Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

God,

Creator of all humans,

You give personal uniqueness to each of us,

while forming us to need others as community.

We vacillate, Lord, between two extremes:

Fierce individualism and sought-for interdependency.

At times, we seek and need time alone,

Time to unplug from the multiple voices within and without.

At times, we seek and need spiritual companions,

Those who fill in our emptiness and hold our confidences.

For our struggling, muddied thoughts and complicated, inner desires

demand these two responses:

time alone with You, countered with

the caring touch of others

who share laughter birthed in absurdity,

who dry stinging tears birthed in futility.

How rich is your Word, overflowing

with stories of faithful battered pilgrims who

found respite in solitude and with friends, seekers like:

Moses and Joshua,

Hannah and Eli,

David and Jonathan,

Elijah and the widow,

Jesus and Martha, Mary and Lazarus,

Paul and Timothy.

So our prayer this day, Lord,

is for the ability to discern our biggest spiritual void—

Whether for the good sense to pull away for awhile,

Or for the humility to accept the gracious touch of another.

In gratitude we recognize that your Spirit of care for us

trumps our fear,

the fear of being abandoned and alone.

And we ask that we be caringly sensitive,

open to walk alongside others whose

needs are equivalent to ours,

those who yearn for similar wisdom and friendship.

Amen.

–         Virgil Fry

Virgil Fry is Director Emeritus of Lifeline Chaplaincy, a non-profit organization providing spiritual care to patients in a variety of Texas hospitals. He holds a doctorate in ministry from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary in Christian Nurture and is the author of two books, Disrupted: Finding God in Illness and Loss and Rekindled: Warmed by the Fires of Hope.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Oonie, Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn, Sylvia, Laura, Angelina.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Timothy – today is his birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Even the Stars Look Lonesome

Many believe that they need company at any cost, and certainly if a thing is desired at any cost, it will be obtained at all costs. We need to remember and to teach our children that solitude can be a much-to-be-desired condition. Not only is it acceptable to be alone, at times it is positively to be wished for. It is in the interludes between being in company that we talk to ourselves. In the silence we listen to ourselves. Then we ask questions of ourselves. We describe ourselves, and in the quietude we may even hear the voice of God.

–         Maya Angelou

News and Updates 

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

SiCM Emergency Food Pantry – The pantry is in desperate need of cleaning supplies for their guests.  Basic items from discount retailers are always appreciated:  bleach, glass cleaner, bathroom cleaners, and both laundry and dish detergents.  Laundry detergent pods and strips are especially helpful.   Please buy in bulk rather than the smaller containers; SiCM gives out only 4-6 oz of each cleaning product.   If you have them, please donate small plastic bottles for the detergents and cleaners, such as empty 8-oz Ensure or Boost bottles – with lids!  They can always use them.  Thank you for all the contributions so far.

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

Oh Lord,

I know not what I should ask of You.

You and You alone know my needs.

You love me more than I am able to love You.

Oh Father, grant to me, Your servant, all for which I cannot ask.

I dare not ask for a cross, nor for consolation.

I dare only to stand in your presence.

My heart is open to You.

You see my needs I’m unaware of.

Behold and lift me up!

In your presence I stand,

awed and silenced by Your will and Your judgments,

which my mind cannot penetrate.

I offer myself to You as a sacrifice.

No other desire is mine but to fulfill Your will.

Teach me how to pray.

Pray You Yourself in me.

–         Philaret of Moscow

Philaret, who was born in 1782 and died in 1867, is a saint recognized by the Russian Orthodox Church. Philaret served as Metropolitan (a designation essentially meaning bishop of a prominent region) of Moscow and Kolomna. Philaret was also a monk and, earlier in his life, a professor of theology. Philaret promoted the need for a Bible translation in Russian (writing many pieces about the necessity) and contributed to the translation work himself. He also wrote many theological and historical works, as well as poetry.  

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Myra, Candace, Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald, Judith, David.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Maggie – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:The Diocese of Liwolo – The Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan (Cantral Equatoria Province).

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Ceist na Teangan (The Language Issue)

(in Irish)

Cuirim mo dhóchas ar snámh

i mbáidín teangan

faoi mar a leagfá naíonán

i gcliabhán

a bheadh fite fuaite

de dhuilleoga feileastraim

is bitiúmin agus pic

bheith cuimilte lena thóin

ansan é a leagadh síos

i measc na ngiolcach

is coigeal na mban sí

le taobh na habhann,

féachaint n’fheadaraís

cá dtabharfaidh an sruth é,

féachaint, dála Mhaoise,

an bhfóirfidh iníon Fharoinn?

(in English, translated by Paul Muldoon)

I place my hope on the water

in this little boat

of the language, the way a body might put

an infant

in a basket of intertwined

iris leaves,

its underside proofed

with bitumen and pitch,

then set the whole thing down amidst

the sedge

and bulrushes by the edge

of a river

only to have it borne hither and thither,

not knowing where it might end up;

in the lap, perhaps,

of some Pharaoh’s daughter.

       –  Nuala Ní Dhomhnaill

News and Updates 

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, May 16, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

O Lord, our Lord, you have decided that all people, whatever their color or race, are equal before you: break down the hatred between us, especially hatred due to national differences. We ask you to help those in whose hands are the various governments of the world. Reconcile them to one another, so that each may respect the rights of the other. We ask all this in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ

       –  The Student Christian Movement in Zambia

The World Student Christian Federation is a federation of autonomous national Student Christian Movements forming the youth and student arm of the global ecumenical movement. The Federation includes Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic, and Anglican students. Its aims include “to call members of the academic community to faith in God, to discipleship within the life and mission of the Church and to help them strive for peace and justice in and among nations.” The motto of the Federation is “Ut Omnes Unum Sint” – “that they all may be one” (John 17:21).

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Liz, Kathy, Maggie, Reena, Jim, Bruce, Chris, Audrey, June, Caleb, Josh T, Pat J., Daniel, Doris, Camellia, Beverly.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death –

He kindly stopped for me –

The Carriage held but just Ourselves –

And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste

And I had put away

My labor and my leisure too,

For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove

At Recess – in the Ring –

We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –

We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed Us –

The Dews drew quivering and Chill –

For only Gossamer, my Gown –

My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed

A Swelling of the Ground –

The Roof was scarcely visible –

The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ’tis Centuries – and yet

Feels shorter than the Day

I first surmised the Horses’ Heads

Were toward Eternity –

            –  Emily Dickinson

News and Updates 

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, May 15, 2022

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 Fifth Sunday in Easter.

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 13:31-35:

At the last supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Oonie, Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn, Sylvia, Laura, Angelina.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Charline – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

‘All Things New’

My Son told me He would make all things new;

How could I have known what that would ensue?

He told me He’d die for a cause that was just

And the suffering He would endure, He said He must.

When He grew from a tiny baby into a child.

With Joseph His Father, much wood they piled,

To make many a frame, a door, a table and chair;

Working together they were quite a pair.

For a time after Joseph passed on we were grieving,

And after some years later, my Jesus was leaving;

It was so hard to see Him go off into the world,

I felt my heart was ripped out and hurled.

He must be about His Father’s business He said;

So many men and women to Heaven would be led.

Within I knew God had designed and planned

That all would all come to pass at my Jesus’ hand.

If only people would listen and heed Him

And realize they desperately need Him;

He wants them to recognize God our Father,

And not feel that salvation is a bother.

The joy that awaits those who obey His Law

Graciously given to those who heed His call

Is unconditionally and everlastingly given

To every soul that is Holy Spirit driven.

When my Son was arrested and tortured, I cried,

‘My sweet and beautiful Jesus they crucified.’

The hole in my heart was mended in three days

As Jesus was resurrected; to God I sang praise.

Praise God with me everyone who loves my Son!

Your precious souls my Jesus has won;

Victory’s with Him now and forevermore.

One day we’ll all Praise God on Heaven’s shore;

Only Him for all eternity we’ll adore,

Where every soul will blessedly soar.

My Son made all things new

Especially

for you

–          Carmela Patterson

News and Updates 

Our Sunday Eucharist begins at 9:30am

If you would like to attend the Sunday service from home,  just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ at 9:30 am 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 9:30. 

This morning’s bulletin:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1wPa8s2IedBNRca0RrnIuZGZt5auwK_n9/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109485766909959793279&rtpof=true&sd=true

This morning’s lessons:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mxfrY55Vome_3kELbAs4X_fTGiOqqDsH/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109485766909959793279&rtpof=true&sd=true

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – Due to illness, this must be postponed until June 12th 3pm. Sorry for the inconvenience, but the wait will be worth it!  Come , support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 14, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

Wherefore do I believe and declare that all that which hath been said either in writing or by the mouths of men since ever the world began hath in no wise described the true nature of the divine goodness, but is as the half of a millet seed compared with the whole world.

        – Angela of Foligno

Angela of Foligno was a fourteenth century member of the Third Order of Saint Francis, which allows those who are married or cannot live within the community of a monastery or convent to commit to Franciscan practices. Her writings, which involved mystical revelations, became so prominent that some refer to her as “Mistress of Theologians.” Angela had a vision at age 40 of Francis of Assisi which led her to a greater level of religious devotion; she then became a part of the Third Order of St. Francis following the death of her husband and children. Many others came to Angela for guidance on their spiritual lives, and she eventually formed a community of women in the Third Order to share in common life together. She is recognized as a saint in the Roman Catholic church.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Liz, Kathy, Maggie, Reena, Jim, Bruce, Chris, Audrey, June, Caleb, Josh T, Pat J., Daniel, Doris, Camellia, Beverly.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Litoral Ecuador – The Episcopal Church (IX (9) Province).

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

A Dozen Secrets from God

A baby giggles, on average, 400 times a day.

I can help you add sand to your hourglass.

Church has gotten me wrong.

Think of me more as the cutest thing possible,

as if your all-time favorite dogs time-traveled and had a puppy,

and raising me gently is your only job.

I am the one exclamation point hidden in your encyclopedia.

In my next universe, hummingbirds will sound like thumb pianos.

I am that fountain you didn’t have to visit

at the hilltop castle garden, and you probably won’t be back,

but you remember it more clearly than if you had thrown coins in.

Caution: low flying owls, and expectations.

Count how often each year you let rain fall on your face.

When your dog is listening to you, he’s not frustrated.

He doesn’t wish he knew what you are saying. You sound to him

the way birds sound to you. You’re simply chirping.

The stars are just glints shining through a blurry lens;

I am the big thing shining behind.

And you, you are wine for the eyes.

          -Tina Kelley

News and Updates

Lessons for Tomorrow:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mxfrY55Vome_3kELbAs4X_fTGiOqqDsH/edit?usp=sharing&ouid=109485766909959793279&rtpof=true&sd=tru

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral this morning at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – Tomorrow at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an organ recital at St. tephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Epilogue from Hommage à Frescobaldi                                     Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Jean Langlais was a remarkable French composer who was blind from the age of two. He studied at the Paris National Institute for the Young Blind and the Paris National Conservatory of Music. He was a professor for forty years at the National Institute for the Young Blind and was the organist at Sainte-Clotilde in Paris for 42 years.

Hommage à Frescobaldi is a set of eight pieces for organ published in 1951. In these compositions, Langlais expressed his impression of Frescobaldi’s music through various elements of style and structure. Epilogue, the last piece in the collection, is the only one that incorporates an actual theme written by Frescobaldi – in this case the Canzon dopo l’Epistola. Epilogue is played on the pedals only, except for a few chords at the end of the piece. At times, three or four different notes are played simultaneously, using two feet!

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Friday, May 13, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

From all lame defeats and oh! much more

From all the victories that I seemed to score;

From cleverness shot forth on thy behalf,

At which, while angels weep, the audience laugh;

From all my proofs of thy divinity,

Thou, who wouldst give no sign, deliver me.

Thoughts are but coins. Let me not trust, instead

Of thee, their thin-worn image of thy head.

From all my thoughts, even from my thoughts of thee,

O thou fair silence, fall, and set me free.

Lord of the narrow gate and the needle’s eye,

Take from me all my trumpery lest I die.

            –   C.S. Lewis, 1963

“You must make your choice,” C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity. “Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up as a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon, or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God.”

Lewis did not always believe this. Early in life he rejected Christianity, but after serving in World War I, as he started a long academic career in medieval and renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge, he also began an inner journey that led him from atheism to agnosticism to theism and finally to faith in Jesus Christ.

He became widely known through his radio talks and popular books as one who could explain traditional Christian beliefs in a simple, rational way; they helped many to come to faith and strengthened the faith of new Christians. His Narnia books for children use the extended metaphor of Aslan the lion to represent Christ, and the space-travel collection also uses fiction to convey Christian truth.

Regarding his own conversion Lewis wrote: “I know very well when, but hardly how, the final step was taken. I was driven to Whipsnade one sunny morning. When we set out, I did not believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, and when we reached the zoo, I did.”

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  WaidKenny, Myra, Candace, Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald, Judith, David.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Footnote to All Prayers

He whom I bow to only knows to whom I bow

When I attempt the ineffable name, murmuring thou,

And dream of Pheidian fancies and embrace in heart

Symbols (I know) which cannot be the thing thou art.

Thus always, taken at their word, all prayers blaspheme

Worshiping with frail images a folk-lore dream,

And all men in praying, self-deceived, address

The coinage of their own unquiet thoughts, unless

Thou in magnetic mercy to thyself divert

Our arrows, aimed unskillfully, beyond deserts;

And all men are idolators, crying unheard

To a deaf idol, if thou take them at their word.

Take not, oh Lord, our literal sense. Lord, in thy great,

Unbroken speech our limping metaphor translate.

       –   C.S. Lewis

News and Updates

Hi-Tech Parish Ministry – If you are interested in learning how to live-stream our church services there will be a training after church on the 22nd. Please meet Dan Schuldt directly following the service in the front of the church. 

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral this coming Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Canzon dopo l’Epistola Opus 4, No. 41                   Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)

Girolamo Frescobaldi was an Italian composer and organist of the Renaissance and Baroque period. His works influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach in the Baroque era and Jean Langlais in the twentieth century.

This piece was published in 1635 in a collection of liturgical music called Fiori Musicale (musical flowers), one of Girolamo Frescobaldi’s finest works. It was to be played during the Mass, following the Epistle and just prior to the Gospel.

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, May 11, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

Wherever God shows up today,

may I not be too hurried to notice,

nor too aloof to care.

When the Sacred surprises me

like an unexpected guest,

may I not hesitate to greet Them with open arms.

Let not my bias be a barrier,

to embracing The Holy’s mysterious ways.

May I be hospitable to God enfleshed

in even the dullest circumstances,

and the hardest situations,

and the strangest of places.

I am open

to encountering Love,

to meeting with Justice,

to being held by Awe.

May it be so. AMEN.

This is a prayer from a non-profit organization called enfleshed (https://enfleshed.com) which creates liturgies and spiritual resources focusing on justice, liberation, and delight for Christian communities. It is directed by Rev. M. Barclay, a Methodist clergyperson. The organist’s theologian-in-residence is Rev. Anna Blaedel, a campus minister at the University of Iowa and a Ph.D. student in Theological and Philosophical Studies.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  WaidKenny, Myra, Candace, Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald, Judith, David.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Jean – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Liberia – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Zen of Housework

I look over my own shoulder

down my arms

to where they disappear under water

into hands inside pink rubber gloves

moiling among dinner dishes.

My hands lift a wine glass,

holding it by the stem and under the bowl.

It breaks the surface

like a chalice

rising from a medieval lake.

Full of the grey wine

of domesticity, the glass floats

to the level of my eyes.

Behind it, through the window

above the sink, the sun, among

a ceremony of sparrows and bare branches

is setting in Western America.

I can see thousands of droplets

of steam—each a tiny spectrum—rising

from my goblet of grey wine.

They sway, changing directions

constantly—like a school of playful fish,

or like the sheer curtain

on the window to another world.

Ah, grey sacrament of the mundane!

                     – Al Zolynas

News and Updates

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral this coming Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Prelude & Fugue in f minor                              Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach was one of the greatest musicians and composers in the history of Western music. Well-known as an organ virtuoso, he composed many works for organ such as this prelude and fugue. This particular piece was probably conceived during Bach’s early career as a court musician in Weimar, and was completed and published some years later when he was Thomaskantor in Liepzig.

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer


Give me … a compassionate heart, quickly moved to grieve for the woes of others and to active pity for them, even as our Lord Jesus Christ beheld our poverty and hasted to help us. Give me grace ever to alleviate the crosses and difficulties of those around me, and never to add to them; teach me to be a consoler in sorrow, to take thought for the stranger, the widow, and the orphan; let my charity show itself not in words only but in deed and truth.

                                         – Johann Arndt

Johann Arndt is recognized with a feast day today, May 11th, alongside fellow Lutheran writer Jacob Boehme. Arndt was born in what is now Germany in 1555 and studied both medicine and divinity, eventually focusing on divinity alone after a bout of serious illness inspired him to dedicate himself fully to ministry. As a pastor, one of Arndt’s great hopes was to bridge together the divide between Calvinist and Evangelical branches of Protestantism. His most influential book, True Christianity, would become an influence on German Pietists, Mennonites, and even John Wesley in the founding of Methodism.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Oonie, Walker, Gerald, Dan, Mary, Bill, Diana, Jackie, Susan, Adrian, Hugh, Craig, Marilyn, Sylvia, Laura, Angelina.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Liberia – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Sympathy

Therefore I dare reveal my private woe,

The secret blots of my imperfect heart,

Nor strive to shrink or swell mine own desert,

Nor beautify nor hide. For this I know,

That even as I am, thou also art.

Thou past heroic forms unmoved shalt go,

To pause and bide with me, to whisper low:

“Not I alone am weak, not I apart

Must suffer, struggle, conquer day by day.

Here is my very cross by strangers borne,

Here is my bosom-sin wherefrom I pray

Hourly deliverance–this my rose, my thorn.

This woman my soul’s need can understand,

Stretching o’er silent gulfs her sister hand.”

–  Emma Lazarus

News and Updates

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral this coming Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Canzon dopo l’Epistola Opus 4, No. 41                             Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643)

Girolamo Frescobaldi was an Italian composer and organist of the Renaissance and Baroque period. His works influenced many composers, including Johann Sebastian Bach in the Baroque era and Jean Langlais in the twentieth century.

This piece was published in 1635 in a collection of liturgical music called Fiori Musicale (musical flowers), one of Girolamo Frescobaldi’s finest works. It was to be played during the Mass, following the Epistle and just prior to the Gospel.

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

God bless Love!

If anyone so will, let Love make him free in a different way…

Since you, O Love, can do all with love,

Give me, for the sake of love, the fruition

That delights the loving soul through your highest goodness!…

Love wills all love from noble spirits,

And that they bring their works into conformity with it,

And that they rejoice with memory

And delight in Love with joy.

Praise and honor be to Love,

To her great power, to her rich teaching;

And by her consolation may she heal the pain

Of all who gladly brave Love’s vicissitudes.

  –  Hadewijch, 1248 from “Love’s Great Power”

Hadewijch was a thirteenth-century Flemish mystic. Scholars identify her with something called “love mysticism,” which was a movement focusing on the emotional experience of love as union with God. Like many notable Christian women writers, Hadewijch was a beguine. Beguines were women who chose to live a monastic lifestyle, but without formal vows and with greater freedom to choose various forms of study and work. There is not much known about Hadewijch life beyond what can be found in the writings that she left behind.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  WaidKenny, Myra, Candace, Daryl, Joan, Charline, Ralph, Mary Ann, Joe, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Donald, Judith, David 

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For Jean – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Liberia – The Church of the Province of West Africa (West Africa Province).

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

The Avowal

As swimmers dare

to lie face to the sky

and water bears them,

as hawks rest upon air

and air sustains them,

so would I learn to attain

freefall, and float

into Creator Spirit’s deep embrace,

knowing no effort earns

that all-surrounding grace.

–          Denise Levertov

News and Updates

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral next Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Triptych on “Built on the Rock”                                                                         Alfred V. Fedak

Al Fedak’s Triptych on “Built on the Rock” consists of three brief and contrasting treatments of the Lutheran hymn tune KIRKEN DEN ER ET GAMMELT HUS. The tune, written by Ludwig Lindeman (1783-1832), was composed for a text by the prolific Norwegian hymnwriter and pastor Nicolai Grundtvig (1812-1887). Its first stanza is:

Built on the Rock the Church shall stand

even when steeples are falling.

Crumbled have spires in every land;

bells still are chiming and calling,

calling the young and old to rest,

but above all the soul distressed,

longing for rest everlasting.

                                           – Translation by Carl Doving (1867-1937)

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky Holder for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Monday, May 9, 2022

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning, Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Alleluia. Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia.

Today’s Prayer

You alone are unutterable,

from the time you created all things,

         that can be spoken of.

You alone are unknowable,

from the time you created all things

         that can be known.

All things cry out about you;

those which speak,

         and those which cannot speak.

All things honor you;

those which think,

         and those which cannot think.

For there is one longing, one groaning,

         that all things have for you . . .

All things pray to you

that comprehend your plan

         and offer you a silent hymn.

In you, the One, all things abide,

and all things endlessly run to you,

         who are the end of all.

               – Gregory of Nazianzus, 389

Gregory of Nazianzus was a 4th century Archbishop of Constantinople, and theologian. He is widely considered the most accomplished rhetorical stylist of the patristic age. He studied in Athens with his friend Basil of Caesarea and Julian, later to be the apostate emperor. Gregory made a significant impact on the shape of Trinitarian theology among both Greek and Latin speaking theologians, especially in regard to the relationship among the three Persons of the Trinity. He was a deep and sensitive thinker, and his prayers and poems are more personal than the writings of most of the Church leaders of the third century.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation.  

For people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, and for all victims of violence and oppression.  

For the Presidents of Russia and Ukraine, that wisdom and courage may prevail in the cause of peace.

For the people of Ukraine, the people of Russia, and for all who affected by violence and war;

For those who have taken up arms, whether aggressively or defensively, that a spirit of peace may reign in their hearts and in their lands.

For our allies around the world in harm’s way: for those who are still trying to leave Afghanistan and the Ukraine; may God be with them and their families.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus around the world:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering vaccinations, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.  

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetrated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and recognize the times we have failed to take action. 

For a reverence for the earth as God’s own creation: that we may use its resources rightly in the service of others and to God’s honor and glory, and for wisdom, guidance, and persistence as we face the challenges of climate change and work for the flourishing and health of all the earth. 

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Liz, Kathy, Maggie, Reena, Jim, Bruce, Chris, Audrey, June, Caleb, Josh T, Pat J., Daniel, Doris, Camellia, Beverly.

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop; Michael G. Smith and Carol Gallagher, Assisting Bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Mary Ann, David, Janet, Marilyn, Eunice, Ruth, Mary Frances, Vincent, Priscilla, Joe, and all their families. 

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Melanie Kidder, Harry Wemple, Gwendolyn Robbins, Grant Towne, and Donald Atkinson.

For one another.

Something to share

Therefore I prayed, and understanding was given me;

I called on God, and the spirit of wisdom came to me.

I preferred her to scepters and thrones,

and I accounted wealth as nothing in comparison with her.

Neither did I liken to her any priceless gem,

because all gold is but a little sand in her sight,

and silver will be accounted as clay before her.

I loved her more than health and beauty,

and I chose to have her rather than light,

because her radiance never ceases.

All good things came to me along with her,

and in her hands uncounted wealth.

I rejoiced in them all, because wisdom leads them;

but I did not know that she was their mother.

I learned without guile and I impart without grudging;

I do not hide her wealth,

for it is an unfailing treasure for mortals;

those who get it obtain friendship with God,

commended for the gifts that come from instruction.

                         –  Wisdom 7:7-14

News and Updates

Confirmation – Bp. Michael Smith will hold a regional confirmation service at All Saints’ Cathedral next Saturday, May 14th at 10am.  A group of six people from St. Stephen’s will be confirmed and others will attend.  All from St. Stephen’s are invited to attend. Come and support our confirmands!

A special Coffee Hour to honor the confirmands will be given on Sunday, May 22nd in Begley Hall after church. All are invited!

Organ Recital – On May 15th at 3pm the nationally known organist and composer, Alfred Fedak and his student, Susan Lohnas, will give an inaugural organ recital at St. Stephen’s.  Come, support the music program at our church and hear our organ in its splendor!

A variety of music will be played for the recital. In Daily Prayers every few days a brief description one of those pieces will be featured.

Epilogue from Hommage à Frescobaldi                                                   Jean Langlais (1907-1991)

Jean Langlais was a remarkable French composer who was blind from the age of two. He studied at the Paris National Institute for the Young Blind and the Paris National Conservatory of Music. He was a professor for forty years at the National Institute for the Young Blind and was the organist at Sainte-Clotilde in Paris for 42 years.

Hommage à Frescobaldi is a set of eight pieces for organ published in 1951. In these compositions, Langlais expressed his impression of Frescobaldi’s music through various elements of style and structure. Epilogue, the last piece in the collection, is the only one that incorporates an actual theme written by Frescobaldi – in this case the Canzon dopo l’Epistola. Epilogue is played on the pedals only, except for a few chords at the end of the piece. At times, three or four different notes are played simultaneously, using two feet! 

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 morning.  Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided.  (contact Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Masks are optional for all gatherings at the church.

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

Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected.

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.