Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Sunday, January 17, 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 after the Epiphany

The Collect for the Day

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ is the light of the world: Grant that your people, illumined by your Word and Sacraments, may shine with the radiance of Christ’s glory, that he may be known, worshipped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 1:43-51:

Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.” Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!” Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.” Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.” And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”

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:  Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, Joan, Justin, Michael Curry, William Daniel, Gary, Carmeen, Joe, Earl and Ivan.

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

For our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect 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:  Dennie, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Anglican Church of Australia.

For all who have died:  Donald, Arnette, Frances L., Pierre, Emilie, Jesse, Gladys.

For one another.

Something to share

Our God is Coming

We don’t know what Nathanael saw that night

under his fig tree in the dark winter’s skies.

Was it a dream like Jacob had on his flight?

A vision of angels soaring up to the heights

carrying with them his prayers and tears,

bringing back God’s assuring promise of light

and protection which put an end to his fears?

Or did the Messiah appear to Nathanael,

as he once did to the young Prophet Daniel

who saw the Son of Man coming as Ruler of nations?

At the end of all time from heaven he’ll descend

as Savior and Judge from the Father’s right hand,

Offering all mankind God’s new-born creation:

Pure oceans, fresh air, and in spring-bloom the world;

in fire all hearts then cleansed from transgressions.

Look at that star over Bethlehem:

It seems to announce the place of his birth,

As Balaam foresaw in the Hebrew story:

The Magi set out from the ends of the earth,

to worship the King, precious presents they bring.

In vain did they seek him in palaces’ wealth.

They found him at last in a cold, dripping cave

on his mother’s lap while angels would sing

of peace to all people and to God alone glory.

No witness we have of that reverie

which only Nathanael himself could know.

But so far he kept it in tight secrecy

hiding this vision from his fellows below.

Now here comes this Rabbi from Nazareth,

a small unknown city of dubious fame.

The Messiah this man cannot possibly be,

as some of his followers boldly proclaim.

But his eyes pierce deep into my innermost heart:

All my doubts, my desires he seems to see

He must be the Messiah, the Son of God.

Mother Maria-Thomas

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 

For the rector’s homily & service information click here.

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).

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rlgDxl_Xw9ZLembBtI_2B9Gb9Sie8Rp_c7Sz-r-W9kQ/edit?usp=sharing

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!

Prayers for Our Nation – In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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 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 & Service Information for 1/17/21

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 January 17th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video below:

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.

Rector’s homily:  

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Saturday, January 16, 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

Lord, grant me to greet the coming day in peace.

Help me to rely upon your holy will.

In every hour of the day reveal your will to me.

Bless my dealings with all who surround me.

Teach me to treat all that comes to me throughout the day with peace of soul

and with firm belief that your will governs all.

Guide my words and deeds, my thoughts and feelings.

Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering or embarrassing others.

Give me strength to bear the fatigue of the coming day with all that it shall bring.

Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray yourself in me. Amen.

Philaret, Metropolitan of Moscow, 1867

Metropolitan Philaret (secular name Vasily Mikhaylovich Drozdov) was Metropolitan (Bishop) of Moscow and Kolomna and an influential figure in the Russian Orthodox Church for more than 40 years, from 1821 to 1867. He was a learned theologian, a political figure, a preacher and poet. He was the Bishop of Moscow for almost half a century, and his stature at the end of his life was such that his contemporaries called him the Metropolitan of All Russia. Metropolitan Philaret left more than 200 published works on a wide range of subjects, including theology, Russian and general Church history, explanations of the Canons of the Church, homiletics, government legislation, and other learned subjects. The Russian Orthodox Church canonized him on October 13, 1994 and his feast day is celebrated on November 19.

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:   Janet, Marilyn, Joan, Bridget, Marissa, Zeta, Paul, Karen, Kevin, Ruth, Claudia, Britney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Andrew .

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

For our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect 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: Marti, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Katryn – today is her birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of Ahoada – The Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) (Niger Delta Province).

For all who have died:  Helen, Dave, Richard, George.

For one another.

Something to share

It’s Fine Today

Sure, this world is full of trouble –

I ain’t said it ain’t.

Lord! I’ve had enough an’ double

Reason for complaint;

Rain an’ storm have come to fret me,

Skies are often gray;

Thorns an’ brambles have beset me

On the road – but say,

Ain’t it fine today?

What’s the use of always weepin’,

Makin’ trouble last?

What’s the use of always keepin’

Thinkin’ of the past?

Each must have his tribulation –

Water with his wine;

Life, it ain’t no celebration,

Trouble? – I’ve had mine –

But today is fine!

It’s today that I am livin’,

Not a month ago.

Havin’; losin’; takin’; givin’;

As time wills it so.

Yesterday a cloud of sorrow

Fell across the way;

It may rain again tomorrow,

It may rain – but say,

Ain’t it fine today?

Douglas Malloch

News and Updates 

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 January 17th at 9:00am, for the celebration of Holy Eucharist, to help you understand what to expect, please watch the video below:

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://docs.google.com/document/d/1rlgDxl_Xw9ZLembBtI_2B9Gb9Sie8Rp_c7Sz-r-W9kQ/edit?usp=sharing

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!

Prayers for Our Nation – In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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 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, January 15, 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

O God, we are surrounded by so many disturbing things that sometimes we know not how to face them. Help us always to remember that when we need help, ask for help, are humble enough to receive help, help of one kind or another is always forthcoming. Thou, O God, art the helper of the helpless, and when we have the humility to recognize our helplessness, then in the help that we are given, we find the reassurance of thy presence. Amen.

Theodore Parker Ferris, 1972

The Rev. Theodore Ferris was a seminary professor and ecumenist. He was ordained deacon and priest in the Episcopal Church. He was the fourteenth rector of Trinity Church, Boston, Massachusetts. Many of his publications were books of sermons. He published a book on preaching, Go Tell the People, in which he stated that “A sermon is by nature a disclosure, an unveiling, a revelation . . . to preach is to draw the curtain aside from the figure of Christ and to lose oneself in the folds of it.” Ferris was instructor in homiletics at the Episcopal Theological School, Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was active in the ecumenical movement and an alternate delegate to the first assembly of the World Council of Churches at Amsterdam in 1948. Ferris died in Boston. 

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:   Warren, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, June, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Donald K., Craig, Donald, Maureen, Joseph, Lorraine.

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

For our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect 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: Marti, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

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

For all who have died:  Helen, Dave, Richard, George.

For one another.

Something to share

The Proof

Shall I love God for causing me to be?

I was mere utterance; shall these words love me?

Yet when I caused his work to jar and stammer

And one free subject loosened all his grammar,

I love him that he did not in a rage

Once and forever rule me off the page,

But, thinking I might come to please him yet.

Crossed out delete and wrote his patient stet. 

Richard Wilbur

News and Updates  

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!

This Sunday’s Readings:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rlgDxl_Xw9ZLembBtI_2B9Gb9Sie8Rp_c7Sz-r-W9kQ/edit?usp=sharing

Prayers for Our Nation – In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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 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, January 14, 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

Merciful God, I offer prayers for those who are wanting. Those with broken hearts and broken lives. Bless them with healing. Change their circumstances. Cause peace and prosperity to come in abundance. I, who have plenty, pray to share the richness of my soul, even as I share my resources. Amen.

Lord Jesus, heal me. Heal in me whatever You need to see healing. Heal me of whatever might separate me from you, Heal my memory, heal my heart, heal my emotions, heal my spirit, heal my body, heal my soul. Lay your hands gently upon me and Heal me through Your love for me.

Anonymous author

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:   Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel, Greg, Joan, Justin, Michael Curry, William Daniel, Gary, Carmeen, Joe, Earl and Ivan.

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

 Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

 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.

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

 Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Marti, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Laura and Jane – today is their birthday!

For all the blessings of this life.

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

 For all who have died:  Helen, Dave, Richard, George.

For one another.

Something to share

Simply Assisting God

I am a humble artist

moulding my earthly clod,

adding my labour to nature’s,

simply assisting God.

Not that my labour is needed,

yet somehow I understand,

my Maker has deemed it that I too should have

Unmoulded clay in my hand.

Piet Hein

News and Updates 

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!

Prayers for Our Nation – In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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 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, January 13, 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

I am well aware, almighty God and Father, that in my life I owe you a most particular duty. It is to make my every thought and word speak of you.

In fact, you have conferred on me this gift of speech, and it can yield no greater return than to be at your service….

In this matter the declaration of my intention is only of limited value. For the rest, I need to pray for the gift of your help and your mercy. As we spread our sails of trusting faith and public avowal before you, fill them with the breath of your Spirit, to drive us on as we begin this course of proclaiming your truth. We have been promised, and he who made the promise is trustworthy: Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

Yes, in our poverty we will pray for our needs. We will study the sayings of your prophets and apostles with unflagging attention, and knock for admittance wherever the gift of understanding is safely kept. But yours it is, Lord, to grant our petitions, to be present when we seek you and to open when we knock.

So we trust in you to inspire the beginnings of this ambitious venture, to strengthen its progress, and to call us into a partnership in the spirit with the prophets and the apostles

Hilary of Poitiers

The Episcopal Church recognizes today, Jan. 13th, as a feast day for Hilary of Poitiers, a 4th century bishop. This prayer is excerpted from a sermon he gave on the Trinity. He was made bishop of Poitiers (which is in modern-day France) as a young, married man, but ended up in exile for several years under the orders of Emperor Constantinius, likely in part due to conflicts with Arian Christians who had a different theological understanding of Jesus and Jesus’ relationship to the Father. Eventually, Hilary was able to return to his diocese and became an influential voice advocating for the Trinitarian theology that became mainstream in the Western church.   

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:   Janet, Marilyn, Joan, Bridget, Marissa, Zeta, Paul, Karen, Kevin, Ruth, Claudia, Britney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Andrew.

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

 Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Joseph Biden, President-elect of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

 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.

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

 Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Marti, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Lisa – today is her birthday!

 For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: The Diocese of the Horn of Africa – The Episcopal / Anglican Province of Alexandria.

 For all who have died:  Helen, Dave, Richard, George.

For one another.

Something to share

 Now is the Time

Now is the time to know

That all you do is sacred.

Now, why not consider

A lasting truce with yourself and God.

Now is the time to understand

That all your ideas of right and wrong

Were just a child’s training wheels

To be laid aside

When you finally live

With veracity

And love

Hafiz is a divine envoy

Whom the Beloved

Has written a holy message upon.

My dear, please tell me,

Why do you still

 Throw sticks at your heart and God?

What is it in that sweet voice inside

That incites you to fear?

Now is the time for you to compute the impossibility

That there is anything

But Grace.

Now is the season to know

That everything you do is sacred.

Haf

News and Updates 

Massive Food Program Event – the upcoming Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, and Catholic Charities Mobile Outreach Vehicle Extension [CC MOVE] massive food program event will be held in the parking lot of Crosstown Plaza today, January 13. We are hoping you will consider volunteering there – and don’t hesitate to invite a friend, family member or co-worker. The event will be outside, masks required, and plastic gloves will be provided. Volunteers are asked to arrive at 8:15 AM. 

Prayers for Our Nation – In the two weeks leading up to the presidential inauguration, the National Cathedral will offer brief inline prayers for our nation, together with our interfaith and ecumenical colleagues each day at 5 pm. We invite you to spend five minutes in prayers for safety, solace and national unity. Just go to https://cathedral.org/.

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 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, September 25, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

Vast Lord, we beseech you for all the peoples everywhere and for all the needs, hidden and manifest, that afflict them and us—the aches and fevers of the body that they may be healed, the mind’s terror that it shall be removed far from us, the heart’s loneliness that it shall be comforted. As you are just, bring your righteousness against all within us that damages or disdains life, and your jubilance to all that upholds it. As you are merciful, persuade us to the ways of compassion for each other and for all persons far and near; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Arnold Kenseth and Richard P. Unsworth

This prayer comes from a book Kenseth and Unsworth wrote together, Prayers for Worship Leaders, published in 1978. At the time, Arnold Kenseth was pastor of South Congregational Church in Amherst, MA; he was also a widely published poet. Kenseth died in 2003. He served at South Congregational for 40 years, before retiring in 1989, and published nine books. Richard Unsworth was a Chaplain and Professor of Religion at Smith College. He wrote the biography A Portrait of Pacifists about André and Magda Trocmé, a French couple who were pivotal in organizing safe houses for Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. Unsworth died in 2016. 

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

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

For those affected by the wildfires in the west and hurricanes in the Gulf: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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:  Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

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 and Allison our Lay Reader

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

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Central Zambia (Central Africa).

For all who have died:  especially Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, Elsie, Robert, Dorothy and Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Part of Eve’s Discussion

It was like the moment when a bird decides not to eat from your hand,
and flies, just before it flies, the moment the rivers seem to still
and stop because a storm is coming, but there is no storm, as when
a hundred starlings lift and bank together before they wheel and drop,
very much like the moment, driving on bad ice, when it occurs to you
your car could spin, just before it slowly begins to spin, like
the moment just before you forgot what it was you were about to say,
it was like that, and after that, it was still like that, only all the time.

Marie Howe

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

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. 

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 me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Thursday, September 24, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

Show me what the attachments and cravings are, which hold me down below your level of total self-surrender, real love. Show me the things that lumber up my heart, so that it cannot be filled with your life and power. What are they? People? Ambitions? Interests? Comforts? Anxieties? Self-chosen aims?

Evelyn Underhill, 1941

Evelyn Underhill was an English Anglo-Catholic writer and pacifist known for her numerous works on religion and spiritual practice, in particular Mysticism and Worship. Her most valuable contribution to spiritual literature must surely be her conviction that the mystical life is not only open to a saintly few, but to anyone who cares to nurture it and weave it into everyday experience, and also that modern psychological theories and discoveries, far from hindering or negating spirituality, can actually enhance and transform it. Evelyn Underhill was conferred with an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from Aberdeen University and made a fellow of King’s College. She was the first woman to lecture the clergy in the Church of England as well as the first woman to officially conduct spiritual retreats for the Church.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

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

For those affected by the wildfires in the west and hurricanes in the Gulf : for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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:  Luca, Brittney, Mary Alice, Mia, Wim, Corrie, Doris, Judy, Anne, Louise, Gertrude, Laurel and Greg.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

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 and Allison our Lay Reader

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

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Panyana (South Sudan), Central Solomons (Melanesia), Central Tanganyika (Tanzania).

For all who have died:  especially Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, Elsie, Rober, Dorothy and Helen.

For one another.

Crown of Pain

We wear it like a scar
often hidden from public view
as though a mark of shame.

We wear it with a stoic smile
we hardly feel our own, for even
a simple smile is not without effort.

It erodes our countenance
like the rush of scouring waters
on a hillside; it claws

at our peace of mind
until it tears the skin of our patience
and draws blood from our despair.

It is, for reasons that still elude us,
the co-conspirator with the night, asserting
its presence with greater insistence.

It turns each day into
an unwanted journey rather than
a pleasant walk.

It is warfare for which we have
no protective armor, no defenses,
no allies, except endurance.

It is an endless encounter
bravely fought, never won,
never conquered. It is that

unwanted heroism we grudgingly
condescend to wear –
more a crown of thorns than laurel.

Maurice Rigoler

News & Updates

Carole Merrill-Mazurek gives an update concerning SICM:

The pantry is in desperate need of volunteers, duties would include sorting food and packing food boxes. They have strict guidelines in place to protect guests and volunteers. Anyone interested can call and ask to speak to Laura, the volunteer coordinator.

The pantry is in need of feminine hygiene products.

St. Joseph’s House cannot distribute sandwiches at this time, but expressed appreciation for the lunch ministry that St. Stephen’s offered. I spoke to Sr Anne & Sr Lynn yesterday & they need assistance in providing help for their guests, warm gloves, thermal shirts & grocery gift cards will help them get through the cold months.

Donations for either SICM or St. Joseph’s Place can be individually dropped off: 839 Albany St, Schenectady, NY 12307  call first:  (518) 346-4445

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

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. 

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 me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

You who called us to hope in your Name,
which is first of all creation,
open the eyes of our heart
that we may know you
who alone remains Highest among the highest
and Holiest among the holy.

Save those of us who are in affliction,
have mercy on the lonely,
raise up those that are fallen,
be manifested to those that are in need,
heal the sick,
bring back those of your people that go astray.
Feed the hungry,
redeem our captives,
lift up those that are weak,
comfort the faint-hearted.

Clement of Rome, 1st century

Can you imagine what it would have been like to be taught personally about Jesus by the apostle Paul or Peter? Clement of Rome was a first century convert who had that wonderful privilege. Philippians 4:3 mentions a Clement who very well could be Clement of Rome.

After Paul and Peter were martyred at Rome, Clement become a leader, in fact, bishop, of the church there. Tradition holds that about the year 100 AD he was martyred by being cast into the sea tied to an anchor. Not much detail is known about Clement of Rome, but some of his writings provide valuable insight into the early church. His letter to the church at Corinth may be the earliest document we have outside of the New Testament. With love and compassion, Clement urged his readers to: be of humble mind, laying aside all haughtiness, and pride, and foolishness, and angry feelings. His letter was read in the Corinthian church as part of the liturgy for many years.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

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

For those affected by the wildfires in the west: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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:  Sylvia, Irene, Jeanne, Chris, Theresa, Emily, Bridget, Josh, Amy, Sid, Edwina and her husband, Donald and Mark.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

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 and Allison our Lay Reader

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

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Pankshin (Nigeria), Central Philippines (Philippines).

For all who have died:  especially Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, Elsie, Robert, Dorothy and Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

Give Me This

I thought it was the neighbor’s cat back
to clean the clock of the fledgling robins low
in their nest stuck in the dense hedge by the house
but what came was much stranger, a liquidity
moving all muscle and bristle. A groundhog
slippery and waddle thieving my tomatoes still
green in the morning’s shade. I watched her
munch and stand on her haunches taking such
pleasure in the watery bites. Why am I not allowed
delight? A stranger writes to request my thoughts
on suffering. Barbed wire pulled out of the mouth,
as if demanding that I kneel to the trap of coiled
spikes used in warfare and fencing. Instead,
I watch the groundhog closer and a sound escapes
me, a small spasm of joy I did not imagine
when I woke. She is a funny creature and earnest,
and she is doing what she can to survive

Ada Limón

News & Updates

Carole Merrill-Mazurek gives an update concerning SICM:

The pantry is in desperate need of volunteers, duties would include sorting food and packing food boxes. They have strict guidelines in place to protect guests and volunteers. Anyone interested can call and ask to speak to Laura, the volunteer coordinator.

The pantry is in need of feminine hygiene products.

St. Joseph’s House cannot distribute sandwiches at this time, but expressed appreciation for the lunch ministry that St. Stephen’s offered. I spoke to Sr Anne & Sr Lynn yesterday & they need assistance in providing help for their guests, warm gloves, thermal shirts & grocery gift cards will help them get through the cold months.

Donations for either SICM or St. Joseph’s Place can be individually dropped off.

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

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. 

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 me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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.

Peace,

James+

Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

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

Today’s Prayer

Grant, O Lord,
that none may love you less this day because of me;
that never word or act of mine
may turn one soul from thee;
and, ever daring, yet one more grace would I implore,
that many souls this day,
because of me, may love thee more. Amen.

Saint Benedict’s Prayer Book

This prayer book was published by Ampleforth Abbey Press in 1993. Ampleborth Abbey is a Benedictine monastery located in York, England.

From Our Prayers of the People

Today, let us pray:

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

For those affected by the wildfires in the west: for those who are grieving the loss of homes, possessions and loved ones, that their safety and security may be restored.

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:  Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.

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

Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady

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 and Allison our Lay Reader

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

Members who request our prayers for strength and healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.

For Liz & Paul – today is their wedding anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  Panama (Central America), Central Pennsylvania (The Episcopal Church), Kivu (Rwanda)

For all who have died:  especially Kathryn, Reuben, Timothy, Dennis, Elsie, Robert, Dorothy and Helen.

For one another.

Something to share

The Eighth Sacrament

Now I have days I never think of you
just as my shrink predicted. Milestones pass,
the eighth month anniversary, the next,
disappearing like thunderheads across the gulf.

But your presences, love, center my feet
this morning, running again around the block.
Now you are a monotonousness of grace-
light under my steps, the unseen seen,

leading me, winded, back to our own house.
You’re there, you’re here, you are this sacrament
only the grieving know, together with the grieved.

Which one of us is writing this? Me? You?
Why, both, of course, inspired by the light
when dawn throws down its crowns, the blinding luminous,

shaping the fractured world into unbrokenness—

Peter Cooley

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 Morning Prayers as best we can.

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. 

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 me for the linkjames.ross.mcd@gmail.com)

Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.

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.

Peace,

James+