Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, March 4, 2021

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Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

God of the Cosmos, your love reaches beyond space and time. We are astonished by your vast creation- innumerable galaxies surrounded by dark matter, elegant structures and staggering variety, the interplay of matter and energy, the pull of gravity and the speed of light – all showing your wisdom and glory, O God! We are dust and stardust, made in your image. We are part of the creation you are making new. Let our awe increase, like your ever-expending universe, until we find ourselves lost in wonder, love, and praise, through Jesus Christ, the Alpha and the Omega. Amen.

–          “Prayer for Wonder and Awe” in Book of Common Worship, PCUSA

The Presybyterian Church (USA) is a denomination that was founded in 1983, merging two other Presbyterian denominations. While the denomination’s Book of Common Worship doesn’t play the same role as the Book of Common Prayer has in the Anglican tradition, it does provide a variety of resources for Presbyterian worship. The most recent edition of the Book of Common Worship was published in 2018.

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Waid, Bette, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Brynn – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Missionary Diocese of Asaba – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Bendel Province).

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

(Untitled)

Of all that God has shown me

I can speak just the smallest word,

Not more than a honey bee

Takes on his foot

From an overspilling jar.

Mechtild of Magdeburg (13th century)
[translated by Jane Hirshfield]

News and Updates 

Schenectady County 65+ Vaccine Registration – Registration Is Open For Schenectady County Residents 65 Years Of Age And Older For March 7th, 2021 At Rivers Casino. You Will Be Asked To Provide Proof Of Age And Residency Upon Arrival. The Vaccine Being Distributed Is Produced By Pfizer.

Reflections on What Happens After We Die: A Lenten retreat – Using the imaginative examples of science fiction, this retreat is intended to be a theological/philosophical investigation.  It will take place via Zoom on March 6th from 10am to 3pm.  The format will be a ten minute talk on the half hour, with 20 minutes for individual reflection.  Participants should feel free to come and go as schedules allow.  For the link please send a request to: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

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.

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, March 3, 2021

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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

To have hope

           is to believe that history continues open to the dream of God and to human creativity.

To have hope

           is to continue affirming that it is possible to dream a different world,

without hunger, without injustice, without discrimination.

To have hope

           is to be a messenger of God, tearing down walls, destroying borders, building bridges,

To have hope

           is to believe in the revolutionary potential of faith.

To have hope

           is to leave the door open so that the Spirit can enter and make all things new.

To have hope

           is to believe that life wins over death.

To have hope

           is to begin again as many times as necessary.

To have hope

           is to believe that hope is not the last thing that dies.

To have hope

           is to believe that hope cannot die, that hope no longer dies.

To have hope

           is to live.

Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo, Honduras

The Missionary Sisters of St. Charles Borromeo is a Catholic religious order that was founded in 1895. It is a sister organization to the Missionaries of St. Charles Borromeo, which was organized to serve both the spiritual and practical needs of Italian emigrants to the Americas. The Missionary Sisters now have a presence in 26 countries, with their work focusing on “education, social and pastoral activities, the pastoral care of the sick, catechesis, evangelization, and collaboration with local churches to assist migrants and refugees and the poor.” This prayer was found in God’s Good Earth: Praise and Prayers for Creation, a collection edited by Anne and Jeffrey Rowthorn.

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Emma  today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Arochukwu / Ohafia – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Aba Province).

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

Everything is Going to Be All Right

How should I not be glad to contemplate

the clouds clearing beyond the dormer window

and a high tide reflected on the ceiling?

There will be dying, there will be dying.

but there is no need to go into that.

The poems flow from the hand unbidden

and the hidden source is the watchful heart.

The sun rises in spite of everything

and the far cities are beautiful and bright.

I lie here in a riot of sunlight

watching the day break and the clouds flying.

Everything is going to be all right.      

Derek Mahon

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development in ZIMBABWE – Episcopal Relief & Development partners with the Anglican Diocese of Matabeleland on sustainable agriculture projects in areas where cyclical drought has stunted local food production and caused people to leave their communities to find work. Working with caregivers of vulnerable children, the program assists with seeds, land preparation and water management to enable households to grow a variety of nutritious food.  The project created seed banks and nurseries, along with training in climate-smart farming methods and pest management, to further support sustainable food sources.

Now the program is working with close to 12,000 farmers in order to increase their resilience and preparedness capacities to future drought hazards, and to strengthen their livelihoods and food production.  This project will continue to train farmers in climate-smart agriculture and is launching a pilot watershed development program to improve drought resilience.  Additionally, the diocese is deploying a bulk messaging platform to improve emergency preparedness and response capacities through communication notifications to an estimated 10,000 households. 

As a Lenten offering why not support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

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.

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, March 2, 2021

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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

As the rain hides the stars, as the autumn mist hides the hills, as the clouds veil the blue of the sky, so the dark happenings of my lot hide the shining of thy face from me. Yet, if I may hold thy hand in the darkness, it is enough. Since I know that, though I may stumble in my going, thou dost not fall.

Anonymous

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Emma –  today is her baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Arochukwu / Ohafia – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Aba Province).

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

Christine Nelson wrote: This U-tube item is from Keith’s old school chapel choir. When he was there, 60+ years ago, it was all boys!  

  Thanks, Christine and Keith!  

Trust

It’s like so many other things in life

to which you must say no or yes.

So you take your car to the new mechanic.

Sometimes the best thing to do is trust.

The package left with the disreputable-looking

clerk, the check gulped by the night deposit,

the envelope passed by dozens of strangers—

all show up at their intended destinations.

The theft that could have happened doesn’t.

Wind finally gets where it was going

through the snowy trees, and the river, even

when frozen, arrives at the right place.

And sometimes you sense how faithfully your life

is delivered, even though you can’t read the address.

Thomas R. Smith

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development in ZIMBABWE – Episcopal Relief & Development partners with the Anglican Diocese of Matabeleland on sustainable agriculture projects in areas where cyclical drought has stunted local food production and caused people to leave their communities to find work. Working with caregivers of vulnerable children, the program assists with seeds, land preparation and water management to enable households to grow a variety of nutritious food.  The project created seed banks and nurseries, along with training in climate-smart farming methods and pest management, to further support sustainable food sources.

Now the program is working with close to 12,000 farmers in order to increase their resilience and preparedness capacities to future drought hazards, and to strengthen their livelihoods and food production.  This project will continue to train farmers in climate-smart agriculture and is launching a pilot watershed development program to improve drought resilience.  Additionally, the diocese is deploying a bulk messaging platform to improve emergency preparedness and response capacities through communication notifications to an estimated 10,000 households. 

As a Lenten offering why not support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

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.

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, March 1, 2021

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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

And God saw everything that He had made, and found it very

           Good.

And He said: This is a beautiful world that I have given you.

Take good care of it; do not ruin it.

It is said: Before the world was created, the Holy One kept

creating worlds and destroying them. Finally He created this one,

and was satisfied. He said to Adam: This is the last world I

shall make. I place it in your hands: hold it in trust.

Jewish Prayer

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Bette, Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Matthew – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For Brody – today is his birthday!

For Lisa & Matthew – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

Do you ever wonder

Do you ever wonder,

old lover of mine,

where so much love comes from?

I wonder this often,

because no matter how distressing the world is,

wherever I am,

there never seems to be a shortage of love.

Is it true, as well, for you?

Alice Walker

News and Updates 

Crop Walk – We will be picking up materials on Thursday, March 4.  Look for details to follow. 

We are hoping to get the families involved this year again. 

Episcopal Relief & Development – In the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, Episcopal Relief & Development helped to establish a Diocesan Development Office to implement and monitor long-term projects. The activities focus on alleviating chronic poverty by forming savings groups to support small business development.  Group meetings include training on financial literacy and business skills, and the program also builds social cohesion by empowering women to talk about and respond to domestic violence.  The savings group program currently serves approximately 1,400 families, of which 90% are in a state of economic vulnerability.  Additional training for some savings groups includes the formation and production of small family and community gardens that aim to address the food insecurity that many Guatemalans face as well as provide nutrition education to female headed households.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Diocesan Development team maintained contact virtually to offer training and support to existing savings groups, as well as sharing motivational messages.  They also supplied food and sanitation supplies to the neediest of families with the support of an emergency fund provided by Episcopal Relief and Development, reaching 1,260 families across 12 districts in Guatemala.

As a Lenten offering why not support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, February 28, 2021

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Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Second Sunday in Lent

The Collect for the Day

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ your Son; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark 8:31-38:

Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  June, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Liz – today is her birthday!

For Donald – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America.

For all who have died:  Morten, Helene,  Mary,  Marjorie,  Edna, Raymond, Armando,  Jane.

For one another.

Something to share

Retro Me, Sathana

Get the behind me. Even as heavy-curled,

  Stooping against the wind a charioteer

  Is snatched from out his chariot by the hair,

So shall Time be; and as the void car, hurled

Abroad by reinless steeds, even so the world:

  Yea, even as chariot-dust upon the air,

  It shall be sought and not found anywhere.

Get thee behind me, Satan. Oft unfurled,

Thy perilous wings can beat and break like lath

  Much mightiness of men to win thee praise.

  Leave these weak feet to tread in narrow ways.

Thou still, upon the broad vine-sheltered path,

Mayst wait the turning phials of wrath

  For certain years, for certain months and days.  

Dante Gabriel Rossetti

A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast

My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.

           –    St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787

News and Updates 

Crop Walk – We will be picking up materials on Thursday, March 4.  Look for details to follow. We are hoping to get the families involved this year again. 

COVID-19 Vaccine Available – Schenectady County is informing residents who live in zip codes 12304, 12305, 12307 and 12308, and are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they can sign up for a vaccination appointment at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, 195 Washington Avenue, Albany 12210.  Appointments can be scheduled starting at 8am on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Eligible residents can schedule an appointment through New York State’s ‘Am I Eligible’ website, https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/, or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829. After the first week of open scheduling, appointments will open up to all eligible residents in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. The site will begin vaccinating eligible residents on March 3. 

Episcopal Relief & Development – In the Episcopal Diocese of Guatemala, Episcopal Relief & Development helped to establish a Diocesan Development Office to implement and monitor long-term projects. The activities focus on alleviating chronic poverty by forming savings groups to support small business development.  Group meetings include training on financial literacy and business skills, and the program also builds social cohesion by empowering women to talk about and respond to domestic violence.  The savings group program currently serves approximately 1,400 families, of which 90% are in a state of economic vulnerability.  Additional training for some savings groups includes the formation and production of small family and community gardens that aim to address the food insecurity that many Guatemalans face as well as provide nutrition education to female headed households.

In 2020, due to COVID-19 travel restrictions, the Diocesan Development team maintained contact virtually to offer training and support to existing savings groups, as well as sharing motivational messages.  They also supplied food and sanitation supplies to the neediest of families with the support of an emergency fund provided by Episcopal Relief and Development, reaching 1,260 families across 12 districts in Guatemala.

As a Lenten offering why not support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic?  Please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

For today’s service information and homily click here.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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.

Rector’s Homily and Service Information for February 28, 2021

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – this morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person this morning February 28th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please click on this link: 

For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask that conforms to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted, and not a bandana/gator/scarf). Also, social distancing (6 feet apart) MUST be maintained.  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

And/or, this morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – this morning and every morning.  Join our parishioners 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).

Today’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEV7jcO-6glE41L1N6aKVtGz9kM9FyBp/view?usp=sharing

Rector’s homily: 

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, February 27, 2021

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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

 How should I praise thee, Lord! how should my rhymes

           Gladly engrave thy love in steel,

           If what my soul doth feel sometimes,

                       My soul might ever feel!

Although there were some forth heav’ns, or more,

           Sometimes I peer above them all;

           Sometimes I hardly reach a score,

                       Sometimes to hell I fall.

O rack me not to such a vast extent;

           Those distances belong to thee:

           The world’s too little for thy tent,

                       A grave too big for me.

Wilt thou meet arms with man, that thou dost stretch

           A crumb of dust from heav’n to hell?

           Will great God measure with a wretch?

                       Shall he thy stature spell?

O let me, when thy roof my soul hath hid,

           O let me roost and nestle there:

           Then of a sinner thou art rid,

                       And I of hope and fear.

Yet take thy way; for sure thy way is best:

           Stretch or contract me thy poor debtor:

           This is but tuning of my breast,

                       To make the music better.

Whether I fly with angels, fall with dust,

           Thy hands made both, and I am there:

Thy power and love, my love and trust

                       Make one place ev’ry where.

“The Temper (I)” by George Herbert

Today the Episcopal Church commemorates George Herbert, a notable 17th-century poet and Anglican priest. Prior to his ordination, he served as the Public Orator at Trinity College, Cambridge. He only had one collection of his poems published during his life, with the rest being published after his death. In addition to his poetry, he is also known for his text A Priest to the Temple or The Country Parson, a prose reflection on the call to priesthood. Herbert was only able to spend three years of his life as a priest, dying at age 39. During those years, he was responsible for two small churches near Salisbury, England. 

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain June, Ruth, David, Gerry, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Zee, Gerald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Affliction (5)

                       My God, I read this day,

That planted Paradise was not so firm,

As was and is thy floating Ark; whose stay

And anchor thou art only, to confirm

           And strengthen it in ev’ry age,

           When waves do rise, and tempests rage.

                       At first we lived in pleasure;

Thine own delights thou didst to us impart:

When we grew wanton, thou didst use displeasure

To make us thine: yet that we might not part,

           As we at first did board with thee,

           Now thou wouldst taste our misery.

                       There is but joy and grief;

If either will convert us, we are thine:

Some Angels used the first; if our relief

Take up the second, then thy double line

           And sev’ral baits in either kind

           Furnish thy table to thy mind.

                       Affliction then is ours;

We are the trees, whom shaking fastens more,

While blust’ring winds destroy the wanton bow’rs,

And ruffle all their curious knots and store.

           My God, so temper joy and woe,

           That thy bright beams may tame thy bow.

George Herbert

News and Updates 

COVID-19 Vaccine Available – Schenectady County is informing residents who live in zip codes 12304, 12305, 12307 and 12308, and are currently eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, they can sign up for a vaccination appointment at the Washington Avenue Armory in Albany, 195 Washington Avenue, Albany 12210.  Appointments can be scheduled starting at 8am on Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Eligible residents can schedule an appointment through New York State’s ‘Am I Eligible’ website, https://am-i-eligible.covid19vaccine.health.ny.gov/, or by calling the COVID-19 Vaccination Hotline at 1-833-697-4829. After the first week of open scheduling, appointments will open up to all eligible residents in Albany, Schenectady and Rensselaer counties. The site will begin vaccinating eligible residents on March 3. 

Episcopal Relief & Development – Episcopal Relief and Development in Angola

While the children played behind her, we asked Adela a question, “What has changed for you since COVID-19?”

“We do not have a case of COVID-19 here in Kifuata or in Songo, the district capital yet, but we are trying our best to take all the precautions,” said Adela, pointing to her home-made mask.

“When the Anglican church helped us build these wells and encouraged us to set up handwashing facilities in our homes, it was to prevent diarrhea diseases and keep our children free from disease. But now see, we are safe from COVID-19. Other communities are now trying to do what we began three years ago.”

Kifuata is one of 81 communities in the northern Angolan province of Uige. Episcopal Relief and Development has partnered with the Anglican Church of Angola, in the province, to scale up a water, sanitation, and hygiene project called Maza yi Moyo. The project, which began in 2016, supported 126 improved water sources serving a population of over 42,000 people.

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Sunday Eucharist Live stream – tomorrow morning —- Just  visit:  https://www.facebook.com/SaintStephensSchenectady/ before and wait for the live stream to be posted.

If you plan to attend in person tomorrow morning February 28th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video: 

For All Gatherings at the Church – All individuals on site NEED to wear a mask that conforms to ASC standards (covering both nose and mouth, well fitted, and not a bandana/gator/scarf). Also, social distancing (6 feet apart) MUST be maintained.  Let’s work together to keep the few activities we have!

And/or, tomorrow morning, join us for the celebration of Holy Eucharist live-streamed from the National Cathedral at 11:15am.  This is another way in which we can worship together albeit remotely. All you have to do is click on the link below, and it should take you to the service.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – tomorrow morning and every morning.  Join our parishioners 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).

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEV7jcO-6glE41L1N6aKVtGz9kM9FyBp/view?usp=sharing

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, February 26, 2021

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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

When you wake in the morning, don’t open your internet, or read the papers, until you have first said good morning to God. Have a prayer, or a psalm that you say first thing, to greet God, to reaffirm who you are, and why you are. Rediscover joy first thing in the morning: think on what is true, and lovely, and honorable and pure, before you face the world – and Facebook.

Br. Geoffrey Tristram

Brother Geoffrey Tristram is a brother in the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, a monastic community that calls Harvard Square in Cambridge, Massachusetts home. The Society of Saint John the Evangelist offers a variety of resources and programming for the wider church, including virtually, which can be found at their website https://www.ssje.org.

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:   Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog retired 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Arkansas – The Episcopal Church (VII (7) Province).

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Saint Francis and the Sow

The bud

stands for all things,

even for those things that don’t flower,

for everything flowers, from within, of self-blessing;   

though sometimes it is necessary

to reteach a thing its loveliness,

to put a hand on its brow

of the flower

and retell it in words and in touch

it is lovely

until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing;   

as Saint Francis

put his hand on the creased forehead

of the sow, and told her in words and in touch   

blessings of earth on the sow, and the sow   

began remembering all down her thick length,   

from the earthen snout all the way

through the fodder and slops to the spiritual curl of the tail,   

from the hard spininess spiked out from the spine   

down through the great broken heart

to the sheer blue milken dreaminess spurting and shuddering   

from the fourteen teats into the fourteen mouths sucking and blowing beneath them:

the long, perfect loveliness of sow.

Galway Kinnell

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development – Throughout the global pandemic, many have struggled to stay employed and pay rent.  Like Bee, for example.  Bee is a single mother who came to Indianapolis as a refugee from Somalia.  She lost her job during the pandemic because she needed a significant amount of time off to care for her COVID-sick daughter.  Without a source of income, Bee’s bills started to pile up. Episcopal Relief & Development partnered with the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis to help people like Bee who were affected by the pandemic, immigrants who often don’t have family or support systems nearby.  The programming was led by the Rev. Fatima Yakubu-Madus, a deacon at Christ Church Cathedral in Indianapolis.  The Diocese joined a coalition of ecumenical organizations that work with the immigrant community across Indiana to provide rent assistance and to pay utility bills.  “I saw God in the helpers working together to get people through the pandemic,” says the Rev. Yakubu-Madus, who feels close to ministry because of her own story of coming to the US as a student from Nigeria in her twenties.  “Things we consider little were actually a life-saver for these families.  Keeping them warm and safe in their own places.”  Yakubu-Madus shared that doing this work reminded her of the passage Matthew 25:35 (NRSV), “I was a stranger and you welcomed me,” with her adding, “All immigrants need is love and support.”

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

March Messenger:  

https://docs.google.com/document/d/18vd_BGJUmHsykF4l2H3Y2P6hppRYksZjwPRorse3kcU/edit?usp=sharing

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rEV7jcO-6glE41L1N6aKVtGz9kM9FyBp/view?usp=sharing

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, February 25, 2021

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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

Settle down into the silence. Close your eyes.

Inhale.

Speak the name of God that rises to your lips.

Jesus, Mother, Abba, Yahweh, Father, God, Spirit, simply let it be what it is.

Exhale.

Imagine God calling you by your name.

And hear God say to you, as Jesus said to the blind man who called out to him,

What do you want me to do for you?

Inhale. Exhale.

And answer honestly.

“A Prayer For When You Don’t Even Know What You Want” by Sarah Bessey

Sarah Bessey is the bestselling author of the books Jesus Feminist and Miracles and Other Reasonable Things: A Story of Unlearning and Relearning God. This prayer is from her newest book, A Rhythm of Prayer: A Collection of Meditations for Renewal, which gathers together prayers and reflections from a number of women spiritual and religious leaders. Bessey is also a conference organizer, having co-founded the Evolving Faith gathering, which particularly brings together those who have found themselves as “the misfits, the wanderers, the curious, the questioning, the spiritual refugees” in their connection to Christianity. Bessey also co-hosts a podcast of the same name.

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:   Mary Frances, Jim, Eunice, Jane and Bruce, John, Audrey, Marissa, Melanie.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Joan – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Arizona – The Episcopal Church The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary (VIII (8) Province).

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Logos

Why worry about the loaves and fishes?

If you say the right words, the wine expands.

If you say them with love

and the felt ferocity of that love

and the felt necessity of that love,

the fish explode into many.

Imagine him, speaking,

and don’t worry about what is reality,

or what is plain, or what is mysterious.

If you were there, it was all those things.

If you can imagine it, it is all those things.

Eat, drink, be happy.

Accept the miracle.

Accept, too, each spoken word

spoken with love.

Mary Oliver

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development – “Semper Gumby” Is the Motto for the Rosebud Episcopal Mission to the Sioux – “Semper Gumby,” a mix of Latin and nod to the clay animation cartoon character, a phrase used regularly by the Rosebud Episcopal Mission, means “always flexible.”  Each day, their COVID-19 response team faces failing infrastructure and a lack of medical supplies which cause a range of need.  It is with great heart that they assess needs and deliver supplies over a widespread area in coordination with the Sioux Tribe health representatives and the community chairman.  By working with an established point person, they are able to maintain the privacy of individuals making requests for aid, asking for anything from eggs to pencils and crayons to entertaining out-of-school children.  “I received a call from one of our elders, to whom we normally supply firewood through our #FirewoodfortheElders program. I thought she was calling for firewood, because it had been very cold the night before (38 degrees),” said the Rev. Dr. Lauren Stanley, who leads the efforts.  “Instead, she was calling simply to say, ‘Thank you’ for helping her get supplies.  She said she was beginning to get desperate for bleach and other cleaning supplies, because of her own health, and the health of her grandchildren, whom she is raising. That call alone made all the miles worth it.”

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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, February 24, 2021

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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 in the place of Judas chose your faithful

servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that

your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always

be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; 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. 

Book of Common Prayer, p. 239

Today is the Feast of St. Matthias the Apostle

According to Acts of the Apostles, Matthias was the disciple who was chosen to replace Judas Iscariot after Judas betrayed Jesus. Acts reveals that Matthias accompanied Jesus and the apostles from the time of the Lord’s baptism to his ascension and that, when it became time to replace Judas, the apostles cast lots between Mattias and another candidate, Joseph Barsabbas. Early Christian writers attest that Matthias was among the 72 disciples paired off and dispatched by Jesus. Soon after his election, Matthias received the Holy Spirit with the other apostles. He is not mentioned again in the New Testament.

It is generally believed that Matthias ministered in Judaea and then carried out missions to foreign places. Greek tradition holds that he Christianized Cappadocia, a mountainous district now in central Turkey, later journeying to the region about the Caspian Sea, where he was martyred by crucifixion and, according to legends, dismembered. His symbol, related to his alleged martyrdom, is either a cross or a halberd. St. Helena, mother of the Roman emperor Constantine the Great, reputedly transported Matthias’ relics from Jerusalem to Rome.

Matthias is the patron saint of carpenters, tailors, people who need hope and perseverance as they struggle with any kind of addiction (to alcohol or something else), and caregivers of addicted people.

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 the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

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

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

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

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  June, Ruth, David, Gerry, Kathy Nick, Roberta, Beth, Walker, Zee, Gerald.

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

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

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our 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:  Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie Trawick, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Saint Matthias

I am Matthias; I am he who covers

The cloudy opening of the uttermost prison,

Where on went down – and is not re-arisen,-

Out of the Twelve who were the Lord Christ’s lovers,

About my name upon this day there hovers

A rumour of despair and desolation;

And even the Holy City’s glad salvation

Sighs for the memory of its exciled rovers.

I am Matthias, yea, and am another,

Installed within the bishopric of my brother;

I who am his oblivion am his fame.

I am the dream, upon your strife attending,

That all things, bound to a most perfect ending,

Shall be made one by Christ’s invincible Name.

Charles Walter Stansby Williams

News and Updates 

Episcopal Relief & Development – In the United States, the ERD US Disaster team is now supporting emergency assistance through the Episcopal dioceses of Los Angeles, Massachusetts, Olympia and Tennessee and the Episcopal Church in Navajoland (ECN).  ECN serves communities in the four corners of the Navajo reservation located in three states – New Mexico, Arizona and Utah. These communities are often rural and 32% of the residents live below the poverty line.  In May, the Navajo Nation had the highest rate of COVID-19 per capita in the United States.  From mid-November until mid-January, the seven-day average of new cases was greater than the peak of the first wave in May. Families lost income due to illness, quarantines, government restrictions and lack of available jobs, complicating pre-existing financial burdens.  ECN is distributing food boxes and gas cards and providing assistance with utilities to help meet these vulnerable communities’ needs.

To support Episcopal Relief & Development’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, please consider making a donation. You may do this through St. Stephen’s.

Reminder

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 Morning 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. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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

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

Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!

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.