around 60,000 members that has had a full communion relationship with the Episcopal Church since 2011. This means, for one thing, that Moravian pastors can serve in Episcopal parishes. The Moravian Church traces its history back to before the Protestant Reformation – to a movement that grew out of followers of Jan Hus, a Czech reformer who was burned at the stake in 1415.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie.

For those who are homebound: Janet and Marilyn. 

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For  Diana – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Glasgow & Galloway – The Scottish Episcopal Church.

For all who have died:  Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

Wishing Well

“Outside the Met a man walks up sun

tweaking the brim sticker on his Starter cap

and he says pardon me Old School he

says you know is this a wishing well?

Yeah Son I say sideways over my shrug.

       Throw your bread on the water.

I tighten my chest wheezy as Rockaway beach

sand with a pull of faux smoke on my e-cig

to cozy the truculence I hotbox alone

and I am at the museum because it is not a bar.

Because he appears not to have changed

them in days I eye the heel-chewed hems

of his pants and think probably he will

ask me for fifty cents any minute now wait

for it. A smoke or something. Central Park displays

the frisking transparency of autumn. Tracing

paper sky, leaves like eraser crumbs gum

the pavement. As if deciphering celestial

script I squint and purse off toward the roof

line of the museum aloof as he fists two

pennies from his pockets mumbling and then

aloud my man he says hey my man I’m going

to make a wish for you too.

       I am laughing now so what you want

me to sign a waiver? He laughs along ain’t

say all that he says but you do have to

hold my hand. And close your eyes.

I make a starless night of my face before

he asks are you ready. Yeah dawg I’m ready.

Sure? Sure let’s do this his rough hand

in mine inflates like a blood pressure cuff and I

squeeze back as if we are about to step together

from the sill of all resentment and timeless

toward the dreamsource of un-needing the two

of us hurtle sharing the cosmic breast

of plenitude when I hear the coins blink against

the surface and I cough up daylight like I’ve just

been dragged ashore. See now

you’ll never walk alone he jokes and is about

to hand me back to the day he found me in

like I was a rubber duck and he says you got to let

go but I feel bottomless and I know he means

well though I don’t believe

       and I feel myself shaking

my head no when he means let go his hand.

         –  Gregory Pardlo

News and Updates

The Sicm Food Pantry is in need of volunteers to do guest intake on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday mornings.  They are in the process of revamping their intake procedures, and once finalized, they will need volunteers on those days to assist.  Intake involves greeting guests to the pantry, verifying their identity, and inputting their information into a database.  If you enjoy working with people and are comfortable using a computer, then this might be a good fit for you!  For further information, please contact Camila Grande, SiCM Volunteer Coordinator, at camilag@sicm.us or call her at 518-346-4445.  (Note that the best time to reach her is Wednesday through Friday.)

Schenectady Community Ministries – Join SiCM on Friday, October 15th at 3PM for the Official Naming of the Food Pantry after Reverend Phillip Grigsby. This free event will include speakers and incentives for donors. 3PM for tours of the newly renovated food pantry. And then later that day, will be the Official Grand Opening of the SiCM Community Hub! Tickets are $75 and provide access to this unique celebration including a tour of the brand new building, wine tastings, and a commemorative gift. Dress to impress and look for new incentives for donors! Program TBD.

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 13, 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

I will repay you for the years

    that the swarming locust has eaten,

the hopper, the destroyer, and the cutter,

    my great army, which I sent against you.

You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied,

    and praise the name of the Lord your God,

    who has dealt wondrously with you.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

You shall know that I am in the midst of Israel,

    and that I, the Lord, am your God and there is no other.

And my people shall never again be put to shame.

 Then afterward

    I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;

your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,

    your old men shall dream dreams,

    and your young men shall see visions.

              –  Joel 2:25-28a

The Book of Joel is an unusual prophetic book. Although it contains readings in the form of oracles, announcements of judgments against the nations, and promises of an ideal future, it does not follow the usual structure of most prophetic books. The readers of the book of Joel are asked to imagine a terrifying plague of locusts and its horrifying impact on society – something perhaps we today can relate to. In this passage, God assures a glorious future for the faithful. Prophecy, dreams, and visions were the three recognized ways in which human beings received communications from God. The message is one of hope – the days are coming when God will once again reveal God’s self to creation.

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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

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

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For Rick – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For Joe – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Gitega – The Anglican Church of Burundi.

For all who have died:  Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

We need new visions of 

community, of society, and, in 

America, of a post-racial world. 

This can only emerge out of a 

deep practice of lament, of 

turning to God, of turning to one 

another in solidarity. Then, your 

young men and women will see 

visions and the old men and 

women will dream dreams of a 

new future. We need this 

desperately. The old world has 

run its course. You cannot polish 

things up a little bit and pretend 

that everything will be okay.

         – Emmanuel Katongole

News and Updates

Schenectady Community Ministries – Join SiCM on Friday, October 15th at 3PM for the Official Naming of the Food Pantry after Reverend Phillip Grigsby. This free event will include speakers and incentives for donors. 3PM for tours of the newly renovated food pantry. And then later that day, will be the Official Grand Opening of the SiCM Community Hub! Tickets are $75 and provide access to this unique celebration including a tour of the brand new building, wine tastings, and a commemorative gift. Dress to impress and look for new incentives for donors! Program TBD.

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 12, 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

Lord, I confess it is sometimes hard to live with gratitude. When the days are long. When people are complaining. When things don’t go as planned. When life seems too chaotic, too consumed with stress. When I just want to curl up in bed and try again tomorrow, come Lord Jesus.

Come and renew. Come and revive. Come and reveal yourself again to remind me that your mercies are new every morning. Come and sweep over my heart with a spirit of gratitude for that which I have overlooked or missed.

Let that gratitude take root and bear fruit: Love, for the people and community I count as mine. Joy, even when things are not going as I hope. Peace, in times of chaos. Gentleness, with myself and others. Faithfulness, to keep going on.

May all that you have blessed me with, especially on the hard days, break through the cracks in my life and shine forth your glory. Amen.

        –  Michelle Bodle

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Sharhonna, Chris, Louis, Philip, Rick, Louise, Clara, Robin, Jackie, Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald, Molly, Kenny, Sunny.

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

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, Assisting 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: Don, 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 Gippsland – The Anglican Church of Australia (Victoria Province).

For all who have died:  Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

Lucky

You always considered

yourself lucky

because things seemed

to work out

the way you wanted.

Now luck has a different meaning.

Lucky to be walking a Path

that finds peace

in the arising

and passing

away

of each

present

Moment.

Regardless

of how things

work out,

or don’t.

–           Bhadra, translated by Matty Weingast in The First Free Women: Poems of the Early Buddhist Nuns

News and Updates

Episcopal Migration Ministries – The Episcopal Church has served immigrants new to the U.S. since the late 1800s, when the Church opened port chaplaincies to minister to sojourners on both coasts. In the 1930s, local parishes collected donations to provide steamship passage for those fleeing Nazi Europe. Out of this effort, the Presiding Bishop’s Fund for World Relief (PBF) was born, the forerunner organization to Episcopal Relief & Development and Episcopal Migration Ministries. Through the mid- and late 20th century, we partnered with other faith organizations to resettle those oppressed by the Iron Curtain and the genocides of Southeast Asia. In the 1980s Episcopal Migration Ministries was formally established and, in partnership with a network of affiliate agencies, dioceses, churches, and volunteers, is today one of only nine national agencies through which all refugees enter the United States. Episcopal Migration Ministries is trying to find sponsors and housing for Afghan people entering the U.S.   Perhaps this is a way St. Stephen’s congregation could provide this ministry. 

https://episcopalmigrationministries.org/volunteer-community-interest-form/

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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, October 11, 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 both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples’ Day.

Today’s Prayer

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin… All my relations. I honor you in this circle of life with me today. I am grateful for this opportunity to acknowledge you in this prayer…

To the Creator, for the ultimate gift of life, I thank you.

To the mineral nation that has built and maintained my bones and all foundations of life experience, I thank you.

To the plant nation that sustains my organs and body and gives me healing herbs for sickness, I thank you.

To the animal nation that feeds me from your own flesh and offers your loyal companionship in this walk of life, I thank you.

To the human nation that shares my path as a soul upon the sacred wheel of Earthly life, I thank you.

To the Spirit nation that guides me invisibly through the ups and downs of life and for carrying the torch of light through the Ages. I thank you.

To the Four Winds of Change and Growth, I thank you.

You are all my relations, my relatives, without whom I would not live. We are in the circle of life together, co-existing, co-dependent, co-creating our destiny. One, not more important than the other. One nation evolving from the other and yet each dependent upon the one above and the one below. All of us a part of the Great Mystery.

Thank you for this Life.

Aho Mitakuye Oyasin is a simple yet profound statement. It comes from the Lakota Nation and means all my relations. It is spoken during prayer and ceremony to invite and acknowledge all relatives to the moment. To most of us today, relative means a blood relation or another human in the family lineage. We have not been taught that an entity, other than human, could be a relative. Understanding this simple statement and contemplating it, could change our outlook on life forever. If we love and honor our relatives, we would be loving and honoring most of what is on this earth, if we lived by this meaning of “relative.” What a different world we would be living in!

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 our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan; 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 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 as we continue to deal with the Coronavirus variants. 

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:  Rick, Bette Ann, Phil, Jennifer, Josh, Shaun, Candace, Robert, Heather, Jackson, Michael, Mary, Bill, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Melanie, Joe, Rebecca, Skip, Curt, Jackie.

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

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, Assisting 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: Don, Eunice, Vincent, Priscilla, Ruth, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe. 

For Herbert, Sara, Janet – today is their birthday!

For Stephanie and Timothy – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Georgia – The Episcopal Church (IV (4) Province).

For all who have died:  Sadie, Angeline, Theresa, and Everett.

Something to share

We need new visions of 

community, of society, and, in 

America, of a post-racial world. 

This can only emerge out of a 

deep practice of lament, of 

turning to God, of turning to one 

another in solidarity. Then, your 

young men and women will see 

visions and the old men and 

women will dream dreams of a 

new future. We need this 

desperately. The old world has 

run its course. You cannot polish 

things up a little bit and pretend 

that everything will be okay.

         – Emmanuel Katongole

News and Updates

Family Halloween Afternoon – Please join us on Saturday, October 16 at 4:00 in the Parish Hall. We will have pumpkins for the kiddos to decorate (if you would like to carve your pumpkin, bring carving tools), haunted gingerbread houses for each family to create, crafts and games, and pizza and snacks for dinner.  Costumes are welcome! All are welcome to attend. Please RSVP to Bethany at office@st-stephens.church. by today.

Episcopal Relief & Development is partnering with Food For The Poor to provide humanitarian assistance to communities in Haiti that were impacted by the recent 7.2 magnitude earthquake and Tropical Storm Grace.  Food For The Poor has designed a multi-step response that will support marginalized communities both in the short term and over time.  Episcopal Relief & Development, through Food For The Poor, is sending tents to be distributed by the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti to vulnerable groups such as families led by women or those with young children in hard-to-reach communities.  Food For The Poor is also shipping parcels of food for immediate distribution.  Over the long term, the organization is planning to build schools and houses.

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. Sunday Morning Prayer is at 8:00am.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.

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.

For All Gatherings at the Church – Every individual on site NEEDS to wear a mask, even if you have been vaccinated! The mask should conform to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted – not a bandana/gator/scarf).  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

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.